Fun and Kid-Friendly Easter Sweets

Looking for fun ways to enjoy holiday this year? Check out these dessert recipes that are fun for the kids and make use of pantry staples you probably have on hand. For the arts and crafts' lovers, our coconut Easter bunny cake takes a simple cake mix and transforms it into an afternoon of fun. For the aspiring bakers, try making homemade hot cross buns! There's something for everyone in these recipes to take your Easter from good to egg-cellent!


Coconut Easter Bunny Cake

Prep Time: 20 min| Cook Time: 20 min | Serves: 8-10


  • 1 box cake mix flavor of choice, baked as directed to yield two 9-inch round cakes
  • One container vanilla frosting
  • 3-4 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
  • Pink food coloring
  • Assorted candy for decorating, such as licorice, candy coated chocolates etc


  1. Take one of the cooked round cakes and carefully cut out the bunny “ears”. Do this by cutting a pointed oval shape out of each side of the cake, leaving the middle piece as the bow tie.
  2. Place the other round cake in the lower third of your serving plate. Place ears above the cake round, trimming off the bottom edges of the ears so that they sit flush with the head. Place the bow tie shape below the cake round/head.
  3. Use the vanilla frosting to frost the cakes and secure them in place on the serving platter.
  4. Dye 1 cup of shredded coconut pink (if desired) and use to create the inside of the bunny ears and coat the bow tie. Use the remaining white shredded coconut to coat/cover the frosted cake to create the fur.
  5. Decorate with candy! Use your favorite candies to create the eyes, whiskers and mouth. We used licorice for the whiskers, candy coated chocolates for the eyes and for the bow tie buttons but get creative and use whatever you have on hand!


Pecan Carrot Cake Cookies

Prep Time: 20 min | Cook Time: 12 min | Serves: 3 dozen cookies


  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour (optional, can use more AP flour)
  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 ¼ cups grated carrots
  • ¾ cup pecans, optional (can use any nut your family likes!)

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a mixing bowl with hand mixer) beat butter and both sugars until creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla. Mix in crushed pineapple and carrots.
  3. Slowly add flour mixture, being sure to scrape the edges of the bowl to make sure everything is well mixed. Add in pecans (if using) until just combined.
  4. Drop dough by the tablespoon onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving an inch or two between each for spreading.
  5. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, or until edges are just beginning to brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely before frosting.
  6. To make the cream cheese frosting: beat butter and cream cheese until smooth, then beat in vanilla and 2 cups of powdered sugar. Add an additional 1 cup of powdered sugar if needed to reach desired consistency.
  7. Frost cooled cookies with frosting and top with a pecan and serve!


Blueberry Pie Crumble Bars

Prep Time: 20 min | Cook Time: 45 min | Serves: 16-24 bars


For the base/crumble:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup cold water

For the filling:

  • 1 can blueberry pie filling (can sub in cherry or other if you prefer)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a 9x13 inch baking pan with cooking spray
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using either a pastry blender, two knives or your hands, cut butter into the flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add in cold water and mix briefly to make sure its evenly dispersed.
  3. Take half this mixture and press it into the prepared pan to make the crust. Top with blueberry pie filling, spreading out evenly to cover the crust.
  4. With the remaining half of the flour mixture, squeeze the mixture in your hands to make clumps and sprinkle/cover the blueberry pie filling layer with the crumble topping.
  5. Bake at 375 for 45-55 minutes or until top is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before cutting into bars and serving.


Homemade Hot Cross Buns


For the dough

Prep Time: 60 min, plus 90 min inactive time | Cook Time: 30 min | Serves: 12 buns

  • 1 ¼ cups warm milk
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 packets (4 ½ tsp) active dry yeast
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp EACH ground allspice and nutmeg
  • 1 ½ cups raisins, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes and drained
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs, beaten

For the cross topping

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup water

For the egg wash:

  • 1 large egg, beaten with 1 tbsp milk

For the syrup topping

  • 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 1/3 cups hot water


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine warm milk, sugar and yeast and stir to incorporate. Let sit for 10 minutes or until foamy. Meanwhile, combine flour, salt, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg and whisk until well combined.
  2. With mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture to the yeast mixture. Once incorporated, mix in eggs and melted butter. Add the rest of the flour mixture along with the raisins and mix until dough comes together. Swap to the dough hook attachment and beat/knead the dough on medium speed for four minutes, or until dough is smooth and no longer sticks to the edges of the bowl.
  3. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray and place dough into bowl, turning once to coat it in the cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 60 minutes, or until doubled in size.
  4. While dough is rising, make the golden syrup. Combine ½ cup granulated sugar with 2 tbsp water in a medium pot and heat, without stirring, over medium high heat until it turns golden in color. Remove the pot from the heat and carefully add the remaining granulated sugar and hot water and whisk to combine.
  5. Return pot to heat and let simmer over medium-low heat for 30 minutes, or until thickened. Turn off heat and let cool to room temperature.
  6. Spray a 13x9 inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside. Remove plastic wrap from dough bowl and gently punch down dough and let rest for 5 minutes.
  7. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and divide evenly into 12 portions. Shape portions into balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Cover loosely and let sit to rise for an additional 30 minutes.
  8. While dough is rising, prepare the cross topping: whisk together the flour and water to make a thick but smooth paste. Put into a piping bag or plastic bag and snip off a ½ inch hole to allow for piping.
  9. Preheat oven to 375. Brush rolls with egg wash, then carefully pipe crosses on each bun with the flour paste mixture. Bake rolls at 375 for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
  10. Remove from oven and carefully brush with golden syrup mixture. Let cool completely before serving.