10 Inspiring Easter Desserts

limoncello tiramisu

Are you looking for some inspiration while planning for your Easter dessert? Well here are 10 of my favorites! Each and very one I have made for family and friends and all have been a big hit!

Let’s start out with this dreamy Limoncello Tiramisu. It’s bright and delicious and the perfect ending to a great meal. This particular recipe can be made in individual parfait glasses or in a 9×13 inch pan like featured above, all you have to do is double the recipe!

cannoli pie

Cannoli Pie, I call it a pie because it’s actually a take on another Easter pie that I make.

This special dessert is made in a spring form pan which allows you to press broken cannoli shells easily against the wall of the pan in forming the crust. You can  make it a day ahead then adorn the top with all things cannoli, like pistachios, mini chocolate chips and powdered sugar.

easter cookies

Italian Anise Cookies, these are a staple in many Italian homes, usually made often for any type of celebration and holidays. The nice thing about these cookies is the fact that you can decorate them according to whatever occasion it is.

The pastel colors scream winter is gone and spring is upon us! I promise they’ll be the perfect addition to your Easter table.

olive oil cake

Olive Oil Chardonnay Pound Cake with Citrus Vanilla Glaze. This recipe has been on my blog since 2013 and I have to say I have a weakness for this cake.

This pound cake has a bright and bold flavorful glaze that mixes three different citrus zests together, and the texture of the cake is amazing, plus I think it gives a pretty awesome presentation.

Easter Lamb cake

Easter Lamb Cake. Lamb cakes have been a tradition for years and years at Easter time. Yes, you can buy them at bakeries and grocery stores around the holiday, but have you ever wanted to make your own?

I had a dear friend show me step by step how she makes her old school recipe which she’s been making for over 50 years! Get the kids involved in the decorating it would be a nice tradition to start in your own family as well.

Check out her delicious pound cake recipe that she uses.

 

strawberry tiramisu

Strawberry Tiramisu, I love a rich and creamy tiramisu. You can change up the berries using which ones that you like or even do a mixed berry version.

I have a confession to make, I never make my tiramisu with raw eggs, I prefer it without.

limoncello tart

Limoncello Tart. ( Can you tell I love Limoncello?) This one has a crust that’s made with crushed amaretti cookies and it’s served with a blueberry sauce on the side.

It’s an amazing combination and a real show stopper!

ricotta cookies

Triple Zested Ricotta Cookies. Flavors of lemon, orange and lime are tasted through out every bite of this cookie.

They’ll look nice and pretty set out on your Easter dessert table, everyone loves a ricotta cookie, so light and refreshing!

Easter rice pie

Easter Italian Rice Pie with Rum Soaked Raisins. Arborio rice and soaked rum raisins nestled in with a mix of mascarpone and ricotta.

My little twist uses a phyllo crust which is very forgiving.  The contrast between the creamy and the crunchy is out of this world good!

A very traditional Easter dessert with a little updated twist.

Lemon knot cookies

Anginetti, Italian Lemon Knot Cookies. This cookie goes by many names but one thing that remains the same is the taste. Intense lemon flavor with a soft texture to the bite. Another special occasion cookie and just perfect for Easter time.

I hope I’ve given you some inspiration with some of these Easter dessert options.

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Easy Summer Limoncello Tiramisu

limoncello tiramisu

I can’t think of a more luscious dessert that’s easy to make and serve during the summertime, than this limoncello tiramisu.

Ladyfingers soaked in limoncello liquor and layered between a combination of mascarpone and whipped cream that’s streaked with lemon curd. The more it sits the better it gets, so make it hours before your guests arrive or better yet let it sit overnight so all the flavors can infuse and mingle together.

I love to serve this tiramisu in individual glasses, anything pretty and see-through is best, use your favorite glassware something four to six ounces is enough especially after a large meal.

limoncello tiramisu

This is so easy to put together, there are no raw eggs involved like in the classic tiramisu which always makes me a little squeamish anyway, and there’s no need to make the lemon curd either, just pick up a jar at the store, every brand I’ve bought always tastes decadent to me, just make sure it’s pure lemon curd.

The key ingredient is the Savoiardi Italian ladyfingers, they’re the crispy ones not the soft ones and hold up to the limoncello when soaking them.

whipped mascarpone

The heavy whipped cream gets folded gently into the cheese and lemon curd mixture, seriously just that alone is to die for!

limoncello tiramisu

I’ve made this many ways, sometimes I’ll use just straight up limoncello for the dipping, but sometimes you’ll find that there are bottles of limoncello that might be stronger than others especially homemade, so in that case I add a little water and a bit of sugar with lemon juice to tone down the strength of the alcohol a bit, taste it to your liking and your guests and adjust accordingly.

Cut your lady fingers in half and then in a shallow dish do a quick dip on both sides of the cookie, one at a time, being careful not to over soak too much because they could easily fall apart.

If you prefer not to use limoncello liquor you can use straight up lemon juice to replace it adding a little sugar and water to cut the tartness if need be and then you’ll have a lemon tiramisu!

limoncello tiramisulimoncello tiramisulimoncello tiramisuslice of tiramisu

If you like to forgo the small individual servings, just double the recipe, make everything the same way layering it into a 9 x 13 inch glass pan with the cream, curd and whole lady fingers instead of sliced.

Rich and creamy, sweet and tart, anything lemon just screams summertime to me, easily one of my top favorite desserts to serve during the summer and honestly as soon as spring arrives. Think Easter!

I hope I’ve inspired you to make this incredible tiramisu with a boozy twist of limoncello for your next dinner party, I think you’ll love it!

Easy Summer Limoncello Tiramisu
 
Makes 6- 4 oz. individual serving size. I recommend using a pretty see-through glass vessels of some sort. If you're making more or have larger glassware just double the recipe.
Author:
Ingredients
  • CREAM MIXTURE
  • 1- 8 oz. tub of mascarpone cream, room temperature
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1- 10 oz. jar of lemon curd
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1- 7 oz. package of Savoiardi ladyfingers, half of the bag with each cookie cut in half
  • DIPPING MIXTURE
  • ¾ cup of limoncello
  • ¾ cup of warm water
  • 3-4 tablespoons, lemon juice
  • a couple tablespoons of granulated sugar to taste dissolved into it
  • Garnish
  • lemon zest and raspberries
Instructions
  1. LIMONCELLO MIX
  2. In a shallow bowl mix up your limoncello for dipping, either straight up or cut it with the water, lemon juice and sugar if alcohol content is too high for your taste.
  3. CREAM MIXTURES
  4. In a bowl with an electric hand mixer, add the mascarpone cream, the zest of one lemon, and two tablespoons of powdered sugar, mix until smooth and creamy.
  5. Fold in ¾ of the 10 oz. jar of lemon curd into the cheese mixture.
  6. In a separate bowl whip up the heavy cream until you have stiff peaks.
  7. Fold the heavy cream gently into the mascarpone and lemon curd mixture until well combined.
  8. LAYERING
  9. Start with a little cream on the bottom then add the dipped ladyfingers on top, arranging it to fit your glass, then more cream mixture.
  10. Just keep repeating til you get to the top of the glass.
  11. Garnish with lemon zest, a drizzle with the remaining lemon curd and a raspberry.
  12. Cover gently with plastic wrap and refrigerate hours before serving or preferably overnight.

 

 

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Shrimp and Lobster Ravioli with a Limoncello Cream Sauce

shrimp and lobster ravioli with limoncello cream sauce

I thought I’d make something special to bring in the new year, how about shrimp and lobster ravioli with a luscious  limoncello cream sauce?  It’s so full of flavor, not too heavy, and the light limoncello sauce just enhances all the chunky seafood tucked inside. It’s elegant and perfect for New Years Eve!

The effort to create this dish is well worth the time, it’s something you would make for a smaller group, maybe two couples or a romantic dinner for two. You may not have the time to make it right now, although it really doesn’t really take that long, please keep it in your memory bank for a future special occasion or upcoming Valentines Day.
shrimp and lobster ravioli with limoncello cream sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re not a fan of limoncello no worries, you can simply make a lemon cream sauce, equally as amazing!
cooking lobster

It may sound decadent or a little extravagent but it’s really not that expensive to make at all.  I bought two small lobster tails, six dollars each and one pound of shrimp and I was able to make thirty one ravioli that were packed nice and full.shrimp and lobster filling for ravioli

The filling is easy to make, you chop up your pre-cooked lobster and shrimp then quickly saute in a pan with garlic, olive oil and shallots. When that mixture cools down you fold in a little ricotta, mascarpone and chopped parsley.

making shrimp and lobster ravioli

You can either roll out your dough by hand, which is a little time consuming, or use a crank style pasta machine which works really well, or this handy pasta attachment to your Kitchen Aid, which will speed things up a bit, either way will work. After the pasta sheets are rolled out then cut your pasta into a three inch circle.

shrimp and lobster ravioli

Once you get the dough rolling, everything moves really fast, just fill and crimp!

shrimp and lobster ravioli

After one bite you’ll know it was worth all the effort, I promise.

shrimp and lobster ravioli with tomato cream sauce

I’ve also served this with a tomato cream sauce, easy to make by stirring some cream into your marinara, either way you choose I know you’ll love it!

Wishing you all a very Healthy and Happy 2016! Thank you for all your support this past year, all your comments, emails and friendships mean the world to me, and don’t forget you can always see what I’m cooking up during the week on Instagram!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Shrimp and Lobster Ravioli with a Limoncello Cream Sauce
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • RAVIOLI DOUGH
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • a little dribble of water until the dough comes together
  • additional egg for egg wash
  • FILLING
  • 2 small lobster tails, pre-cooked and chopped in small chunks
  • 1 lb of medium shrimp, pre-cooked and chopped into small chunks, when combined you should have 2 heaping cups of lobster/shrimp meat
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon, limoncello, or lemon juice
  • ¼ cup of ricotta
  • 1 heaping tablespoon, mascarpone cheese
  • 2 teaspoons, chopped parsley
  • LIMONCELLO CREAM SAUCE
  • 4 Tablespoons of limoncello
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • heavy cream to thicken it up
Instructions
  1. The dough comes together really fast when made in a food processor, put the dry ingredients in and pulse, then put wet ingredients down the tube and process until the dough forms a ball. You can also make it by hand. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for 20 minutes. This one batch will make about 30 ravioli.
  2. Pre-cook both lobster and shrimp, then cut into small chunks.
  3. Add olive oil to saute pan, then add garlic and shallot, cook for a couple of minutes, then add in seafood and parsley, toss til coated, then let it cool down.
  4. Put the cooled down mixture into a bowl and add in the ricotta and mascarpone
  5. Roll out your dough and cut into 3 inch circles, brush top with egg wash and place a heaping teaspoon of filling on top.
  6. Fold dough circle in half, into a half moon, and crimp edge with a fork.Place them onto a sheet pan, ready to boil or to be frozen. Freeze them on sheet pan, individually then place into ziplock bag.
  7. For the sauce, simmer the limoncello and lemon juice together, or just plain lemon juice, then whisk in the butter until well incorporated, then pour in a little cream for thickness. You're just spooning on the sauce, not drenching it in sauce. You can double this and make more if you desire.

 

 

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Eight Years of Blogging and a Limoncello Tart

limoncello tart

It’s my blogiversary today, 8 years, I can hardly believe it! So I’m celebrating with a limoncello tart.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve made this tart, I think it’s been about three years. It’s crazy good and so easy to make, my kind of baking, nothing complicated about it.

limoncello

Recently I was lucky enough to receive two bottles of limoncello liqueur from Mama Agata’s Cooking School on the Amalfi Coast, ( it’s on my bucket list) to try out, of course I readily accepted!

We are huge fans of limoncello in my family, every holiday, special occasion and celebration includes some icy cold limoncello for toasting, my daughter likes to make a huge batch every year to give away for gifts, it’s a big undertaking, but so worth it.

limoncello tart ingredients

I knew as soon as it arrived I was going to make this tart to celebrate my eight year milestone, after all, it’s made from the beautiful lemons that grow on the Amalfi Coast, how special is that!

limoncello tart

Let’s talk a little bit about my eight years of blogging. Back in 2007 I asked my daughter to help me set up a blog, I was reading a bunch of blogs at the time and thought it would be fun to document my own recipes, it took her 15 minutes to get me up and running, the hardest part was me coming up with a name.

She set me up then walked out the door and said, ” you’ll be fine mom, just take a picture and talk about it” . Oh boy what a learning process it has been, especially with all the technical stuff that goes on behind the scenes.

My photos were hideous in the beginning, shooting with the flash on and under yellow lighting, what was I thinking? I often thought of changing them out now, but I never will, it is who I am, the good, the bad and the ugly, besides it’s nice to see a little progression over the years.

I thought by now I would get tired of blogging, but honestly I’m not, it still remains one of the best things I’ve ever done, I love the creative process and I’m always learning something new.

If you were to ask me what my favorite part of the process is I would have to say everything except writing out the actual recipe, I loathe that part! ( ha ha).  Sometimes I just stare at the computer and avoid writing out the recipe diverting my attention elsewhere.

I never was any good in math, my family and friends could attest to that, and don’t ask me to figure out a tip either!

Thanks for putting up with all my terms like, a pinch, a drizzle, a healthy dose, ovens vary so keep checking, taste it, add more or less, use whatever veggies you have on hand, I know it’s not very precise.

Today there are so many social media platforms, too many for this old girl, but I have to say, a new one that I do enjoy is Instagram, sharing some of your life with a series of pictures, it’s different than this blog, it’s more day to day. You can follow me there if you’re interested.

But over and above everything else, the fringe benefit of blogging all these years has been the friendships I’ve made, friendships with other bloggers and even readers of my blog, I appreciate all of you and in addition my family and close friends, and I just want to say thank you to each and every one of you!

So I’m still hanging around for a while.

blueberry sauce

Now lets get back to that dreamy limoncello tart… You have to make this blueberry sauce to serve along side it so you can swipe each bite into it, it takes it over the top!

limoncello tart

Salute!

4.6 from 5 reviews
Eight Years of Blogging and a Limoncello Tart
 
Grab a bottle of limoncello and make this while you're sipping a little on the side.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 - 9" tart pan with removable bottom
  • 1-7 oz. bag of amaretto cookies, (for the crust)
  • 6 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons of limoncello liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon zest
  • 1 pint of fresh blueberries
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • a little limoncello to flavor berries when finish cooking down
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt butter
  3. In a food processor, whirl the package of amaretto cookies then pour in the melted butter and process until it all comes together.
  4. Pat crust into tart pan, place on a baking sheet and pre-cook crust for 5 minutes, then let it cool down.
  5. While crust is cooling, mix together the egg yolks, condensed milk, lemon juice, limoncello and the zest, blend with a hand mixer until creamy.
  6. Pour into prepared crust and bake 15 to 20 minutes more, it should be firmed up but not overcooked.
  7. While tart is baking pour berries into a small saucepan along with the sugar, keep stirring and cook down until it becomes a sauce, nice and thick.
  8. Add a little zest and limoncello to flavor it up a bit.
  9. Completely cool down the tart and the sauce and refrigerate both, both should be nice and chilled before eating, it needs to cool several hours so it cuts nice, or you can even make it the day before eating it.

 

 

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LIMONCELLO TIRAMISU !

I know many of you are Chocoholics out there, and rightly so, but if you want something equally as decadent and a little different than the norm, try this sinfully delicious Limoncello Tiramisu!! This is definitely for very special occasions, when you want to Wow your certain someone, friends or family with a special dessert. The one I made was meant to be shared by two, because of its size. But you can certainly make smaller, individual ones. The main characters consist of pound cake that is drenched in Limoncello, a homemade lemon curd, all layered with Mascarpone and whipped cream!! Need I say more??

In a pan place the juice and zest of 3 lemons seeds and all, you’re going to strain it. 1 Tbl. short of a whole stick of butter, 6oz. of sugar, and 3 whole eggs. Whisk everything on med low just till bubbles start to show. Strain with a fine mesh strainer.

Next, take your pound cake and cut it to fit the size of your glass, I used a biscuit cutter.

Now take your bottle of Limoncello, and drench your pound cake pieces, you could use either a homemade, or a good quality store bought one. Just use a basic pound cake recipe if you make it, you want to be sure to taste the Limoncello.


Make sure it’s soaked!!
Finally, start whipping up a small carton of heavy cream, when you have stiff peaks, add a small container of room temperature Mascarpone, beat together just till incorporated.

Assemble it by layering all the components together in a pretty glass, and topping it off with some lemon peel.


Words cannot describe how amazing this is!

Note** You can also layer this in a glass 9×12 pan, or a glass loaf pan instead of individual portions.
 It’s also beautiful placed into a trifle bowl, you’ll will definitely hear lots of ooohs and aaahs when you bring it out of the frig. It makes for a great presentation and what’s really nice is that you can make it the night before.
Just be sure to double everything if you’re using the trifle bowl. A good store bought pound cake is fine, I used 2 for this, slice it into 3rd’s lengthwise, cut strips to go around the edge of the bowl, and bigger pieces to layer up the middle.
limoncello tiramisu

 

 

 

Enjoy!!

 

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D O L C I !!!…(On the lighter side)

STRAWBERRIES WITH LIMONCELLO RICOTTA CREAM!

Although I’ve made many desserts with ricotta, I’ve never once thought of putting it in my blender, until I saw Bobby do it on the Food Network. Something magical happens when you do that, the texture comes out smooth, creamy and rich tasting. You have to sweeten it up a bit, with a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar, then the sky’s the limit for flavoring! Amaretto, white chocolate liqueur, I think Bobby used Grand Marnier, but my favorite is Limoncello, I used about 2 tablespoons per 1lb. of ricotta. Throw everything in the blender, and make it the consistency you want, I made mine thicker than Bobby’s, just make sure it all smooths out! No one will ever know this is low fat!!

RUM SOAKED PINEAPPLE WITH MASCAPONE!

This is a favorite of mine which I make in the summer and winter.

Melt a little butter in a saute pan, add some brown sugar, when it all melts down and blends together, add some dark rum. Place your pineapple in the pan and cook it low and slow, turning each piece till everything soaks in and creates a slightly thick sauce.

Place it all in a pretty glass and dollop with a nice portion of Mascapone that has been sitting out at room temperature!

It’s warm, creamy, and the rum takes it over the top!!

Both of these desserts are quick to make, and taste’s oh so decadent!!

Enjoy!!!

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LIMONCELLO RICOTTA TART

Tucked away in my freezer is this wonderful bottle of Limoncello that we bought on our trip to Italy. Every time I look at it I get reminded of the great time we had there. I try to savor every drop of it and only use it for special things. Yes, I could buy a bottle of Limoncello at my neighborhood liquor store at any time, but it just won’t be as “special”. And so, I pulled it out to make my Ricotta Tart, and just that little hint of Limoncello puts it over the top!!!

INGREDIENTS

2lb’s good ricotta, drained

1/2 cup of sugar

Zest of a whole lemon

3 lrg eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1/2 cup of shaved semi-sweet chocolate

1 1/2 Tbl cake flour

2 Tbl’s or “More” of Limoncello liqueur ( according to your taste)

Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease a 9 or 10 in. tart pan, and fill it with your favorite pastry dough.
Mix together in a large bowl the sugar into the ricotta, add your zest, cinnamon, and then fold in your shaved chocolate. **** IMPORTANT POINT HERE!!! At this point, before the eggs are added, I would take a spoon and taste your ricotta filling to see if all the flavors are strong enough to your liking. If not, you can add a little more zest, cinnamon, or Limoncello.
Next, add your eggs one at a time, along with the cake flour.

Now take your leftover dough and cut into strips to make a basket weave top, brush top of the dough strips with milk, this will make it golden brown.
Bake for about 55min’s or until toothpick comes out clean and golden on top
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Buon Appetito!!!

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