Be inspired by these tasty Easter recipes that you can make on your own or with your kids. Created by Alice Fotheringham, the Infant Nutrition Expert at Piccolo, this collection features two sweet treats and a crowd-pleasing main dish for Easter Sunday – Lamb Ratatouille!
You’d be hopping mad to miss this classic carrot cake recipe. This was handed down by Alice’s mum, and is a failsafe recipe that can survive freezing, making into a loaf, muffins or a huge three tier number. This recipe makes enough for two layers.
Suitable from 1 year
Cook: 50 minutes
Suitable for freezing uniced
300ml (1/2 pint) vegetable oil
350g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
250g plain flour
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
450g carrots, peeled and grated
100g chopped toasted pumpkin seeds or pecans (optional)
100g butter, softened
1 (200g) tub cream cheese, softened
450g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g chopped toasted pumpkin seeds
Carrot peelings to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 180° Grease and flour a 9inch/ 23cm cake tin.
- In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, caster sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla.
- Mix in flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in carrots and fold in pecans or pumpkin seeds if using. Pour into the prepared tin.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in cake tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
- To Make topping: a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, icing sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy.. Spread over the top of cake when it has cooled. Decorate with toasted seeds or pecans and carrot peelings.
TIP: To avoid lumps in the icing, make sure the butter and cheese are very soft.
Cream cheese Easter biscuits
These biscuits are delicious iced or un-iced. The dough really benefits from a long chill in the fridge before baking. So would recommend making the dough the day before decorating.
Makes 20 biscuits
Preparation: 20 minutes plus chilling and decorating
Cook: 10 minutes
140g caster sugar
225g butter, softened
85g cream cheese, softened
pinch of salt
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
320g plain flour
120g icing sugar
1-2 tbsp boiling water
Food colouring (optional)
- In a large bowl, combine the sugar, butter until fully mixed together. Mix in the cream cheese, salt, almond and vanilla extracts, and egg yolk. Beat until smooth.
- Stir in flour until well blended. Chill the dough for 2 hours, or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 170° On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough 1/3 at a time to 25mm thickness with lightly floured biscuit cutters. Place 2 to 3cm apart on ungreased baking trays. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until light and golden brown. Cool biscuits completely before icing.
- To make the icing sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Using a wooden spoon, gradually stir in enough water until the mixture is the consistency of thick cream. Beat until white and smooth and thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Mix in some colouring, if you like, and use immediately.
Tip: To flavour the icing try replacing the water with lemon or orange juice, or add a few drops of vanilla or almond extract.
A veg and lamb feast
Slow cooked leg of lamb with a delicious ratatouille sauce made from tomato, courgette, aubergine and peppers cooked with garlic, rosemary and thyme.
1.2 kg leg of lamb, deboned, cut into large pieces
1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
pinch of fresh or dried thyme
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
1 medium aubergine, cut into pieces
1 medium courgette
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into pieces
1 x tin chopped tomato
- On a high heat, heat the olive oil in a deep, large, heavy bottomed pan. Pat lamb dry and seal the edges of the meat in the pan, until it is brown all over. Remove the lamb from the heat and set aside in a plate. Scrap the meat off the pan and add a little water to the pan to deglaze it.
- Add a dash more olive oil and turn the heat to medium, then add the onions. Cook for a few minutes to soften, then add the garlic, aubergine, courgette and pepper and cook, occasionally stirring for 8-10 minutes.
- Stir in tomatoes, raisins and fresh herbs. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.
- You can also do this in a slow cooker cooking over night for a very tender lamb dish.
- Once cooked remove from the heat and either puree or serve chunky with rice or couscous and peas or broccoli.