Easter treats

Ramp up the fun factor with these playful and super-tasty creations, perfect for dessert or a teatime spread

Vegan carrot cake (VG)

Decorate with an Easter bunny and fondant carrots planted in biscuit-crumb ‘soil’ to give this simple cake a seasonal twist

Serves 16 • Ready in 1 hour 20 mins, plus cooling

  • 120ml Co-op vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing 
  • 200g Co-op Fairtrade light brown soft sugar  
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed 
  • 120ml unsweetened almond drink 
  • 2 tbsp vegan cider vinegar
  • 250g Co-op self-raising white flour 
  • 1 tsp baking powder 
  • 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda 
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice  
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg 
  • 300g carrots, coarsely grated 

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM 

  • 100g vegan spread
  • 300g Fairtrade icing sugar 
  • 60g vegan soft cheese alternative

TO DECORATE

  • 85g vegan fondant icing
  • Black, pink and orange vegan gel food colouring 
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 2 Co-op ginger nut biscuits, crushed
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Grease and line two 20cm loose-bottomed cake tins. 
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, oil, banana, almond drink and cider vinegar. Sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and spices, and whisk until smooth. 
  3. Fold in the grated carrot, then divide the mixture between the cake tins. Bake for 40-45 mins, until golden, risen and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool fully. 
  4. To make the buttercream, beat the vegan spread and icing sugar until smooth, then mix in the vegan soft cheese. Put one cake on a plate and cover with the icing. Top with the second cake and smooth the rest of the icing around the top and sides. Chill in the fridge to set for 20 mins. 
  5. Meanwhile, take a quarter of the fondant and roll into a ball. Use another quarter to make bunny ears and feet. Attach to the ball and use a cocktail stick and black and pink food gel to draw on eyes, ears, a nose and feet. (Or mix the pink gel with a piece of fondant and use this to decorate the bunny instead.) 
  6. Knead some orange gel into the remaining fondant, then shape into carrots. Stick small rosemary sprigs into the top of each and score lines along the side to complete the look.
  7. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke holes into the chilled cake so you can ‘plant’ some carrots. Decorate with the bunny and the remaining carrots and sprinkle with the crushed biscuit for a soil effect.

Hot cross peanut butter blondies (V) (GF)

These gluten-free bites with a white chocolate cross decoration are great for sharing

Makes 24 • Ready in 45 mins, plus chilling 

  • 200g Co-op unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing 
  • 250g Co-op Fairtrade white chocolate, roughly chopped 
  • 200g Co-op Fairtrade light brown soft sugar
  • 3 large Co-op British eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp Co-op smooth peanut butter 
  • 200g gluten free plain flour
  • 20g roasted and salted peanuts, finely chopped 
  • You will also need a piping bag
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Grease and line a 28cm x 18cm x 5cm baking tray with greaseproof paper. 
  2. Melt the butter and 200g of the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.  Remove from the heat and mix in the sugar until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla and peanut butter, and mix again. Sift in the flour and whisk until smooth. Pour into the prepared baking tray and sprinkle the peanuts on top.  
  3. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25-30 mins, until a thin crust has formed and the blondie is almost set in the middle. Leave to cool fully in the tin. Take care not to overcook or you will lose the gooey middle — the blondies will firm up more once cooled.
  4. Cut the blondie into 24 squares. Microwave the remaining white chocolate in 15-second bursts, until melted and smooth. Fill the piping bag and pipe a white chocolate cross on top of each square. Leave to set for an hour before serving.

Rocky road no-bake cheesecake

Rethink classic cheesecake with this chewy, crunchy base, which you can make from leftover treats

Serves 12 • Ready in 40 mins, plus 3-4 hours chilling

FOR THE BASE

  • 30g Co-op unsalted butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing   
  • 80g leftover Easter milk or dark chocolate, or cooking chocolate 
  • 80g rich tea biscuits, crushed  
  • 50g mini Co-op marshmallows 
  • 30g chocolate honeycomb balls, roughly chopped 

FOR THE CHEESECAKE

  • 2 x 200g packs Co-op light soft cheese 
  • 200g Co-op 0% fat Greek style natural yogurt 
  • 40g Fairtrade icing sugar, sifted 
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 12g sachet gelatin powder 
  • 180g mini chocolate eggs, some roughly chopped
  1. Grease and line an 18cm loose-bottomed cake tin. Melt the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until smooth.  
  2. Remove from the heat and add the biscuits, marshmallows and honeycomb. Tip into the prepared tin and press down with the back of a spoon until smooth. Chill in the fridge while you make the filling. 
  3. For the filling, whisk the soft cheese, yogurt, icing sugar and vanilla together until smooth. Put 3 tbsp very warm water in a small bowl and add the gelatin. Stir until it has dissolved, then mix into the rest of the filling. Pour on top of the biscuit base, smooth the top and leave to set in the fridge for 3-4 hours, or overnight if you have time.  
  4. To serve, remove the cake from the tin and decorate with the mini chocolate eggs. 

Brownie ‘scotch’ egg (V)

This sweet take on Scotch eggs will put a smile on everyone’s face

Makes 5 • Ready in 20 mins

  • 20 Co-op brownie bites 
  • 5 Cadbury Mini Creme Eggs 
  • 2 tbsp Co-op chocolate vermicelli
  1. Crumble the brownies and knead until they start to stick together. Divide the mixture into five equal pieces and roll into balls. 
  2. Flatten a ball in the palm of your hand, then carefully shape it around a Creme Egg. Repeat with the rest of the brownie mixture until all the Creme Eggs are covered.  
  3. Sprinkle the chocolate vermicelli on a plate and roll the eggs in them until well coated. When you’re ready to serve, cut the ‘Scotch’ eggs in half with a sharp knife.

Talking of Scotch eggs… check out our savoury version with a difference here.


EVERYBODY LOVES…

No egg hunt is complete without Cadbury Mini Creme Egg, 78g, so stock up and get those baskets ready!