Especially here in Minnesota, Easter is one of those first milestones of spring. By this time of year we are getting some warmer weather, and that makes it a great time to make colorful and floral desserts. Below is a list of some of my favorite Easter desserts that you can make for the holiday, or on any of those nice spring days.
This carrot cake is perfectly spiced, moist and unbelievably good! Using candied carrot peels as decoration (optional), cream cheese frosting and sweetened shredded coconut, this cake is simply the best — I make it all the time!
These chocolate macarons are both light, as a macaron should be and fudge-y, like a brownie. The chocolate macaron shells are made with cocoa powder and then they’re filled with a chocolate ganache, so they’re super deep chocolate fantastic flavor.
This honey cake is unique in the way it is made and baked. There is honey in the layers, the filling and the buttercream is made with honey instead of sugar. I decorated it with easy-to-make sunflowers, the national flower of Ukraine.
Crêpes make a great breakfast for a special occasion, and double as a wonderful dessert. For these, I folded lightly sweetened whipped cream into soft chèvre as the filling. I roasted strawberries in balsamic vinegar and quickly cooked the rhubarb in sugar and vanilla.
Fresh, local strawberries need very little to become a spectacular dessert, so I kept thing simple for this strawberry shortcake. I used my son's signature scone recipe for the "shortcake" and it worked perfectly.
My stepmother, Patricia, is from Alabama, and she introduced me to the Southern red velvet cake. The cake's origins are a little murky, but the bright-red version we see today was invented in the 1920s by an extract company and then suddenly became one of the most beloved cakes in every city, not just the south. A note about this recipe: I baked the layers in three 6×2-inch cake pans, which is why it is soooooo tall. If you go with smaller pans, you will want to check them about 5-10 minutes earlier when baking, since they will be done sooner the smaller they are.
The curd in this mango curd tart is made just as you would a lemon curd, but I used a combination of mango and lime. It makes very little sense, but the lime makes the mango taste more like mango and not just cloyingly sweet. Slow cooking the curd over a double boiler is the key to the satiny texture. This will make an 8-inch tart that is very full, or a 9-inch tart that leaves room for the fruit on top.
These jelly filled doughnuts are served during Hanukkah. The pillowy fried dough can be filled to your liking, and jelly is the classic option. Dip them in ganache or glaze for a little extra sweetness and a picturesque look.
Delicate and brittle on the outside with rich buttercream or ganache in the middle, macarons are not as difficult as you think. You can color them for any occasion and they're just beautiful, delicious and fun. Note: This recipe does require a scale, otherwise there is too much variability in the measurements to come out well.