Best Easter Bakes

The Easter Bank Holiday is finally upon us: sunny afternoons, countryside days out and plates of delicious Easter treats. We’re always partial to a bake or two at Style Diary, and  Easter is always a great excuse!

The Easter Bank Holiday is finally upon us: sunny afternoons, countryside days out and plates of delicious Easter treats. We’re always partial to a bake or two at Style Diary, and  Easter is always a great excuse!

To celebrate the run-up to the four-day weekend holiday, here are our best Easter bakes. Go on, treat yourself…

All recipes taken from BBC Good Food.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 275g/9¾oz caster sugar
  • 200ml/7fl oz sunflower oil
  • 4 medium free-range eggs
  • 300g/10½oz grated carrot, a little more or less is fine
  • 150g/5½oz nuts or dried fruit (optional)
  • 225g/8oz spelt or wholemeal flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and line the pockets of a muffin tray with muffin cases.
  2. Beat the sugar, oil and eggs in mixing bowl until smooth, then stir in the grated carrot and up to 150g/5½oz chopped nuts, dried fruit or a mixture of both.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, spices and cocoa so that they’re evenly mixed, then tip this into the carrot mixture and stir well.
  4. Fill the muffin papers to about two-thirds full, then bake for about 25 minutes, or until a skewer poked in comes out almost clean.
  5. For the frosting, make sure the butter is soft, then, using a whisk or electric mixer, beat it with the cream cheese in a bowl until smooth and light.
  6. Stir in the icing sugar with a spoon until it begins to come together, then whisk again briefly until light and smooth. Pipe or spoon blobs of the frosting on each cold cupcake. Decorate with sugar-paste carrots or, say for Easter, with mini chocolate Easter eggs.

 

Easter Brioche

Ingredients

  • 250g plain flour
  • 100g butter
  • 2 rounded tbsp caster sugar
  • 7g sachet fast-action yeast
  • 3 eggs
  • beaten egg yolk, to glaze
  • 2-3 sugar cubes, lightly crushed
  1. Tip the flour into a food processor fitted with a plastic kneading blade and add the butter. Process until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the caster sugar, a good pinch of salt and the yeast.
  2. Add the eggs and mix to a soft dough, then knead in the machine for 2 mins. Butter a brioche mould or 2 pt loaf tin. Sprinkle a layer of flour onto a work surface and tip the dough onto it. With floured hands, knead very briefly to form a ball, then drop the dough into the tin, smooth side up. Cover with cling film and leave to rise until doubled in size, about 2 hrs in a warm place.
  3. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Brush the top of the brioche with egg yolk, then sprinkle over crushed sugar and bake for 20-25 mins, until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Tip out onto a wire rack and leave to cool.
  4. No food processor? Simply rub the butter into the flour by hand, stir in the sugar, salt and yeast, then add the eggs and mix to a soft dough. Cover and chill for 20 mins (this makes it easier to handle), then knead on a floured surface for 5 mins. Drop into the tin and carry on as recipe.

 

Hot Cross Buns & Spiced Honey Butter

Our final Best Easter Bakes recipe is a delicious hot cross buns recipe as no Easter celebration is complete without it!

Ingredients

  • 300ml whole milk
  • zest 1 orange
  • 50g butter, cubed
  • 500g strong white flour, plus 140g for the crosses, and extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 85g golden caster sugar
  • 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 1 large egg, beaten, plus 1 egg to glaze
  • oil, for greasing
  • 100g dried mixed fruit

For the spiced honey butter

  • 200g salted butter, softened
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 4 tbsp clear honey
  1. Warm the milk and orange zest in a small saucepan until steaming. Remove from the heat and add the butter, swirling the pan until the butter has melted and the milk has cooled to hand temperature.
  2. Mix the flour, cinnamon, sugar, yeast and 1 tsp salt in a large bowl. Pour in the milk mixture and the beaten egg, and mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture clumps together. Tip out onto your work surface and knead until smooth and elastic – the dough should bounce back when pressed with your finger. Transfer to a clean oiled bowl, cover with cling film or a tea towel and leave to rise for 2 hrs or until doubled in size.
  3. Dust your largest baking tray with flour. Tip the dough back onto your work surface and knead again to knock out any air bubbles. Add the dried fruit and knead to incorporate into the dough. Divide the dough into 11 equal pieces. Roll each lump of dough into a smooth ball. Arrange the balls on your tray in a ring, leaving a small gap between each one. Cover loosely with a piece of cling film and leave somewhere warm to prove again for a further 1 hr or until doubled in size, the buns should be just touching.
  4. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Brush the buns with a little beaten egg. Mix the remaining flour with enough water to make a thick paste, then transfer to a piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle, or use a sandwich bag and snip off one corner. Use the paste to pipe crosses over the buns – this is easiest if you pipe in one big circle, then put a line across the middle of each bun. Bake for 25 mins until golden and cooked through.
  5. Meanwhile, make the spiced honey butter. Put the butter, spices and honey in a bowl and beat with an electric whisk until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. When the buns are cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 mins on the baking tray. Serve the bun ring warm with the butter in the centre for spreading. The buns will keep for up to 3 days in a tin or freeze for up to 3 months.

We hope you enjoy our Best Easter Bakes round-up…

Style Inspiration Team

We are the Style Inspiration Team for the Jacques Vert Group blog, giving you seasonal style advice and fashion tips.

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