You want to know what my favorite holiday is? Easter! While I don’t ever talk about religion on here, in the Catholic Church this holiday has more meaning than Christmas. I’ve also just always loved how it makes me feel with spring in the air. Without a major focus on presents as we see at Christmas (though I do love a good Easter basket), the holiday becomes more of a time to spend with family… and eat delicious food!
Almost every year of my life during lent I have given up sugar until this year. At mass on Ash Wednesday the message was clear that giving up chocolate isn’t what lent was about and we were encouraged to focus more on what we could do more of rather than what we could restrict. It really is exactly what I encourage my clients to do with their diets (and what I advocated for on the blog earlier this year).
Even though I haven’t given sweets up for these 40 days, I will still enjoy some on Easter! So, today I am excited to share one of my Easter traditions as well as highlight another delicious dessert from one of my favorite dietitian’s, Jessica DeGore over at Dietitian Jess!
Let’s start with Jess’s deliciously adorable Flourless Easter Egg Brownie Bites. Chocolate has a place in every holiday (and maybe just every day?), but this recipe helps brighten it up with some spring colors! I can’t wait to try 🙂
Growing up, there is not a single Easter that I can recall that didn’t include… bunny cakes. My mom had this bunny cake mold and we continue to make them each year now. This year I have a twist and have created a delicious lemon lavender cake. Lucky for me (and for you) there’s really no reason to reinvent the wheel with the base cake and frosting recipe! Just a few simple modifications and your favorite white cake recipe will be transformed.
A great base recipe for the cake to start with is this one from King Arthur Flour (not sponsored). I recommend using an organic sugar and soymilk instead of the whole milk. If you were to use this recipe, you’d cut the milk by 2 tbsp so it can be replaced with 2 Tbsp of lemon juice. You’d skip the almond extract and add the lavender and there you have your lemon lavender cake! I do have my favorite frosting recipe below with the necessary modifications. This one from One Degree Organics (also not sponsored, just a great brand!) is great too if you’re trying to keep it a bit healthier. You’d just need to add the lavender to this recipe since it is already a lemon cake.
While you can make this cake in any shape, or into cupcakes, I highly recommend these adorable and seasonal bunnies. I honestly have no idea how old my bunny cake pan is or what brand it is, but I found a very similar mold with 6 bunnies per sheet instead of my 4, right here (there’s still time to get it before the weekend with Prime!). The portion may be a tad big, but it’s a holiday so dig in and just honor your hunger and fullness cues.
After baking, I always reserve a bit of my frosting to make fun colors and decorate those cute little rabbits. Color Garden has been my go-to natural food dye and their “black” that came in the Halloween color box this past year was perfect to make grey for many of the bunny details. That plus some pink is all you really need! My mom always also loved to add shredded unsweetened coconut for more flavor, texture and bunny “fur”, too 🙂
Lavender Lemon Easter Bunny Cakes
Makes 8-10 Mini-Bunny Cakes Depending on Pan Size
- All necessary ingredients for your favorite white cake recipe
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp food grade lavender, pulsed in a small blender or food processor until powdery
- 1 stick room temperature grass-fed butter or vegan buttery spread (such as Earth Balance)
- 3 Cups organic confectioners sugar
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp milk or non-dairy milk
- 1/2 Tbsp food grade lavender, pulsed in small blender or food processor until powdery
- You’ll prepare your favorite white cake recipe according to instructions, except you’ll whisk the lemon juice with the milk before adding it to other ingredients per the directions. You’ll also stir the lavender in with the flour before mixing it with the wet ingredients.
- Spray the bunny pan with a non-stick cooking spray (I like Trader Joe’s) and fill the molds up to half-way
- Bake 18-20 minutes, or the average of the time your recipe recommends for a cake versus cupcakes, or until a toothpick comes out clean
- While cakes are baking in the oven, mix the butter and 1 cup of sugar at a time with the hand-mixer until well-combined. Add 1 Tbsp of milk, the lavendar and the lemon juice, and beat until mixture becomes fluffy. If necessary, add the last tbsp of milk. Reserve some for adding food color if desired
- Once cakes have cooled, decorate with frosting before serving!
What’s your favorite Easter recipe or tradition? I’d love to hear below!