6 recipes to sweeten your Easter menu

Chocolate creme eggs
(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Saturday, March 30. Here’s what you need to know to start your weekend:

    Six dessert recipes to try this Easter

    Happy (early) Easter! Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, we’ve got some good recipes for you to try.

    What’s on the menu at your house? Perhaps a classic Times recipe like Mayeritsa Greek Easter soup or roasted lamb and turnips, with springtime peas and herbal potatoes on the side.


    My family’s Easter dinner looks a lot like what we eat for Christmas and Thanksgiving. Seafood gumbo, honey-baked ham and cornbread dressing are holiday staples for us. Sometimes we’ll add green beans, potatoes and sweet potato pie for a little variety.

    But for the most part, the menu is packed with savory dishes and light on the sweet dishes.

    What better time to change things up than now?

    I dug through countless recipes in our archives to help you end your Sunday with a sweet treat.

    With the help of Times colleagues and contributors, I’m entering this holiday with more recipes than I can cook.

    Here are six to sweeten your holiday:

    Chocolate creme eggs

    Chocolate creme eggs
    (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

    When I think of Easter, eggs immediately come to mind. Whether they’re hard-boiled or egg-shaped milk chocolate shells. Re-create the Cadbury Creme Egg with this recipe. It takes an hour and a half and makes 3½ dozen eggs.

    Spring lime meringue pie

    Spring lime meringue pie - Sweet with just the right amount of tang.
    (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

    To make this pie, you need an early start. But you can roll and flute the dough the night before. Make the pie filling close to baking time, as the meringue mixture must be made at the last minute. Total preparation time is one hour and 15 minutes, plus one hour of cooling, and serves eight people. Here’s the full recipe.

    Shortbread bars with dark caramel and chocolate

    For a Twix twist: homemade shortbread with dark caramel and chocolate.
    (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

    Who doesn’t love a Twix bar? This Twix-like recipe makes buttery shortbread bars with a thick layer of caramel. It takes two hours, and you should end up with about five dozen (3½-inch) bars.

    Chocolate macarons

    Chocolate Macarons
    (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

    Add a little French flavor to your dessert menu this year. The cookie itself doesn’t have much flavor. So to get the full measure of a macaron, you have to make sure that each bit includes cookies and filling. You get texture from the cookies, but you get flavor from the filling. This recipe takes one hour and makes 24 to 30 sandwich cookies.

    Vegan carrot-banana cake

    Vegan Carrot-Banana Cake
    (Ben Mims / Los Angeles Times)

    We’ve got an easy vegan carrot cake recipe that might be better than the original! Bananas stand in for eggs, binding the batter and giving the cake body. Pro tip: Use bananas whose peels have gone mostly black for the best flavor. It takes an hour and 20 minutes, and serves eight to 12 people.

    Vending machine honey buns

    A person tops honey buns with icing
    (Silvia Razgova/For The Times)

    Fans of the cellophane-wrapped honey buns will love these squishy-soft and tender homemade honey buns. Plus, they’re healthier without all the chemicals that keep the vending machine versions preserved for years on end. This recipe makes eight buns and takes an hour and 10 minutes, plus three hours of proofing.

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    Column One

    Column One is The Times’ home for narrative and longform journalism. Here’s a great piece from this week:

    Tteok-bokki rice cake from the food court at The Source OC in Buena Park, CA.
    Tteok-bokki rice cake from the food court at the Source OC in Buena Park.
    (Jennelle Fong / For The Times)

    How one mall has become a culture-defining hub for Orange County’s newest Koreatown. The Asian-centric entertainment and dining destination offers a unique concentration of Korean culture just a few miles away from Buena Park’s newly named Koreatown.

    More great reads

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    For your weekend

    HAVN, a floating sauna, is housed in Victoria's Inner Harbor, Vancouver Island.
    (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

    Going out

    Staying in

    How well did you follow the news this week? Take our quiz.

    Legal trouble for a member of this Dodger superstar’s inner circle? Plus nine other questions from our weekly news quiz.

    For the record: Yesterday’s newsletter stated that Allstate stopped offering new property policies in California following State Farm’s June 2023 announcement. Allstate stopped offering new policies to California customers in November 2022.

    Have a great weekend, from the Essential California team


    Kevinisha Walker, multiplatform editor

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