Foodie Friday: Easter Desserts

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Via Cooking Classy

Easter is just around the corner!  Do you have your menu planned?  Will you be serving an Easter brunch or a nice ham dinner?  What about dessert?  You need something a little more than candy from the kids' baskets!  We've found some delicious desserts for you to consider.  

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

1 1/4 cups (178g) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups (195g) finely shredded carrots (from about 4 medium carrots)
2/3 cup (140g) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (78g) packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup (64g) unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
3/4 cup (82g) chopped pecans

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup (112g) unsalted butter, softened
8 oz (226g) cream cheese, softened
3 1/2 cups (412g) powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Optional carrots for decoration
50 g Marzipan (about 1/4 cup)
Orange gel food coloring
Cocoa powder (I used Dutch processed)
12 small curly parsley stems

For the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg for 30 seconds, set aside. Shred carrots as directed in notes below, set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together granulated sugar and brown sugar, then add eggs and using an electric hand mixer, blend mixture on low speed 30 seconds, until slightly pale. Mix in applesauce and vanilla extract. With mixer running on low speed, slowly pour in vegetable oil and mix until combined, then mix 20 seconds longer. Mix in half of the dry ingredients, then pour the shredded carrots into the bowl with the remaining flour mixture and toss in flour mixture to coat carrots (they'll clump together a bit but that's fine). Pour carrot mixture into the batter and blend until evenly combined.

Pour batter into paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup about 3/4 full. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean, about 19 - 21 minutes. Cool in muffin tin several minutes then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

For the frosting:
Using an electric mixer whip together butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Mix in vanilla extract. With mixer running on low speed, slowly add powdered sugar and beat until well blended and smooth. If frosting is slightly runny freeze several minutes then mix again and repeat if needed. Frost cupcakes with cream cheese frosting then immediately roll edges of frosting in chopped pecans.

For the decoration:
Tint marzipan with orange gel coloring and knead to evenly incorporate color. Separate small pieces at a time (I did 4g carrots) then roll into carrot shapes (roll a tapered log shape). Dip a toothpick lightly in cocoa powder, shaking of excess then gently roll carrot across toothpick (in random places) while slightly rotating to make slight indentations (to give it that natural look). Poke a small hole in the top of each carrot and insert parsley. 
Gently press carrots into frosting on tops of cupcakes. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator. Allow to rest at room temperature until no longer cold before serving.

M&M Blonde Brownies
Via Inside Bru Crew Life

M&M Blonde Brownies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Yield: 24 blonde brownies

1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups M&M candies

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray.

Beat the butter and brown sugar until creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat again. Sift together the salt, baking powder, and flour. Slowly beat into the butter mixture. Stir in 1 cup of the M&M candies by hand.

Spread the batter in the prepared dish. Sprinkle the top with the extra 1/2 cup candies. Bake for 22-24 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting into squares. Makes 24 bars. Store in a sealed container.


*Do not over bake these brownies. They will seem under done and under baked when you pull them out. Let them sit on the counter for at least 2-3 hours before cutting into them.

Easter Cake Recipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
50 mins

Course: Dessert
Servings: 1 cake
Author: The Gunny Sack
2 white cake mixes I used Pillsbury Moist Supreme Classic White Cake Mix
1 1/2 cups vanilla yogurt I used Dannon Light 'n Fit Vanilla
1 cup water
8 egg whites
1/2 cup oil

Easter Cake
Via The Gunny Sack

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Generously grease and flour three 9 inch cake pans. Line them with parchment circles.
Mix together cake mixes, vanilla yogurt, water, egg whites and oil for about 30 seconds, until moistened.
Beat for two minutes. Batter will be thick.
Put three cups of batter in three separate bowls (3 cups of batter in each bowl).
Tint the batter the colors you want.
Spread the batter into the prepared pans and firmly tap the pans on the counter a couple of times.
Bake at 325 degrees for 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 30 minutes on a wire rack.
Carefully remove the cakes from the pans, peel off the parchment circles and cool completely on wire racks.

First prepare the Fluffy Vanilla Bean Frosting below.
Once the cakes the cooled, level the cakes by using a serrated knife to cut off the rounded tops. Set the cake tops aside for later.
Place the first cake layer on a cardboard cake round on a rotating cake stand or place it directly on your cake platter. Spread one cup of the frosting on the first layer and repeat with the two remaining layers.
Use the remaining frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake.
Then, use an offset spatula to make rustic ruffles around the sides and the top.
Sprinkle with top of the cake with cake crumbs from the leftover cake tops.
Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Fluffy Vanilla Bean Frosting
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
Author: The Gunny Sack

8 oz package cream cheese softened
2 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup marshmallow cream
3 tsp vanilla bean paste
16 oz container whipped topping thawed (about 6 1/2 cups)

Use a mixer to beat a package of softened cream cheese.
Mix in the powdered sugar.
Beat in the marshmallow cream and vanilla bean paste until smooth.
Gently stir in the thawed whipped topping by hand.

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