Shall we all let out one collective hooray! that spring has (semi-officially) sprung? I’ve been driving around town with a big silly grin on my face; the site of blooming trees and sprouting daffodils makes me almost giddy. The only thing I love as much as warmer weather is warm-weather recipes—and this round-up of light and fresh Easter desserts is a perfect starting point for the Easter menu… or Mother’s Day, or an outdoor family dinner just to celebrate al fresco season on a Tuesday evening.
Few things are indicative of the season quite like a beautiful pavlova or panna cotta, and these easy Easter desserts are as delicious as they are gorgeous. Be prepared to catch a severe case of spring fever.
Keep scrolling for 20 easy Easter desserts that’ll brighten up any brunch.
Lemon Ricotta Poundcake With Candied Lemon Slices
Why We Love It: This special lemon ricotta poundcake comes straight from the brilliantly creative mind of one of my best friend’s moms. It’s light, fluffy, sentimental, and nostalgic—as all the best baked goods are.
Hero Ingredient: When life gives you lemons, save them all for this cake.
Get the recipe forLemon Ricotta Poundcake With Candied Lemon Slices.
Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars from The First Mess
Why We Love It: Perhaps it’s just me, but lemon bars fully epitomize spring. These are naturally gluten-free and entirely vegan, meaning everyone gets to enjoy a slice at your Easter table. Plus, I love the crust’s nutty contrast to the creamy, coconut-y filling.
Hero Ingredient: Soft Medjool dates lend the crust a little fruity flavor, so you can enjoy a treat without the sugar crash.
Get the recipe forCreamy Vegan Lemon Bars.
Gluten-Free, Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Why We Love It: Growing up, I had it fixed in my mind that carrot cake had to be healthy—I mean, there’s a vegetable in the name, right? Of course, I’ve since learned that most recipes call for a cup of sugar (oftentimes more) and lean on industrial seed oils for a moist crumb. And while that’s all well and good from time to time, these downright delicious cupcakes use applesauce, flax eggs, coconut oil, and other whole-food ingredients for virtuously delicious cupcakes.
Hero Ingredient: A teaspoon of cinnamon is all you need for cozy cupcake vibes.
Get the recipe for Gluten-Free, Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes.
Blueberry, Ginger & Coconut Cream Parfait
Why We Love It:This little parfait is delightfully refreshing thanks to the addition of ginger. Have you ever seen anything sweeter? We won’t tell if you sprinkle in some granola and have it for breakfast, too.
Hero Ingredient: A chiffonade of basil adds the perfect bite of freshness to brighten up your blueberries.
Get the recipe forBlueberry, Ginger & Coconut Cream Parfait.
White Chocolate, Raspberry, and Pistachio Cookies from Hummingbird High
Why We Love It:Elevate your everyday chocolate chip cookie with this spring-y take. The combination of white chocolate, raspberry, and pistachio puts an unexpected spin on this Easter dessert.
Hero Ingredient: The orange zest is unexpected, but once you take a bite—totally brilliant.
Get the recipe forWhite Chocolate, Raspberry, and Pistachio Cookies.
No-Bake Mango and Cardamom Cream Icebox Cake With Salty Pistachio Crumble
Why We Love It: When the warm weather comes around, you can bet I’m making all the no-bake desserts. This one gets its edible beauty from layers of mango purée, biscuits, and the most luscious cardamom cream you’ve ever sunk your fork into. Bonus: it’s way easier than it looks.
Hero Ingredient: A beautiful cake deserves a beautiful pistachio crumble topping.
Get the recipe for No-Bake Mango and Cardamom Cream Icebox Cake With Salty Pistachio Crumble.
Berry Pavlova With Lemon Whipped Cream from A Beautiful Plate
Why We Love It:How decadent is this pavlova? Luckily, it only looks complicated to create—this elegant dessert is as simple as it is an absolute showstopper. The seasonal berries add a burst of tartness that pairs wonderfully with the lemon-kissed whipped cream.
Hero Ingredient: Nothing’s as luscious as lemon curd.
Get the recipe for Berry Pavlova With Lemon Whipped Cream.
Earl Grey Panna Cotta from Hummingbird High
Why We Love It:One bite of this panna cotta and you’ll feel your stress levels plummet thanks to the infusion of Earl Grey. This take on the traditional Italian dessert offers up a comforting and familiar flavor that can easily be substituted with your tea of choice, like delicate jasmine or rich matcha.
Hero Ingredient: It bears repeating: give it up for the Earl Grey.
Get the recipe forEarl Grey Panna Cotta.
Strawberry Charlotte from Pastry Affair
Why We Love It:You’ll need quite the allotment of both strawberries and ladyfingers for this gorgeous cake, which just might be the loveliest embodiment of spring yet. The best part? You’ll have leftover strawberry mousse to enjoy after assembling!
Hero Ingredient: Don’t swap out the recommended cake flour for AP—the former will give your layers of vanilla cake a soft, tender crumb.
Get the recipe forStrawberry Charlotte.
Italian Almond Ricotta Cake from The Clever Carrot
Why We Love It:It doesn’t get much easier than this one-bowl cake—it doesn’t even require a stand mixer! The cakey texture is a departure from the traditional Italian recipe that Nonna made, instantly updating this delicious classic dessert.
Hero Ingredient: A capful of almond extract infuses your cake with its complex sweetness.
Get the recipe forItalian Almond Ricotta Cake.
Springy Blueberry Lemon Bread from Pinch of Yum
Why We Love It: There’s nothing better than polishing off a meal or starting the day with a soft, thick slice of sweet quick bread. This lemon-y loaf couldn’t be easier to make (10 ingredients including the topping!) and is the ideal complement to a warm and sunny Easter brunch.
Hero Ingredient: Blueberries and lemon are the season-defining flavor combo of spring. Using both the juice and zest of a lemon adds a punch of freshness to your fruity berries.
Get the recipe forSpringy Blueberry Lemon Bread.
Easy Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes from Minimalist Baker
Why We Love It: Can’t you practically smell that mouthwatering vanilla scent wafting from the oven? A tablespoon of vanilla extract might sound like we’re going overboard, but trust me: it’s perfect.
Hero Ingredient: Because the cupcakes themselves are so versatile, the recipe recommends a variety of frostings you can top them off with. My pick? Nothing says spring quite like a pastel pink strawberry frosting.
Get the recipe forEasy Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes.
Lavender Vanilla Bean Cake from Pastry Affair
Why We Love It: I love a cake that balances being impressive but approachable to perfection. This double-layer cake tastes lightly floral and deliciously delicate.
Hero Ingredient: Lavender-infused milk gives this cake a delicate floral tone that isn’t overwhelmingly perfumed. It’s a subtly delicious way to combine these gorgeous flavors.
Get the recipe forLavender Vanilla Bean Cake.
Lavender Pistachio Madeleines
Why We Love It:Step up your everyday madeleine game with chopped pistachios and a lemon glaze. It’s guaranteed to be a winning combination. If you ever needed the motivation to buy a madeleine pan, this is it.
Hero Ingredient:Can’t get enough lavender in your life? Hard same.
Get the recipe forLavender Pistachio Madeleines.
Cherry Almond Tart
Why We Love It:There’s something so homey and comforting about a rustic tart. It’s impressive without feeling fussy.
Hero Ingredient: There’s something so homey and comforting about a rustic tart. And if you’re the kind of person who is intimidated by the thought of making pastry, then the inclusion of puff pastry in this dessert means you won’t have to go to the trouble of whipping it up yourself on the fly.
Get the recipe forCherry Almond Tart.
Salted Caramel Pots de Créme
Why We Love It:Decadent, creamy, and ridiculously easy.
Hero Ingredient: Whoever the genius was that first topped their caramel with salt, thank you.
Get the recipe forSalted Caramel Pots de Créme.
Blood Orange Amaretto Mascarpone Trifles
Why We Love It:This vibrant dessert is as cheerful as it gets and lends itself to fun substitutions so you can get those creative dessert juices flowing.
Hero Ingredient: The addition of a liqueur makes these little trifles extra decadent and grown-up.
Get the recipe forBlood Orange Amaretto Mascarpone Trifles.
Blood Orange Upside Down Cake
Why We Love It:An upside-down cake is a simple way to make an impressive-looking dessert that is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser, even if these days the crowd only includes your immediate family.
Hero Ingredient:Use those blood oranges until there isn’t a single one left in the store.
Get the recipe forBlood Orange Upside Down Cake.
Strawberry Tiramisu from Bakers Royale
Why We Love It:Put a spin on your next tiramisu with this strawberry confection. Have you ever seen anything so intrinsically lovely? This recipe calls for making ladyfingers from scratch, which makes it a true baking feat that isn’t as challenging as it might sound.
Hero Ingredient: Mascarpone adds the perfect bit of tang to balance out the silky-smooth and indulgent custard.
Get the recipe forStrawberry Tiramisu.
Hummingbird Cake from Brown Eyed Baker
Why We Love It: Layer cakes are one of the most festive dessert options around, and this stunner is absolutely phenomenal. It brings the tropics right to your kitchen table with flavors like pineapple and pecans.
Hero Ingredient: While I do love each and every hummingbird cake I come across, I can’t help but dive fork first into the truly decadent cream cheese frosting.
Get the recipe forHummingbird Cake.
Raspberry Pistachio Cake With Lemon Glaze
Why We Love It:Take a look at this elegant upgrade for your everyday olive oil cake. It’s sweet, light, airy, and absolutely delicious.
Hero Ingredient: When it comes to almond extract, you’ll know it when you taste it. It has a wonderfully strong, nutty, and marzipan-ish flavor that pairs perfectly with fruit.
Get the recipe forRaspberry Pistachio Cake With Lemon Glaze.
This post was originally published on March 18, 2016, and has since been updated.
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