Easter Dessert Recipes

We know that the Easter bunny has a lot on her mind around the holiday. We’re here to put a spring (er—hop) in her step with a bunch of quick but special Easter dessert recipes. Our Hot Cross Buns recipe makes 12 sweet, buttery traditional Easter rolls. The best part? They take just 25 minutes of your hands-on time, because the recipe calls for store-bought yeast-dough mix. Enjoy them at breakfast, with dinner, or as a post-dinner treat. For a dessert that takes the cake, try one of our 11 easy centerpiece recipes. An over the top option is the Apricot Coconut Cake. Two airy yellow cake layers sandwich apricot jam preserves, and the whole thing gets frosted in a vanilla cream cheese icing. Finally, toasted coconut flakes are pressed all around the edges for fancy, crunchy flourish. If that doesn’t make the whole family jump for joy, we have recipes for chocolate, caramel, and fruit lovers alike.

Hot Cross Buns

Remember learning how to play “Hot Cross Buns” on your recorder? (Apologies for the fact that the tune will likely be stuck in your head for awhile.) Well, these traditional Easter-season rolls prove almost as elementary, thanks to a store-bought yeast-dough mix, which drastically cuts down on prep time. Traditionally served on Good Friday, these sweet rolls, studded with raisins or currants, are now marked with an “X” in white icing or even chocolate, though in the pastry’s early days in England and across the globe, bakers simply depressed the dough to make the signature mark. Try the tradition on for size—any time of year—with this easy recipe.

Yellow Cake With Vanilla Frosting and White Chocolate Chips

Say hello to your new go-to yellow cake recipe. The moist but light end result will have you swearing off the convenience of the boxed stuff for good. After baking and cooling two simple round cakes, you’ll layer then, with frosting in the center, before frosting the exterior, too. We covered the side with two cups of white-chocolate chips for a gorgeous, all-white effect, but you could also employ chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, or even small pieces of candy, to fit your party’s theme. But hey, no party required to whip up this simple but stunning cake. It’s that delicious.

Lemon Bars

A perfect balance of sweet and tart, these lemon bars, prepared in layers, require surprisingly little hands-on work. You’ll mix the buttery, shortbread crust and as that bakes, you’ll whisk together the creamy, citrus filling. When the crust’s baked through, spread the top layer over it, and bake for awhile longer, before letting the whole pan cool in the fridge. One simply but smart shortcut—lining the baking pan with crisscrossed sheets of parchment paper—makes lifting these bars out of the pan, chopping, and storing them a snap. Even better: The individual bars, wrapped or covered, will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Lace Cookies

Just like the name indicates, lace cookies are delicate, and seemingly intricate, creations. Thing is, they’re actually a breeze to make, so don’t let that thin texture and those perfectly bubbled tops fool you. After heating a wet batter and mixing in flour and finely chopped almonds, you’ll drop spoonfuls of the batter onto parchment-lined baking sheets and throw the pans in the oven. The sugary batter spreads out into lovely round cookies and caramelizes just a bit. Wonderful on their own, lace cookies are also fantastic served in a scoop of ice cream, or even as an impromptu cookie sandwich, with peanut butter or Nutella.

Caramelized Pineapple With Coconut Sorbet

Relive that Hawaiian vacation with caramelized pineapple at home. In just 15 minutes, you can sit down to a simple, tropical treat. Start with fresh pineapple, cored and cut into half-moons or halved canned pineapple rings. Melt a pat of butter and some brown sugar in a skillet, then add the pineapple and cook, about five minutes per side, until the pineapple is tender and caramelized. Top each serving with a scoop of store-bought coconut sorbet, and spoon a little of the brown sugar-butter sauce on top. Take a bite and close your eyes, and you just might hear the sound of calm, lapping waves.

Glazed Lemon Cookies

Like tart lemonade in cookie form, these glazed sweets hit all the right notes. An easy slice-and-bake dough guarantees perfectly round cookies, and the creamy tart glaze sets in just 15 minutes, making these treats ideal for toting to holiday parties and get-togethers. We really devised these with the holiday season in mind: Once you’ve formed the dough into logs, you can freeze it for up to two months. Make a few batches way in advance, to cut down on last-minute preparation and chores, then slice, bake, and glaze the cookies the night before you need them. Bonus: Sneaking a few warm ones will help maintain your holiday spirit level.

Apricot-Coconut Cake

This coconut cake gets a major flavor upgrade, thanks to sweet apricot preserves and a deliciously rich icing. Half of the jelly gets mixed into the batter before baking, and the other half is sandwiched between the two layers of moist white cake. That sinfully creamy frosting incorporates heavy cream, whole milk, and sour cream, for a thick whipped topping that’s spread over the top, and along the sides, where you’ll press toasted, shredded coconut for a little texture and crunch. Plan ahead to bake the two layers, in 8-inch round cake pans, well before you’re ready to put the dessert together.

Berry Shortcakes

Don’t be fooled if you think that photo looks like it holds the secret to a real shortcake biscuit recipe. We actually just use store-bought biscuits (or ones made from a mix) for this semi-homemade take on the summer classic. After all, fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, along with homemade whipped cream, are the real stars here. After soaking the fruit with a bit of sugar and whipping up cream and sugar, you’ll halve the biscuits, and use them to sandwich a mixture of fruit and cream. This is what long summer nights are made of. (And yes, we’re referring to the dessert and our little shortcut.)

Angel Food Cake With Lime Drizzle

Our recipe for Angel Food Cake with Lime Drizzle relies on a sneaky shortcut (store-bought Angel Food cake) that gets dressed up at home with a decidedly tropical twist. The only real prep work here? You’ll dice the strawberries and pineapple, and boil, then cool, a tart lime syrup. Simply slice the cake and put each piece on a plate; add a few spoonfuls of fruit to every serving; then drizzle your lime syrup over the top of the soft, spongy cake and its accompanying fruit. The end result is so unique, not to mention tasty, nobody will question its origins.