Easter is one of our favourite holidays. A vibrant celebration of new life, and a time for looking forward to new beginnings, it represents everything that’s great about spring. Marking the end of lent, a time of fasting for Christians, Easter Day was traditionally a time to celebrate the end of the hard days of winter and look ahead to warmer weather and times of plenty. Decorations are cute and colourful, with brightly coloured eggs and adorable baby animals to depict the renewal of nature, and, of course, the Easter Bunny.
If you’re holding your own celebrations this year, take a look at our collection of Easter celebration ideas for inspiration from recipe ideas to tips on how to decorate your own Easter eggs. And of course, any celebration deserves a celebration cake, so we’ve gathered a few of our favourites from around the internet.
For people who like to keep their Easter celebrations traditional, this simnel cake from Rock Recipes is perfect. Dating back to the Middle Ages, this marzipan-topped fruit cake was originally eaten in Britain and Ireland on Mothering Sunday, held on the fourth Sunday of Lent, but went on to become an Easter cake over time. It is usually decorated with eleven balls of marzipan to represent the disciples of Jesus, minus the traitorous Judas Iscariot.
Simnel cake may seem a little understated compared to modern celebration cakes, but this actually makes it a more versatile choice, equally at home as the centrepiece for a big celebration, or as part of a simple Easter brunch. If you are planning a brunch, and want to find something subtle but tasty to go with your mid-morning coffee, this lemon rosemary tea bread from Country Living is another great choice. A light, zesty sponge drizzled with fragrant rosemary syrup, this simple cake exudes quiet sophistication and tastes great served with crème fraîche.
Continuing with the understated brunch theme, we love this recipe for blackberry almond buckle from Country Living, made with juicy blackberries and a nutty streusel topping for a grown up tart-and sweet flavour. Your guests will also love the classic combination of sweet mandarins and fragrant almonds in this delicious citrus cornmeal cake from Taste of Home. Made with cornmeal and honey, this charmingly rustic cake tastes great served warm or at room temperature. And for a brunch cake with real kid appeal, you can’t go wrong with this carrot sheet cake, also from Taste of Home. With a deliciously moist sponge made from carrot and walnuts and an indulgent vanilla cream cheese frosting, this cake is fit for the Easter Bunny himself, and looks great decorated with carrot-shaped cake toppers.
If you’re making Easter a big occasion this year, a frosted celebration cake is a great choice for a centrepiece with added wow-factor. We love this homemade strawberry cake from Delish, which uses a simple homemade strawberry compote in both the batter and the frosting for a dessert that’s bursting with delicious strawberry flavour. This raspberry cake from Taste of Home is another must for fruit lovers, with its light raspberry sponge and generous topping of whipped frosting. And if you can’t decide between strawberry and chocolate cake, this chocolate strawberry cake from Southern Living lets you have both, and it looks great decorated with a handful of fresh strawberries.
For a real showstopper with a touch of class, try this elegant coconut cream cake from Southern Living. This indulgent layer cake is made from coconut sponge and rich, creamy coconut frosting, all topped with toasted coconut flakes for the perfect finish. And if you’re looking for maximum effect with minimum effort, this chocolate bundt cake, also from Southern Living, is made using a simple mixture of fudge cake and brownie mix, but looks simply stunning topped with edible pansies.
You’re never too old to enjoy Easter eggs, and celebration cakes decorated to look like the Easter Bunny’s nest add a touch of festive magic to any table. Kids will love helping out with these Easter egg cakes, and the fun part at the end is easy enough that even the youngest can get involved.
Easter egg cakes are hugely popular, and come in all sorts of flavours and designs. We love this Easter egg nest cake by British celebrity chef Nigella Lawson for its rich chocolate flavour and deceptively simple nest design, with colourful chocolate eggs nestled on a bed of chocolate cream frosting. Or for a virtually foolproof recipe that’s perfect for making with children, try this no-bake robin's egg cheesecake from Delish, a fun, colourful cake with a crunchy chocolate egg topping.
Preppy Kitchen’s version of an Easter egg cake is pretty as a picture, with speckled eggshell blue frosting and a fluffy coconut flake nest topper, while the classic combination of light vanilla sponge and rich buttercream means it tastes as good as it looks. Alternatively, Olive Magazine’s white chocolate Easter cake transforms a simple sponge cake into a show-stopping centrepiece with a delicious cream cheese and white chocolate frosting. We especially love the ingenious use of white chocolate egg shards to decorate the top of the cake.
If you can’t get enough of the cute and fluffy side of Easter, why not make your very own Easter Bunny, with this adorable coconut bunny cake recipe from Jenny Steffens? With a snowy white coat made from vanilla buttercream and fuzzy coconut shavings, your Easter Bunny will be equally at home in a cozy nest of Spanish moss, or surrounded by brightly coloured Easter Eggs. From a baking point of view it’s great for people who want to try making character cakes, because you get great results using a very small amount of carving. The only problem is, it might just be too cute to eat.
Now you’ve chosen your perfect Easter celebration cake, why not check out some of our other Easter food ideas? Whatever you need for the perfect Easter feast, you’ll find it here, from familiar favourites like succulent roast lamb or hot cross buns, to Easter traditions from around the world.
From 28-30 October, join Fine Dining Lovers for a celebration of young culinary talent, when 12 global finalists will battle it out in Milan for the title of best young chef in the world - plus, join our first edition of Brain Food forum. See what's on.
Fine Dining Lovers teams up with the Culinary Institute of America, James Beard Foundation and Black Food Folks on the Better Business project to build stronger, more sustainable business practices for the industry.