But I’m going to an Easter dinner this Sunday, and I realized yesterday that I had no idea what to bring for dessert. I wanted to make something quick and simple, but that would still wow my hosts. So I scoured through my favorite recipes, and came up with this quick Easter dessert guide:
Ya’ll loved the Gateau Breton. I don’t think I’ve gotten as many commenters swearing that they were going to make one of my recipes before. This large, round, cake-like shortbread is soft, sweet, and deeply buttery. For Easter, I’d add a couple teaspoons of lemon zest to the dough and serve the cake/cookie with fresh fruit and whipped cream.
Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Shortbread Fingers
These cookies are amazing – rich, soft, deeply chocolaty, with a hint of cinammon that makes them absolutely to-die-for. While they may not be specially Easter-ish, these are so good that you really won’t care.
Orange Pound Cake
And finally, my own-last minute Easter dessert – my take on Rose Levy Beranbaum’s perfect pound cake. Faithful followers of this blog will remember that Rose’s pound cake made an appearance in the February Pound Cake Project — and, at the end of the month, her buttery pound cake was my favorite recipe. I changed a couple of things: added some orange flavoring to the dough and added an orange glaze. This cake could be dressed up with raspberries and whipped cream to make it suitably fancy for Easter. Or it could be served as a sweet addition to your Easter brunch.
Orange Pound Cake
Adapted from The Cake Bible, by Rose Levy Beranbaum
2 tbs heavy cream
2 tbs orange juice
3 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
1 tbs packed orange zest
1 ½ cups sifted cake flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
13 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Approximately 1 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp orange juice
Preheat your oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Butter a six-cup fluted tube pan, or a 8 inch by 4 by 2.5 inch loaf pan.
Lightly whisk together cream, orange juice, eggs and vanilla in a medium bowl.
Place sugar and orange zest in a large bowl and combine with a fork, until the oil from the orange zest has mixed into the sugar and turned it a light orange color. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix on low speed for 30 seconds, until blended. Add the butter and half the egg mixture, and mix until dry ingredients are moistened. On medium speed, beat for one minute. This will aerate and develop the cake’s structure. Scrape down sides.
Add the remaining egg mixture in two batches, beating for 20 seconds between each addition. Scrape down sides.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Smooth surface with a spatula. Bake for 35-45 minutes (55-65 minutes if baking in a loaf pan), until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cake cool on a rack in the pan for 10 minuets before inverting onto a greased wire rack. If using a loaf pan, flip the cake over so the top is up.
In a small bowl, mix together the powdered sugar and orange juice. I really don’t ever measure my ingredients with I make this icing, I just start by adding the a tiny bit or orange juice to the powdered sugar until I reach my desired consistency. I like an icing that is thin enough to drizzle over a cake, but not so thin that it doesn’t melt into the cake. If you feel the icing is too thin add some more powdered sugar, and if it is too thick then add some more orange juice.
When the cake is completely cool, drizzle the icing over the cake. I like to do this with a fork, as the icing will drip off the tines of the fork and make rather lovely patterns.
If desired, serve with fruit and whipped cream.