Our Five Favorite Spring Desserts

The grocery store shelves are already lined with colorful eggs, jellybeans, and those ubiquitous chocolate bunnies, leaving no question that Easter has more than its fair share of sweet treats. Yet no amount of store-bought sugar can quite compare to the sweet aroma of a homemade cake wafting through the house on a warm spring day. It’s not just the made-from-scratch flavor and texture that only come with fresh-baked goodies that makes them truly special, it’s knowing that they were made with personal care and attention.

To help you add that personal touch to the final course of your upcoming Easter celebration, we’ve compiled some of our favorite spring desserts. Our classic coconut cake gets a tropical touch with a pineapple curd filling. The Carrot Cake Bars are every bit as delicious as the larger original, but much easier to take along to church and family gatherings. For a bit of whimsy and something fun for the little ones, we have Creampuff Cottontails. Our list wouldn’t be complete without a chocolate option, and we’ve included Black-and-White Chocolate Mousse Cakes for something truly indulgent. To top it all off, our Strawberry Shortcake with Amaretto Cream is one guests will love this spring and keep asking for all summer long.

Spring Desserts

Tropical Coconut Cake
 
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 2⅓ cups sugar, divided
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 3¾ cups cake flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 recipe Pineapple Curd (recipe follows)
  • 1 recipe Creamy Coconut Frosting (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: toasted coconut, white chocolate curls
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine butter and 2 cups sugar. Beat at high speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat in vanilla and coconut extract.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add remaining ⅓ cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold egg-white mixture into batter in thirds. Spoon batter into prepared pans. Bake for 25 to 27 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove cake layers from pans and cool completely on wire racks. Spread Pineapple Curd evenly between cake layers. Spread Creamy Coconut Frosting on sides and top of cake. Garnish sides of cake with toasted coconut. Top cake with white chocolate curls, if desired.
Pineapple Curd
 
Makes about 1¾ cups
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 (8-ounce) cans crushed pineapple, well drained
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup butter, cut into pieces
  • ½ teaspoon pineapple extract
Instructions
  1. In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Add pineapple, lemon juice, and egg yolks. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 7 to 8 minutes, or until very thick. Remove from heat; gradually whisk in butter until melted. Stir in pineapple extract. Cool mixture slightly; cover, and chill for 2 hours.
Creamy Coconut Frosting
 
Makes about 4 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 (4-ounce) bars white baking chocolate, chopped*
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon coconut extract
  • 5 cups confectioners' sugar
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine white chocolate and cream. Microwave on High in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until melted and smooth (approximately 1½ minutes total). Set aside to cool completely.
  2. In a large bowl, combine white chocolate mixture, butter, sour cream, and coconut extract. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add confectioners' sugar, beating until combined.
  3. *For testing purposes, we used Ghiradelli white chocolate premium baking bars.