3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour or gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour
1 cup coconut sugar or cane sugar
1/3 cup olive oil or coconut oil, melted
1 cup unsweetened coconut or almond milk, room temperature
2 tsp apple cider vinegar (to be mixed with coconut/almond milk)
1/4 cup maple syrup, room temperature
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp vanilla extract (yes, tablespoons!)
Vegan Vanilla Buttercream:
1 cup vegan butter, softened but still cold
4 cups organic powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2–4 tbsp unsweetened coconut or almond milk (optional)
3 cups coconut shreds
8 pink jelly beans
1 tsp spirulina, matcha, or natural green food coloring
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a pyrex bowl with olive or coconut oil, and lightly flour. Line 4 cupcake tins with liners.
In a cup, combine the dairy-free milk and apple cider vinegar mixture to create a vegan buttermilk. Let the mixture sit while you whisk together the dry ingredients.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the olive/coconut oil with the maple syrup, unsweetened applesauce, and vanilla extract.
Add in the buttermilk, and whisk to combine.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir thoroughly to make sure there are no more clumps of flour.
Fill the cupcake liners first. Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 of the way full, then pour the rest of the batter into the prepared pyrex bowl.
Place the cupcakes and the bowl into the oven to bake. The cupcakes will take 20-24 minutes to bake, and the cake will take 35-40. Check with a toothpick to make sure everything is fully baked.
Remove from the oven and let the cake cool in the bowl, while you cool the cupcakes on a cooling rack. The cake and cupcake needs to be completely cool before frosting.
Coconut Vanilla Buttercream:
When ready to assemble the cake, beat the vegan butter on high until creamy.
Sift in the powdered sugar in increments of 1 cup while continuing to beat the mixture. Do this until everything is combined and fluffy. Add in the vanilla extract here and beat until incorporated. You can add in the optional dairy-free milk to help with consistency.
Set the bowl aside while you assemble the cake.
Assembling the cake:
You’ll need a large plate that is larger in diameter than the largest diameter of the half circle cake. Level the part of the cake that will be facing down so that it rests evenly onto the plate.
Place two cupcakes (removed from their liners) at the base of the cake, the muffin top part facing towards the cake.
Slice another cupcake in half and place the sliced part of the cupcake face down, resting at the base of the other cupcakes, the muffin top part facing down (see photos).
Place the remaining cupcake on top as the cotton tail.
Frost the cake using a frosting knife or regular knife, being sure to place the buttercream in the spots that will hold the cupcakes together.
Place 3 pink jelly beans on each foot of the bunny for the toes, and 1 jelly bean in the middle of each foot for the paw.
Sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups coconut shreds. Then take the remaining coconut shreds, and place them into a plastic bag. Add in the green food coloring and toss until evenly coated. Sprinkle the green coconut shreds around the cake for the grass.