10 Spring Treats to Impress Your Friends ...

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Spring is here and what better way to showcase the season than spring treats that will show off your baking skills? Below, I've got the top 10 spring treats that will absolutely impress all of your friends and will be a hit at any party at all! So ladies, let's take a look below at my top 10 spring treats to kick off this beautiful season!

1. Lemon Cake Pops

Lemon Cake Pops

Lemon is one of those flavors that I love to showcase all spring and summer. It's so crisp, so refreshing and so delightful in cake form! If you really want to impress your friends with some spring treats, this lemon cake pop recipe below is so awesome – and impressive!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

2 eggs

Grated zest of 1 lemon

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

Preparation:

Melt butter and set aside to cool briefly.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer at medium high speed, beat together sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice 1 minute. Add melted butter and beat 2 minutes at medium-high speed.

Beat in vanilla and lemon extract. Add flour mixture and beat just until blended.

Fill each well with about 1 tablespoon batter and cook 4 to 5 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool and glaze or coat, as desired.

Makes approximately 2 1/2 dozen

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2. 1-2-3-4 Lemon Cake

1-2-3-4 Lemon Cake

Remember how I said that I love lemon? Well ladies, this awesome (and easy!) lemon cake is an incredible spring treat for any party you are planning! It really tastes just like lemons and I love the whipped cream between the layers!

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans

3 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for pans

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/4 cups buttermilk

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Grated zest of 2 lemons

3 cups Lemon Curd

Sweetened Whipped Cream

12 ounces assorted fresh berries

Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preparation:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange two racks in center of oven. Butter two 8-by-2-inch round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper. Dust bottoms and sides of pans with flour; tap out any excess.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium speed until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating on medium speed until lightened, 3 to 4 minutes; scrape down sides once or twice. Drizzle in eggs, a little at a time, beating after each addition until batter is no longer slick, about 5 minutes; stop once or twice to scrape down sides.

On low speed, alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk, a little of each at a time, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat in vanilla and lemon zest.

Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake 25 minutes, then rotate the pans in the oven for even browning. Continue baking until a cake tester inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean, 10 to 20 minutes more. Transfer pans to wire racks to cool, 15 minutes. Turn out cakes; set on racks, tops up, until completely cool.

Remove the parchment from bottom of each cake. Using a serrated knife, slice each layer in half horizontally. Set aside the prettiest domed layer for the top of cake. Place another domed layer, dome-side down, on a serving platter. Spread 1 cup lemon curd over surface to within 1/2 inch from edges. Place second cake layer over the first, and spread another 1 cup curd over top. Repeat with third cake layer and remaining cup curd. Transfer partially assembled cake to the refrigerator.

Just before serving, place reserved dome on top of cake. Spoon sweetened whipped cream over the top. Sprinkle with mixed berries, and dust with confectioners' sugar through a fine sieve.

marthastewart.com

3. Rhubarb Upside-down Cake

Rhubarb Upside-down Cake

Another spring treat that is super popular every year in my house is rhubarb upside down cake. This recipe is actually one that we use every year and I gotta say, it's delicious! Want something sweet and totally spring-like? This is the spring treat for you!

Ingredients:

For The Topping

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

Coarse salt

For The Cake

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for buttering pan

1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut on a very sharp diagonal about 1/2 inch thick

1 3/4 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest plus 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice

2 large eggs

1 cup sour cream

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the topping: Stir together butter, flour, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until moist and crumbly.

Make the cake: Butter a 9-inch round cake pan (2 inches deep). Dot with 4 tablespoons butter (cut into pieces). Toss rhubarb with 3/4 cup sugar; let stand for 2 minutes. Toss again, and spread in pan.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Beat remaining stick butter and cup sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in zest and juice. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream, until smooth. Spread evenly over rhubarb. Crumble topping evenly over batter.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and top springs back when touched, about 1 hour. Let cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake, and invert onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.

Cook's Note

Let the cake cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan. The rhubarb will be too hot to handle safely right after baking. But if the cake sits much longer, it may stick.

marthastewart.com

4. Pink Meringue Cupcakes with Raspberry Curd

Pink Meringue Cupcakes with Raspberry Curd

If you are looking to really make a splash at your next party, these adorable and delicious cupcakes are the way to go! The raspberry inside of them is so good and so spring-like. I promise, these cupcakes will definitely impress your friends no matter how hard they are to impress!

Ingredients:

Vegetable oil cooking spray, for baking cups

6 large egg whites, room temperature

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups sugar

Gel-paste food coloring in Tulip Red

2 cups creme fraiche

1 container (6 ounces) raspberries, halved if large

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Line every other cup of 2 nonstick 12-cup muffin tins with baking cups; coat with cooking spray. Whisk egg whites, vinegar, vanilla, and salt with a mixer on medium-high speed until frothy. Add 1 3/4 cups sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition, making sure the sugar dissolves. Beat until stiff, glossy peaks form. Mix in 6 drops food coloring.

Transfer mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a plain coupler (no tip), and pipe into prepared baking cups, about 2 inches above rims, finishing with a peak in the centers. Bake, rotating halfway through, 3 to 3 hours and 20 minutes. (Cupcakes should be completely dry on the outside but still soft in the middle. A toothpick inserted horizontally at base of top should have moist but cooked crumbs attached.) Transfer cupcakes in baking cups to wire racks; let cool completely.

Beat creme fraiche and remaining cup sugar in a clean mixer bowl on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Carefully slice off tops of cupcakes using a serrated knife. (Run the knife just above the liner and slowly work your way to the center.) Top each cupcake with 2 tablespoons raspberry curd, a few raspberries, and 2 tablespoons creme fraiche mixture. Replace tops, and serve immediately.

marthastewart.com

5. Lemon-Thyme Pound Cake

Lemon-Thyme Pound Cake

One of the greatest things about lemon is that it can actually go great with spices and herbs that typically are more on the savory side. This lemon-thyme pound cake is not only sweet, but it's so delicious and absolutely perfect for spring! Try it ladies, it'll make all of your friends want the recipe!

Ingredients:

18 tablespoons (2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted, plus more for pan

12 sprigs fresh lemon thyme, plus more for garnish

1/2 teaspoon salt

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon (about 2 teaspoons zest)

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

6 large eggs, room temperature

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in lower third. Butter six (1-cup) molds of a mini angel food cake pan or mini bundt pan. Dust with flour, and tap out excess. Pick 2 teaspoons small sprigs from tops of lemon thyme sprigs, and divide evenly among molds; set aside. Coarsely chop remaining lemon thyme leaves to make 2 tablespoons; whisk chopped lemon thyme with the flour, salt, and lemon zest in a small bowl. Set aside.

Put butter into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream on medium speed until pale and fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, about 4 minutes. Add sugar. Mix until pale and fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, about 3 minutes.

Mix in vanilla. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition; mix until smooth. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing until just combined after each addition.

Spoon batter over lemon thyme in prepared molds. Smooth tops using a small rubber spatula. Firmly tap the pan on counter to eliminate any air bubbles. Bake until a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Let cakes cool slightly in pan on a wire rack, about 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of molds to loosen; unmold cakes. Place each cake on a serving plate, and drizzle with about 1 tablespoon syrup. Garnish with lemon thyme sprig.

marthastewart.com

6. Strawberry Tartlets

Strawberry Tartlets

I think spring is all about lemon, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries and these cute little strawberry tarlets are a must at any get-together with friends during the springtime! They are cute, taste really scrumptious and truly will make your friends beg you for the recipe. Try this spring treat out and let me know how it works out!

Ingredients:

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tablespoons plus 3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon ice water, plus more as needed

1 1/2 pounds (2 pints) fresh strawberries, hulled, washed, and halved or quartered if large

2 cups creme fraiche

Preparation:

Place the flour, 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, and salt in a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add butter, and process until mixture resembles coarse meal.

In a small bowl, mix together egg yolk and ice water. With machine running, add egg mixture in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube. Process until dough just holds together, about 20 seconds. If dough feels dry, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Divide the dough evenly among six 4-inch tartlet pans; gently press into pans. Prick bottoms with a fork. Refrigerate shells until firm to the touch, at least 30 minutes.

Line each shell with foil, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Place tar pans on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until the edges just begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Remove foil and weights. Continue to bake until bottom of crust is golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely. Remove shells from pans.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix strawberries with remaining 3 tablespoons sugar. Cover with plastic wrap, and let macerate until juicy, about 1 hour.

When ready to serve, fill each tart shell with about 1/3 cup creme fraiche; divide strawberries evenly among tarts.

marthastewart.com

7. Rhubarb-Berry Crumbles

Rhubarb-Berry Crumbles

Typically, strawberry and rhubarb are the two ingredients that go together, but for me, I use raspberries! This crumble is a take on a cobbler and I gotta say, it tastes like a slice of the South! So delicious ladies, try it.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds rhubarb, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices, leaves discarded

2 cups raspberries, or sliced strawberries, or a combination

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 tablespoons instant tapioca

1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

Pinch of salt

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Stir together rhubarb, berries, sugar, tapioca, orange zest, orange juice, and salt in a bowl. Let stand 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Divide rhubarb mixture among 6 small ceramic baking dishes (1 cup capacity and 5 1/2 inches in diameter). Transfer baking dishes to a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with topping, dividing evenly.

Bake until topping turns golden and juices are bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool on sheet on a wire rack 30 minutes. Serve with yogurt, if desired.

marthastewart.com

8. Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

Now I know that Starbucks serves up one of these, but I can tell you, it isn't nearly as good as this one. This incredible spring treat melts right in your mouth and really feels refreshing and crisp when you eat it. It's truly something that I make at least once every single spring!

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan

3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan

3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk

Zest of 2 lemons, finely grated

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups sugar

5 large eggs

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in lowest position. Butter and flour two 4 1/2-by-8-inch (6-cup) loaf pans.

In a small bowl (or liquid measuring cup), combine buttermilk with lemon zest and juice. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three parts alternately with the buttermilk mixture in two, beginning and ending with flour; beat just until smooth (do not overmix).

Divide batter evenly between pans; smooth tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes (tent with foil if browning too quickly). Cool 15 minutes in pan. Turn out cakes onto a rack; cool completely before glazing.

Set rack with cakes over a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Pour glaze over cakes, letting it run down the sides; let dry, about 30 minutes.

Cook's Note

The batter can also be baked in a 12-cup buttered and floured nonstick Bundt pan; the cooking and cooling times are the same.

marthastewart.com

9. Spring Shower Almond Petits Fours

Spring Shower Almond Petits Fours

Are you have a spring-fling party of some sort? These little petit fours are ideal for any spring party! They are bite-size, so sweet and taste so good, you'll want to eat the entire tray!

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for baking sheet

1 1/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising), plus more for baking sheet

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup almond paste

4 large eggs, separated

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup cherry preserves, processed in a food processor

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 12-by-17- inch rimmed baking sheet, and line with parchment paper. Butter parchment, and dust with flour, tapping out excess; set aside. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl; set aside.

Put 3/4 cup sugar and the almond paste into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 2 minutes. Raise speed to medium-high. Add butter; mix until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in egg yolks and vanilla. Add flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the milk. Transfer to a large bowl; set aside.

Put egg whites into the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment; beat on medium-high speed until foamy. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Fold one-third of egg-white mixture into batter with a rubber spatula. Gently fold in remaining egg-white mixture.

Spread evenly into prepared sheet. Bake until a cake tester inserted into center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to wire rack; let cool completely. Unmold; remove parchment.

Cut cake in half crosswise. Spread one half with preserves; top with remaining half. Refrigerate 1 hour. Trim cake, and cut into 11/2-inch squares. Transfer to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Pour glaze over each petit four, spreading over top and sides to coat completely. Reuse glaze, straining to remove any solids, if needed. Refrigerate until set, about 20 minutes. Garnish with blossoms. Cakes can be refrigerated up to 2 days.

marthastewart.com

10. Mini Eclairs with Strawberries and Cream

Mini Eclairs with Strawberries and Cream

Finally, all the rage this season is mini desserts. This little twist on the classic eclair is a great way to tie springtime into it! Switch out the heavy Bavarian cream for some strawberry cream and you've got the sweetest spring treat ever!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup whole milk

1/4 cup water

1/2 stick unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 large eggs

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Bring milk, water, butter, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

Remove from heat, and stir in flour. Return to heat, and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture pulls away from sides of pan, about 4 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed to cool slightly, about 1 minute. With machine running, add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Transfer dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip.

Pipe twenty 2 1/2-inch-long eclairs onto each sheet. Bake until eclairs rise and are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Split eclairs in half lengthwise using a serrated knife. Pipe vanilla cream onto eclair bottoms. Spoon macerated berries on top of cream, and sandwich with eclair tops. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Serve immediately.

Bake the mini eclairs the day you plan on serving them.

Cook's Note

For a take on chocolate-covered strawberries, drizzle the eclairs with melted bittersweet chocolate.

marthastewart.com

These are just my top 10 spring treats that will truly blow all of your guests away! What spring treats do you ladies have in your recipe books? Any ones that I haven't listed? What's your favorite spring treat? Share!

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