30 Easy Treats to Enjoy This Easter
There are lots of upsides to Easter, and one of our favorites is the array of sugary pastel desserts you can make without spending an entire afternoon in the kitchen. Whether you're trying to use up extra candy, impress your guests, or just have a little fun with the kids in the kitchen, these treats are both festive and impressive without being exhausting.
Easter Candy Snack Cake
Dotted with pastel Easter candies and drizzled with white chocolate, this easy snack cake is the perfect, simple treat to whip up for an Easter celebration. In fact, the buttery dessert caught our test kitchen crew completely off-guard; it may appear “cute” and unassuming, but rest assured, this snack cake is no joke in terms of being addictively delicious. It’s not a cake you’ll be able to have “just a little piece” of.
Easter Basket Cake
If you've got frosting skills, whip up an Easter cake that'll knock everyone out of the park. The secret's all in the technique: Instead of preparing a complicated cake, you're simply building things up with a frosting-based basket weave. To make this cake, you'll need two round cake layers with an 8-inch diameter, so use a reliable box mix or your favorite spring cake recipe.
3-Ingredient S'mores Peepza
Peeps, Nutella, and a refrigerated pizza crust come together for a jaw-dropping pastel masterpiece.
Funfetti Pound Cake
The “funfetti” treatment is such an easy way to give classic pound cake a festive upgrade. This colorful, sprinkle-laden bundt cake is perfect for celebrations of any sort—from birthday parties to graduations. Use whatever color blend of sprinkles you like for the occasion at hand. Pro tip: Be sure to beat your butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy; this is what gives a classic pound cake its lift without the use of a leavening agent like baking powder or soda.
Bunny Face Cupcakes
Decorate store-bought cupakes for Easter by making cute bunny faces with marshmallows, coconut, pretzels, and an assortment of candy.
Carrot Easter Cake
It’s not Easter without a themed cake! Rather than deal with a fussy animal-shaped pan, bake two round cake layers with an 8-inch diameter and let a little food styling and frosting do the work. You can use a box cake mix make a favorite recipe from scratch, depending on the level of effort you want to put in. This method can also be used for the Easter Egg Cake and Easter Bunny Cake.
Sunflower Butter Cookies
Our test kitchen described these sunflower butter cookies as “absolutely delightful!” And given their toasty-sweet flavor combined with their soft and chewy texture, it’s not hard to see why. Sunflower butter—also called sunflower seed butter or “SunButter”—offers a rich flavor that’s unique from peanut butter or almond butter (it’s also a more allergy-friendly option) and can be found shelved with other nut butters in most grocery stores. We stirred in some candy-coated sunflower seeds for a playful pop of color, but you could swap the seeds out for chocolate chips or skip the mix-ins altogether if you prefer.
Strawberry Snacking Cake with Strawberry Whipped Cream
A simple vanilla cake, accented with hints of brown sugar and spices, and topped with bright, juicy strawberries—what more could you want? This rustically elegant strawberry cake is exceptionally easy to mix up, and is delightful served with coffee or tea for breakfast. (And we all know, cake for breakfast is always a good decision.) The strawberry whipped cream adds a lovely touch of decadence to the not-overly-sweet snack cake. We suggest enjoying this cake the day it’s baked.
Homemade Peeps and Marshmallow Bunny Butts
It seems like Peeps are everywhere. Even when it’s not prime Peep season… they’re there. Waiting. Do they see us? Are they sentient? Instead of buying box upon box of sugar-coated mass-produced marshmallows, use this simple recipe to make your own Peeps and marshmallow bunny butts. You probably don’t have a ton of piping experience, so you might end up producing marshmallow monsters, but you’ll feel like Martha herself, promise. Plus, when you make homemade Peeps, you get to pick your own sugar coating colors. You will definitely eat too many in one sitting and end up feeling a little sick, but at least you have an excuse. You’re just testing them… you know, for accuracy.
Easter Egg Cookies
These festive cookies are loosely based on the Greek Easter specialty koulourakia. Use egg-shaped cookie cutters to create these Easter "eggs" (we ordered ours from H.O. Foose Tinsmithing Co.). Tint the frosting any color you like (or use several colors). Spread it onto the cookies, or spoon the frosting into a zip-top plastic bag, snip a small hole in one corner of the bag, and pipe the frosting in designs of your choice. The kids can help with the fun.
Shortcut Strawberry Cheesecake Sweet Rolls
These shortcut sweet rolls are the perfect special treat for a weekend brunch, but the truly beautiful thing about them is that they’re actually simple/speedy enough to whip up on a weekday morning—all thanks to a handy secret ingredient: canned crescent dough. That said, there’s no need to tell your guests just how easy these delightfully buttery-tender sweet rolls are to make, because once they’re all dressed up, no one would ever guess you didn’t make them completely from scratch. By skipping on making your own yeasted cinnamon bun dough, you allow yourself time to make a phenomenal filling. Each roll is filled with a rich strawberry cheesecake mixture, featuring fresh strawberries, store-bought strawberry cream cheese amped up with a little powdered sugar and vanilla, and graham cracker crumbs (a pro baker’s trick for adding depth and a fantastic texture). All that’s left to do is drizzle on a simple 2-ingredient glaze, and you have a wow-worthy skillet of fresh sweet rolls, ready to rock.
Easter Bunny Cake
It’s not Easter without a themed cake! Rather than deal with a fussy animal-shaped pan, bake two round cake layers with an 8-inch diameter and let a little food styling and frosting do the work. You can use a box cake mix make a favorite recipe from scratch, depending on the level of effort you want to put in. This method can also be used for the Carrot Easter Cake and Easter Egg Cake.
Mini Easter Egg Cakes
Serve these adorable cakes at a special holiday brunch and watch everyone's surprise when they discover the lemon curd "yolk" in the center. Making them is simple enough that family or friends can help. You'll need a 2 1/4- by 2 3/4-in. egg-shaped cookie cutter*; if you don't have one, make an oval out of cardboard and cut around it. You'll also need a small paintbrush and cotton swabs. If you start with the cakes still slightly frozen, they'll be easier to cut.
1-Minute Peeps Cereal Treat
Enjoy an individual crispy marshmallow treat in a mug and use up leftover Easter candy while you’re at it. That’s a win-win!
Bunny Cookie Cupcakes
Make a batch of bunny-shaped cookies and use them to decorate the tops of store-bought cupcakes for a festive Easter dessert.
This stunning watercolor effect is a surprisingly simple cake decorating technique that makes for an incredibly special dessert.
Dip Peeps in melted chocolate and decorate with sprinkles for a super-easy and fun treat to make with your kids this Easter.
Looking for a way to add more pizzazz to an ordinary dessert recipe? Try brightening basic cupcakes with jelly beans. Proven be a huge hit with the little ones in the house.
Speckled Egg Nest Cake
Make an Easter cake that everyone will love with our simple and speedy decorating technique that's just as impressive as it is easy. You'll need two round cake layers with an 8-inch diameter, so use a box mix or your favorite chocolate cake recipe.
Easter Basket Cake
Gather the kids around the kitchen table to decorate an Easter basket cake that’s as fun to make as it is to show off to guests. Pirouette wafer cookies line the sides of the cake to create a basket effect, while colored coconut flakes mimic the vibrant, lush “grass.” With the help of convenience items like store-bought cake mixes and frosting, you cut down on your prep time to leave you with more time for the fun part: arranging the final fixings on your layered cake. For the layers, use whatever flavor of cake you like best; we opted for two layers of carrot cake and two layers of yellow cake. This flexible Easter cake recipe gives you complete creative freedom to dream up the ultimate Easter wonderland.
Fill your basket with homemade Easter treats. This bark is super easy to make and fun to prepare with kids. Because you melt the chocolate in the microwave, the recipe is a fun way to get kids involved with cooking, plus they’ll love making the rainbow swirls! Don’t forget the edible glitter for decoration.
Cake Mix Sandwich Cookies with Strawberry Buttercream
No one will believe these impressive (yet low-effort) spring treats start with a boxed cake mix. The strawberry buttercream filling for these sandwich cookies uses both fresh and freeze-dried berries in order to deliver a potent punch of vibrant strawberry flavor. While it’s the perfect accompaniment to these pillowy vanilla cake mix cookies, you’ll likely find yourself returning to the recipe again and again for icing layer cakes and cupcakes. Freeze dried strawberries can be found at many grocery stores and online. Pro tip: Don’t skip chilling the dough; this allows the coconut oil to solidify and helps the cookies maintain their shape while baking.
Layered Peeps Crispy Treats
Why make boring Rice Krispie treats when you can make colorful and festive bar treats using Peeps and Rice Krispie cereal? You can use any 4 colors of Peeps that you prefer--or even double up on two colors for a half-and-half treat. To make pops: Cut 1-inch think slices widthwise, and then cut the slices in half. Insert a cake pop stick into the bottom of each treat, dip in melted chocolate, and decorate with sprinkles or crushed candy pieces. Display pops in a jar or candle votive holder stuffed with Styrofoam.
Easter Egg Cake
It’s not Easter without a themed cake! Rather than deal with a fussy animal-shaped pan, bake two round cake layers with an 8-inch diameter and let a little food styling and frosting do the work. You can use a box cake mix make a favorite recipe from scratch, depending on the level of effort you want to put in. This method can also be used for the Carrot Easter Cake and Easter Bunny Cake.
Bunny Cars will bring smiles to your Easter guests—young and old. These edible treats serve as decoration and dessert.
Turmeric Banana Bread
Though this company-worthy loaf is, no doubt, impressive, it’s really nothing more than a foolproof banana bread recipe with a few flavor tricks up its sleeve. A power couple combo of earthy turmeric and fragrant cardamon play extremely well with banana’s dense sweetness, boosting this classic quick bread’s comfy-cozy factor to delicious new heights. A sprinkling of pine nuts over top adds textural and visual intrigue with minimal effort (though, you could really use any nut you like here). And to really take your Turmeric Banana Bread up a notch, serve it with our stunning Golden Turmeric Butter.
Coconut Nest Cookies
Notes: You can make these cookies up to 1 week ahead; cover airtight and store at room temperature. In humid or rainy weather, they may soften.
You’ve got a ton of extra Easter candy, so use it. Using hollow chocolate bunnies as a base, this bark is rich and silky and features as many textures as it does toppings—chewy, crunchy, sweet, sour, and creamy. Don’t skip the refrigeration, or else the chocolate won’t solidify.
Robin's Egg Malt Cupcakes
Inspired by an Easter basket favorite, these malted chocolate cupcakes are sure to be the cutest dessert you serve this spring. The moist cake is a fun play on a chocolate malted egg; you can typically find malt powder either on your grocery store’s baking aisle or shelved near the canned milks. Once you top these rich cupcakes with a buttery, bright blue frosting, creating the signature Robin’s egg speckling is easy—and a fun project to let older kiddos help with. You simple thin out your brown food coloring with a little bit of water, dip a paint brush in, and then “flick” the brush’s bristles to splatter the dye on the surface of your frosted cupcakes.