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.
My Ultimate Carrot Cake with Candied Carrot Peels recipe is one of my favorites and one of the most popular on my website. I make it a lot. For birthdays, for Tuesdays, for family gatherings, it was the first cake my boys ate, because I could justify giving a baby cake, if it had carrots. I’m not suggesting it replace baby food, but for their first birthday cakes, it was my go to. It’s also, of course, great for Easter.
You’ll probably notice a theme of flowers in all these Easter recipes, and why not? What is spring all about if not flowers? At the core, this recipe is a pound cake that has a perfectly dense crumb and is rich with almond paste, but it is also a tribute to spring. The decoration came to me after I made the blood orange glaze, that is the prettiest pink you can find in nature. The color is from the red fruit, without use of any food color (although you can recreate the color with all natural food coloring.
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 have a fantastic deep chocolate flavor.
Easter is the holiday that ushers in spring. The tulips are starting to make their way out of the frozen earth and the trees are hinting at color. It has been a long winter and all of these little changes are so very welcome. It seems fitting to make a cake that is full of color and blooms.
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. The result was fantastic and very springtime in Minnesota.
It may be too early for fresh strawberries, but few desserts say “spring” like a strawberry shortcake. So find the freshest strawberries you can and put together this Easter dessert. In fact, consider it the beginning of strawberry shortcake season since you will be eating this one for the next few months.
This coconut cream cake is always a crowd pleaser, partly because of the meringue topping, all done up like curls that remind me of Phyllis Diller and because it is just delicious. It features a decadent pastry cream full of coconut layered between coconut cream cake, and just seems to have the right balance of whimsy and sophistication.
This red velvet cake recipe, which is adapted from Sarah Kieffer’s white cake recipe from her book, The Vanilla Bean Baking Book, is the best one yet. It is not a traditional take, but the results are tender and tasty, with a beautiful color. I just added cocoa for flavor and color, red food coloring (otherwise the cake is not red velvet) and a bit of vinegar to keep the color as cheeky as possible.
I love lemon meringue pie, as much for the look of it, as the taste. The tart filling is covered in sweet honey meringue. I added a floral twist that adds a subtle scent of lavender to the not-so-subtle taste of honey. And all of that just sounds like spring, doesn’t it?
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.
These jelly doughnuts are a fun Easter breakfast or brunch dessert. What's not to love? They're easy to create and oh so tasty. The key is a lightly sweet, enriched, yeasted dough that has just enough body to hold the jelly within. They can be filled and decorated with whatever your heart desires.
This is one of my favorite desserts, because I am a huge fan of meringue in just about any form. I love how it looks, how it tastes and the texture it lends. Pavlova, unlike other meringues, is made with vinegar and cornstarch, so the end result is crisp on the outside, but still has some tooth (chew) on the inside. Traditionally it is served with fruit, such as berries and passionfruit (that’s what is dripping off the edge) and whipped cream. I also added lemon curd, but there are no rules and you can fill this with whatever moves you.
You will be shocked by how easy these macarons are to make. I love these for a special occasion like Easter because they simple, delicious and colorful. You can serve them as a dessert after a meal or include them as a sweet if you are doing appetizers or snacks. The different color and flavor combinations are sure to please a crowd.