Easter Dessert Ideas

Our next guest says you shouldn’t feel any pressure to make something homemade. Cake decorator and baking instructor Nancy Burgeson has last minute dessert ideas and on how to jazz up boxed cake recipes if you’re in a hurry to make something for Easter Sunday.

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1/4 cup poppy seeds
1/4 cup salad oil
1 1/4 cup water
3 eggs
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
Lemon glaze

Soak poppy seeds in water (1 1/4 cups) for 30 minutes. Heat oven to 350°. Generously grease and flour Bundt pan. Blend cake mix, oil, eggs, poppy seeds, and water. Beat 4 minutes on medium speed. Pour into pan. Bake 40-50 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely.

2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. lemon flavoring or extract
enough hot water to make a glaze consistency

Put into small bowl and mix together. Spread cake with glaze, allowing it to drizzle down sides.


2 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups salad oil
2 tsp. baking powder
4 eggs
4 jars baby food carrots (15 oz. total)
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
2 tsp. baking soda
3/4-1 cup white raisins

Mix sugar, oil, and eggs. In a separate, large bowl mix flour, cinnamon, soda, salt, and baking powder. Add sugar mixture to flour mixture. Add carrots, pecans, and raisins. Pour in 3 sprayed (baking spray) and waxed paper lined 8″ round pans and bake 45 minutes at 325°. Let cool, then frost with icing recipe following.

2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 Tablespoons milk

With mixer cream powdered sugar, cream cheese, milk, vanilla, and butter. Beat until smooth.

CARROT CAKE (boxed cake recipe)

1 pkg. boxed cake mix
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup pineapple juice
2/3 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1/4 cup crushed pineapple (reserve juice)
1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans (optional)

Bake at 350° until tested done. Drain pineapple, reserving liquid. Toast nuts and chop. Beat together cake mix, water, juice, oil, and eggs until well mixed. Blend in pineapple and toasted pecans. Pour into 3 sprayed (baking spray) and waxed paper lined 8″ pans.

Use icing recipe from the previous CARROT CAKE recipe


Using either the scratch carrot cake recipe or the boxed recipe for carrot cake frost with with cream cheese frosting recipe.

On the top cake sprinkle toasted pecans in mounds and drizzle a thick chocolate caramel sauce over top and down the sides of the cake.

1 cup toasted pecans using some half pecans and some chopped
1 cup thick caramel sauce mixed with ¼ cup thick chocolate ice cream topping.


1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O vanilla flavor Instant Pudding & Pie filling
1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
1 cup thawed COOL WHIP whipped topping
1 pkg. (10 oz.) round angel food cake mix (prepare as directed on pkg.)
10 fresh strawberries

Mix dry pudding mix and pineapple with juice in medium bowl. Gently stir in whipped topping. Cut cake horizontally into 3 layers. Place bottom cake layer, cut side up, on serving plate; top with 1 1/3 cups of the pudding mixture. Cover with middle cake layer and additional 1 cup of the remaining pudding mixture. Top with remaining cake layer and spread with remaining pudding mixture. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Top with strawberries just before serving. Store leftover dessert in refrigerator.


1 box Yellow cake mix; prepared as directed
Mango filling

Start by mixing Yellow Cake mix according to the box directions. Pour batter into 9×11 cake pan which has been sprayed and lined (baking spray and waxed paper). Bake and cool. After cooled, cut out mini cakes using a 3 inch cookie cutter. Pipe on a generous portion of any flavor pie/fruit filling or any flavor curd and smooth with a spatula. Garnish top with fresh fruit.


1 box White cake mix (Betty Crocker)
1 pkg. strawberry flavor gelatin
1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup pineapple juice
4 large eggs
1/2 cup pineapple preserves, divided

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 3 (8-inch) round baking pans with nonstick baking spray and line with waxed paper. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add crushed pineapple, oil, pineapple juice, and eggs; beat at medium speed in mixer for 2 minutes. Increase speed and beat until mixture is combined. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until wooden toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely.

Place 1 cake layer on a cake plate. Spread 1/4 cup pineapple preserves evenly over top of cake. Top with 1 cake layer and spread remaining 1/4 cup preserves evenly over cake. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below) evenly over top and sides of cake. Just before serving, garnish cake with sliced strawberries. Store, covered in refrigerator.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting:

In a medium bowl, beat one 8 oz. pkg. of cream cheese, softened, and 1 cup butter at medium speed in mixer until creamy. Add 1/4 cup strawberry jam, beating until smooth. Gradually beat in 7 cups confectioners’ sugar until smooth.

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