Is there any better time of year to indulge in our favourite sweet treats other than Easter?
From traditional Easter nests to gooey Cadbury Creme Egg brownies, check out our Easter baking inspiration guide for delicious treats - some of which are so easy you can even get the kids involved.
Chocolate Chip hot cross buns
Kids can help make these alternative spiced Easter buns - the recipe helps with kneading, shaping, piping and division skills
- 400g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
- 50g golden caster sugar, plus 1 tsp
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 250ml warm milk
- 1 medium egg, beaten
- 50g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
- 100g chocolate chips (milk or dark, whichever you prefer), or currants or raisins
- 50g plain flour
1. Put the strong flour, yeast, caster sugar and 1 tsp salt in a bowl with the spices and mix. Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk, egg and butter. Start mixing with a plastic or wooden spoon and finish with your hands. If the dough is too dry, add warm water, or extra flour if it’s wet.
2. Knead the dough on a floured surface for 10 mins until it becomes smooth and springy. This will be a bit too much work for children, so get them to start the kneading, then when they get tired, take over.
3. Transfer to a clean, lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with a clean, damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until roughly doubled in size – this will take about 1 hr depending on how warm the room is.
4. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and flatten. Scatter over the chocolate chips (or dried fruit), and knead the dough a few more times. Divide it into 8 even portions – halve the dough, then halve each portion twice more, and explain the maths.
5. Roll each portion into a smooth round and place on a greased baking sheet in 2 rows of 4, leaving some room between each bun for it to rise. Cover with a tea towel again and leave in a warm place to prove for 20 mins, until almost doubled in size again or just touching.
6. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Mix the plain flour with 1 tsp sugar and 4-5 tbsp water to give you a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe white lines on the buns to make crosses. Bake for 20 mins until they are light brown.
7. Brush them with apricot jam if you want them to be nice and shiny.
Creme Egg brownies
Indulge your sweet tooth with this ultimate treat for any chocolate lover
- 185g unsalted butter
- 185g best dark chocolate
- 85g plain flour
- 40g cocoa powder
- 3 large eggs
- 275g golden caster sugar
- 6 Cadbury's Crème Eggs, cut in half
1. Preheat the oven to 160c and grease a 20cm square baking tin.
2. Melt the butter and dark chocolate together either in the microwave or in a bowl over hot water.
3. Break 3 large eggs into a large bowl and tip in 275g of golden caster sugar. With an electric mixer on maximum speed, whisk the eggs and sugar until they look thick and creamy, like a milkshake. This can take 3-8 minutes. You'll know its ready when the mixture becomes pale and about double it's original volume.
4. Pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the eggy mousse, then gently fold together.
5. Hold a sieve over the bowl of eggy chocolate mixture and sift the cocoa and flour mixture, shaking the sieve from side to side, to cover the top evenly. Gently, fold in the mixture.
6. Pour into the baking tin and cook for 15 minutes then take it our of the oven and gently press the Cadbury's Crème Egg halves into the mix spacing them apart evenly. Put back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.
7. Leave to cool before removing from the tin and cutting.
Chocolate Easter Nests
A ridiculously easy chocoholic treat your kids will love
- 8 full size biscuits of shredded wheat
- 1 handful mini marshmallows, chopped in half
- 6 dried apricots , chopped
- 200 g cooking chocolate
- 48 chocolate mini eggs
1. Break up the shredded wheat into a large mixing bowl using your fingers. You don't want any lumps. Add the chopped marshmallows and apricots and give it all a stir.
2. Break the chocolate into small pieces and put in a heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave on full power for 30 seconds. Remove and stir and then continue to melt in 30 second bursts, stirring in between until smooth and fully melted. You could also melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water.
3. Pour the shredded wheat mixture into the bowl of melted chocolate and then mix with two metal spoons until everything is evenly coated.
4. Put 16 cake cases into a couple of bun trays so the nests keep their shape.
5. Using a teaspoon, fill the cake cases with the mixture, pressing each one down in the centre to create the space for the mini eggs.
6. Nestle 3 mini eggs in the centre of each nest and then pop in the fridge to set for 1 hour.
Bunny carrot cake
A sticky and delicious sponge with decorative candied carrot topping - perfect with a a cup of tea or coffee
- 200g light soft brown sugar, plus 3 tbsp
- 150ml light rapeseed oil, plus extra for greasing
- 100g natural yogurt, plus extra to serve (optional)
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- zest 3 oranges, juice of 2 (save juice of last orange for the carrots, below)
- 300g self-raising flour
- 1 tbsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 250g coarsely grated carrots
- crème fraîche, to serve (optional)
For the caramelised carrots
- 225-250g small or baby carrots, peeled and halved lengthways
- juice 1 orange (from cake ingredients)
- 25g butter
- 4 tbsp light soft brown sugar
1. First, make the caramelised carrots. Put the carrots in a saucepan so they can sit in just about a single layer. Add the orange juice, butter, sugar and enough water to cover the tops of the carrots by just 1cm. Bring to the boil, then cook until the water has almost evaporated and the carrots are left in a sticky syrup – you may want to reduce the heat if the liquid looks more syrupy, and go a little slower at the end so the carrots don’t catch. Can be made up to 1 day ahead.
2. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Grease a 23cm cake tin. Lift the candied carrots from the pan and syrup, and arrange in the base of the tin, cut-side down. Keep the pan and syrup for later.
3. Whisk together the 200g brown sugar, the oil, yogurt, eggs, vanilla and zest from 2 oranges. Mix the flour, mixed spice, cinnamon and grated carrot in a big mixing bowl. Stir in the whisked mixture until smooth, then spoon over the carrots in the tin – be careful not to dislodge their arrangement too much. Bake for 45-50 mins until a skewer poked in comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 20 mins.
4. Meanwhile, add the orange juice to the syrup pan with the 3 tbsp brown sugar. Simmer together until slightly reduced, then stir in the remaining zest.
5. Turn the cake out onto a plate and spoon over the syrup. Eat just warm or at room temperature with more yogurt or crème fraîche.
Easy Easter lemon cupcakes
Fluffy and delicious - but best of all, this recipe is so simple
- 115 g (4 oz) butter (Flora Buttery is ideal)
- 115 g (4 oz) caster sugar
- 2 eggs, medium
- 115 g (4 oz) self-raising flour
- 2 tablespoons lemon curd
For the icing:
- 55 g (2 oz) butter
- 225 g icing sugar, sieved
- 1 tablespoon lemon curd plus a little milk
- 25 g (1 oz) desiccated coconut
- yellow food colouring
- Chocolate drops and orange jelly sweets, to decorate
1. Preheat oven to 180°C, 160°C fan, Gas mark 4.
2. Weigh your eggs. Note the weight and measure the same amount of Flora, sugar and flour. Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon 2 – 3 minutes until well mixed. Place tablespoons of the mixture in 10-12 paper cases or greased bun tins.
3. Bake for around 20 minutes until soft and springy to touch. Cool on a wire tray.
4. Mix icing ingredients together, add a little yellow colouring and spread or pipe over the cakes. Mix a little yellow colouring to the coconut and sprinkle over the top. Use chocolate drops as eyes and orange sweets for the nose and feet.