While Easter festivities might continue to look a bit different this year due to Covid-19, baking is a great way to get the family together and to enjoy some treats along the way.
Here are some Easter inspired cakes and bakes to get the inspiration flowing.
Easter egg nest cake
If you’re going to make a chocolate cake this Easter, make it this one.
- 250g dark chocolate, chopped
- 125 grams unsalted butter
- Six medium eggs (two whole, four separated)
- 175g caster sugar (75g for the yolks, 100g for the whites)
- One teaspoon of vanilla extract
For the topping:
- 125g dark chocolate, chopped
- 250ml double cream
- One teaspoon of vanilla extract
- One packet of chocolate mini eggs
Begin by preheating your oven to 180C / 160C fan / gas mark four. Line the button of a 23cm springform cake tin with baking paper.
Melt the 250g of chocolate with the butter in either a double boiler, or in a microwave, and set aside to cool slightly. Whisk your four egg whites until firm and then gradually add 100g of caster sugar until the whites are holding their shape and peak, but are not stuff.
In another bowl, whisk together the two whole eggs and four yolks with the 75g of remaining caster sugar and the vanilla extract. Gently fold in the chocolate mixture. Next, gently fold in the egg whites as well.
Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the cake is risen and cracked, and the centre is no longer wobbly on the surface. Cool the cake in the tin on a wire rack - the centre will sink as it cools and the sides will splinter. You want the cake to look like it has a crater in it, so don’t panic when this happens.
To finish the cake, remove from the tin and get ready to decorate. Melt the chocolate for the topping and leave to cool a little. Whip up the cream until it is firming up, not still soft and then add the vanilla and fold in the melted chocolate.
Fill the crater of the cake with the chocolate cream and arrange with chocolate mini eggs on top.
Chocolate egg nest cakes
This is a great recipe to use to get kids involved in the baking process.
- 225g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
- Two tablespoons of golden syrup
- 50g butter
- 75g cornflakes
- 36 mini chocolate eggs
Begin by lining a muffin tin with paper cases. Melt the chocolate, golden syrup and butter in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir the mixture until smooth.
Remove the bowl from the heat and then gently stir in the cornflakes until all of the cereal is coated in chocolate. Scoop the cornflake mixture into the paper cases and press three chocolate eggs into the centre of each nest. Chill in the fridge for one hour, or until completely set.
Easter Egg brownies
Jazz up your regular tray of brownies with some Easter inspired toppings, such as Creme Eggs.
- 185g unsalted butter, cut into small chunks, plus some extra for greasing
- 185g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
- Three large eggs
- 275g golden caster sugar
- 85g plain flour
- 40g cocoa powder
- Five Creme Eggs
- 150g Mini Eggs, or Smarties
To start, place the butter and the chocolate in a heat proof bowl and set it over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until melted. Leave the chocolate mixture to cool down to room temperature.
Heat your oven to 180C / 160C fan / gas mark four and grase a 20cm square tin with butter. Line the tin with two long strips of baking paper or foil - this will help you lift the brownies out of the tray later.
Crack your eggs into a bowl and add the caster sugar. Whisk the eggs and sugar together for around five to eight minutes, or until it looks thick and creamy and has doubled in size.
Add the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and gently fold together. Sieve in your flour and cocoa powder and continue to fold gently until everything is fully combined - but take care not to overmix.
Pour your mixture into the prepared tin place in the oven for 20 minutes. While the brownies are baking, chop your Creme Eggs in half and crush up your Mini Eggs or Smarties in another bowl, but leave some whole.
After 20 minutes, take the brownies out of the oven and arrange your toppings. Set the brownies back in the oven for a further five minutes.
Once baked, top with your remaining Mini Eggs, or Smarties, and leave to cool completely. Place in the fridge for about an hour to firm up - then enjoy.
Chocolate Easter cheesecake
This super decadent chocolate cheesecake is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser.
Ingredients for the filling:
- 200g milk chocolate, chopped
- 360g full fat soft cheese, at room temperature
- 150g caster sugar
- Two large eggs at room temperature
- 150g sour cream, at room temperature
- Three tablespoons of malted milk powder
- One tablespoon of cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
- Chocolate shavings, to serve
- 20g Maltesers
- 20g malted milk biscuits, broken into pieces
- 40g chocolate eggs
Ingredients for the base:
- 250g malted milk biscuits
- 100g melted butter, plus extra for greasing
- One tablespoon of malted milk powder
Begin by heating your oven to 180C / 160C fan / gas mark four. Butter a 23cm springform tin and line the base and sides with baking paper.
Make the base by crushing the biscuits into a fine crumb and then adding your melted butter, milk powder and a pinch of salt. Press the mixture into the base of the tin, smoothing it out with the back of a spoon. Bake for 10 minutes and then leave to cool.
Make your cheesecake filling by melting the milk chocolate in a bowl, and then in a separate bowl, beat together the soft cream cheese and sugar until just combined. Add your eggs, soured cream, milk powder and melted chocolate until just combined.
Pour the filling to the base and then bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the filling is set with a slight wobble in the centre. Turn off your oven and leave the cheesecake to cool for at least two hours.
Top the cheesecake with the chocolate shavings, Maltesers, biscuit pieces and chocolate eggs to serve.
Mini Egg rocky road
If you don’t have time to spend ages in the kitchen putting together a dessert, this four ingredient, no bake rocky road comes together in just 10 minutes.
- 400g milk chocolate
- 100g digestive biscuits
- 200g Mini Eggs
- 100g mini marshmallows
Start by melting your chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water. Next, crush up your digestive biscuits and add to the melted chocolate.
Bash up the Mini Eggs as well and add to the bowl two, and then finally add the mini marshmallows. Mix until everything is well combined and then transfer to a lined baking tin.
Spread out the mixture and chill for an hour in the fridge - then enjoy.
Hot cross buns
Hot cross buns are a traditional Easter treat - why not try making some yourself?
- 225ml milk
- 50g butter, diced, plus extra for serving
- Two medium eggs, lightly beaten
- 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 50g caster sugar
- One 7g sachet of fast action dried yeast
- One teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of mixed spice
- Oil, for greasing
- 150g seedless raisins (optional)
- 75g mixed peel (optional)
- 100g plain flour
- Two tablespoons of shredless orange marmalade, for glazing
Begin by making your dough - start by adding your milk in a small pan and gently heat until just below boiling point.
Stir 50g of diced butter into the hot milk until it's melted and then leave to cool for five minutes. Once it's cooled slightly, stir in your beaten eggs.
Sift 500g strong white bread flour, the caster sugar, the yeast, cinnamon and spice into a mixing bowl with a pinch of salt. Make a well in the centre, then gradually add the milk mixture to form a slightly sticky dough.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes, or until soft and shiny. The dough should spring back when you press a finger into it. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and cover with a clean cloth. Set aside to prove for one hour in a warm place.
Once your dough has doubled in size, punch it back to knock out any air bubbles. Flatten it slightly and then scatter your raisins and mixed peel into the centre. Knead together for five minutes. Roll into a ball, flatten slightly and then divide the dough into 12 equal pieces.
Shape your sections into smooth balls and then transfer to a baking sheet lined with non stick baking paper, leaving a gap between each one. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to prove again for around 20 minutes, or until a fingertip leaves a small impression in the dough.
Preheat the oven to 200C / 180C fan / gas mark six. Mix together 100g of plain flour with six tablespoons of water to make a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe a cross onto each bun. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden with the bases sounding hollow when tapped.
Leave the buns to cool on a baking tray. Meanwhile, heat two tablespoons of shredless orange marmalade in a pan to make a runny glaze, and then glaze the buns.
These Easter biscuits act as a great canvas for kids to try their hands at decorating.
- 300g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 150g white caster sugar
- 150g slightly salted butter, chopped
- One large egg
- Two teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 500g royal icing sugar
- Food colouring gel
- Icing sugar
- 400g of apricot jam or lemon curd
Add the flour, sugar and butter to a bowl and rub together using your fingertips until the mixture resembles wet sand, with no buttery lumps.
Beat the egg with vanilla and add to the bowl as well - mix briefly with a butter knife to combine, and then use your hands to knead the dough together. Take care not to overwork the dough, or else the biscuits will be tough.
Shape into a disc and wrap with cling film, then chill for at least 15 minutes. Heat your oven to 180C / 160C fan / gas mark four. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment.
Dust your counter with flour and then place your dough on it. Cut it in half then roll out to about the thickness of a £1 coin. Stamp out as many biscuits as you can then transfer them to one of the baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough.
If you want to decorate your biscuits with jam in the centre, then use a small circular cutter to stamp holds in half of your biscuits. If you want to make both iced and jammy biscuits, only stamp holes in a quarter of the biscuits.
Bake for 12 - 15 minutes, or until the biscuits are a pale golden colour. Cool on the sheets for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, you can decorate to your liking with icing sugar and jam.
Easter bunny pancakes
What better way to kickstart Easter than buy having some Easter bunny pancakes for breakfast?
- 50g self raising flour
- 50g wholemeal flour
- Two small eggs, separated
- 150ml milk
- Oil, for frying
- A few raisins for bunny paws, to decorate
- 30g banana, sliced into rounds for the tails
- Extra chopped fruit, to serve
Start by adding your flours to a large bowl and whisking together. Add the egg yolks with a little bit of the milk and whisk into a thick paste. Add the remaining milk a splash at a time to loosen up the batter.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks and gently fold into the batter, trying to keep in as much air as possible.
Heat a large non stick pan over a medium heat and carefully wipe it with some oiled kitchen paper. Using a large spoon, add a generous amount of the batter to the pan in a round - this will make the bunny body. Add a smaller round for the head, two small ovals for the feet and two long thin strips for the ears.
You can cook these components in batches if you can’t fit them all into the same pan.
Flip the pancakes after a minute or two once the edges are set and cook for another minute until golden brown.
Plate up by placing the bunny body in the centre of the plate and position the head, eats and feet just overlapping to look like the back of the bunny. Add a banana slice for the tail and raisins for the paw pads.
Easter chick mini meringues
These cute little mini Easter chick meringues are almost too cute to eat - but only almost.
- Two medium egg whites
- 100g golden caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of cornflour
- Grated zest of half a lemon, plus one teaspoon of lemon juice
- Yellow food colouring paste
- Orange, black and yellow icing pen, to decorate
Heat your oven to 140C / 120C fan / gas mark one. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment and put a medium sized plain nozzle on a piping bag.
In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are very stiff and add half the sugar and continue to whisk until the mixture is becoming firm and shiny.
Stir the cornflour into the remaining sugar and add to the meringue, along with the lemon zest and juice and a tiny pinch of the yellow food colouring paste. Whisk again until you have a thick, firm and glossy pale yellow meringue.
Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and pipe around 25 thumb sized dollops onto your baking sheet - if possible, try to make them wider at the base than the top, resembling a chick's body and head. Leave a gap between each chick to allow for expansion when cooking.
Cook in the oven for 30 minute until they are crisp, firm and come off the baking parchment easily. Leave to cool on a wire rack. Once cooled you can decorate using your icing pens - use the orange one to make a V-shaped beak, the black one for the eyes and feet and the yellow one to make the chick’s head and wings.
Easter bunny trail mix
If you really don’t have the time to put together anything that takes a lot of time, then these little trail mix bags are perfect.
- Two cups of popcorn
- One cup of Cheerios
- One cup of pretzels
- One cup of mini marshmallows
- One cup of Mini Eggs
- 100g of white chocolate
Mix all the ingredients together except the white chocolate in a bowl and then pour onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Melt the white chocolate and drizzle on top of your mixture. Refrigerate until the chocolate has hardened, around 30 minutes.
Break the mixture up and place into little bowls or bags.