Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Bird's Nest Cake

Easter Bird’s Nest Cake
Dorcas Annette Walker

I always look forward to Easter. From yearly church ceremonies of jubilant praise for the resurrection of a risen Savior where death and the grave was overcome, the fashion show of new Easter dresses, profusion of blooming spring flowers, to the participation in Easter egg hunts with my grandchildren, I love every part of Easter. No matter how serious the economic or world situation is we can gather with family and friends and for one day rejoice together letting our spirits renew. Easter celebrates hope and life.

There is plenty of life here on the Walker farm. In January we brought home two, one-month-old German shepherd pups. Sandy, our aged chocolate lab, who has faithfully guarded our property throughout the years will soon be gone. So we decided to train a couple German shepherd pups. The energetic bouncing pups moved life to the fast lane overnight. It was fascinating watching Shep and Natasha’s first experience with snow. The pups soon became established outdoors and learned our property boundaries. They still stumble over their feet and long ears flop every which way, but Shep and Natasha are learning basic commands to grow into well behaved dogs.

Then last month on a warm sunny day, Bessie the goat, gave birth for the first time. The newborn kid was the size of a small dog. In no time at all, Bobby, was jumping and running around exploring his new world kicking up tiny hoofs. One morning I watched him intently eyeing the hens through the fence. He lunged at them and the hens squawked and fluttered around in panic. When they settled down, Bobby jumped at them again. The hens soon learned to ignore the whirlwind activity of the newest farm member outside their pen.

In a couple of weeks our first mother rabbit will give birth to several babies. Dana has already set up the incubator to begin the process of hatching eggs. I never fail to be awed at the miracle of dormant eggs coming alive. First a tiny hole is broken in the shell then the egg begins to move and crack until a baby chick emerges forth. The next thing you know there is a tiny ball of fluff walking around on wobbly legs cheeping in protest. Meanwhile migrating birds are returning busily building nests to raise their young for another season causing the Tennessee Mountains to burst forth with activity and new life all around. Easter has arrived.

My daughter, Dawn, gave me this idea for decorating an Easter cake with a bird’s nest using Chow Mein noodles. The filled bird’s nests make an awesome crunchy treat that can be eaten as a snack or decoration. You can place one nest or a ring of small nests with a bird in the middle on the top of the cake, or make one large nest and fill it up with malted eggs, jelly beans, and other Easter egg-shaped candy. I made cocoanut icing and tinted my cocoanut green, but you can use regular icing if you prefer. Let your creativity soar to produce a one-of-a-kind Easter Bird’s Nest Cake that will wow the entire family.

Easter Bird’s Nest Cake

Bake any cake of your choice (I used a yellow cake mix) in two layers and frost the cake.

To make 3-4 small Bird’s Nest melt together in the microwave:
¼ c chocolate chips
¼ c butterscotch chips

Pour in:
1½ c of Chow Mein noodles
Stir until all the noodles are coated and the chocolate mixture is used up. You can add more noodles if needed. Shape nests on waxed paper and let harden. Fill with Easter candy!

Weekly tip: To tint cocoanut place cocoanut in a baggie, add a drop of food coloring, seal the baggie, and shake the cocoanut around until evenly tinted. You can add more color if desired until you get the right shade!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: For more recipes check out her Creative Tennessee Mountain Cookin blog at:

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