Prep: 2 hours Bake: 35 min. + cooling
1/4 cup sugar2 teaspoons cornstarch1/8 teaspoon salt1/2 cup orange juice2 large egg yolks, beaten1 tablespoon unsalted butter1 teaspoon grated orange zestCAKE:1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened1-1/2 cups sugar4 large egg whites, room temperature2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract2 teaspoons grated orange zest2-1/4 cups cake flour1 tablespoon baking powder1/2 teaspoon salt1 cup 2% milkBUTTERCREAM: 3 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream3 large egg whites, room temperature3/4 cup sugar1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar1/4 teaspoon salt1 cup unsalted butter, cubed1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract1 cup coarse sugarOptional Bunny Decorations: Bright white candy coating, light cocoa candy coating, pink coarse sugar, sprinkles, red food coloring, white food color paste and small jelly beans
To prepare orange curd, in a small saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir in orange juice until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat; gently stir in butter and orange zest. Cool to room temperature without stirring. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of three 6-in. round baking pans with parchment; grease pans. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and zest. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with the milk. Transfer batter to prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in each center comes out clean, 30-35 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove parchment. Cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare buttercream by microwaving chocolate and cream in a small microwave-safe bowl until melted, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. In heatproof bowl of stand mixer, whisk egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and salt until blended. Place over simmering water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisking constantly, heat mixture until a thermometer reads 160°, 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat. With whisk attachment of stand mixer, beat on high speed until cooled to 90°, about 5 minutes. Gradually beat in butter, a few tablespoons at a time, on medium speed until smooth; beat in vanilla and white chocolate mixture. Spread curd between layers. Spread buttercream over top and sides of cake; sprinkle coarse sugar over top and sides of cake. Decorate with candies to look like a bunny, as desired. Store in refrigerator.
1 piece: 479 calories, 28g fat (17g saturated fat), 93mg cholesterol, 261mg sodium, 55g carbohydrate (42g sugars, 0 fiber), 5g protein.