5 SWEET TREATS TO ADD TO YOUR MENU THIS EASTER

Easter is a great time to get creative with your cakes and bakes. All it takes are a few simple additions to traditional recipes and you’re good to go. From topping cupcakes with mini eggs to decorating cakes with Easter-shaped chocolates, and candy bunnies and carrots, you don’t have to do too much to make a big impact. Whether you’re putting together a special Easter menu for the 17th April or just want to add a few festive treats to your afternoon tea line-up, your customers won’t be able to resist these five Easter bakes.

EASTER CUPCAKE

This is the recipe for a classic vanilla cupcake but you could add blueberries, chocolate chips or crushed mini eggs into the mix too. Top it how you wish. You can’t go wrong with a flavoured buttercream and a few mini eggs.

Ingredients:  Serves 12

  • 110g soft butter
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 110g self-raising flour

If making buttercream:

  • 150g softened butter
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract or cocoa powder if you wish to make it chocolate flavoured
  • 3tbsp milk
  • Add food colouring if you want to make it a fun colour

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 180C and fill a cupcake tray with a dozen cases.
  2. Using an electric whisk, beat 110g of softened butter and 110g golden caster sugar together until pale and fluffy, then whisk in 2 large eggs, one at a time.
  3. Add ½ tsp vanilla extract, 110g self-raising flour and a pinch of salt, and whisk until just combined then spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases.
  4. Bake for 15 mins or until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. 
  5. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the buttercream:

  1. Whisk 150g softened butter until very soft, then add 300g icing sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.
  2. Whisk together until smooth, then beat in 3 tbsp milk.
  3. If adding food colouring, add now.
  4. Spoon or pipe onto the cooled cupcakes and decorate with your toppings of choice.

EARL GREY, LEMON AND BLUEBERRY CAKE

Serve as it is alongside a cup of tea, or dial it up as a pudding with some blueberry coulis and a big spoonful of clotted cream.

Ingredients:

  • 120ml milk
  • 3-4 bags of earl grey tea
  • 120g salted butter, at room temperature
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 2tsp lemon zest
  • 2tsp orange zest
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 125g of self-raising flour
  • 85g almond flour 
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 220g fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1tbsp blueberry jam (optional)

For the lemon glaze:

  • 80g caster sugar
  • 3tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 blood orange (optional)

Method:

  1. Bring the milk to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat, add the earl grey tea bags, cover, and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Remove the tea bags and discard, preserving the milk.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease your baking tin – we recommend a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, lemon zest, and orange zest until combined. 
  4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined, then add the vanilla. Add your flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt, and beat to combine. Add the earl grey-infused milk, beating until just combined.
  5. Toss the blueberries with 1 tbsp flour, which will help stop them from sinking to the bottom. Then add ¾ of the blueberries to the mixture. 
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Swirl in the blueberry jam (if using), then sprinkle on the remaining blueberries, and 1 tbsp sugar. 
  7. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until the centre is just set. 
  8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before glazing.
  9. While the cake cools, make the glaze. 
  10. Remove the zest from the blood orange with a vegetable peeler in wide strips. Thinly slice the strips. 
  11. In a small bowl, whisk together the caster sugar and lemon juice until smooth and drizzly.
  12. Stir in the orange zest.
  13. Drizzle the glaze over the cake. 

CARROT CAKE

Take this fool-proof recipe and adapt it how you like, adding your choice of toppings and decorations. If you don’t want to make one big cake, scoop the mixture into muffin cases instead.

Ingredients:

  • 155ml sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 230g self-raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 230g light brown muscovado sugar
  • The zest of 1 orange
  • 100g pecans, halved
  • 260g carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 3 medium free-range eggs, beaten


For the icing:

  • 50g butter, softened
  • 200g full-fat cream cheese – half fat/fat free won’t set properly
  • 100g icing sugar, plus extra to dust
  • The zest of 1 orange

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease an 18cm loose-bottomed round cake tin and line the base with baking paper. 
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into a large bowl. 
  3. Add the sugar, zest, pecan halves and grated carrots, then stir until well combined.
  4. Stir in the beaten eggs and oil, then mix well.
  5. Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake in the oven for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean. 
  6. Transfer to a cooling rack and leave to cool completely before icing.
  7. For the icing, beat the butter in a large bowl with a hand mixer until soft. 
  8. Add the cream cheese and beat again until well mixed. 
  9. Sift over the icing sugar and add the orange zest, then beat until smooth. 
  10. Store, covered, in the fridge until needed.

Decorate your carrot cake how you wish, with candy carrots, and festive treats. If you choose to cover the whole cake in the icing, it looks (and tastes) great if you cover the sides in chopped toasted nuts. 

HOT CROSS BUN BREAD AND BUTTER PUDDING

What better way to use up hot cross buns (if any are left) than a bread and butter pudding! 

Ingredients: Serves 6-8

  • 600ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 200ml double cream
  • 400ml single cream
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 6 hot cross buns, sliced in half and spread with a generous amount of butter
  • 1 knob butter, spread on the hot cross buns
  • 1 handful dried, chopped apricots (optional)
  • Zest of 11 orange (optional)
  • Icing sugar for dusting

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C and get your ovenproof dish ready – big enough to fit 6 hot cross buns!
  2. For the custard base, bring the milk and the cream just to the boil in a saucepan. 
  3. Cut the vanilla pod in half, scrape out the seeds and add to the pan.
  4. Whisk the eggs with the sugar until pale, then whisk in the milk and cream mixture, removing the vanilla pod shell.
  5. Dip the buttered hot cross bun halves in the mixture, then place in an ovenproof dish – you can either keep them in halves or break them up.
  6. Sprinkle over the apricots and the orange zest. 
  7. Sieve the custard over, and leave it all to soak for at least 15 minutes.
  8. Place the dish in a roasting tin, half-fill the tin with hot water, then bake the pudding for about 45 minutes. 
  9. When cooked it will have a slight crust on top but will still be slightly wobbly inside.
  10. Dust with the icing sugar and serve.

EASTER CHOCOLATE BROWNIE

For the perfect bake every time, this is our go-to brownie recipe. Make it extra festive by placing half creme eggs on the top or small Easter treats. You could even add in a fruit like cherries or raspberries.

Ingredients: Makes 16 squares

  • 185g unsalted butter
  • 185g best dark chocolate
  • 85g plain flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 50g white chocolate
  • 50g milk chocolate
  • 3 large eggs
  • 275g golden caster sugar

Method:

  1. Cut 185g unsalted butter into small cubes and tip into a medium bowl, along with 185g of dark chocolate, broken into pieces.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter over a bain marie. Once melted, remove and set aside.
  3. While chocolate cools, preheat the oven to 180C.
  4. Line a shallow 20cm square tin with non-stick baking parchment.
  5. Add 85g plain flour and 40g cocoa powder into a sieve and shake into a medium bowl.
  6. Chop 50g white chocolate and 50g milk chocolate into chunks and set aside.
  7. Using an electric whisk, whisk together 3 large eggs and 275g golden caster sugar – they will look thick and creamy. This can take 3-8 minutes, depending on how powerful your mixer is. You’ll know it’s ready when the mixture becomes really pale and about double its original volume. 
  8. Pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the eggy mousse, then gently fold together with a rubber spatula until the two mixtures are one.
  9. Hold the sieve over the bowl of eggy chocolate mixture and resift the cocoa and flour mixture, shaking the sieve from side to side, to cover the top evenly.
  10. Gently fold in this powder to a fudgy consistency.
  11. Stir in the white and milk chocolate chunks.
  12. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin (add your toppings now if you want to bake them into the mixture)
  13. Bake in the oven for 25 mins – when it’s done the edges should be crusty and the top shiny.
  14. Leave to cool in the tin.
  15. Once cool, remove and cut into squares.
  16. Decorate as you wish!