The Making of Martha's Magnificent Bedford Easter Cake

Our founder created the most spectacular cake for Easter—now you can learn to do the same, too.

martha stewart in kitchen with farm cake
Photo: Thomas Loof

As a young child, I was enchanted with Beatrix Potter's stories of Peter Rabbit. I loved following the mischievous bunny's adventures with his family and friends, and especially enjoyed imagining the colorful landscape they scampered around.

Twenty years ago, I developed an oversize Spring Garden Cake that was inspired by Mr. McGregor's vegetable patch. It had two layers, zucchini and carrot, and was embellished with dozens of meticulously formed marzipan flowers, fruits, and vegetables. It was beautiful, but I admit that crafting all those elements was complicated.

When I began thinking about Easter this year, I wanted to create a new twist on that cake, and worked with Living food editors Shira Bocar and Lauryn Tyrell to plot a design based on my Bedford farm in spring. We would re-create the old spruce fencing that edges the paddocks, the drifts of daffodils, the gravel path that runs between my clipped boxwood hedging, and, to play up the holiday, add colored eggs to represent my annual Easter-egg hunt.

The cake is deliciously tender, flavored with orange zest and almonds and frosted with a light buttercream. The decorations —"boxwood" cake balls covered in nonpareils, marzipan "daffodils," and piped buttercream "grass"—look challenging but don’t require special skills. Once it was decorated, I nestled in a couple of small bunny figurines—my nod to Peter and his siblings. I can't wait to share the cake with my grandchildren.

Get Martha's Bedford Easter Cake Recipe

green frosting
Stephen Kent Johnson

Pipe the Lawn

Swiss meringue buttercream that's been tinted green is piped at a 90-degree angle with a grass decorating-tip attachment ($8.75,

Get Martha's Swiss Meringue Buttercream Recipe

"Boxwood Shrub" Cake Balls
Stephen Kent Johnson

Shape the Boxwood

Cake balls (crumbled cake mixed with buttercream) are rolled in green nonpareils ($4 for 4 oz., The "shrubs" are formed in two sizes, to mimic Martha’s undulating allée.

Get the "Boxwood Shrub" Cake Balls Recipe

Wood Grain Gum-Paste "Fence"
Stephen Kent Johnson

Construct the Fence

A textured stamp ($22, presses a faux-bois finish into gray-tinted gum paste ($17 for 2 lb.,, which is cut into slats with a pizza wheel.

Get the Wood Grain Gum-Paste "Fence" Recipe

Marzipan "Daffodils"
Stephen Kent Johnson

Mold the Daffodils

A six-point-star cutter ($14, forms the base of marzipan flowers, and a flower tool shapes inner petals ($13,

Get the Marzipan "Daffodils" Recipe

Martha's Makeup by Daisy Toye; Martha's Hair by Jovi Offitto.

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