I can't think of a sweeter way to enjoy spring than to make those bright, fresh, subtle flavors! These are my favorite, tried and true spring recipes. Enjoy!
Easy Moist Lemon Cake
*So, this is my secret to amazing cake and super tasty light frosting. Beware, it will ruin you and it is really easy! You can add vanilla pudding to any cake mix for an amazingly moist cake and whipped cream to any frosting to make it lighter.
1 lemon cake mix
1/2 cup instant vanilla pudding (1 box)
cream cheese icing (see recipe with carrot cake)
1 cup whipped cream
- Follow cake mix instructions or mix your own from scratch.
- Add dry pudding mix (no need to make the pudding)
- Bake according to cake mix instructions. Choose pan of your choice. See my note below.
- Follow instructions for cream cheese icing in the carrot cake section.
- Fold in 1 cup whipped cream (can follow instructions in key lime pie recipe if you want to make cream fresh).
Pan: I used a Bundt pan here, but decided that I prefer using a flat 9x13 pan for this cake so that there is more frosting per square footage, and the cake got a little dry on the bottom in order for the top to bake all the way through in a Bundt pan.
Rich & Moist Carrot Cake
*Who doesn't love a good carrot cake? Not all carrot cakes are equal though, are they? My secrets, dark brown sugar and oil.
2 cups brown (dark) sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
8 oz. cream cheese (1 cup), softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
- Cream sugar, oil & eggs
- Add dry ingredients
- Add walnuts and carrots
- Put in well oiled cake pan (can flour pan too)
- Bake at 350°F for 50-55 minutes
- Beat softened cream cheese and butter
- Add vanilla
- Slowly add powdered sugar
Decorate: I used a Bundt pan for this cake and decorated by patting chopped walnuts on the sides and piping carrots on top (you can use a plastic bag and cut off the tip if you don't have an icing bag). However cake is good without any decoration at all!
Gingersnap Key Lime Pie
*This is such an incredible delight if you like lime. It takes a little more work to squeeze your own lime juice, but I tell you that it is a MUST, not only because the scent is absolutely invigorating, but because the homemade curd is next level; so so good. I look forward to making this every spring!
adapted from thevintagemixer.com
for the lime curd:
1/2 cup sugar
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup fresh lime juice (10 key limes or 5 regular limes)
the zest from 4 key limes
6 Tbsp. butter
for the pie filling:
2 cups key lime curd (recipe above makes about 2 cups)
2 cups whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup sugar (sweeten to taste)
gingersnap pecan pie crust:
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus additional for buttering pie plate
Flour for dusting
1 cup finely crushed gingersnap cookies (5 oz; 20 2-inch cookies)
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (2 oz)
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
lime curd: Place the sugar, whole eggs, egg yolks, juice and zest in a medium pan on low and continually whisk to combine (keep at low heat so you will not scramble the eggs). After 5 minutes on low, increase the temperature to medium low and constantly whisk until the mixture turns pale and thickens (about 8-10 minutes). Remove from heat and whisk in the butter. Store in jars or an airtight container for up to one month. Let cool before adding to rest of pie filling.
pie filling: Whip the cream until it thickens quite a lot (about 5 minutes) then add the vanilla and sugar. Fold the lime curd (fully cooled) in with a rubber spatula and fill desired pie/tart crusts. Chill 2 hours then top with additional whipped cream if desired. Allow to come to room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.
gingersnap pecan pie crust:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour pie or tart dish, knocking out excess flour. Toss together all crust ingredients in a bowl with a fork until crumbs are moistened, then press evenly over bottom and up side of pie plate. Bake crust 6 minutes, then cool on a rack.
I hope these make your spring a little sweeter!
There are so many other delightful things to make this time of year! I'd love to try out a few rhubarb recipes to add to my reservoir. What are your favorite spring recipes?