Luscious Spring Dessert Recipes | Midwest Living
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Luscious Spring Dessert Recipes

The flavors of lemon, lime, berries and more sparkle in our 32 recipes for pies, cobblers, cookies, cakes and puddings.

Grilled Banana Split Sundae

If you've never had dessert off the grill, this recipe from grilling expert Elizabeth Karmel of Chicago is a great place to start. Grilling softens the sweet bananas, which are absolutely irresistible when topped with hot fudge sauce. Cook the bananas on the grill over low coals left after making the main dish.

Grilled Banana Split Sundae

Meyer Lemon Pots de Crème with Honeyed Kumquats

The creamy lemon puddings look and taste sophisticated but are actually quite simple to make, and they can even be prepared in advance.

Meyer Lemon Pots de Crème with Honeyed Kumquats

Kansas Sunflower Cupcakes

The Sunflower State's wheat crops and native state flower inspired our cupcakes. Frosting piped like petals turns the individual Kansas Sunflower Cupcakes into pretty treats. Wheat germ adds a hearty touch to the buttermilk-vanilla cakes.

Kansas Sunflower Cupcakes

Gingered Cantaloupe and Blackberry Shortcakes

Shortcake is a scrumptious showcase for fruit. This recipe calls for melon and berries coated with honey-ginger syrup on top of ginger-flavored cakes.

Gingered Cantaloupe and Blackberry Shortcakes

Peach Upside-Down Cake

The family behind Illinois' Rendleman Orchards has amassed some great peach recipes in 135 years of growing peaches. This cake is no exception. Peach slices and brown sugar form a moist base for the tender, square cake--and when flipped over, that base becomes the topping.

Peach Upside-Down Cake

Key Lime Coconut Cake with Meringue Frosting

Billowy Meringue Frosting tops a moisty and buttery lime-flecked cake whose subtle coconut flavor comes from canned cream of coconut.

Key Lime Coconut Cake with Meringue Frosting

Lemon-Cream Dessert Cake

Start with a cake mix to make this light and citrusy creation layered with lemony cream cheese frosting. The recipe comes from an Ashtabula, Ohio, reader.

Lemon-Cream Dessert Cake

Candied Citrus Peel

If you can resist munching on all these chewy, sweet citrus bits, you'll find plenty of ways to use them in your kitchen. We like stirring chopped peel into granola or cookie batter, sprinkling it over vanilla ice cream, or dipping the pieces in chocolate. Keep in mind that lime peel does not taste particularly good when candied.

Candied Citrus Peel

Lemon-Cream Cheese Pie

This creamy lemon pie, a longtime reader-favorite recipe, is a signature dessert at Al's Oasis, a family restaurant along the east bank of the Missouri River in Chamberlain, South Dakota (135 miles east of Rapid City).

Lemon-Cream Cheese Pie

Berry Easy Cobbler

This crunch-topped cobbler calls for 3 cups of blueberries, but if you'd like a double-fruit version, reduce the blueberries to 2 cups and add 2 cups fresh or frozen tart cherries.

Berry Easy Cobbler

Mistress Suzanne's Bananas Foster

This cinnamon-spiced New Orleans classic is a popular dessert at Rider's Inn in Painesville, Ohio. Mistress Suzanne's Dining Room at the inn is named for the third wife of the original owner, Joseph Rider.

Mistress Suzanne's Bananas Foster

Orange Batons and Macadamia Tea Cookies

You'll love the refreshing citrus flavor of Orange Batons, delicate butter cookies dipped in chocolate. Shredded coconut and white chocolate chunks make Macadamia Tea Cookies a sweet and chewy treat. Both recipes come from a Hillsboro, Ohio, reader.

Orange Batons

Macadamia Tea Cookies

Chocolate Pavlova

Pavlova, an egg meringue dessert named for Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova, gets a chocolate makeover in this recipe from Chicago Pastry Chef Gale Gand. Top the pavlova with whipped cream and sliced fresh fruit.

Chocolate Pavlova

Raspberry Cream Tart

Fresh berries work best in this elegant dessert (frozen berries get too watery). Keep fruit refrigerated and dry, and plan to use it within a couple of days of purchase.

Raspberry Cream Tart

Kansas-Style Lime Pie

Finely shredded lime peel and lime juice combine in this light, airy and easy-to-make dessert from Petersen's Pantry in Emporia, Kansas. The recipe gives instructions for an orange variation, too.

Kansas-Style Lime Pie

Cheesecake-Sauced Fruit Parfaits

Blend just four ingredients to create this easy sauce from a Wausau, Wisconsin, reader. Serve over fresh fruit such as raspberries, blueberries or strawberries.

Cool Cheesecake Sauce

Amazing Creme Caramel

Here's our version of a sweet, soothing Latin dessert specialty known as flan. We steeped citrus peel and cinnamon with the milk to add flavor. Caramelized sugar on the bottom becomes into a caramelly sauce. Serve the creme caramel with raspberry or chocolate sauce, or all by itself.

Amazing Creme Caramel

Rise and Shine Cranberry-Apple Crisp

Spiced coconut streusel adds crunch to healthy aples and berries.

Rise and Shine Cranberry-Apple Crisp

To Each His Own Baked Alaska

This classic dessert goes together easily, but looks so impressive. Find the meringue powder in your supermarket's baking section or at stores carrying cake-decorating supplies.

To Each His Own Baked Alaska

Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

Hopkins, Minnesota, calls itself America's Raspberry Capital and hosts an annual Raspberry Festival -- including a cooking contest. One entry was this recipe for Raspberry Cheesecake Bars, which combines layers of cheesecake and raspberry filling in an almond crust.

Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

Tinted Angel Cake

The many colors of Kool-Aid, a Nebraska invention, give an array of choices for this angel food cake that starts with a mix. Pink lemonade Kool-Aid adds pastel prettiness and a delicate flavor to Tinted Angel Cake. The tropical punch version gives the cake flavor that's as intense as its color.

Tinted Angel Cake

Lemon Bars

Anyone who loves lemon chess pie will enjoy these sweet-and-tart bars. The recipe comes from Palmer's Deli and Market in Urbandale, Iowa. Top the moist bars with powdered sugar.

Lemon Bars

One-More-Bite Bread Pudding

Creamy pudding surrounds a layer of raspberry jam or preserves, all topped with Whiskey River Sauce. This rich dessert comes from Hubbell House in Mantorville, Minnesota.

One-More-Bite Bread Pudding

Honey-Berry Yogurt Frozen Yogurt Sundaes

Fresh raspberries, blackberries, strawberries or blueberries star in our Honey-Berry Frozen Yogurt Sundaes, which take only 15 minutes to make from start to finish.

Honey-Berry Yogurt Frozen Yogurt Sundaes

Rhubarb Crunch

Similar to an apple brown betty or fruit crisp, this rustic dessert has a cinnamon topping that blends graham cracker crumbs and pecans with sugar, butter and bread crumbs.

Rhubarb Crunch

Lime Meringues with Red Raspberries

These light-as-air sweet meringues dolloped with lime filling come from a Rockford, Illinois, reader who likes to share this dessert with her neighbors.

Lime Meringues with Red Raspberries

Old-Fashioned Sour Cream/Raisin Pie

A stately meringue tops this creamy pie from the Downing Cafe in Downing, Wisconsin.

Old-Fashioned Sour Cream/Raisin Pie

Oatmeal Cherry Cookies

Dried cherries make oatmeal cookies even more memorable in this recipe from American Spoon Foods, which has locations in the Traverse City, Michigan, area. We like the cookies' crisp edges and chewy centers.

Oatmeal Cherry Cookies

Raspberry Upside-Down Cake

Whipped cream and raspberries crown easy Raspberry Upside-Down Cake, from a Hopkins, Minnesota, reader.

Raspberry Upside-Down Cake

Mother Knows Best Carrot Cookies

These cookies are almost like a miniature carrot cake. Top them with orange frosting and finely shredded orange peel for a cookie that's as beautiful as it is delicious. The recipe comes from a Centertown, Missouri, reader who remembers her mother making these cookies.

Mother Knows Best Carrot Cookies

Lemony Prairie Cake

Mix just six ingredients, including lemon-lime carbonated beverage, to make this lovely, citrusy cake from an Alta Vista, Kansas, reader.

Lemony Prairie Cake

Surprise Nut Torte

Crushed, rich round crackers add a salty touch to the chewy, nutty meringue crust of this dessert from Schreiner's Restaurant in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. For a fudgy change, try the chocolate-cracker version.

Surprise Nut Torte

Blueberry Custard Pie

An Elkhart, Indiana, reader helped create this tempting layered pie. Known as a fruit-growing region, northern Indiana supplied a banner blueberry crop one year. That inspired the reader to create this colorful, meringue-crowned pie.

Blueberry Custard Pie

Grilled Banana Split Sundae

If you've never had dessert off the grill, this recipe from grilling expert Elizabeth Karmel of Chicago is a great place to start. Grilling softens the sweet bananas, which are absolutely irresistible when topped with hot fudge sauce. Cook the bananas on the grill over low coals left after making the main dish.

Grilled Banana Split Sundae

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