Sparkling Spring Dessert Recipes
The flavors of lemon, lime, berries and more sparkle in our recipes for pies, cobblers, cookies, cakes and puddings.
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.
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!
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.
Prettier by the pound
St. Louis pastry chef Nathan Reid gives pound cake a chic, patisserie-style makeover in flavors like Candied Lemon Pound Cake, Earl Grey and Raspberry Pound Cake and Double Chocolate Pound Cake. Find all the pound cake recipes here.
Best-Ever Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
Strawberry-rhubarb pie filling gets a touch of zesty ginger flavor, then goes into a slice-and-bake crust.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Cherry-Berry Rich Shortcakes
Michigan's fruit belt inspired our Cherry-Berry Rich Shortcakes. We played up the sweet cherries grown in the Great Lakes State, along with blueberries and raspberries. A shortcake biscuit base and sweetened whipped cream complete the dessert.
Almond Meringue Bark
This beginner-level candy is made by spreading meringue thinly and baking it until shatteringly crisp (so much simpler than piping into kisses). Eat it plain, or sprinkle it on berries and whipped cream or an ice cream sundae, like shards of nutty toasted marshmallow.
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).
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.
Maple-Walnut Banana Bars
The math on these homey bars couldn't be simpler: one pan, one ripe banana and less than one hour from start to finish.
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.
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 summer picnics and potlucks.
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.
Fresh fruit tops crispy-chewy meringue and whipped cream in this luscious dessert traditionally served at summer celebrations in New Zealand and Australia.
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.
Luscious Lemon Bars
Sweet and tart, these moist, powdered-sugar-topped dessert bars will disappear fast.
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.
Strawberries and rhubarb flavored with ginger make an appealing combo in this dessert. Drizzle just before serving with Ginger Icing, if you like.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.