Easter baking: Cakes and puddings to put a spring in your step

Dust off the cobwebs and fill the house with the scent of baking

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Easter table setting

Easter is traditionally a time for excess after the fasting of Lent when rich foods including eggs, milk and meat were excluded from the diet.

Many Easter recipes celebrate by combining eggs and butter with sugar and spices to make rich and delicious sweet treats.

In the video above, a moist Easter carrot cake is decorated with with indulgent cream cheese icing flavoured with passion fruit.

Ingredients:
175g Demerara sugar
175ml sunflower oil
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 grated carrots
100g raisins
grated zest of 1 orange
175g self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp grated nutmeg

Icing:
170g cream cheese
¼ cup unsalted butter at room temperature (55g)
1 cup or 120g icing sugar
2 dessert spoons passion fruit curd or 2 fresh passion fruit

Method:
1 Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4/fan 160C. Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin.
2 In a large bowl, mix the sugar, oil, eggs, carrot, raisins and orange rind.
3 Mix in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices. The mixture will be fairly soft and almost runny. Don't worry. This is normal.
4 Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 40 or so minutes, until it feels firm to the touch. Cool in the tin, then turn out and cool on a wire rack.
5 While it's cooling, using an electric mixer, mix together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Then add the icing sugar and 1 dessert spoon passion fruit curd. If you are using fresh passion fruit, squeeze in the juice instead.
6 Spread it all over the cakes top and sides. Drizzle over the remaining passion fruit curd or the seeds from the remaining passion fruit husks. Eat. This cake keeps well, so unlike a normal sponge it lasts a few days.

More ideas for Easter baking:
Hot cross buns
Greek Easter wreath
Easter iced buns
Easter carrot cake with passion-fruit icing
Creme Egg brownies

More Easter food ideas:
Cook up an easy Easter feast
Crème Egg cheesecake (involves no baking whatsoever!)
Top tips for the perfect Easter egg hunt

More food know-how:
How to tell the quality of chocolate
Whole lotta pies: join the upper crust
How to read a whisky label
Foraging wild spring foods for free