Sweets to make for Easter


Have fun this Easter by impressing your guests with these dessert recipes.

BUNNY CAKE

Transform an ordinary 13x9-inch cake into a bunny cake that both children and adults will find delightful. Perfect for birthday parties, Easter, or to celebrate spring.

Prep time: 45 minutes

1 package (2-layer size) cake mix, any variety

2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract

McCormick Assorted neon Food Colors & Egg Dye

2 containers white frosting Substitutions available

1 package (14 ounces) flaked coconut

Assorted candies, such as jelly beans, gumdrops, marshmallows and licorice strings (for decorating)

Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding vanilla to batter. Bake as directed on package in 13x9-inch baking pan. Cool cake in pan on wire rack.

Cut cake as shown in diagram. Cut out small circle from scraps for the tail, or use a marshmallow.

Assemble cake to form a bunny shape. Stir about 7 drops of desired Neon color into frosting. Spread tinted frosting on cake. Tint coconut the same color as frosting (see Tip). Gently pat onto frosted cake. Sprinkle Neon Green-tinted coconut around bottom of bunny for grass effect. (If desired, coconut may be omitted.)

Use jelly beans, gumdrops and licorice strings for the eye, nose and mouth.

Easter Basket Cupcakes

Instead of paper liners, these cupcakes are baked in ice cream cones to make edible Easter baskets.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

24 sugar ice cream cones Substitutions available

1 package (2-layer size) white cake mix

1 teaspoon McCormick Yellow Food Color

1/2 teaspoon McCormick Pure Lemon Extract

1 container (16 ounces) vanilla frosting

McCormick Assorted Food Colors & Egg Dye

24 pieces red string licorice, 4-inch lengths

1 cup flaked coconut

72 Jelly beans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Trim off the bottom 2 to 3 inches of the ice cream cones. Wrap bottom of cones in small pieces of greased foil. Place cones in muffin pans sprayed with no stick cooking spray. (Cones should be slightly taller than muffin cups.) Set aside.

Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding yellow food color and lemon extract. Pour batter into cones. Bake as directed on package for cupcakes. Cool cupcakes on wire rack. Remove any excess cake from bottom of cones.

Tint frosting with desired food colors. Frost cupcakes. Attached string licorice for the basket handles. Decorate cupcakes with coconut and jelly beans.

Homemade Easter Marshmallows

Forget store-bought and try your hand at fluffy, colorful Easter marshmallows. Flavored with McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract and decorated with homemade colored sugar using neon Food Colors, they’re a fun and playful addition to your dessert table.

Prep time: 45 minutes

Calories: 76

Ingredients: 7

Colored Sugar:

1 cup granulated sugar

McCormick Assorted neon Egg Dye

Marshmallows:

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup cold water, divided

1/2 cup light corn syrup

2 envelopes (1/4 ounce each) unflavored gelatin

1 tablespoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract

For the Colored Sugar, place sugar in large resealable plastic bag. Select your desired Marshmallow Variation in the tips section below and add the designated amount of Food Color with the sugar. Seal bag and knead gently until color is evenly distributed. Spread colored sugar in thin layer on large rimmed baking sheet and break up any large lumps. Allow to dry thoroughly, about 15 to 20 minutes. Sift or press through sieve, if needed. Spray 13x9 baking dish with no stick cooking spray then coat with some of the colored sugar. Set aside.

For the Marshmallows, microwave 1/2 cup of the water, sugar and corn syrup in medium microwavable bowl on HIGH 7 minutes. Stir to dissolve sugar. Microwave on HIGH 5 minutes longer. (Mixture will have a slight yellow tint.) Carefully remove hot bowl from microwave.

Place remaining 1/2 cup water in large mixer bowl. Sprinkle with gelatin. Let stand 5 minutes. Gradually beat in hot syrup mixture with whisk attachment on medium-low speed. Beat 8 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high. Beat 10 to 12 minutes longer or until mixture is fluffy, shiny and at least tripled in volume. Beat in vanilla.

Spread marshmallow mixture in prepared dish. Smooth top with a spatula. Sprinkle some more of the colored sugar on top to coat. Let stand at room temperature overnight or refrigerate at least 3 hours. Reserve remaining colored sugar in large resealable plastic bag or airtight container.

Cut marshmallows with 1- to 2-inch Easter cookie cutters. Add marshmallows in batches to reserved colored sugar in bag; toss to coat well. Shake off excess. Store marshmallows in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

Marshmallow Color Variations:

Pink Marshmallows: For the Colored Sugar, add 10 drops pink color from McCormick Assorted NEON! Food Colors & Egg Dye with the sugar.

Purple Marshmallows: For the Colored Sugar, add 5 drops purple color and 8 drops blue color from McCormick Assorted NEON! Food Colors & Egg Dye with the sugar.

Blue Marshmallows: For the Colored Sugar, add 15 drops blue color from McCormick Assorted NEON! Food Colors & Egg Dye with the sugar.

To prepare marshmallows: Prepare baking dish as directed, sprinkling Pink, Purple and Blue colored sugars in stripes in bottom of dish. Prepare marshmallows as directed. Decorate top of marshmallows with stripes similar to bottom. Cut into bunny shapes and sprinkle sides with remaining sugar. Melt chocolate chips as directed on package and use to paint or pipe on bunny face, if desired.

Easter Egg Cake Bites

Make Easter even more festive and delicious with egg-shaped cake bites. Give the crumbled cake filling a light lemony flavor with Pure Lemon Extract.

Prep time: 45 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

Calories: 217

Cake Bites:

1 package (2-layer size) white cake mix

2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Lemon Extract Substitutions available

McCormick Assorted Food Colors & Egg Dye Substitutions available

1 cup marshmallow creme

1 bag (14 ounces) white confectionary coating wafers

Decorating Glaze:

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons water

McCormick Assorted Food Colors & Egg Dye Substitutions available

Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding lemon extract and desired food color. Bake as directed on package for 13x9-inch baking pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Crumble cake into large bowl. Add marshmallow creme; mix until well blended. Shape into 1-inch balls then roll to form an egg shape. Refrigerate 2 hours.

Melt coating wafers or white chocolate as directed on package. Using a fork, dip 1 cake bite at a time into the confectionary coating or chocolate. Tap back of fork 2 or 3 times against edge of dish to allow excess to drip off. Place cake bites on wax paper-lined tray.

For the Decorating Glaze, mix confectioners’ sugar and water in small bowl until well blended. Tint with desired food color. Using a fork, drizzle glaze over cake bites. Let stand until glaze is set.

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