Make-Ahead Easter Dessert Recipes
Carrot Cake with Orange-Saffron Cream
Homemade carrot cake is always a treat. In this recipe, a topping made of whipped mascarpone cream flavored with orange, saffron and white chocolate elevates the super-moist carrot cake. To make the cake healthier, we've used half whole-wheat flour instead of all white flour--you won't notice the difference in this delicious cake.
Lemon Meringue Cheesecake
This light and tangy lemon meringue cheesecake gets tons of citrus flavor from lemon juice and zest, as well as a layer of lemon curd between the cake and the fluffy meringue topping. It would be the perfect dessert for any spring or summer party, though we'd happily eat this treat year-round.
Tres Leches Cake
Translating to "three milks" cake, Tres Leches Cake is a traditional Mexican sponge cake that's soaked in, you guessed it, three kinds of milk, for the ultimate moist, decadent cake. Think of it as a poke cake that we've lightened up with this easy recipe.
Strawberry Shortcake Cake
Sweet strawberries are nestled between layers of sponge cake and a cream filling in this easy cake. We add nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt to whipped cream to lighten up the filling and give it a little tang.
Mini Angel Food Strawberry Shortcakes
These adorable strawberry shortcakes are made with mini angel food cakes. These single-serve desserts are perfect for a picnic or party on a warm summer day.
Lemon Icebox Pie with Coconut-Graham Cracker Crust
Light and delicious, this easy old-fashioned lemon icebox pie takes dessert up a notch thanks to coconut in the crust, which boosts both flavor and texture. For the brightest hit of citrus use fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Look for graham crackers made with 100% whole-wheat flour to get the most fiber. Seeing graham flour on the label? Good news--that's coarsely ground whole-wheat.
Bunny Butt Cake
You won't believe how easy it is to assemble this adorable bunny-butt-shaped cake. You don't even need any special baking pans--just a round cake pan and a muffin tin are used to make the cute bunny butt and little bunny feet. Shredded coconut and fresh berries complete the look in a snap for an Easter dessert everyone will rave about.
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles
Looking for a fun cooking project to do with kids? Make chocolate truffles! In this easy vegan dessert recipe, we make a chocolate ganache filling with peanut butter and coconut milk instead of heavy cream. Make chocolate bark with the leftover chocolate and wrap it up together with a few truffles for a beautiful edible gift.
Vegan Meringue Cookies
Magical aquafaba--the liquid from canned chickpeas that often gets poured down the drain--mimics egg whites in these airy vegan meringue cookies. The other magical thing? These cookies require just three ingredients! Save the chickpeas themselves for hummus, stew or any one of our other recipes that call for canned chickpeas.
Gluten-Free Carrot Cake
Almond flour provides the base for this tender gluten-free cake that is filled with carrots, spices and just a hint of coconut. Look for almond flour in the gluten-free baking section of most major supermarkets or natural-foods stores.
This luscious vegan cheesecake nixes the dairy in favor of a filling made with coconut cream, tofu and cashews or macadamia nuts instead of the traditional eggs and cream. Coconut oil and nuts make for a rich-tasting and crunchy crust, so nobody will miss the butter.
Chocolate-Beet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
These healthy chocolate cupcakes get a soft, moist texture from their not-so-secret ingredient: beets. The beets act as a natural red food dye, plus they bump up the fiber. Use red beets to give the cream cheese frosting a vibrant pink hue.
Olive Oil Tea Cake
Besides its normal role as a fat, olive oil adds flavor in this delicate and healthy cake recipe. This is the perfect place to use a fancy olive oil. Serve with whipped cream, strawberries, balsamic glaze and fresh basil, if you like.
Vegan Carrot Cake with Coconut Cream Frosting
Classic carrot cake goes vegan in this easy recipe, and gets covered with coconut whipped cream to replace the traditional cream cheese frosting. A mixture of flax and water makes a sturdy substitute for eggs in this vegan cake. Plus, sweet crushed pineapple helps to make this cake delicious with less added sugar.
Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
Almond butter and coconut oil replace dairy butter and eggs in these vegan treats, giving them the crisp but chewy texture that we all love. On its own, chocolate is a vegan ingredient but dairy products are often introduced during processing. Some chocolate chips may not be labeled vegan, but if they do not contain dairy products, such as whey, casein, milk, milk fat and milk solids, they are vegan. Check labels carefully.
Baking homemade graham crackers with a touch of brown sugar and honey makes this cheesecake recipe an extra-special dessert.
Easy Carrot Cake Cupcakes
These moist and delicious cupcakes take on a hint of the tropics thanks to pineapple and coconut. Traditional cream cheese frosting is usually made with regular cream cheese and butter. This version is lightened up by substituting a combination of reduced-fat cream cheese and low-fat Greek yogurt.
Blueberry-Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake
This healthy pound cake recipe isn't just delicious--it also only requires one bowl to make. For the best cake texture, be sure to beat the sugar and butter together long enough in Step 2 to look creamy--the time it takes to get there varies according to the type of electric mixer you have. Serve with brunch or alongside a cup of coffee in the afternoon.
Sweet Potato Spice Cake with Orange-Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Reminiscent of carrot cake, this healthy treat features grated sweet potato baked into a spiced batter and topped with cream-cheese frosting. The whole-wheat pastry flour gives the cake a very light texture. If you can't find it, substitute half all-purpose flour and half white whole-wheat flour.
Pear Custard Pie
A velvety, light custard surrounds ripe pears in this healthy pear pie recipe. Serve with a dollop of vanilla whipped cream.
Give classic banana bread a sweet twist with the addition of juicy strawberries. The combination of the fruits turns this simple quick bread into a bright, sweet breakfast bread, snack or dessert. For an extra-decadent treat, serve each slice with a scoop of sliced strawberries.