Great Ideas

UPDATED 04/18/2011 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 04/18/2011 at 01:00 AM EDT

JULIANNE HOUGH'S

EASTER Treat

The star is also quite the baker. So when her niece requested a bunny-themed dessert, she hopped to it!

EASY BUNNY CAKE Serves 12

1 (18.25-oz.) package yellow cake mix

3 large eggs

1/3 cup vegetable oil

11/3 cups water

3¾ cups flaked coconut

1 (16-oz.) tub vanilla frosting

6 marshmallows

4 small jelly beans

2 white Chiclets

Colored sugar

1-2 tubes cake decorating gel

1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray 2 9-in. round cake pans with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, oil and water as directed on package. Stir in ½ cup coconut. Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake and cool cakes as directed.

2. To form the bunny's head, place 1 whole cake round on a serving tray. To form the bunny's ears, cut out 2 curved pieces from each side of the other cake round. Place them on either side of the head. Use the remaining piece for the bow tie and place it about ½ in. below the head.

3. Frost the whole bunny, including sides. Place marshmallows on the head to form cheeks.

4. Pat remaining 3¼ cups coconut evenly over top and sides of cake. Use jelly beans for eyes and nose and bow tie knot, and Chiclets for teeth. Dust bow tie with colored sugar. Use decorating gel to outline eyes, ears and bow tie and to make whiskers.

CELEBS' FAVORITE Candies

Trying to figure out which sweets to stock up on for the Easter holiday? Here's how some TV stars like to get their sugar fix

BETHENNY FRANKEL

"M&Ms hold a special place in my heart," says the Bravo star. "My husband bought pink M&Ms to celebrate the arrival of our baby girl." (M&M paint can, $15; Dylan's Candy Bar, 646-735-0078)

SOFIA VERGARA

The Modern Family star regularly stops by the Godiva boutique in L.A. to pick up chocolates-including this box of seasonal sweets. Spring Ballotin (36 pieces), $45; godiva.com

ANDREW ZIMMERN

The host of Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods loves the custom-made bars at Chocomize. "I'm a big fan of the cayenne-coffee-poprock-pretzel bar," he says. (Prices vary; chocomize.com)

BUSY PHILIPPS

"I adore Valerie's bittersweet chocolate eggs with caramel," says Cougar Town's Philipps. "It's a chocolate egg for grown-ups!" Golden eggs (12 pieces), $36; valerieconfections.com

MIRANDA COSGROVE

"I've been obsessed with Peeps for as long as I can remember," says the iCarly actress. "I used to ride my bike to a candy store every Easter as soon as they came out." Peeps, $4.95 for 5; amazon.com

Jill Zarin's

MACAROONS

The New York Housewife shares her chocolate-dipped take on a Passover favorite

Makes 24

2 (14-oz.) bags sweetened flaked coconut

1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

2 tbsp. sour cream

1 tbsp. heavy cream

1½ tsp. pure vanilla extract (Mexican vanilla preferred)

¾ lb. (12-oz.) bittersweet chocolate, melted

1. Preheat oven to 325. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients until thoroughly combined. Press dough into a soup spoon or small ice cream scoop and release onto the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool.

3. Dip one side of each macaroon in melted chocolate and place on a tray lined with wax paper. Refrigerate for 20 minutes before serving.

CHIC Spring DECOR

Celebrate the season with celeb designer Mary McDonald's nature-inspired tablescape

1 RUSTIC CENTERPIECE

McDonald, star of Bravo's upcoming reality show Million Dollar Decorators, thinks this birdhouse made of salvaged wood makes a great centerpiece that gives a nod to Easter without being kitschy. "It's hip decor," she says. Driftwood Birdhouse, $39.95; crateandbarrel.com

2 MOD BIRD ACCENTS

"I love the simple, clean lines and masculine colors of these birds," says McDonald, who suggests scattering six or more of them on a burlap table runner interspersed with a few bouquets of flowers. "It creates a spring-in-the-barn feel," she says. Birds (set of three), $39.95; cb2.com

3 SPLASH OF COLOR

"They're elegant," she says of these faux eggs, which she recommends displaying in mini decorative bird nests. "Pastels don't always have to be sweet or corny." Faux Quail Eggs, $12 for 24; etsy.com/shop/birdie1 and Mini Natural Nests, $16 for 5; potterybarn.com for stores

4 GOING ORGANIC

"What's more under-stated than a plate charger made of natural fibers that looks like a bird's nest?" she asks. Place simple white dinner plates on top, and "it's a white-and-neutrals Easter without the glitz." Bird Nest Charger, $18 each; potterybarn.com

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