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Easter baking ideas: cakes, biscuits and buns

27 March 2017 ( 03 April 2020 )

Easter is a great time to get baking, so why not try one of these recipes for Easter cakes, biscuits and buns - including traditional simnel cake variants, biscuits for children to decorate and a range of gorgeous buns.

Easter baking. Photograph by Laura Edwards, styling by Joss Herd.
Diana Henry's almond, apricot and amaretto cake and almond and fennel seed biscotti. Photograph by Laura Edwards, styling by Joss Herd.

Easter cake recipes

Almond, apricot and Amaretto cake

Diana Henry’s luxurious and impressive cake makes a great alternative to traditional simnel cake. It has a rich batter flavoured with marzipan, Amaretto and vanilla that’s sure to go down a treat with guests this Easter.

Recipe: almond, apricot and Amaretto cake

Speckled egg Easter cake

Speckled mini egg cake

This show-stopping recipe from Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite looks divine and the speckled effect is actually not hard to do – just flick a (clean!) toothbrush dipped in a mixture of cocoa powder and vanilla extract. It’s the perfect Easter cake for children, or any big kids with a love of Cadbury's Mini Eggs!

Recipe: speckled mini egg cake

Mango and passion fruit cake

Mango and passion fruit cake

Sweet a fruity but with no refined sugar, this gorgeous passion fruit cake uses the natural sweetness of mango puree and maple syrup. It’s topped with fresh whipped cream and a drizzle of passion fruit, which makes it a deliciously indulgent treat reminiscent of a summer pudding. 

Recipe: mango and passion fruit cake

Classic lemon drizzle cake

Easy lemon drizzle loaf

If the above cakes just seem like too much hard work, or you fancy something a bit lighter and less sickly, you could do a lot worse than baking a traditional lemon drizzle loaf. It’s easy to throw together (especially if you have a mixer) and is popular with almost everyone.

Recipe: lemon drizzle loaf

Simnel cake

Simnel cake

Simnel cake is a traditional fruit cake with a topping of 11 marzipan balls to represent the 12 apostles, minus Judas. Its been a traditional staple of a British Easter. It's much lighter than a Christmas fruit cake, so don't let it hang around too long! If you prefer cupcakes we also have a recipe for simnel muffins which are topped with a disc of marzipan and a scattering of colourful mini eggs.

Recipe: simnel cake
Recipe: gluten-free vegan simnel cake
Recipe: simnel muffins

Mary Berry's orange drizzle cake

Orange drizzle cake

This gorgeously sweet and zingy orange cake recipe from Mary Berry is ideal for an Easter afternoon tea.

Recipe: orange drizzle cake

Citrus and ricotta cake

Citrus and ricotta cake

A beautiful Sicilian spring cake flavoured with orange, lemon and almonds.

Recipe: citrus and ricotta cake

Gluten-free simnel traybake

Simnel traybake

Sometimes you want something a bit more casual than a big cake, and this gluten-free traybake is just the thing. It combines the traditional fruit and marzipan flavours of simnel cake with a sweet iced top with flaked almond sprinkle that gives it a bit of a Bakewell tart vibe.

Recipe: gluten-free simnel traybake 

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Easter biscuit recipes

Easter biscuits

Easy Easter biscuits

Decorate your own Easter biscuits with colourful icing and sprinkles. Use this basic buttery biscuit recipe with a cookie cutter of your choice, such as Easter bunnies, chicks, eggs and flowers, and give the grandchildren – or yourself – the chance to be creative.

Recipe: easy biscuit recipe

Gluten-free Easter biscuits

Fruity lemon Easter biscuits

These crumbly, buttery gluten-free Easter biscuits have a zesty lemon flavour with sweet currants dotted throughout, and what's more there's a gluten-free version too!

Recipe: gluten-free fruity lemon Easter biscuits

Almond and fennel seed biscotti

Almond and fennel seed biscotti

If colourful bunnies and chicks aren’t your idea of appetising then why not try this grown-up Easter bake? Diana Henry’s gorgeous almond and fennel seed biscotti are perfect with a refreshing cup of tea and they can keep for up to two weeks.

Recipe: almond and fennel seed biscotti

Recycled biscuit cake

Leftover biscuit cake

A simple no-bake ‘cake’ made from leftover biscuits crumbled into melted chocolate. In the unlikely event that you end up with too many Easter eggs it’s also a great way to use up leftover chocolate – just combine the ingredients in a pan, turn out and leave to cool until solid. Easy peasy!

Recipe: leftover biscuit cake

Easter bun recipes

Simnel swirl buns

Simnel swirl Easter buns

These lovely little sticky buns are a cross between hot cross buns and traditional Simnel cake, making them a must-bake this Easter. A little more luxurious than a hot cross bun, these spiced buns combine dried fruit with marzipan and chopped almonds.

Recipe: Simnel swirl Easter buns

Lemon and cinnamon buns

Cinnamon lemon buns

For a lighter version of the Simnel swirl buns above try these soft and sweet cinnamon and lemon buns.

Recipe: cinnamon lemon buns

Hot cross loaf

Date and toffee hot cross loaf

Instead of the more usual buns why not try baking a loaf you can slice and enjoy fresh or toasted with a good dollop of butter. This one is stuffed with sliced dates and small pieces of toffee, but you could always use the more traditional currants if you prefer.

Recipe: date and toffee hot cross loaf

Hot cross buns

Hot cross buns

If all else fails you can never have too many of the trusty and traditional hot cross buns.

Recipe: hot cross buns 

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.