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In the spirit of the season’s new beginnings, we've reimagined desserts we love to make at this time of year. Our cheesecake, flourless chocolate cake, ricotta pie, and other classics are just as elegant and satisfying as the originals, but all are updated with tasty twists or clever tricks. They’re fitting finales for your holiday feast -- and may even mark the start of a delicious tradition.
Topping cheesecake with shimmering fruit is nothing new, but we spun this one in two fresh directions: We swapped out the expected cherries for ruby-red rhubarb-raspberry gelee, and we baked the whole thing in a 9-by-13-inch pan -- perfect for serving a crowd.
Also see our Easter dessert recipes.
Luscious flourless chocolate cake may be a mainstay at Passover, but it’s welcome any day of the year (especially for those avoiding gluten). The secret that makes this one extra-special is coconut oil, which has a subtle, nutty richness that complements the bittersweet chocolate and ground walnuts (and the oil may have health benefits, too). A chocolate glaze provides a glossy finish.
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There are as many versions of this Italian Easter finale as there are bakers. Our pistachio-topped springtime dessert is studded with dried fruit and wrapped in pastry -- impressive but simpler than it looks. That’s thanks to the pastry itself -- pasta frolla, which is so easy to work with. Just patch it back together if it tears. Serve with sour-cherry sauce spiked with liqueur.
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Coconut layer cake or macaroons? This dessert combines both and is easier to make than either one. Mix a buttery batter with cream of coconut, and layer it with a shredded-coconut mixture that crisps on top and stays gooey in the middle, just like the cookie. For coconut lovers, it doesn’t get better than this -- unless you add a drizzle of bittersweet-chocolate sauce, of course.
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This single-layer cake, made with cornmeal and olive oil, is incredibly moist, thanks to a honey glaze that gets brushed on while the cake is still warm from the oven. Lemon balances the sweetness, and sage adds an herbal note. We baked it in a hexagonal pan to mimic honeycomb and hint at its flavor, but an eight-inch round or square pan can be used instead. More sage leaves can be sugared for a fragrant garnish.
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A towering carrot cake is one of our (make that everyone’s) favorite spring desserts -- but we like a shortcut, too. Instead of filling and frosting several layers, we baked one thin spiced cake and cut it into small rounds. Then we made parfaits by layering apricot jam, orange-cream-cheese filling, and cake into glasses. The end result? You get to scoop up a bit of everything in each delectable bite.
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