Tomorrow is Easter Sunday and traditionally a time for gorging on all the things you very nobly gave up (….if you actually gave anything up) over Lent. So what better time to indulge in some extravagant baking? Here we have a few Easter-themed recipes that will be sure-fire crowd pleasers for all the family: Gooey vanilla & mini egg blondies, Double choc cupcakes with Lindt mini eggs and sprinkles, Spiced Hot Cross Bun cookies and Carrot Cake & Banana Muffins with Cinnamon Cream Frosting.
This recipe is from Chef in Training and came out perfectly. Just make sure to be patient and let the blondies cool for a bit before you start slicing them up! You can use whatever kind of mini eggs you want and even a combination if you want. Delicious!
Ingredients (makes 8 medium blondies)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
2 cups whatever milk chocolate mini eggs you can get your hands on!
In a medium size mixing bowl sift flour, baking soda and salt together.
Melt butter over medium heat. Once melted add to the bowl of your electric mixer (or normal bowl if using hand or electric whisk). Cream together with sugars.
Add in vanilla and eggs: mix until creamy.
Slowly add in flour mixture until it is incorporated.
Fold in Mini Eggs.
Spread batter into a greased 8×8, 9×9, or 11×7 baking dish.
Bake at 180 degrees for about 35 minutes
Let the blondie cool for 30 minutes before slicing.
This recipe is taken (and slightly modified) from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook. I found that the sponge came out perfectly but that the HB chocolate buttercream was a little too runny and sugary for my liking. I would suggest you instead use the Savory Sweet buttercream recipe.
Ingredients (makes 12)
100g plain flour
20g cocoa powder
140g caster sugar
1 1/2tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
120ml semi-skimmed milk
¼tsp vanilla extract
24 Lindt (or other) mini eggs
Preheat the (fan) oven to 170 degrees.
Put the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.
Whisk the milk, egg and vanilla extract together in a jug, then slowly pour about half into the flour mixture, beat to combine and turn the mixer up to high speed to get rid of any lumps.
Turn the mixer down to a slower speed and slowly pour in the remaining milk mixture (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth. Do not overmix.
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until half full and bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
When the cupcakes are cold, pipe on (or spoon) chocolate buttercream.
Decorate with mini eggs or whatever else you fancy!
These cookies are the ideal Easter day treat for those that have exhausted their fair share of Malteaser bunnies and can’t quite face anymore chocolate. The cookies combine all the best bits of the aromatic hot cross bun flavours but are super simple to make. The cookie dough is best left for at least a few hours in the fridge, so if you get on with preparing the dough in the morning they’ll be ready for a delicious afternoon snack with a cup of tea. These cookies are based on this recipe from an American baking blog, although I left out the mixed peel (due to personal taste preferences) and added in a little extra nutmeg and cinnamon.
Ingredients (makes 6)
225g plain flour
55g bread flour
1 tsp cornflour
1 tbsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground nutmeg
120g light brown sugar
80g caster sugar
2 small eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence (or vanilla bean paste if your have it – the flavour is stronger!)
1 tbsp lemon juice
Measure out your quantities of raisins and sultanas (sultanas are more golden and juicy) into a large mixing bowl.
Mix in your plain flour, bread flour and corn flour until the raisins and sultanas are completely covered. Add your ground allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Combine all together.
In a separate medium-size bowl, beat the sugars and butter with a fork until light and fluffy. Add in the two eggs, vanilla paste and lemon juice and continue mixing with the fork until all the sugar from the sides of the bowl is incorporated.
Fold the dry mixture (the flour and spices) into the wet egg/sugar/lemon juice/butter mix and combine together until a soft dough forms. Cover this bowl with cling-film and put back in the fridge for 3–4 hours (or overnight if possible!).
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees once the mixture is chilled and ready.
Roll into little dough balls in your hands. Place the dough balls on a baking tray about 2 inches apart, then flatten each one a little with your hands or a spatula (still keeping a little distance between each one). Remember – the cookies WILL spread in the oven, so try to leave as much space between them as possible. I would recommend using two or three trays – it is worth the extra washing up.
Bake in the oven for approx. ten minutes. They should be going golden round the edges when you take them out, but the trick is to make sure they’re still a little soft and gooey in the middle.
Leave to cool for about ten mins, then transfer to a wire rack. Once stored in an air-tight container, the cookies will keep for at least a week – plenty of time to serve to family visiting over the Easter bank holiday weekend.
These muffins are little choc-free Easter delights. The mix can be used either for a loaf or muffins, depending on your preferences and baking tray availability. Just make sure you adjust the baking time correctly – muffins take 20 minutes max, whereas the loaf should be in the oven for at least 45. The original recipe can be found on The Ambitious Kitchen, but I substituted the coconut oil & apple sauce for olive oil & butter – perhaps slightly higher on the cholesterol side but much more likely to be lying around in your cupboard or hiding in the fridge. The frosting is delicious – I added in a little maple syrup for that sweet, smoky flavour.
Ingredients (makes 6)
For the muffins
80g white whole wheat flour
15 g rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
A pinch of salt
1 medium ripe banana mashed
55g dark brown sugar
1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla
2 shredded carrots
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp apple sauce OR 100g butter
The seeds of one cardamom pod
1 tsp ground nutmeg
For the frosting
3 tbsp cream cheese
1 tbsp icing sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla paste
A drizzle of maple syrup
Start by pre-heating the oven to 175 degrees.
Mix the flour, baking powder, oats, cinnamon and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
In a separate larger bowl, mash your banana with a fork. Mix in your brown sugar, 1 whole egg, 1 egg white and vanilla until it forms a creamy paste. Add in 1 tbsp olive oil and the butter (or 1 tbsp coconut oil and 3 tbsp apple sauce if you have it!).
Shred/grate the two carrots then fold them into the wet mixture. Sprinkle in the cardamom seeds and mix.
Gradually fold the dry mix (flour, baking powder, spices, salt) into the wet and combine well.
Grease a muffin tray (or two depending how many you make). Pour the muffin mix in, and bake in the oven for about 20 mins.
Leave to cool for ten, then transfer to a wire rack.
Whilst the muffins are cooling, make the frosting. Mix cream cheese, icing sugar, vanilla paste, cinnamon and maple syrup together.
Spread the frosting onto the muffins, and sprinkle with a little cinnamon and chopped hazelnuts to serve!