As a nation united by a mutual love of all things sweet, what better time is there to indulge than at Easter?
To satisfy the sweetest tooth we’ve put together our top four Easter desserts, from heavenly chocolate cake to a light gluten-free lemon tart, you’ll find something to suit everyone’s taste.
Take a look at these new recipes and you’ll be ready to produce a showstopping bake to serve up after a delectable Sunday roast.
Chocolate Easter Cake
When it comes to Easter, we all think of chocolate, and this moreish chocolate Easter cake will not disappoint.
Total cook time: 50 minutes
175g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
175g light brown sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp whole milk
150g self-raising flour
4 tbsp cocoa
1 pack of mini chocolate eggs to decorate
150g unsalted butter, softened
150g icing sugar
2 tbsp whole milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp cocoa
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line the base of two 18cm cake tins with baking parchment. Using an electric beaters, cream the butter and sugar in a bowl for 3-4 minutes, until fluffy. Then beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract and milk.
- Gently beat in the flour and cocoa, mixing until smooth. Divide the batter between the two tins and bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Then leave the cakes to cool on a rack (still in the tins).
- For the icing, beat the butter for 2 minutes until creamy, then stir in the sugar for another 2 minutes. Warm the milk in a pan and beat in the butter, sugar, vanilla extract and cocoa until smooth.
- Place one of the cakes on a plate and cover with icing, then sit the second cake on top and cover the top with icing. Decorate with chocolate eggs and serve after a delicious roast lamb dinner or as an afternoon treat on Easter Monday.
Fresh cream jewelled eclairs
Flavoured with coffee, rose and pistachio, these treats really do taste as good as they look.
Total cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes
50g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
70g strong white bread flour, sifted
2 large eggs, beaten
150g fondant icing sugar
1 tbsp Brazilian coffee extract
Food colouring of your choice, we recommend spring pastel shades
50g pistachios, chopped
2g rose petals
200ml whipping cream
- Preheat the oven to 200C, then line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
- In a pan, bring the butter and 150ml cold water to the boil, then remove from the heat.
- Add the flour and beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a dough ball that leaves the sides of the pan clean and leave to cool for 15 minutes.
- Gradually beat in the eggs to produce a stiff dough. Transfer the dough to a piping bag with a 1cm plain nozzle and pipe 14 eclairs, each 8cm long, onto the baking tray.
- Bake for 25 minutes without opening the oven, so that the eclairs puff up. Cut a small slit in the side of each to release steam, then bake for 4 more minutes and cool on a rack.
- To decorate, place 50g of the icing sugar into a bowl and stir in the coffee extract until it forms a paste. Divide the rest of the icing sugar between 2 bowls, adding your chosen food colourings to each. Adding 1-2tsp of cold water to each and stir to form a paste.
- Finally, whip the cream and put into a piping bag with a round nozzle. Cut the eclairs down the side and pipe in the cream, decorate with the icings and toppings and serve within 1 hour.
Gluten-free fresh lemon tart
This fresh lemon tart is citrus sweet, easy to make at home and perfect for everyone including family members who eat a gluten-free diet.
For the crust:
200g ground almonds
50g caster sugar
100g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
For the filling
2 medium unwaxed lemons, preferably thin-skinned
185g caster sugar
1 medium egg, plus 1 yolk, at room temperature
100g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Icing sugar, for dusting
- To make the crust put the ground almonds, cornflour and sugar into a food processor and ‘pulse’ to combine. Add the butter and blitz until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Tip the crumbs into a large buttered tin or individual tins and press evenly over the base and up the sides (up to the rim) using the back of a spoon. The crust should be 5mm thick and chill for 20 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 180C and heat a baking sheet. Alongside this bake the crust for 12-16 minutes or until a light golden.
- As the crust bakes – make your topping. Set the lemons on a large plate (to catch all of the juice) and trim off the ends. Cut each lemon into 8 wedges, removing the pips, then cutting each wedge in half and place into the food processor. Combine the cornflour and caster sugar and add to the processor bowl. Blitz until the lemon is coarsely chopped, then add the egg and yolk and blitz again to combine the mixture. As the machine is still running, pour in the cooled butter through the feed tube. Stop the machine as soon as all the butter has been added. The mixture won’t be smooth and should have a few visible pieces of lemon. Remove the crust from the oven and set it (in the tin) on the heated baking sheet, then turn down the oven temperature to 170C. Pour the lemon mixture into the hot crust to fill it almost up to the rim. Carefully return to the oven and bake for 30–35 minutes until the lemon filling is just starting to colour and is firm when you gently jiggle the baking sheet.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely, cover lightly and chill for at least 3 hours, or overnight. To serve, run a thin, round-bladed knife around the inside of the tin to loosen the crust, then carefully unmould the tart. Dust with icing sugar and serve with whipped cream or ice cream. Store in an airtight container in the fridge and eat within 2 days.
Vegan carrot cake with icing
If you are craving a moist, soft and heavenly cake this Easter this delicious carrot cake is just for you. And to make it even more indulgent we suggest adding a sweet icing topped off with coconut flakes, chopped pistachios, and some cute star-shaped sprinkles, but of course you can add any of your favourite toppings instead.
Total cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Serves: 8-10 people
285g finely grated carrots
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
100g vegan chocolate chips
200g raw whole almonds, ground
30g coconut flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking flour
4 flax eggs (see note on how to make flax eggs)
60g whole cane sugar or white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp of water
2 ½ tbsp melted coconut oil
100g sifted powdered sugar (note that not all powdered sugar is vegan)
2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk or fresh lemon juice.
- Preheat the oven to 180C, grease and flour the bundt pan or any other cake tin you would like to use.
- Squeeze the excess liquid out of the carrots and mix with the fresh lemon in a large bowl. Add the chocolate chips, ground almonds, flour, salt and baking powder and mix well
- Blend the flax eggs in a food processor, slowly adding the sugar, vanilla extract and water. Then add the eggs to the carrot/flour mixture with the melted coconut oil and mix well. This mixture should be fairly thick.
- Press the carrot batter into the prepared bundt pan or cake tin and bake in the lower third of the oven for 60 minutes. Cake should be golden brown when finished and when a skewer poked in the middle of the pan comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before you attempt to remove from the pan.
- Whilst the cake is cooling, it’s time to prepare the icing by whisking together the almond milk (or lemon juice) with the powdered sugar until smooth. Drizzle the icing over the cake once it is completely cooled and top with your favourite Easter confectionary – we suggest pastel sprinkles.
Note: To make 1 flax egg combine 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds with 3 tbsp water. Let the flaxseeds/water mixture sit for 20 minutes or longer until a gel is formed. The recipe calls for 4 flax eggs. So, you’ll need 4 tbsp of flax seeds and 12 tbsp of water.
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