The Ultimate Crowd-Pleasing Easter Desserts

By Carolyn Stine April 17, 2019 

You’ll be the MVP guest when you show up to the Easter celebration with one (or more) of these sweet treats in tow.

As much as we love Easter, and as much as we love a giant, coconut flake-crusted Easter Bunny cake (yes we’re looking at you, Aunt Mildred), for Easter 2019 we set out to make a dessert that strikes a delicate balance between delicious, fun, and refined. Not that the likeness of a fluffy white Easter Bunny isn’t refined, per se, it’s just that there’s a whole wide world of Easter desserts out there that we felt were unexplored. If you’re lucky enough to be invited as a guest to an Easter brunch or dinner, how could we say a heartfelt “thank you” to our host or hostess via a thoughtful addition to their Easter dessert spread? And how could we select a recipe that both felt elevated and fresh, and also catered to kids and adults alike? Whether you aim go to classic, whimsical, sophisticated, or be mindful of food restrictions and allergies in your group, we narrowed down the bounty of recipes to bring you the most crowd-pleasing Easter desserts for this year’s festive celebration.

Need help with the rest of the Easter meal? Don’t forget to check out our Bashed guide to hosting Easter dinner.

crowd-pleasing desserts | bashed
Alex Lau for Bon Appetit

The Easter Bunny eats carrots… so it naturally follows that humans must eat carrot cake on Easter, right? Regardless of the back story, we absolutely love carrot cake, and we’re going with it. The freshly shaved carrots in this cake make us feel moderately healthy (this dessert is pretty much a salad, right?), and the addition of crunchy walnuts and juicy golden raisins make every bite a little surprise. Plus, let’s be honest, we’re really in it for that decadent cream cheese frosting (don’t forget to lick the spoon while icing the cake!).

We can’t get over how the combination of tart lemon, aromatic vanilla, and floral lavender feels so refreshing for spring. This recipe puts all other cupcake recipes to shame with fresh flavors that are both delicate and sinfully delicious. Plus, the light lavender-colored frosting and fresh lavender garnish is lovely to behold on an Easter buffet, and also particularly Instagram-worthy.

Let’s level up for a minute here. Who, at any age, is not positively gleeful at the sight of Rice Krispie Treats? We, for one, know that they never seem to get old. These treats incorporate some new, seasonal twists into the age-old recipe, and also allow you to work your way through that Easter candy stockpile of yours. We love the pop of pastels from Cadbury Mini Eggs, but just about any chocolate candy will work in here just as well.

crowd pleasing easter desserts | bashed
Peden & Munk for Bon Appetit

If you have the time, energy, and Easter spirit available to make individual desserts, these roasted strawberry trifles will be your crowning jewel. The fantastic thing about this recipe is that you can also make it into one, standalone trifle, and scoop out servings directly from it instead of doing individual portions. Either way you choose to serve, this recipe tastes fresh and light after an indulgent meal, and the addition of sliced basil and smoked sea salt feels positively gourmet.

When a blondie meets a layer bar meets a sweet Easter-themed topping… you’re looking at these spring confetti bars. We love that these bars are not only great for bringing to a crowd with kids, but they are also fun and easy to make with kids. Depending on their ages, they can help you measure and stir for the blondie bar base, or younger kids can help you to top the bars with the marshmallows, white chocolate chips, and spring-hued M&Ms.

Showing up to an Easter celebration with this stunning, elegant cake in tow will instantly make it feel like even more of a special occasion. This dense, rich cake is made visually breathtaking with long stalks of springtime rhubarb, combined with fresh lemon zest and a hint of dark rum for incredible flavor. We also love that this cake can be made a day ahead and will taste just as delicious the next day.

Sprinkle Bakes

If a cake or tart feels overwhelming for your kitchen skillset, you really can never go wrong with a classic sugar cookie. These egg-shaped cookies will come out perfectly consistent thanks to a cookie cutter, and can be decorated with a combo of fondant and rainbow sprinkles, or just rainbow sprinkles if you’d like to simplify further. Either way, they are nostalgic crowd-pleasers, and we bet that no one will be able to eat just one.

Gluten-free? No problemo! Not only will you get your chocolate fix from these chocolate eggs, but they are also dairy-free and peanut-free if you’re attending an Easter celebration at a household with allergies. The filling can be sunflower butter, as mentioned in this recipe, but we love crunchy almond butter inside just as much. Feel free to experiment!

For the vegetarians and vegans in your crew, as well as those who eat the full spectrum of desserts, these chocolate Easter egg nests are easy to make, easy on the eyes, and pretty healthy, too. We love that not only are they vegan, but they’re raw as well, which means no oven or stove-related prep for you. The little eggs in the center are made from raw marzipan, which can be purchased at many a grocery store and online as well (plus it’s vegan also).

Knocked it out of the park on your Easter dessert offering? Share the recipe with us below!

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Carolyn Stine

A party without cake is just a meeting.

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