Sparkling Spring Dessert Recipes
The flavors of lemon, lime, mango, raspberries and more sparkle in our recipes for treats like cakes, mousse, meringues, cream puffs and cookies.
Tender from cake flour and bright with citrus, this butter cake—baked in a single sheet pan—is delicious and begs for pairing with tea or a glass of bubbly.
Related: Ultimate Cake Recipes
Tropical Mango Mousse
This light, airy treat features the perfect level of mango sweetness. Top with sliced kiwi and toasted coconut, and it's ready for dessert or a brunch buffet.
Sunny-Side Up Pavlovas
Perfect farm-fresh eggs are the inspiration for these crisp, mini meringues topped with cream and lemon curd. Serve au naturel or scatter them with fresh mint leaves, if you like.
This old-fashioned cake holds up to slicing after 6 hours, but the cookies soften more with a longer rest, making it a make-ahead dream.
Related: Luscious Strawberry Dessert Recipes
Chef Katharine Elder at Kansas' Elderslie Farm makes her fold-over berry tarts in two sizes: petite for sharing with a friend or pie-size like this, to slice and top with the farm's goat milk gelato.
Related: Try Elderslie Farm's Blackberry Lemon Scones
Jacob Van Patten pours a refreshing cocktail into his creative take on lemon bars, which took the overall blue ribbon at the Iowa State Fair.
Related: The Midwest's Best Cookie Recipes
Malted Strawberry Cream Puffs
The malted whipped cream in these fruity cream puffs is a revelation—make it alone to top pies, sundaes or hot cocoa, and be sure to lick the beaters!
Our double-decker version of a Wisconsin supper club classic stacks two semisoft meringue "cake" layers, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and fruit. You can make the whipped cream and meringue layers 24 hours ahead (tightly cover the latter). But wait to assemble the torte until right before serving—and invite plenty of friends. It's a quick-to-melt, eat-it-all-at-once kind of dessert.
Candied Lemon Pound Cake
This moist, buttery pound cake has a triple threat of lemon: Chopped candied peel speckles the interior, and thin strips dance along the top, over a sheen of puckery lemon icing. The recipe comes from Nathaniel Reid Bakery in St. Louis.
Related: Tempting Lemon Dessert Recipes
In all our years of testing, we've rarely found a cookie recipe as crazy-simple as this reliable crowd-pleaser. These cookies taste great au naturel—but dipping the bottoms in chocolate adds easy decadence (and looks eye-catching on a cookie tray).
Best-Ever Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
Strawberry-rhubarb pie filling gets a touch of zesty ginger flavor, then goes into a slice-and-bake crust.
Related: Rhubarb Recipes We Love
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.
Raspberry Cheesecake Bars
Layers of cheesecake, raspberry filling, almonds and coconut form dessert bars perfect for picnics and potlucks.
Cappuccino Meringue Tart
Capturing all the flavors of an afternoon at the neighborhood coffeehouse (and using both yolks and whites, but in different ways), this glam tart features a biscotti-like crust made of almondy amaretti cookies, smooth espresso filling and "foam" made of soft meringue.
Lemon Sugar Cookies
The light lemon flavor gives these sparkling sugar cookies a little special twist. Judy Kiburz Harrison's recipe won best-in-class at the Iowa State Fair.
Minneapolis-based Instagram star and pro baker Zoe Francois shared this recipe for a gorgeously shaped pavlova that rises higher than all the competition. It's filled with whipped cream, lemon curd, raspberries and—if you are feeling tropical and adventurous—passion fruit, too.
Key Lime Coconut Cake with Marshmallow Frosting
Billowy Meringue Frosting tops a moist and buttery lime-flecked cake whose subtle coconut flavor comes from canned cream of coconut.
Earl Grey and Raspberry Pound Cake
No food coloring here—just the brilliant hue of pureed raspberries. Fresh berries also ripple through the cake, which has subtle floral and citrus notes from tea in the batter. The recipe comes from Nathaniel Reid Bakery in St. Louis.
Maple-Walnut Banana Bars
So simple: one pan, one ripe banana and less than one hour from start to finish.
Related: Easy Recipes for Bananas
Peanut Butter Chiffon Pie
Peanut butter lovers, rejoice. This pie is so good, and it has a twist: Melba toast replaces graham cracker crumbs for a crisp, salty foil to the decadent filling.
Related: Creamy Peanut Butter Dessert Recipes
Puckery Lemon Bars
These lemon bars are less sturdy and more lusciously creamy than their classic bake-sale cousins. You may want to eat them with a fork.
Related: Our Best Bar Cookies
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.
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.
Related: Make Your Best Pie Ever
Rhubarb-Almond Danish Braid
Feeling ambitious? Make this "rough puff" pastry for a true from-scratch Danish pastry braid. Be sure to use fresh rhubarb instead of frozen for the filling.
Vanilla Bean Crepe Cake
When did being vanilla become an insult? This stack of golden crepes and creamy mascarpone is simple, elegant and deceptively delicious. Supermarket crepes are larger than homemade ones, so if you use purchased, you'll need to make an extra half batch of filling, or just make a cake with fewer layers.