28 Festive Desserts for Your Easter Table

They feature the bright, light flavors of spring

bunny butt cake

 Leah Maroney

Easter is an excellent chance to celebrate spring with all of the fresh flavors of the season and that includes your dessert spread. Sure, the kids probably get lots of chocolate in their baskets (and we'll make sure the adults see some on their plates, too!), but many of the best Easter desserts feature all the bright, light tastes we've been missing all winter. While some of these recipes are Easter specific, others work just as well for any other warm-weather occasion. Work your way through the list and you won't have to wonder "What am I going to make for dessert?" until the snow flies again.

  • 01 of 28

    No-Bake Strawberry Icebox Cake

    strawberry icebox cake

     Samantha Merritt

    No time for baking this Easter season? No problem! This strawberry icebox cake has all the sweet, fruity flavors of spring with none of the oven time. Best of all, it can be assembled in under half an hour and feeds a crowd, so you have a holiday treat on the table in no time. Mix it up with different graham crackers and your favorite seasonal fruit, so you can enjoy it all year round.

  • 02 of 28

    Lemon Bars

    Lemon Bars

    Nadine Greeff/Stocksy United

    The fresh, zingy flavor of these flaky lemon bars is the perfect taste of spring. Thw recipe has more lemon juice than most, giving the squares plenty of that bright, sweet-tart flavor. They're also covered with a lemon frosting, making them even more citrus-forward. If you prefer, you can simply add a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

  • 03 of 28

    Simple Hot Cross Buns

    Hot Cross BUns

    If you ever played the recorder in elementary school, these hot cross buns might remind you of the simple song. Once you taste the sweet, citrusy rolls, you'll understand why they're something to sing about! Plump up the raisins in a bit of warm water or rum before using for best results. Serve it fresh out of the oven and watch your guests' eyes light up at the aroma.

  • 04 of 28

    Easter Bunny Cake

    Easter bunny cake

    Leah Maroney

    We bet you can't look at this adorable Easter bunny cake without smiling. It can be adapted with any flavor of cake and doesn't even require a special pan. Serve it on a platter with jelly beans or candy eggs for a colorful and sweet table topper. Dried mango or other fruit make great "ears," but you can also make them out of construction paper or cardboard. If you want to take a more humorous approach, try making a bunny butt cake.

    Continue to 5 of 28 below.
  • 05 of 28

    Carrot Cake

    moist carrot cake with pineapple and cream cheese frosting
    Diana Rattray

    Finely-grated carrots give this classic cake its moist, chewy texture and an extra dose of vitamins, too. Pineapple and shredded coconut add tropical flavor and an extra layer of sweetness, while keeping the cake extra crumbly and melt-in-your-mouth tender. Feel free to add rum-soaked raisins if you miss the way mom used to make it. Sprinkle the finished product with some chopped walnuts for a nice crunch.

  • 06 of 28

    Simple Strawberry Fool

    Strawberry Rhubarb Fool

    Diana Rattray

    For a pretty dessert that's not at all difficult to make, try this strawberry rhubarb fool. It's a great way to use the first sweet spring berries and you can opt for either homemade whipped cream or the store-bought version if time is short. Serve it in individual goblets for a beautiful presentation.

  • 07 of 28

    Bird's Nest Cookies

    Easter Bird's Nests With Peeps Candy

    Elizabeth LaBau

    You may remember these adorable nest-shaped cookies from childhood and your family will love them just as much. They're a perfect spring break activity for kids to help make, too. Chow mein noodles are the traditional base, but you can also use a twig-shaped cereal. Include a variety of colored Peeps to top for a fun presentation.

  • 08 of 28

    Glazed Easter Bread with Sprinkles

    Easter Bread
    Leah Maroney

    Try this sweet, white icing-topped Easter bread for a festive breakfast or as part of your dessert selection. Colored sprinkles make it a holiday-worthy treat that tastes great with a cup of coffee or tea and a generous pat of butter. It does require a double rise, so give yourself plenty of time to put it together. The active time is minimal, so it's a simple recipe to make while you take care of other household tasks.

    Continue to 9 of 28 below.
  • 09 of 28

    Lemon Creme Brûlée

    Lemon Creme Brulee
    Diana Rattray

    Creme brûlée is easier than you might think and it's always an impressive finale to a special dinner. It's the perfect dessert for a spring supper with lots of lemon flavor and a crackly caramelized top that's so much fun to break with a spoon. Make it up to two days in advance or freeze the unbaked custards for future use.

  • 10 of 28

    Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes

    Strawberry Cupcakes

    Cactus oup/Getty Images

     

    After a long, dark winter, we bet you're ready for some bright spring fruit. These easy strawberry cupcakes are just the ticket. Made with fresh berries and no artificial flavoring, each bite bursts with sweetness. The best part might be the strawberry-studded icing—we dare you not to lick the bowl.

  • 11 of 28

    Italian Easter Bread

    Italian Easter Bread

    Till Westermayer/Flickr

    If you're hosting an Easter breakfast or brunch, it's hard to go wrong with this rich aromatic egg bread with notes of lemon and anise. It's delicious fresh from the oven with a schmear of butter, especially with the light white icing. Feeling fancy? Braid it for a beautiful presentation.

  • 12 of 28

    Semifreddo

    Semifreddo

    The Spruce Eats / Kristina Vanni

    Try something different and serve your dinner guests a delicious Italian ice cream dessert. Semifreddo is an easy frozen cake that doesn't require an ice cream maker. Instead, this impressive dessert is mixed up then frozen in a loaf pan. Remove it from the mold, top it with sliced almonds, and serve it by the slice.

    Continue to 13 of 28 below.
  • 13 of 28

    Polish Angel Wings

    Polish Angel Wings (Chrusciki)
    Barbara Rolek

    In many Polish households, these crispy, delicate angel wings (or chrusciki) are required Easter eating, The shatteringly light pastry fries up quickly, so pay close attention when making them. Gather some friends or family to make it a group activity. One thing they're not is neat—don't wear a black shirt when enjoying these!

  • 14 of 28

    Chocolate Peanut Butter Easter Eggs

    chocolate peanut butter easter eggs

    Leah Maroney 

    Making your own chocolate peanut butter candies at home is easier than you might think. And these egg-shaped versions are drizzled with pastel-colored icing for a look that's Easter basket-worthy. They can be made advance and frozen, great for anyone who's short on time around the holidays.

  • 15 of 28

    Egg-shaped Cake Pops

    Easter Egg Cake Pops photo

    Elizabeth LaBau

    Cake pops were all the rage a few years ago and even though the craze has died down, they're still as delicious as ever. These Easter egg-shaped versions are perfect for the holiday and the family can help decorate for a fun afternoon activity. Gather a selection of candies and icing and use them as a dessert table centerpiece before serving.

  • 16 of 28

    Peep S'mores

    Peeps S'mores photo
    (c) 2013 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    You know Peeps are made of marshmallow, but have you ever thought of using them to make sweet, melty s'mores? If not, then you're in for a treat. When Peeps melt, they're transformed into a caramelized, gooey marshmallow that's even better than the regular kind. Level it up with chocolate or cinnamon graham crackers for an even more exciting flavor.

    Continue to 17 of 28 below.
  • 17 of 28

    Slovak Easter Bread

    Paska Slovak Easter Bread

    Lchunt / Flickr / CC By 2.0

    This beautifully braided Slovak Easter sweet bread is a staple on Eastern European tables and it'll make a wonderful addition to yours. While it's often served for breakfast, it also makes a nice, light dessert or coffee cake for afternoon tea. You can use the same recipe to make small, shaped rolls, if you'd rather use it for your bread basket.

  • 18 of 28

    Matzo Crack

    Matzo Crack

     Leah Maroney

    While it's technically a Passover treat, matzo crack can be an addictive addition to the Easter table, too. Made with sheets of matzo, chocolate, and homemade caramel, you'll quickly see why everyone polishes it off quickly. A sprinkling of flaky sea salt pumps up the chocolate flavor and gives it a sparkly appearance. Use dark chocolate instead of semisweet for an even more intense chocolate flavor.

  • 19 of 28

    Orange Chess Pie

    Orange Chess Pie
    Diana Rattray

    This zesty chess pie is the very picture of spring. Fresh orange juice, zest, and lemon juice give it an assertively citrus-forward flavor that will wake up your taste buds to welcome the warmth of the season. The recipe includes a pie crust, but you can also use a store-bought one if you're short on time or don't feel confident with pastry.

  • 20 of 28

    Easter Egg Malted Chocolate Fudge

    Easter Egg Malted Chocolate Fudge
    (c) 2015 Elizabeth LaBau

    Raid the kids' Easter candy to make a vibrant fudge. Malted chocolate eggs give it a great crunch, not to mention a pop of color. Add some malt powder to the fudge mixture if you have it, but it tastes just as great without. A shower of pastel sprinkles completes the package.

    Continue to 21 of 28 below.
  • 21 of 28

    Easter Lamb Pound Cake

    This 1950s cast-iron lamb mold is still used in my family to make lamb pound cake for Easter.

    Barbara Rolek

    Take a trip down memory lane with this traditional Polish Easter lamb cake. In the 1950s, many home cooks bought cast-iron molds—which you can probably find now online–to make this fancy, animal-shaped centerpiece at home, rather than buying a costly one from the bakery. Pound cake makes the best base with its dense crumb that holds up well to shaping.

  • 22 of 28

    Easter Rice Crispy Treats

    Easter Rice Krispies Treats

    Kellogg North America Company

    If you need something to bring to a spring party at your kids' school or a fun project for a weekend afternoon, these Easter nest-shaped Rice Crispy treats are just the thing. Top them with flaked coconut tinted in green food coloring, along with jelly beans or egg candies. A muffin tin will help you get the perfect shape.

  • 23 of 28

    Traditional Simnel Cake

    simnel-cake-2000.jpg

    Joy Skipper/Getty Images

    The end of Lent calls for celebration after 40 days of fasting and self-denial. This traditional Simnel cake—with its rich marzipan, dried fruits, spices, and jam—is a deliciously decadent way to break your fast. Even if you don't observe Lent, it's a lovely way to welcome the season. Decorate with small Easter eggs for a festive flair.

  • 24 of 28

    Sweet Cream Empanadas

    Empanadas
    saraidasilva/Getty Images

    These sweet cream empanadas are a special treat for the week leading up to Easter in Guatemala and they'll make a special project for your own celebration. The filling—major de leche—is a dessert in its own right and makes a lovely stuffing for other pastries. They taste great with a cup of strong coffee or tea and make a unique addition to your party dessert tray.

    Continue to 25 of 28 below.
  • 25 of 28

    Polish Royal Mazurek

    Flaky Polish Royal "Mazurek". (c) 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Try Polish mazurek or a flat pastry with powdered sugar, jam, marzipan, dried fruits, or some combination thereof, to round out your Easter dessert options. This version uses apricot and raspberry or cherry preserves, although you can use other flavors if you prefer. It's delicious and easy to make and will be a pretty, colorful addition to your spread.

  • 26 of 28

    Deep-Fried Creme Eggs

    Deep Fried Easter Creme Eggs photo

    Elizabeth LaBau

    Creme eggs are decadent enough, but deep-frying them takes it to a whole new level. They come out with a crunchy texture on the outside, and a melty, gooey, cream-and-chocolate center. Purchased eggs are perfectly suited for this recipe, but if you really want to go all out, feel free to make your own.

  • 27 of 28

    Hummingbird Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

    hummingbird cake

    Creative Photo Services/StockFood Creative/Getty

    Taste spring in every bite with this tender hummingbird cake. Cinnamon, banana, pineapple, and pecans give it a rich, complex flavor that's perfectly offset by the rich cream cheese frosting. Sprinkle it with toasted, chopped pecans for extra crunch. Make sure you drain the pineapple well, so you don't end up adding too much moisture to the batter.

  • 28 of 28

    Key Lime Pie With Meringue

    Key Lime Pie
    ALEAIMAGE/E+/Getty Images

    If you love lemon meringue and key lime pie, this combination of the two will really knock your socks off. The delicate, tart flavor of key lime goes great alongside Easter offerings and mimics the brightness of the long-awaited flowers outside. Key limes have a more assertive flavor that really makes a difference, so use them if you can find them. If not, regular limes are fine, too.