17 Showstopping Desserts to Make This Spring
Cornmeal-Almond Cake with Strawberries and Mascarpone
This buttery cornmeal cake contains more than a half-pound of toasted almonds, giving it an excellent, nutty flavor. Instead of using plain whipped cream as a topping, chef Mike Lata whips a combination of cream and mascarpone for a bit of tanginess.
Cake flour is the secret ingredient in this lusciously light shortcake. Make sure that you use pure cake flour as opposed to self-rising cake flour, which is similarly packaged. This dessert is at its best within 30 minutes of assembly.
Spiced Rhubarb Soup with Vanilla Ice Cream
This silky fruit dessert is delicious on its own or topped with vanilla ice cream. Just be sure to only barely cook the rhubarb, so that it retains its crispness—and plenty of tangy flavor.
Yigit Pura perfected this crisp-creamy French dessert while working at restaurant Daniel in New York City. His updated version combines little lime meringue kisses with basil ice cream and sweet mango sorbet.
Rhubarb-Cheese Strudel with Vanilla Sauce
Strudel is a classic Austrian pastry made by wrapping layers of paper-thin dough around a variety of fillings. This simplified version, made with store-bought phyllo dough, features a cheesecake-like mixture and tangy rhubarb compote. A crème anglaise served alongside makes it extra-decadent.
Strawberry-and-Wild-Fennel Compote with Pound Cake
Bill Corbett harvests his own fennel pollen for this dessert by hanging wild fennel flowers upside down; as they dry, the pollen falls into a container below.
Cherries Poached in Red Wine with Mascarpone Cream
Thick mascarpone cheese mixed with honey makes a luscious topping for poached cherries. You can serve the dessert either warm or cold. We love it both ways.
Pavlovas with Roasted Rhubarb and Rosé Syrup
Amy Thielen’s platonic-ideal pavlova is the size of a Barbie hot tub, still gooey at the center, and filled with tart cooked fruit, preferably rhubarb.
Rhubarb and Candied Ginger Crostata
A crostata is the kind of free-form tart that looks best when completely rustic—the more uneven folds of flaky, golden pastry and bubbling fruit juices, the better. This Easter stunner stars fresh rhubarb that’s combined with rhubarb compote and studded with candied ginger. The crust comes together quickly and will hold well during a lazy Easter brunch.
Carrot-Almond Snack Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
In this carrot cake, almond flour is the predominant flour, which makes for a rich, dense, moist texture.
Pandan Panna Cotta with Mango and Pink Peppercorn
March is prime Ataulfo—aka Champagne—mango season, so be sure to search them out. Andrea Slonecker says they have an extra sweetness and richer flavor than other mangos, so you don’t need to macerate them in sugar or employ other such tricks. But a sprinkling of crushed pink peppercorns on top does add pretty color and a little fragrant punch to complete the dish.
When crafting new paletas for her company La Newyorkina, Zany Gerson’s rule of thumb is this: If the colors of her ingredients go together, the flavors will, too. These bright, red-and-orange-hued ice pops are perfect to make in May when juicy strawberries are at their peak.
Wine-Poached Strawberries and Apricots
Semi-dry Riesling, which is refreshing and not too sweet, is the secret to this impressive, balanced dessert. Dried apricots lend a gentle bitterness while the strawberries add sweetness and impart the rosiest color. Unsweetened whipped cream make you nervous? Trust us—the boozy berries provide all the sweetness this dessert needs.
When you cut the millefeuille, Alex Guarnaschelli recommends using a serrated knife and a sawing motion to cut even (and fairly neat) portions. Or just put in the center of the table with some forks and let things happen as they may.
Olive Oil Cake with Honey-Yogurt Cream and Strawberries
This is no featherweight spring cake: Olive oil and almond flour keep it dense and moist so it can hold plenty of juicy macerated strawberries. An infusion of lime in the cake batter and a tangy yogurt whipped cream brightens each slice.
Lemon filling highlights the nuttiness of buckwheat flour in these shortbread cookie sandwiches from Nina Compton.
Honey Cake with Citrus Frosting
This tender, light honey cake, laced with hints of coffee and orange juice, is perfect with a cup of tea.