Amy’s Free Ideas

Seasons > Easter > Activities for the Home > More Easter Cakes: Resurrection Cakes> Edible Easter Garden, step by step instructions

An Edible Easter Garden is a great way to make Easter feel like a special holiday, and keep the true meaning at the center of your celebration.

If you are feeding a crowd, make a base cake to form the whole garden. Shown here is a sheet cake made in a 15x10 inch (39x26 cm) glass pan. For a bigger crowd, make the cake in a bigger pan, or put several sheet cakes together to form a larger base. For a smaller group, leave off the base, and put the grave portion directly on a plate. It can be a challenge to find a base big enough to hold a cake this large. The one shown here is a cookie sheet that has no sides. If you don’t have a plate or pan large enough, cut a piece of corrugated cardboard to the size you want and cover it with tinfoil (aluminum foil). Tape the edges on the back side of the cardboard. Tinfoil (aluminum foil) is easy to rip, so be careful when you move it, especially once the cake is on it. It may be best to assemble the cake in the place it will be served so it does not get messed up during transport.

View Carrot Cake recipe

View Chocolate cake recipe

Make the “empty grave” part of the cake in a plain tube pan, or as in this photo, a fluted tube pan (bundt pan). If you don’t have a tube pan, you can experiment with putting an ovenproof glass (such as a ramekin, or small measuring cup) in the middle of a round cake pan before filling the pan with batter--make sure the glass is well greased! Some batter may seep under the cup during baking, but if you carefully remove the cup, then cut excess cake away, it should be fine.

Baking a cake in these pans takes about an hour to bake because they hold so much batter. If you use an American cake mix, you will need 2 cake mixes. Depending on the serving size, this cake can be sliced into 16-32 pieces.

After the cake has cooled, cut the cake so that the hole is completely on one side. This will form the grave.

Place the larger portion (with the hole) to one side of the sheet cake, or directly on a platter or base plate (if you have decided to not make a base cake.)

Put the smaller portion behind the grave to close off the back, but make sure it sticks out to one side of the grave because this smaller hill becomes Calvary hill in the background. If you want to ice the cake, this is a good time to do that. If you prefer the cake to be less sweet, leave off the icing, and it will look like dirt and rocks--just right!

Make 3 crosses out of pretzels, or Pokky sticks. These are cookie sticks covered in chocolate. In the U.S., many Walmarts carry them in their foreign food, or asian food sections. Many asian markets sell them as well. If you can’t find anything edible, make them out of clean dowels or plastic  drinking straws, or even bamboo skewers (even though these might look a little thin.) Cut the vertical stick longer than typical crosses because the bottom inch or so (2+ cm.) needs to be anchored in the cake. If you are using Pokky sticks, use whole sticks (uncut or broken) for this part. Then break or cut smaller pieces for the cross bars of the crosses. One way to fasten the 2 parts together is to tie them together with thread or dental floss. It can be tricky, especially since the chocolate melts where ever you hold them. (Hint: hold the shorter piece on the cut ends, and the longer piece on the end that doesn’t have chocolate on it.) It can be a big help to have someone hold them while you tie. You can cool them in the freezer or refrigerator first, to give you slightly longer holding times. Another way to fasten them together is with icing--lay them flat until the icing hardens. Whether you tie the crosses together, or put them together with icing, make 2 or 3 extras. They break easily, and you don’t want to be stuck with just one or two crosses when you have gone to so much trouble to make the Easter Garden.

View more ways to make edible crosses

Make a cookie for the grave stone--set it to one side of the hole to show that the grave is empty. There are several options for the grave stone. You can buy a large cookie. However, if you want to keep costs down, make your own cookie, or simply bake some of the cake batter like a muffin top--a quarter cup of batter poured directly onto a well greased cookie sheet. If you want it to be more precise, you can bake the batter in an egg ring (stainless steel ring for cooking perfectly round eggs in a fry pan). Make sure everything is well greased! Another option is to make it in a tiny tart pan, or make a batch of cupcakes and cut the top off of one. A cut cupcake top is going to be rather fragile, so handle it carefully, and be sure to take 2 or 3 with you incase it crumbles as you handle it.

Fresh herbs make the easiest trees and bushes. Believe me, I have tried SO many different ways! This is not only the easiest way, it is also the most real looking. Rosemary and thyme can be poked directly into the cake IF you do this shortly before presentation. They do tend to wilt over time, so if you want to assemble the garden ahead of time, you might want to provide water for the herbs.  Parsley tends to wilt more quickly, so it especially needs water, even if you are assembling the garden right before presenting it.

One way to provide water for herbs is with communion cups. Cut holes in the cake with an apple corer or a knife. Fill the cups half full of water, and press them into the holes. You may want to test each hole with an empty cup to make sure the cups fit, before you start putting them in with water--to minimize soggy cake from spilled water! If you have trouble with the herbs flopping over, try crumpling tinfoil (aluminum foil) around the inside edges of the cup. Another option might be to cut plastic straws into sections the height of the cups, tape them together, then put these in the cup, and put the stems into the water through the straws.

Fresh herbs can get expensive if you are not growing them in your own garden. Celery hearts and carrot tops work almost as well.

View how to make cookie trees and celery and carrots into trees

Make the ground look more realistic with cereal (such as granola), toasted coconut, or chocolate rocks. Cheap chocolate rocks are obviously chocolate, but more expensive one look like real rocks! Kids and adults alike will be astonished when you pick up a few to demonstrate that you really can eat them! One young man threw them away thinking they were real rocks!!