Our Best Easter Desserts
Healthy Easter Desserts
Make your Easter menu memorable by ending on a sweet note. From cookies to cakes, our Easter desserts are fresh, bright, and pretty enough for your holiday table.
If you can't decide whether you want vanilla or chocolate, this Black and White Angel Food Cake is just for you. Beaten egg whites create the light, airy texture of this classic dessert.
Browned Butter Carrot Cake With Toasted Pecans
The Bundt pan makes for a much easier dessert, freeing you from the fuss of stacking and frosting layers. You can bake the cake ahead and freeze it, unglazed: Wrap the cooled cake in plastic wrap, and freeze in a zip-top plastic freezer bag for up to 3 months (glaze the thawed cake).
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.). Enlist kids to decorate these simple cookies.
This lighter twist on traditional carrot cake features a tender cake packed with grated carrot, juicy pineapple, flaked coconut, and chopped pecans. Cream cheese frosting and a garnish of grated carrot tops the cake.
This five-ingredient recipe is one of those refreshingly light desserts that can be so satisfying.
Mini Almond Cupcakes
Kids will love decorating these cute little confections. Feel free to tint the icing to a variety of festive shades.
Deep-Dish Strawberry Ice Dream Pie
The filling for our killer pie is somewhere between ice cream and mousse—a creamy concoction that's ridiculously easy to make.
Easy Lemon Squares
Whip up this easy crowd-favorite in a matter of minutes for a light dessert that's deliciously sweet and tangy.
Pound Cake with Strawberry Glaze
Look for whole-wheat pastry flour in the baking aisle at major supermarkets. Garnish with additional strawberries and fresh mint leaves.
Coconut Cream Pie
When it comes to creamy, dreamy coconut pie, never settle for anything less than mile-high. We fluff up the flavor, deploy an Italian meringue, and re-create a blue-ribbon dessert that won't march your diet into madness (learn how our Test Kitchen made over this recipe).
Bursting with fragrance, mint adds dimension and seasonal flavor to chocolate pudding.
Sponge Cake with Orange Curd and Strawberries
Matzo and almond flour sponge cake is delightful—floral and sweet, with lemon, orange, and tangy berries.
Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting
If you're one to equate vanilla with plain and boring, this recipe will change your opinion. A touch of butter adds rich, luxurious flavor to the meringue, but, if you prefer a fluffy, snow-white cap, omit the butter as we did for the photo.
Fresh Coconut Cake
Rather than knocking you out with fake coconut extract overtones, this towering, tender cake offers balanced flavor and nutrition—two things you can feel good about when serving a slice to your lucky guests.
Gingery Banana Pudding with Bourbon Cream
A classic southern dessert gets a boozy finish when topped with our delectable bourbon cream. Gingersnaps stand in for traditional vanilla wafers giving the pudding a spicy edge of sophistication.
Sour Cream-Lemon Pound Cake
This reader-favorite pound cake is perfect for making ahead. Simply bake the cake (omitting the glaze) and freeze until ready to serve. After it's thawed, drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake.
Banana-Raspberry Cake with Lemon Frosting
Mashed ripe banana adds moistness to this springtime cake while a hint of lemon in the cream cheese frosting provides just the right amount of tartness.
Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
Add some color to your dessert tray with these jam-filled thumbprints. We recommend filling with homemade Raspberry Refrigerator Jam, but in a pinch your favorite store-bought variety will work just fine.
Lemon Cloud with Strawberry-Mint Compote
Here's a case where you want your soufflés to fall. As they do, the lemon flavor intensifies, and the texture becomes almost cakelike. Any berries will work in place of the strawberries for the compote.
Glazed Lemon-Blueberry Poppy Seed Bundt Cake
Perfect for brunch, this light cake features sweet, seasonal berries and a lemony glaze. Garnish with ribbons of lemon rind and fresh blueberries.
Strawberry-Rhubarb Ice Cream
Make a nonalcoholic version of this grown-up ice cream by substituting cranberry juice cocktail for the wine.
Piña Colada Cheesecake Bars
Channel the tropics with these cheesecake bars that feature fresh, in-season pineapple. This recipe uses a small amount of coconut flour, which is slightly sweet, high in fiber (3 grams per tablespoon), and gluten-free. Look for it in health-food stores or order online from Bob's Red Mill. You also can substitute an equal amount of all-purpose flour.
Strawberry Layer Cake
To make this cake kid-friendly, use fresh orange juice instead of Grand Marnier in the cream cheese frosting. The bright pink cake will be a lovely surprise when you make the first slice.
Café au Lait Chiffon Pie
Boiling coffee down to a concentrated syrup, then mixing it with milk in an airy chiffon filling makes this chocolate-graham-cracker-crusted pie a dessert that's sure to give you a buzz.
Strawberry-Almond Cream Tart
Nestled in a creamy filling and crumbly graham cracker crust, strawberries shine in this delectable tart.
Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies
Based on the classic whoopie pie, these soft sandwich cookies provide all the pleasures of traditional carrot cake in a fun-to-eat package, including the thick, tangy cream cheese frosting—especially the cream cheese frosting.
Lemon Angel Food Cupcakes
Top these lemon-scented angel food cupcakes with tiny edible pansy blossoms or rosebuds for decoration. Store extra cupcakes in an airtight container.
Tender biscuits get a little lift from sweet, floral lemon rind. For slightly taller shortcakes with soft sides, pack biscuits into a round cake pan; for separate shortcakes with crisp edges, arrange onto a baking sheet with space between.
Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
These delectable morsels melt in your mouth, because they're so moist. If the frosting is too thin, place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until it's spreadable.
Fresh Coconut Cake
Rather than knocking you out with fake coconut extract overtones, this cake offers balanced flavor and nutrition—two things you can feel good about when serving a slice to your lucky guests.
Individual Chocolate Soufflé Cakes
Our simple directions make a properly risen soufflé a cinch. For easy variations in flavor, substitute almond, lemon, or orange extract for the vanilla.
Lemon-Scented Blueberry Cupcakes
Studded with plump, juicy fresh berries, these cupcakes are perfect for an Easter gathering. Be as creative as you want when frosting the cupcakes. For a more homespun look, use a small, flat spatula. Want to be fancy? Pipe frosting onto cupcakes with a pastry bag fitted with a star tip for a fun, swirled appearance.
Fresh Mint Ice Cream
This make-ahead creamy treat makes an ideal dessert for entertaining. Not a mint fan? Substitute toasted coconut for mint.
Yellow Butter Cake with Vanilla Meringue Frosting
After a slice of this show-stopping cake, you'll never be able think of vanilla as "basic" again. You'll find potato starch on the baking aisle at most of your local supermarkets and health-food stores. Also known as potato flour, it helps ensure the cake will have a fine crumb and moist texture.
Yellow Sheet Cake with Chocolate Frosting
Here's a moist, buttery dessert that can make even the smallest spring gathering a true celebration. Fresh edible flowers, such as mums, make an easy, pretty decoration; most people remove the flowers before eating the cake.
No-Bake Fresh Strawberry Pie
Glorious spring berries are the focus here—tons of them, piled atop a layer of creamy filling. You can leave small berries whole.
Peanut Butter-Banana Pie
Bananas that are firm rather than extra-ripe work best in this pie. Fluffy whipped topping is perfect atop a filling of peanut butter and banana goodness.
Ground ginger and grated lemon zest lend a subtle spice to a humble base of cornmeal and all-purpose flour. These light and unpretentious cookies make a guilt-free indulgence, with just 55 calories apiece.
Frozen Blackberry-Lemon Chiffon Pie
Seasonal berries take center stage in this light, refreshing indulgence.
Banana-Coconut Ice Cream
The added creaminess of two percent milk (as opposed to fat-free or one percent) makes richer ice cream with fewer ice crystals. Cream of coconut is a sweet, thick mixture that's used to make piña coladas; look for it in cans near the drink mixes.
Shortcakes with Fresh Berries
Make the shortcakes up to two days ahead, and store in an airtight container. Use a serrated knife to cut in half before serving. Prepare the berry filling up to 12 hours ahead, and refrigerate until serving. Use any combination of fresh berries available.
Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
Cool off at your Easter celebration with a big bowl of creamy homemade ice cream. Perfect for entertaining, this top-rated recipe makes enough for a crowd.
Lavender-Scented Strawberries with Honey Cream
Showcase the season's first berries in this rich, not-too-sweet dessert. Be sure to use Greek yogurt, which has been strained and is thus very thick and creamy.
Canola Oil Pound Cake with Browned Butter Glaze
Heart-healthy canola oil helps lighten this classic dessert. And an ingenious technique of soaking a vanilla bean in the oil adds deep, rich flavor. Serve this as a sweet finish to a delicious Easter dinner.
Buttermilk Bundt Cakes
Here we offer three garnishing options for these adorable, delicious cakes: Simply dust with powdered sugar, pipe a bit of glaze over the top, or completely dunk the cakes for a heavier coating.
Whole-Grain Pecan Blondies
Blondies are simply brownies without the chocolate. A light-colored metal pan is your best bet for even baking and cakey, moist blondies.
Chocolate Cloud Cakes
Soufflé style is the best style. These perfectly-portioned, individual cakes get their rich flavor from unsweetened cocoa and semisweet chocolate morsels.
Layered Strawberry-Coconut Panna Cotta
This sweet, creamy treat is a festive, elegant showcase for everyone's favorite spring fruit: ripe, juicy strawberries, served up two ways — sliced and macerated and cooked into a ruby-red jelly.
A favorite sweet treat among the Cooking Light staff, you can't go wrong when indulging in one of these coconut-and-cream filled cups. Best part? They're only 142 calories each!
Tahini Swirl Brownies
You start with brownies and then top them with a swirl of sweetened tahini that gives a delightful nutty depth of flavor and richness. Be sure to use untoasted sesame oil in the batter; the dark, toasted kind would be too strong.
Peanut Butter Granola Crunch Parfaits
This low-fat parfait is the perfect springtime dessert and will be a winner with everyone at your Easter celebration.