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24 festive Easter desserts: Creative cakes, cute cookies and more

Bring a personal touch to any Easter celebration with homemade cakes, cookies, spring tarts and more.
/ Source: TODAY

Put down the store-bought sweets!

This time of year, chocolate eggs, Peeps and jelly beans certainly have a special place in our hearts (and baskets), but that doesn't mean you can't up the ante with a homemade dessert — or two — for Easter brunch or dinner.

Whether you have some time to plan, need to throw something together at the last minute or avoid the oven altogether, these tasty treats will add a deliciously festive touch to any at-home spring celebration.

Easter Cakes

The sweet layers of the strawberry jam balanced with the soft whipped cream in between the light orange blossom spongecake layers is a gorgeously refreshing flavor combination.

Easter Bunny Cake

Easter Bunny Cake

Amanda Rettke

What's up, doc? Just this incredibly cute bunny cake! This impressive and adorable dessert is sure to wow kids and grown-ups alike.

Carrot cake is an ideal Easter treat for guests (and the bunny)! Serve this sweetly spiced dessert with walnuts, raisins, coconut and pineapple — or keep it simple with only shredded carrots in the batter. Either way, it's a guaranteed treat, especially when each slice gets a luxurious layer of cream cheese frosting.

Making a show-stopping dessert for Easter doesn't have to be hard. With just a few store-bought goodies like jelly beans, chocolate bunnies and marshmallows, Sandra Lee transforms pre-made cakes into adorable desserts. These recipes are also perfect for getting the kids involved!

Cake Mix Coffee Cake

Easter brunch takes a lot of planning and a lot of work in the kitchen. So why not make dessert the simple part? A box of yellow cake mix is the secret behind this incredibly easy coffee cake.

Peek-A-Bunny Cupcakes

Peek-A-Bunny Cupcakes

Alejandra Ramos

All you need is coconut, food coloring, and marshmallow bunnies to turn a batch of basic chocolate cupcakes into these adorable Easter treats.

No-Bake Blueberry and Banana Icebox Cake

With the oven likely filled to the brim with the ham baking, asparagus roasting and everything else, whip this no-bake cake up in only 20 minutes. Featuring fresh fruits, rich golden Oreo cookies and homemade coconut whipped cream, this almost-vegan, no-bake icebox cake is the perfect dessert for spring. And it's great for parties because you can make it the day before.

Easter Lamb Cake

If lamb cake isn't already an Easter tradition in your household, once you see the look on the kids' faces when this cute creation is revealed, it's sure to become one.

Coconut Macaroon and Lime Cheesecake

The trick to an utterly delicious macaroon base is to combine the coconut with melted marshmallows before baking. Since marshmallows are a great setting agent, you can use them for the filling, too, so there is no need to bake it again. The zesty lime curd adds just the right amount of tanginess to create a perfectly balanced dessert.

Is there anything cuter than the Easter Bunny? How about a bunch of little Easter bunnies? This recipe is super easy and uses store-bought cupcakes to make it even simpler. These cupcakes also make a great project to do with the kids.

Chocolate-Coconut Cake

Chocolate-Coconut Cake

Elizabeth Karmel

We love this old-fashioned classic flavor combination of chocolate, coconut and fluffy white marshmallow frosting.

Easter Cookies & Pastries

Martha Stewart combines baking and crafts with these cute cookies. Have little ones help decorate the treats with sanding sugar, sprinkles, mini chocolate chips and candy. Then share them with your peeps (get it?) after Easter dinner.

Traditional Easter Bread

An orange zest, vanilla and cardamom glaze add incredible fragrant flavor to this sweet, celebratory bread. The sprinkles on top also add color and make it feel extra festive.

Duff Goldman's Brown-Butter Blondies

Chef Duff Goldman swears by this versatile recipe and it's the one he uses for the blondies at all of his bakeries. They're buttery, sweet and made from just seven easy-to-find ingredients.

Meringue clouds are light as air and adding raspberry takes them to another level. The fruity berries keep the meringue from being too sweet.

These soft and cakey cookie sandwiches are packed with all the same flavors as a slice of cream cheese-frosted carrot cake in an easy handheld package that's perfect for parties, lunch boxes and afternoon snacks.

Flowerpot Brownies

Flowerpot Brownies

Jocelyn Delk Adams

Jocelyn Delk Adams loves serving flowerpot brownies for Easter because they are a sweet way to end the meal and double as beautiful décor on the holiday table.

One of the best things about spring is having beautiful colors bloom back to life. These cereal treats include all of my favorite colors in one tasty snack. They are also so easy to make and make a great activity for little hands.

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

Vallery Lomas

These sweet rolls that are a cross between yeasty dinner rolls and sweet breakfast buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday to mark the end of Lent. A paste of flour and water is piped on them after they’ve risen, but before they’re baked, to give them their iconic look. After baking them, Vallery Lomas likes to brush some honey butter on top to give them a nice glaze.

Easter Puddings and Pies

Banana Pudding

Elizabeth Chambers Hammer

This pudding is incredibly easy and perfect for any event, from an Easter brunch to summertime entertaining. It looks stunning when presented in a footed-glass trifle dish, so everyone can see the lovely layers. The best part? It can also be made ahead and refrigerated — and it may be even more delicious the next day.

This decadent recipe is perfect for gluten-free guests. It's sweetened with coconut sugar and maple almond butter, giving it a luxuriously warm flavor. Oh, and did we mention that it's vegan, too?

If pancakes and popovers had a baby, it would be a Dutch baby! Al Roker's wife Deborah's go-to Dutch baby is savory with lots of cheese, but Al decided to switch it up and make her a dessert, replacing the salty cheese with vanilla and lemon. This beautiful, springtime dish will no doubt shine at the table.

We love this traditional Neapolitan-style Easter dessert because it's the perfect marriage between cheesecake and rice pudding.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

It just wouldn't be spring baking season without strawberries and rhubarb. Siri Daly combines the two classic and complementary ingredients to make this easy, seasonal dessert. She tops the sweet and tart fruits with toasty oats and warm cinnamon to add a perfectly crisp topping.