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15 Ideas for Easter Desserts

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The dessert for that ends your Easter feast must be a special dessert: visually stunning, make-ahead to some degree, and full of light, bright flavors that reflect the season, whether that be citrus, coconut, tropical fruits, strawberries, rhubarb, or vanilla. It’s a tall order but we’ve got plenty of ideas.

  • strawberry-rhubarb blitz torte
    Recipe

    Strawberry-Rhubarb Blitz Torte

    Possibly called “blitz” because the stunning cake can be baked, cooled, and assembled quickly compared to traditional layer cakes, this dessert is a showstopper. Tender, golden cake layers are topped with sweet, crunchy meringue and sandwich a tangy strawberry-rhubarb filling.

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  • Recipe

    Carrot Cake with Mascarpone Frosting

    This carrot cake feels lighter than most, thanks to four thin layers, subtle spicing, and a not-too-sweet frosting made with mascarpone. Candied carrot curls and pecans on top make it look festive and add a bit of crunch.

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  • Recipe

    Chocolate-Orange Cannoli Cheesecake

    Cheesecake made with a combination of cream cheese and ricotta is creamy and light. David Beer, the pastry chef at my restaurant Nostrana, fashioned this one after a cannoli, adding candied orange and flecks of chocolate. Don’t worry if the cake has a couple of cracks—it will get eaten too quickly for anyone to notice.

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  • Recipe

    Lemon Roulade with Strawberry-Mint Salsa

    This sweet and tangy cake is served with a summery topping that combines fresh, ripe strawberries with bright mint and a surprising ingredient: jícama, which adds a wonderful crunch.

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  • Recipe

    Twenty-Layer Vanilla Cream Crêpe Cake

    This ethereal cake is composed of twenty paper-thin crêpes that are layered with a light vanilla-and-orange-scented cream filling. The crêpes meld with the cream, so each forkful melts in your mouth, with the subtle flavors of sweet orange and vanilla lingering behind. The top of the cake is sprinkled with sugar and caramelized with a blow torch just before serving, adding a crackly sweetness to the dessert.

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  • Recipe

    Pistachio-Lemon Dacquoise

    Pistachio-flecked meringue layers contrast a tangy, creamy lemon curd filling in this stunning dacquoise. Perfect for a special occasion, this make-ahead dessert needs at least 24 hours in the refrigerator before serving to soften a bit.

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  • Recipe

    Almond Crunch & Chocolate Confetti Chiffon Cake

    This light, airy cake is dotted with tiny bits of chocolate, with a wreath of crackly sugared almonds on top. The almond crunch will stay crunchy for several days.

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  • Recipe

    Angel Food Cake with Strawberries & Whipped Cream

    A simple but perfect angel food cake makes this light take on strawberry shortcake a perfect way to end a rich meal.

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  • Recipe

    Pavlova with Rhubarb and Strawberries

    Strawberries and rhubarb are a classic spring combination. The rhubarb is only lightly sweetened, so it balances the sugary meringue.

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  • Recipe

    Strawberry Hazelnut Torte

    This torte is like a cross between a cake and a strawberry cheesecake. A buttery, tender, cake-like crust made with ground hazelnuts is filled with a blend of whipped cream, mascarpone, and strawberry purée.

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  • Recipe

    Pistachio Chiffon Cake with Raspberry Glaze

    A chiffon cake is the reigning queen of oil-based cakes—think angel food cake, but with egg yolks (in addition to the whites) and oil. Although the finished cake looks pretty impressive—especially once it’s covered in a rosy-red raspberry glaze and topped with chopped pistachios—it’s truly a cinch to prepare.

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  • Recipe

    Passion Fruit Tart

    This tart requires quite a few steps, but each step is doable—and the stunning end result is decidedly worth the effort

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  • Recipe

    Vegan Glazed Carrot Bundt Cake

    The fruity, spicy hit of Aleppo pepper enhances the flavor of this carrot cake you’ll make again and again. For optimum results, use a standard light colored 12-cup metal Bundt pan.

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  • Recipe

    Vanilla Cloud Cake

    This cake is something special, living up to its ethereal name, with a serious punch of vanilla flavor. Have an empty wine bottle or similar vessel at the ready for inverting the cake during the cooling process–you want the pan to be high above the countertop so air can circulate all around as the cake cools.

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  • Recipe

    Lemon Icebox Cake

    Early icebox cakes were festive chilled desserts made in molds with layers of cake (be it angel food, sponge cake, or ladyfingers) and custard or cream. Here, slices of angel food cake are layered with a luscious lemon mousse right in the cake pan.

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