Easter desserts: five of my favourite recipe ideas

Easter dining

As you may well already know, I love entertaining and experimenting in my new kitchen. So, after two very low-key years due to COVID-19, I can’t wait for Easter 2022! The long Easter weekend is always such a lovely opportunity to get together with friends and family. Like Christmas, there’s plenty of fun and feasting to look forward to. But unlike Christmas, there seems to be so much less to stress about. Easter falls quite late this year, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for some glorious weather. I love eating al fresco –  and the husband and I have worked super hard to transform our garden into an inviting outdoor space. Speaking of eating, I’ve been hard at work researching new recipe ideas for Easter desserts. I try to follow a healthy, balanced diet most of the time – and last year I turned vegetarian. But Easter is such a great excuse to indulge, especially if you’ve been abstemious during Lent. Chocolate is practically obligatory at this time of year! If you’re keen to unleash your inner baker, but need some seasonal inspiration, read on. My Easter desserts recipe round-up combines tried-and-tested classics, and some alluring alternatives.

Easter desserts dining table

Planning a big get-together for family and friends this Easter? The long weekend is the ideal opportunity to indulge in all sorts of delicious Easter-themed desserts

Simnel Cake

Nowadays Simnel Cake is synonymous with Easter desserts, but according to Kitchen Queen Nigella, it was originally made for Mothering Sunday. I always bake a Simnel Cake for Easter, and this version (by Nigella) is one of my favourites. Some fruit cakes are just too heavy for my liking, but this recipe is light in taste and texture – which means there’s always room for second helpings! Did you know that the marzipan balls on top aren’t just decorative? They are meant to represent the apostles of Jesus, although there should only ever be eleven as Judas is obviously unwelcome….

A Simnel Cake does take a little more time and effort than certain other Easter desserts, but the end result is always worth it, I think. If you have one, use a freestanding mixer to cream the butter and sugar. It’s faster and much less effort!

Simnel cake

Simnel Cake is considered to be the quintessential Easter dessert. My favourite version is much lighter than most traditional, heavy fruit cakes – I always have room for seconds!

Top tip: You really can’t rush this cake. Do pay attention to the method – especially the instruction to let the cake cool completely before turning it out.

Mini Easter Eggs

Easter desserts don’t have to be off-limits if you’re following a vegan diet. Nowadays there are lots of amazing dairy-free alternatives to use in your baking. I’m a big fan of this vegan Easter egg recipe by Jamie Oliver. It’s free from refined sugar too, so it’s ideal for any younger guests (or adults keen to avoid a sugar overload).

This recipe is pretty versatile, in that you could make one big egg, or around six to eight smaller ones, depending on the size of your mould(s). They are inexpensive and available almost everywhere. Most supermarkets stock them, or just browse the different options online. There’s nothing too complex about this recipe – essentially you melt, mix and chill.

Easter desserts chocolate eggs recipe

Have you ever tried making your own Easter eggs? It’s easier than you might think. I’ve tracked down a vegan, refined-sugar free recipe that definitely doesn’t compromise on taste

Top tip: Present these Easter desserts in a genuine egg carton, for a fun presentation idea. Alternatively, arrange them in a traditional Easter basket.

Easter desserts heaven with biscuits

I’m partial to a biscuit at any time of the year. But with their pretty colours and designs, Easter biscuits are even more alluring than the regular kind. This recipe, courtesy of delicious magazine, delivers impressive results, but takes much less time and effort than you might think.

Keeping thing cool (literally and figuratively) is the key to success. Once mixed and shaped, you must chill the dough for at least 30 minutes before you roll it out. Once your biscuits are baked, allow to cool before you decorate them, too. You can be as simple or adventurous with your decorating designs as you like. I like to use a mix of bright and pastel colours – and dust with a little edible glitter too.

Easter desserts homemade cookies

These Easter biscuits look almost too good to eat! You can really let your imagination rip with this type of recipe. I like to go bright and bold with my decorations!

Top tip: Basic oval shapes work well, but Easter-themed cookie cutters will make these Easter desserts look extra special. I’ve got my eye on this four-pack from Hobbycraft, which features a bunny, chick, flower and butterfly.

Easter chocolate tart

If you’re after a slightly more sophisticated Easter desserts recipe, how about this sea-salted caramel tart? Sweet tarts like this are always an excellent option for friends and family occasions, not least because it’s easy enough to squeeze out an extra slice or two if any unexpected guests appear!

I think this rich, creamy recipe would work equally well at a posh dinner party or romantic dinner à deux. The filling combines Javanese milk chocolate, butter, double cream and sea salt – so moreish! And I love the idea of decorating the finished article with cracked cocoa nibs.

Salted Caramel and Chocolate Tart

A rich, indulgent tart always goes down well at an Easter gathering. My new favourite recipe features Javanese milk chocolate, double cream and sea salt. If you can bear to share, it’s sure to be a hit with all your guests

Top tip: Do keep a watchful eye on the filling while it’s cooking. Don’t overboil it! It needs gentle simmering and remember to remove it from the heat before you whisk in the chocolate.

Easter egg cheesecake

No compilation of Easter desserts would be complete without Cadbury Mini Eggs. I adore them, and make no apologies for it. If you’re a fan too, you’ll love this BBC GoodFood Easter egg cheesecake recipe. It’s a fast, fuss-free no-bake option, although it should be chilled in the fridge overnight for the best results.

You simply blitz some biscuits and butter for the base, and mix together mini eggs, sugar, soft cheese, vanilla and double cream for the filling. Decorate with any remaining mini eggs (assuming you’ve resisted the temptation to scoff them already). This really is my favourite type of Easter desserts recipe: so little effort, for so much reward!

Easter cheesecake

Leftover Easter eggs (is there really such a thing?) are perfect for this easy, no-bake cheesecake. Or you can use my favourites – Cadbury Mini Eggs – in the filling and to decorate

Top tip: As delicious as they are, you don’t have to use Cadbury Mini Eggs in this recipe. Leftover Easter eggs – or even a chopped up bar of chocolate – would work just as well.

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