Christmas and Valentine’s Day may get most of the spotlight when it comes to holiday treats, but true sweet tooths know that Easter is the one to beat on the sheer volume and variety of sugary confections. Be it Easter cakes or Easter candies, there’s truly no shortage of ways to end the spring holiday on a sweet note.
Of course, no celebration would be complete without a plate of cookies at the dessert table. Make Sunday brunch or dinner extra special with a homemade batch of Easter cookies. Recipes with sunny, bright flavors like lemon and raspberry nod to the impending arrival of warmer weather, while amped up classics like brown butter chocolate chip cookies and gluten-free oatmeal cookies are guaranteed to be crowd pleasers.
As with all baking, precision is key. Make sure to follow the recipe instructions and tips as closely as possible to get the very best cookies, whether that’s to chill the dough before baking for optimal texture or to gradually add dry ingredients to wet ones (trust us, your kitchen countertops will thank you for your patience).
Found the perfect dessert recipe and want to complete the feast? Here are some inspirations for the savory stuff, too.
Featuring Earl Grey tea and a duo of lime and lemon zests, this recipe yields buttery, crumbly cookies that are unique enough for a celebration, but easy to prep ahead so you can focus on the rest of Easter dinner. Remember to use high-quality ingredients — sablés rely on good eggs, butter and sugar for the best flavor and texture.
Leave it to Martha to come up with a playful cookie that can pull double duty as a chicken or an egg. A fun baking activity with kids, these oval shortbreads can be decorated with yellow lemon icing, sanding sugar and small candies to resemble an adorable little chick or chic Easter egg.
If baking a whole carrot cake seems like a monumental task (especially given all there is to do for your holiday meal), opt for these cookie sandwiches instead. The soft, tender treats are packed with the same great flavor and texture as the cake thanks to spices, coconut and pecans, plus a tangy cream cheese frosting.
No preheated oven needed! These five-ingredient no-bake cookies come together by combining melted butter and semisweet chocolate with corn flakes and raisins or marshmallows. Make ahead, freeze and slice to serve on Easter — or any day when you need an easy, sweet pick-me-up.
Light and fluffy, these gluten-free treats are a mashup of buttery snowballs and coconut macaroons. They’re sweetened with honey and applesauce and can be dipped in dark chocolate or rolled in shredded coconut to take the decadence level up a notch.
Lemon is a classic flavor featured in many Easter desserts, including these citrusy delights. Instead of fresh zest or juice, the recipe uses lemon extract to dial up the flavor of the chewy white chocolate-studded sugar cookies.
Ina’s all-time favorite shortbread recipe is as versatile as it is delicious. The dough can be mixed and cut a week in advance, then baked on the day of your celebration. Go beyond hearts and break out your Easter cookie cutters to make a variety of festive shapes like flowers, eggs and bunnies.
They may look deceptively simple, but the classic combination of a buttery base with a sweet glaze makes these cookies absolutely irresistible. Be sure to use pure vanilla extract and pop the cookies into the fridge for a quick chill before baking — that’s the trick to perfectly-shaped cookies that won’t spread too much.
Sugar cookies are great for holidays throughout the year, including Easter. This recipe calls for sour cream to help keep the dough tender, plus vanilla bean paste for a more intense, concentrated flavor. Roll in pastel sanding sugar or sprinkles before baking for a touch of springtime flair.
Bid farewell to flat cookies. The key to getting cut-outs that keep their shape is butter that’s been softened to room temperature. Any warmer and the cookies are destined to deflate and spread in the oven. Another helpful tip? Roll the dough out between two sheets of parchment paper for quick and easy clean-up.
Nutty brown butter adds an extra layer of complexity to classic chocolate chip cookies. A finishing sprinkle of flaky sea salt makes this cookie special-occasion worthy.
Christina Tosi’s multilayer “snaps” are well worth the effort. Featuring a crisp cookie base, chewy homemade caramel, white chocolate coating and crushed freeze-dried strawberries, they’re delightfully crunchy and decadent.
Recreate Missouri’s famous gooey butter cake in cookie form using this indulgent recipe. Salted butter helps balance out the sugary richness to form the perfect chewy bite.
Two classic cookies come together to form these thumbprints, which are made with whole wheat flour for a healthier option. Roll each piece of dough in snickerdoodle’s signature cinnamon-sugar coating, then press down and fill the centers with your favorite jam.
One bite of these toasted fluffernutter sandwich cookies will bring you back to childhood. The cookies are meant to be soft and tender, so make sure not to overbake them — they’ll firm up on the cooling rack so you can easily dollop on the marshmallow spread filling.
Need a flourless option for gluten-free guests? These nutty PB and banana cookies come together without any flour and are guaranteed to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooths.
Oatmeal cookies are a time-honored favorite for good reason. Dr. Jessica Harris riffs on her mom’s favorite recipe by swapping some oats out for dried coconut and almonds and adding a dash of lemon extract for brightness. The resulting cookie may become your new family tradition.
As its name suggests, these cookies pack plenty of crunch, thanks to a combination of rolled oats, cornflakes and shredded coconut. Cool completely, then spread a layer of the chocolate-cream cheese filling to form little sandwiches that your Easter guests won’t be able to resist.
Along with the holiday rack of lamb, eggs and spring vegetables, add a box of puff pastry to your shopping cart. The versatile dough is the key to this chef-approved recipe for easy French palmiers. Simply sprinkle on sugar, fold and roll into the cookies’ signature scroll shape. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could also make the puff pastry from scratch.
Turn pretzels and Easter candy into adorable edible centerpieces. Coat broken sticks in a chocolate-peanut butter mixture, then drop small piles onto a lined baking sheet to form individual bird nests. Refrigerate until firm and fill with colorful chocolate eggs and jelly beans before wow-ing guests with this Pinterest-worthy display.
These French Marguerites are a lovely addition to your spread of Easter treats. Named after its daisy-like (marguerite in French) shape, these pretty jam-filled thumbprints can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature so you can make a batch ahead of time.
If you’re on team nuts when it comes to chocolate chip cookies, then this recipe is for you. Not only does the dough get a heaping cup of high-quality dark chocolate, it’s also packed with candied hazelnuts for a nice nutty crunch and additional sweetness.
The arrival of spring has us dreaming of summer days featuring the two main ingredients in these jammy cookies: corn and blueberries. Masa harina adds a distinct corn aroma, while blueberry pie filling oozes out of each cookie as a sweet surprise.
Tart, creamy lemon bars are always a crowd pleaser. Not only does the filling get wonderful flaor from freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest, but the crust is infused with lemon zest, too.
These peanut butter bars are completely vegan, but they’re so rich and luscious, we bet no one can tell. The secret? The graham cracker crust comes together with the help of melted coconut oil and the PB filling is made with coconut cream.
If a cookie and a cake had a baby, this recipe would be it. It’s got a fabulous balance of crisp to tender — plus it’s a delicious blank canvas for holiday sprinkles.
Calling all cookie dough fans! Here’s a no-bake recipe that you’ll want to make a big batch of. The cookie dough base — a blend of almond flour, maple syrup, peanut butter, chocolate chips and vanilla extract — gets topped with a smooth salted caramel, followed by melted chocolate. The best part? It’s all vegan, gluten-free and free of refined sugars.
Chicken and waffles. Macaroni and cheese. Peanut butter and chocolate. Some food duos are just meant to be together. These layered no-bake cookie bars taste just like a peanut butter cup, but are so much easier to make. Just be sure to give yourself enough time to chill each layer.
If you’re in a crunch and don’t have time to scoop or roll out individual cookies, try this recipe for vegan chocolate chip cookie bars. The dough comes together in a matter of minutes and gets a nice lift from baking powder, plus a light nuttiness from peanut butter and almond milk.
We guarantee that the unexpected addition of rosemary to these lemon-pecan bars will keep everyone’s taste buds intrigued. Don’t forget to dust with powdered sugar before serving for a pretty effect.
Do blondies have more fun than brownies? Either way, there’s no denying that a pan of chewy, soft blondies are great for parties. Keep them plain or jazz things up by mixing in butterscotch chips, pastel sprinkles or other fun and festive ingredients.