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52 Easter desserts for the sweetest spring celebration

These springy sweets take the cake.
/ Source: TODAY

After enjoying a frittata-filled Easter brunch, followed by an Easter dinner of herby lamb or glazed ham, paired with sides like buttery popovers, cheesy potatoes and roasted spring vegetables, you’re going to want to end the holiday on a sweet and whimsical note.

These light and fluffy cakes and playful pastries come from some of the most talented chefs and bakers in the game — and they're the epitome of spring. Think: luscious lemon, tropical coconut and bright Key lime.

We intentionally selected some recipes that can be made in advance in order to save prep time on Easter Sunday. That way, you don't need to worry about oven space or dirtying even more dishes. Most of these recipes can even be made a day or two ahead — is there anything sweeter than that? Be sure to take a peek in your pantry before preheating the oven to make sure you have all of the ingredients you need to execute these festive confections.

Whether you go with a few grab-and-go options, or decide on a showstopper of a cake, all of these recipes are meant for feeding a hungry crowd (or a fluffle, which is what a group of bunnies is called and the best word ever).

From cute cookies to moist cupcakes and creamy puddings to fruit-forward itarts, this comprehensive list of the best Easter desserts will wow everyone from Easter egg-hunting kiddos to Easter bunny suit-wearing adults. Be sure to keep some to-go containers at the ready, as everyone will want to bring home a slice or two.

This carrot cake is as classic as it gets. Warm baking spices, earthy carrots and sweet sugar combine to make a perfect cake. A double dose of fat from butter and grapeseed oil keeps it incredibly moist and gives the crumb a velvety texture.

Big, Fluffy Lemon and Orange Buns

We love making yeasted, enriched breads because the dough is so easy and wonderful to work with — it feels like heaven in your hands. And while cinnamon is a classic for buns, it's refreshing to change it up with the bright flavors of citrus for spring. This recipe works beautifully for both Easter brunch and dessert.

One-Bowl Olive Oil Cake

This is a recipe that Lidia Bastianich's grandmother used to make. It's simple, delicious and can be dressed up in any number of ways — including with poached or sautéed fruit.

Pecan Bundt Cake

This recipe will become an Easter favorite for a number of reasons: It's full of flavor like a carrot cake, has a tight crumb like a pound cake, and it comes together quickly and easily.

Sweet layers of strawberry jam and soft whipped cream in between layers of zesty orange blossom sponge cake layers are a refreshing flavor combination. Top this layer cake with citrus to amp up the tangy element or with juicy berries for a strawberry shortcake-inspired bite.

Siri's Lemon Bars

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.

Sweet Corn Cookies with Blueberry Pie Swirl

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.

Easter Bunny Cake

This impressive and adorable dessert is sure to wow kids and grown-ups alike. It may seem intimidating, but the recipe offers straightforward directions that will allow any home baker to master the cake's decorative interior.

Coconut Bliss Cake

This recipe is a deconstruction of the Almond Joy, reassembled in the best possible way. One bite of this cake, coated in a decadent chocolate fudge sauce and adorned in almonds, and you’ll be hooked. It’s the fabulous little candy all grown up.

Make this gently 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 generous layer of cream cheese frosting.

Wine-Glazed Bundt Cake

This cake is so good, it will beckon you in the middle of the night. Almost all the alcohol gets cooked out of the wine, but you can swap it for orange juice and omit the bourbon from the whipped cream if you want a completely booze-free version.

Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake

This cake is a tribute to good ol'-fashioned gooey rolls: soft and full like fluffy pillows, piping hot out of the oven, entwined with ribbons of spiced cinnamon sugar, sticky with dripping cream cheese icing. If ever one could capture the magic and decadence of cinnamon rolls in a cake, without the intimidating yeast, Jocelyn Delk Adams has.

Dylan's Pistachio Cake

"This recipe is something I remember my mom making when I was a kid. It's made with some 'unusual' ingredients and reminds me of a very '70s-style recipe. Yes, pistachio is in the name, but it's a totally light and sweet cake-like dessert that I find refreshing as well. Perfect for spring," says TODAY's Dylan Dreyer.

Cake Mix Coffee Cake

Hosting Easter takes a lot of planning and hard work. Once you've tackled the menu for Easter brunch or dinner, why not make dessert the simple part? A box of yellow cake mix is the secret behind this incredibly easy coffee cake that's sure to become your holiday hero.

Strawberry and Vanilla Ice Cream Cookie Cake

Pre-made cookies and store-bought ice cream make a lovely and refreshing dessert. Assemble it ahead of time and let it chill in the freezer until you're ready to dig in.

Peek-A-Bunny Cupcakes

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 with ham, roast asparagus and everything else, turn to this no-bake cake. Featuring fresh fruits, rich golden cookies and homemade coconut whipped cream, this make-ahead icebox cake is the perfect dessert for spring.

Classic Carrot Cake

Both the cake and the frosting in this recipe are incredibly simple to make, which means anyone, from beginners to pro home bakers, can whip up a gorgeous carrot cake for a special occasion. Plus, it's an absolute pleasure to eat.

This moist, wonderfully spiced carrot cake makes it easy for everyone to enjoy a rich dessert, whether they're vegan or gluten-free. Decorated with gorgeous floral frosting, it will become a go-to confection for all the carrot cake lovers out there.

Easter Lamb Cake

This lamb cake is an Easter tradition in chef Jeff Mauro's household, and once you see the look on the kids' faces when you reveal this cute creation, it's sure to be one in your household, too.

No-Cook Chocolate and Raspberry Tart

Look no further for the perfect Easter dessert than this party-worthy, no-fuss recipe. It has a crispy, chocolaty cookie base, delicious mousse filling and sweet raspberry topping.

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. The zesty lime curd adds just the right amount of tanginess to create a perfectly balanced dessert.

Sweet treats are abound on Easter, from towering cakes and baskets filled with all your favorite candy to baked goods bursting with in-season fruit. These cupcakes fit the bill for a festive and seasonal Easter dessert. Each individual cupcake is decorated with a whimsical bunny on top, making them an extra-fun addition to your holiday celebration.

This fragrant Bundt cake starts by cooking fresh carrots down until they’re soft and blendable, then combining the pureé with buttermilk and grated fresh ginger, which gives this dessert an extra spicy kick.

Chocolate-Coconut Cake

Like a cloud floating through the sky on a beautiful spring day, this chocolate-coconut cake is a fluffy dream. On the inside are two dense layers of chocolate cake, surrounded by a white marshmallow frosting and shredded coconut.

Lemon Velvet Cake

A lemony confection, this cake says goodbye to winter and welcomes spring with open arms. It's easy to throw together when you're crunched for time, but the end result looks so impressive.

Light and Fluffy Coconut Cupcakes

If you’re looking to really get a jump on your Easter baking, this recipe can be made up to two months in advance (so long as you wait to slather on the frosting). Coconut lovers will adore the double dose of sweetness — coconut cream moistens the batter and buttercream while a duo of sweetened coconut flakes and toasted coconut are a lovely finishing touch on top.

Lemon Flower Cake

This cake captures the vibrant colors and fresh flavors of spring in every sweet bite. The festive flowers and lemon-scented cake frosting deliver a bright, citrusy confection.

In this version of the classic dessert, the shortcake is a biscuit that combines elements and techniques from layered buttermilk biscuits with cream biscuits. The result is a delicate, buttery biscuit that can hold up to the juicy berries and cream, yet is super tender and easily broken through with a spoon or fork. Lightly sweetened whipped cream brings the shortcake all together with a cloud-like consistency that catches the berries and their sweet juices.

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 after Easter dinner.

Traditional Easter Bread

Orange zest, vanilla and cardamom glaze add incredible fragrant flavor to this celebratory bread that is a staple on many Easter tables. The sprinkles on top also add a colorful, festive flair.

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.

Duff Goldman's Brown-Butter Blondies

Duff Goldman swears by this versatile recipe — 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.

These nests are a fun and easy project for both kids and adults. The classic combo of peanut butter and chocolate can't be beat, while the salt from the pretzels amplifies both.

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.

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.

These soft 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 Easter Sunday.

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.

Gooey Butter Cake Cookies

Recreate Missouri’s famous gooey butter cake in cookie form using this indulgent recipe. Salted butter helps balance out the richness to form the perfect chewy bite.

Flowerpot Brownies

Jocelyn Delk Adams loves serving flowerpot brownies for Easter because they are a sweet and festive way to end the meal. They also double as décor on the holiday table, cutting your to-do list in half!

Lemon, Lime and Earl Grey Sablés

These uniquely flavored, elegant cookies are astonishingly simple to make and taste truly special. And you can make the dough well in advance and freeze it — win-win!

One of the best things about spring is having nature's pastel colors bloom back to life. These cereal treats include several of them in one easy-to-make dessert.

Key lime pies are an iconic American dessert, but they're not always easy to make. They've got to be decadent but light, cool and creamy … and this checks all the boxes.

Ina Garten's Shortbread Hearts

Ina Garten’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.

2-Ingredient Palmiers Cookies

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.

Banana Pudding

Get The Recipe

Banana Pudding

Elizabeth Chambers Hammer

This pudding is incredibly easy and perfect for any event, but especially for Easter. It's stunning when presented in a footed-glass trifle dish, so everyone can see the lovely layers. The best part? It can be made ahead and refrigerated — and it may taste even more delicious the next day.

This traditional Neapolitan-style Easter dessert is the perfect marriage between cheesecake and rice pudding. It's a wonderful choice for those who want to balance out the other saccharine offerings on the table.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

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

Classic Key Lime Pie

For those who love a bit of tartness in their sweets, Key lime pie is a timeless favorite. Jocelyn Delk Adams shares how to make it with a homemade graham cracker crust and raspberry jam, which brings the confection from fine to fabulous.

Lidia Bastianich's Cherry Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is one of our favorite desserts to make because it's not overly sweet. Once you have the basic recipe, you can change the fruits and flavorings based on whatever you have on hand.

During spring and summer, you can bet on an abundance of fresh fruit. Instead of letting extra stone fruits and berries go to waste, put them to use in this delicious tart. The flavors will blend together seamlessly and guests will definitely be impressed.

Easter Sweet Bread

In Laura Vitale's home, it wouldn't be Easter without sweet bread to dip into coffee first thing Easter morning and stirred into chamomile last thing on Easter night. Make it a tradition in your home, too.