Ingredients for chocolate sponges
300g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
300g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
5 free-range eggs
295g self-raising flour
3 tsp baking powder
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Lightly butter two loose-bottomed 20cm/8in sandwich tins and line the bases with baking paper.
Put the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder and cocoa in a large bowl and beat for 2 minutes, or until just blended. (An electric mixer is best for this, but you can also beat by hand using a wooden spoon.)
Divide the mixture evenly between the tins. Level the surface using a spatula or the back of a spoon.
Bake for 25-30 minutes. The tops of the cakes should spring back when pressed lightly with a finger. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 5 minutes. Run a small palette knife around the edge of the tins, then carefully turn the cakes out onto a wire rack. Peel off the paper and leave to cool completely.
For the chocolate buttercream:
150g milk chocolate
225g butter, softened
500g icing sugar
6 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp milk
Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water (make sure the bowl isn't touching the water). Stir until melted. Alternatively, melt in the microwave, stirring every 30 secs. Leave the melted chocolate to cool for 5 mins.
Mash the butter and icing sugar together with a fork first, then switch to a wooden spoon or electric beaters if you have them. Sift in the cocoa and pour in the melted chocolate, a pinch of salt and the milk, then mix again until smooth. Use to top cupcakes or cover and fill a chocolate sponge cake.
Marzipan for the Eater Bunny:
175g golden caster sugar
280g icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for kneading and rolling out
450g ground almond
seeds scraped from 1 vanilla pod
2 eggs, beaten
½ tsp orange or lemon juice
Food colouring of your choice
Mix the sugars and almonds in a large bowl, then rub in the vanilla seeds until even. Make a well in the middle, then tip in the eggs and citrus juice. Cut the wet ingredients into the dry with a cutlery knife. Dust the surface with icing sugar, then knead the marzipan briefly with your hands to a smooth dough. Don’t overdo it as the paste can get greasy. Add a bit more icing sugar if it seems too wet. Shape into a ball, then wrap and keep in a cool place until ready to cover the cake. Can be made up to 2 days in advance.
To make the Bunny Butt:
Roll white marzipan against a cup or glass with a rounded bottom to create the body of the bunny
Roll out 2 medium ovals for the feet.
Dye some marzipan pink. Cut out circles for the pads of the bunny feet. Add them to the white ovals. Place the feet on the body.
Roll a ball. Dip in water then in white sanding sugar. Attach to the body for a tail.
For the Assembly:
Pipe the buttercream between each layer.
Cover the cake with chocolate buttercream. Pipe pink buttercream on the top of the cake. Smooth with an offset spatula and scraper. Transfer to the fridge to chill for about 10 min.
Use a comb to create a grooved, horizontal stripe pattern. Chill the cake again for about 10 min. Using the softened pink buttercream with added cream, pipe over the grooves. Smooth with a scraper.
Pipe grass on top of the cake.
Add the bunny butt and chocolate eggs.
Arrange a skirt of chocolate eggs along the bottom.