Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Easter Hat Cake

Easter Hat Cake
Dorcas Annette Walker

I’ve always been fascinated with hats. In fact some people call me the hat lady. I blame the English genes on mother’s side for my obsession. My mother wore small hat-like bonnets that curved along the back of her head whenever she dressed up. I grew up eyeing different colors of bonnets perched snugly on top of her red hair matching whatever she wore while traveling in the back seat of our car. Whether it was a stiff starched white nurse’s cap worn at work or a dress-up bonnet trimmed with lace, my mother always had the look of a lady.

Hats have been worn since primitive times often used as protection from the elements. Women were always expected to have their heads covered. Veils, kerchiefs hoods, capes, and wimples were used until sometime during the 15th century when structured hats of silk velvet taffeta, leather, felt, and beaver appeared. These structured hats were worn in the upper and middle classes as well as by countrywomen. A maker of women’s hats was first recorded in 1529 and by the late seventeenth century women’s headgear began to emerge. The first half of the 19th century bonnets dominated women’s fashion with many ribbons, flowers, feathers, and gauze trims. From the 1930’s to the 1950’s New York became the world’s leading millinery city. During this time hats had higher crowns with smaller brims. In the 1960’s men and women dressed less formally and the hat was more casual. Since the 1980’s to the 90’s there has been a revival of interest in women’s millinery. Today there are still two basic styles of hats: brimmed and brimless, and two basic forms: caps and hats that create a never-ending range of headwear for men and women.

Hats are an individual style depending on the size and shape of the head. My sister and I do not look good in the same style of hat. Lois looks best in a close-fitting brimless hat while I need a brimmed hat that shadows my features. Understanding this basic rule helps a woman find the hat that fits her best. There is a fatal attraction about hats. Strangers often comment about my hats and for some reason fellows especially love to see a woman wearing a hat. Since I wear hats people are always giving me hats in all kinds of sizes and shapes. A lot of my hats are antique- not only because I love to collect older styles, but I have a small head and antique hats fit me better. I have made hats and love to give the hats I wear a personal touch with ribbons and flowers. Spring is the time of year I go wild with flowery pieces of millinery that will last all summer. I already have a special hat ready to wear for Easter Sunday.

Whether you plan to wear a hat Easter Sunday or not here is a hat that you can make and enjoy. I made an Easter Hat Cake for my niece, Stacy’s, birthday last week. Not only is it good to look at, but it tastes delicious as well. The Easter Hat Cake is simple to make and you can create your hat cake to suit your individual style or taste. It’s sure to be an instant winner for Easter Sunday. My Easter Hat Cake is a light yet moist dessert that will fit with any meal. Preparation time for the Easter Hat Cake takes around thirty-five minutes and this recipe serves eighteen.

Easter Hat Cake

1 cake mix any flavor (I used a yellow cake mix and pineapple juice in place of water)
Prepare as directed. Pour batter until it covers the bottom of a 10 inch cake pan and fill a 5½ inch oven-proof bowl half full. Bake at 350º for 15-20 minutes until done and cover until cool.

1 pkg (3.4 oz) vanilla instant pudding
1 (20 oz) can of crushed pineapple (drained)
1 (16 oz) container of cool whip
Stir together the dry pudding mix and crushed pineapple. Add almost half of the cool whip and mix well.

Cut the bowl-shaped cake in half. Spread filling in the center of the flat cake (the crown) and place the bottom half of the bowl cake on top. Add more filling and sit the rounded part of the bowl cake on top of that to make the bonnet. Ice the entire cake with cool whip and cover with shredded cocoanut. Finish decorating the hat cake with ribbons, fresh flowers, or candy flowers and serve!

Weekly tip: An up-side-down pizza pan or large cookie tray covered in tinfoil is an excellent solid platform to use for large cakes!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, syndicated columnist, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: For more information check out:


jeanne said...

this is so cute...

Dorcas Annette Walker said...

Thanks, Jeanne!
Not only is this cake eye catching, but it is great to eat too!

Faith said...

I love that pic of Stacy--a blond Lois, for sure! She's beautiful. I was hoping there would be a pic of Lois somewhere nearby.

Oh yeh, the cake sounds yummy other than the coconut. Reminds me of a dessert I have heard called Hawaiian Wedding cake.

Dorcas Annette Walker said...

I guess I'll have to make sure and drag Lois to the stove and get a picture of her next time she is down- Ha! Maybe I can find a more recent picture of her and email it to you.
Stacy though is a carbon copy of our mother, only without the red hair.