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Easter Desserts – Lemon Drizzle Simnel Cake

Lemon drizzle simnel cake

When I was little, I loved marzipan. So much so, while visiting my Nan-Nan (who made the most wonderful wedding cakes), I decided to peel the icing from a cake waiting to be decorated so I could get to the delicious marzipan underneath!
I don’t remember ever seeing my Nan-Nan so angry before that day, or since! She gave me a good telling-off and a slap on the bottom.
Unsurprisingly, I lost the urge to eat marzipan again and steered well clear of it all these years! That was until I tried a small taste of this lemon drizzle simnel cake and found it to be really lovely.
I’m taking this as a sign from my beloved late Nan-Nan that it’s time to embrace my love of marzipan again because my other favourite thing to eat was her absolutely wonderful lemon drizzle cake!

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Lemon Drizzle Simnel Cake

lemon drizzle simnel cake

Ingredients

  • Oil, for the tin
  • 250g butter, softened
  • 250g golden caster sugar, plus 50g for the topping
  • 2 large lemons, zested and juiced
  • 3 large eggs
  • 200g plain flour
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 50ml milk
  • 100g mixed dried fruit
  • 300g marzipan, chilled
  • 50g icing sugar

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
  2. Oil and line a 20cm x 30cm baking tin with baking parchment.
  3. Put the butter, sugar and most of the lemon zest in a bowl and beat together until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating constantly, then add the flour, almonds and baking powder.
  5. Keep mixing until you have a smooth batter.
  6. Stir in the milk and dried fruit.
  7. Tip half of the batter into the tin and level with the back of a spoon or a spatula.
  8. Coarsely grate half of the marzipan over the batter to create an even layer.
  9. Carefully cover with the rest of the batter trying not to disturb the marzipan.
  10. Level the top and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  11. If any wet batter is on the skewer, cook for a further 5 minutes and check again.
  12. Mix the remaining caster sugar with a quarter of the lemon juice and drizzle over the cake while still warm.
  13. Leave to cool completely in the tin.
  14. Mix the icing sugar with enough lemon juice to make a drizzly icing. 2-3 tsp should be enough.
  15. Drizzle the icing over the cake.
  16. Divide the rest of the marzipan into eleven balls and place on the cake.
  17. Sprinkle with the remaining lemon zest.

The cake will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container.

drawing of an Easter basket full of Easter eggs

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Easter Desserts – St Clements Hot Cross Bun Trifle

I love a good trifle. I especially love how many different flavour combinations you can have. It’s a versatile dessert that just about everyone will like. This St Clements orange hot cross bun trifle is perfect for Easter Sunday dessert.

We prefer to have individual desserts but you can adapt the recipe to make one big trifle if you prefer.

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St Clements Orange Hot Cross Bun Trifle

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 Tesco Finest St Clements hot cross buns
  • 65g orange marmalade
  • 400g ready-made custard
  • 150ml whipping cream
  • 1 medium orange, zested and segmented
  • 3 medium oranges, segmented.

Method

  1. Cut each hot cross bun in half lengthways and break the bottom halves into pieces.
  2. Share between 4 dessert dishes.
  3. Layer each dish with the segmented oranges.
  4. Melt the marmalade in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.
  5. Mix the custard and marmalade together and share it between the 4 dishes
  6. Whisk the cream until it has soft peaks then stir in the orange zest.
  7. Share the cream between the dishes and put the top halves of the hot cross buns on each trifle.
drawing of an Easter basket full of Easter eggs

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Easter Desserts – Chocolate Meringue Nest

Chocolate Meringue Nest

Meringue, cream and mini eggs; what more could you want from a dessert?! This chocolate meringue nest is a lovely looking, tasty dessert to have on the table after Easter lunch.

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Chocolate Meringue Nest

Chocolate Meringue Nest

Ingredients

  • 100g milk chocolate, grated or curled
  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 175g mini chocolate eggs

For the meringue

  • 6 egg whites
  • 180g golden caster sugar
  • 165g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp cocoa, sifted

Method

To make the meringue

  1. Preheat the oven to gas 1, 140°C, fan 120°C.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with non-stick baking paper and draw a 20cm circle in the middle using a pencil. Turn the paper over so the pencil marks don’t go on the food.
  3. Put the egg whites, caster sugar and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl and using a hand or stand mixer, whisk for 4-5 minutes or until you get stiff peaks.
  4. Add the icing sugar and whisk gently until incorporated.
  5. Increase the speed and whisk for 3-4 minutes or until it looks thick, stiff and glossy.
  6. Add the cocoa and whisk briefly until incorporated.
  7. Using the pencil circle as a guide, spoon the meringue onto the paper in a nest shape.
  8. Make sure you have a deep hollow in the centre, keeping the sides tall.
  9. Bake for 1 hr 30 mins, or until slightly cracked in places and firm to the touch.
  10. Turn the oven off, open the door slightly and leave the meringue inside to cool.

When you’re ready to serve, whisk the cream and icing sugar together until you have soft peaks then fill the meringue nest with the cream.
Top with the mini eggs and grated chocolate.

Easter bunny

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Easter Desserts – Hot Cross Bun & Butter Pudding

hot cross bun and butter pudding header

I was never a fan of bread and butter pudding as a child. I liked the top layer because the bread was crispy and had a sprinkling of sugar on it but I didn’t like the soggy layer below!
I wasn’t going to have any of this hot cross bun and butter pudding as I just assumed I wouldn’t like it, but I did try it and I loved it!

I’ll be getting the super wonderful husband to make this again!

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Hot Cross Bun And Butter Pudding

hot cross bun and butter pudding
Hot cross bun and butter pudding

Ingredients

  • 300ml pot double cream
  • 600ml milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • 8 hot cross buns
  • 40g soft butter
  • 3 tbsp chunky marmalade

Method

  1. Heat oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3.
  2. Using gentle heat, warm the milk and cream in a pan.
  3. Whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla together in a large bowl then gradually add in the milk and cream.
  4. Halve the buns and spread them all with the butter then arrange in a shallow oven-proof dish.
  5. Pour over the cream mixture and let it soak for 15 minutes.
  6. Bake for 50 minutes then remove from the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  7. Serve while warm, although it’s also really nice when it’s cold!
drawing of an Easter basket full of Easter eggs

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Easter Desserts – Easter Chocolate Bundt Cake

Chocolate bundt cake header

This is our first time making a chocolate bundt cake. We had to buy a tin, especially for this recipe! I think this may be the first time I’ve tasted a bundt cake as well. This one is very chocolaty and would go really well with some nice, thick custard.

Bundt cake (/bʌnt/) is a cake that is baked in a Bundt pan, shaping it into a distinctive donut shape. The shape is inspired by a traditional European cake known as Gugelhupf, but Bundt cakes are not generally associated with any single recipe. The style of mold in North America was popularized in the 1950s and 1960s, after cookware manufacturer Nordic Ware trademarked the name “Bundt” and began producing Bundt pans from cast aluminum. Publicity from Pillsbury saw the cakes gain widespread popularity.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bundt_cake
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Easter Chocolate Bundt Cake

Chocolate bundt cake
Easter chocolate bundt cake

Ingredients

  • 220g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 40g cocoa powder plus 1 tbsp for dusting
  • 200g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 320g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 120ml buttermilk

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to gas 3, 170°C, fan 150°C.
  2. Grease a 2.4ltr bundt tin with butter and dust all around the pan with the cocoa powder. Tip out any excess powder.
  3. Melt the butter and chocolate in a microwavable bowl in short bursts.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt until light and fluffy.
  5. Stir the flour, cocoa powder, buttermilk, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder into the melted chocolate then add the egg mixture and fold it in gently.
  6. Pour the mixture into the tin and tap gently to get any air bubbles to rise to the surface.
  7. Bake for 55 minutes. To check it’s cooked, insert a skewer into the middle. It will be clean when you remove it.
  8. Cool for 15 minutes in the tin then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool completely.

Store the cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Easter bunny

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Easter Desserts – Chocolate Fridge Cake

chocolate fridge cake header

Children will love helping to make this chocolate fridge cake (also known as Tiffin). It’s packed with currants, dried apricots and digestive biscuits but you can use any dried fruit you like.

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Chocolate Fridge Cake

chocolate fridge cake
Chocolate fridge cake

Ingredients

  • 250g digestive biscuits
  • 150g milk chocolate
  • 150g dark chocolate
  • 100g butter
  • 125g golden syrup
  • 100g dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 100g sultanas

For the Topping

  • 100g milk chocolate, melted
  • 100g dark chocolate, melted

Method

  1. Lightly grease a 20cm square cake tin and line it with clingfilm, leaving enough hanging over the sides to help you remove the cake when set.
  2. Put the biscuits in a food bag, seal and bash into pieces with a rolling pin.
  3. Put the chocolate, butter and golden syrup into a microwavable bowl and melt in 30-second bursts, mixing between bursts.
  4. Add the biscuits and fruits and mix well.
  5. Tip the mixture into the cake tin and level with the back of a spoon.
  6. Dollop the milk and dark melted chocolates on top of the cake and swirl them together.
  7. Chill in the fridge for an hour or until the chocolate has set.

They will keep for up to a week if kept in an airtight container.

drawing of an Easter basket full of Easter eggs

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Easter Desserts – Easter Puddings

I was expecting these Easter puddings to be quite heavy and dense but I was very pleasantly surprised to find they were lovely and light. They are now one of my favourite puddings, which is surprising as there isn’t a bit of chocolate in sight!

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Easter Puddings

Ingredients

  • 175g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 140g soft light brown sugar
  • zest 1 lemon
  • zest 1 orange
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 25g natural glacé cherries, quartered
  • 25g sultana
  • 25g currant
  • 25g mixed peel
  • grating of nutmeg (optional)

Method

  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
  2. Butter six individual pudding basins and cut a small circle of baking parchment to line the bottom.
  3. Sit them in a deep roasting tin and boil the kettle.
  4. Put the butter, sugar, flour, eggs and zests in a bowl with a pinch of salt.
  5. Whisk with an electric mixer until just combined.
  6. Stir in the dried fruit then divide between the pudding basins.
  7. Pour hot water into the roasting tin until it comes just below halfway up the basins.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of a pudding comes out clean.
  9. Serve straight away with your choice of cream, custard or ice cream.

If you’re making these ahead of time, leave them in the pudding basins and let them cool. When ready to serve, turn out of the basins and microwave 3 at a time for 1-2 minutes on high, until hot.

drawing of an Easter basket full of Easter eggs

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Easter Desserts – Easter Tiffin

Easter tiffin header

This Easter tiffin recipe is a great one to make with older children. They’ll love making their own little carrot decorations using fondant icing.

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Easter Tiffin

Easter tiffin

Ingredients

  • 300g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 100g butter, cut into cubes
  • 125g golden syrup
  • 100g digestive biscuits
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 75g puffed rice cereal
  • 50g fondant icing
  • orange and green food colouring
  • 10 Easter chocolates – we used Kit-Kat bunnies
  • Mini chocolate eggs

Method

  1. Line 2 cupcake tins with 20 paper cases.
  2. Put the chocolate, butter and golden syrup into a microwavable bowl and microwave in short bursts until melted.
  3. Put the biscuits into a food bag, seal the bag and break into small pieces using a rolling pin.
  4. Tip the brushed biscuits, puffed rice and vanilla into the melted chocolate mixture and mix with a rubber spatula until combined.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases and use the back of a spoon to make an indent in the middle of each one to make the nest.
  6. Leave to cool at room temperature until firm.
  7. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  8. Divide the fondant into 40g and 10g pieces.
  9. Add a couple of drops of orange food colouring to the 40g piece and knead it on a piece of baking parchment until you have a solid colour.
  10. Repeat with the 10g piece, using green food colouring.
  11. Split the orange piece into 20 balls and shape them into carrots. Use a cutlery knife to make small lines down the carrots for the ridges.
  12. Use the green fondant to shape into carrot tops and attach them to the carrots. A little water will help them stick if you need it.
  13. Put the carrots on the baking tray and leave to dry for a minimum of an hour.
  14. Decorate 10 nests with a bunny and 10 nests with mini eggs.
  15. Add a fondant carrot to each nest and serve.

They will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to four days.

Easter bunny

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Easter Desserts – Easter Egg Brownies

easter brownie header

Just about everyone loves a brownie and these Easter brownies with mini creme egg halves inside are delicious!

chocolate brownie, or simply a brownie, is a chocolate baked confection. Brownies come in a variety of forms and may be either fudgy or cakey, depending on their density. Brownies often, but not always, have a glossy “skin” on their upper crust. They may also include nuts, frosting, chocolate chips, or other ingredients.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chocolate_brownie
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Easter Egg Brownies

easter brownies
Ignore the slight sinking – we’ve just bought a Ninja air oven and we’re still getting used to the settings!

Ingredients

  • 185g unsalted butter, cut into small chunks, plus extra for greasing
  • 185g best dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 3 large eggs
  • 275g golden caster sugar
  • 85g plain flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 5 fondant filled eggs
  • 150g mini chocolate eggs

Method

  1. Put the butter and chocolate in a microwavable bowl and cover loosely with clingfilm.
  2. Microwave at 30-second intervals until melted.
  3. Stir to mix then leave to cool to room temperature.
  4. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
  5. Grease a 20cm square tin then line it with baking paper, leaving some of the paper hanging over the top of the tin to help lift it out when cooked.
  6. Break the eggs into a large bowl and add the sugar.
  7. Using an electric mixer, mix the ingredients on high for 5-8 minutes or until they look thick and creamy and have doubled in size.
  8. Pour the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg and sugar mixture.
  9. Gently fold in the chocolate mixture until fully combined.
  10. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top with a spatula.
  11. Put in the middle of the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  12. While the brownie is baking, cut the fondant-filled eggs in half and set aside.
  13. Place a few of the mini eggs into a pestle and mortar and crush them into small bits.
  14. Remove the brownie from the oven after 20 minutes and press the fondant eggs into the brownie, fondant side up.
  15. Scatter half the mini eggs over the brownie and put back in the oven for 5 minutes.
  16. Take it out of the oven and scatter over the crushed mini eggs and any remaining whole mini eggs.
  17. Leave to cool then put in the fridge for at least an hour to firm up.
  18. Remove from the tin and cut into squares.
Easter bunny

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Easter Desserts – Chocolate Egg Baked Tart

baked chocolate egg tart

This baked chocolate egg tart is very indulgent; you won’t need a big piece to satisfy a chocolate craving!

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Chocolate Egg Baked Tart

Ingredients

For the base

  • 80g butter, softened
  • 40g golden caster sugar
  • 120g self-raising flour

For the filling

  • 75g butter
  • 100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
  • 75g golden caster sugar
  • 50g plain flour
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 x 80g bags of chocolate eggs (we used Galaxy Golden Eggs)

Crème fraîche, to serve

    Method

    1. For the shortbread base, beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy, then mix in the flour.
    2. Press the dough into the base of a 20-21cm tart tin and put in the fridge for 20 mins to harden.
    3. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4.
    4. Prick the base all over with a fork and bake in the centre of the oven for 15 mins until lightly golden.
    5. Melt the butter and chocolate together in a saucepan over a low heat.
    6. Once melted, stir in the sugar and flour, then gradually beat in the eggs.
    7. Pour the filling over the base and cover the top with chocolate eggs.
    8. Return to the oven and bake for 12-15 mins or until the filling is just set at the edges but the centre is still shiny and a bit wobbly.
    9. Remove from the oven and put in the fridge to chill.
    10. To release from the tin, warm the sides with a hot dishcloth for a couple of minutes.
    11. Serve with crème fraîche.

    Can be made a day ahead and kept in the tin overnight.

    drawing of an Easter basket full of Easter eggs

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