Spring has officially sprung, and whiel a gooey chocolate cake is a perennial people-pleaser, the new season means a whole lot of fresh produce to play with. Fruits... for spring? (Not so) groundbreaking.
Eating seasonal foods means that they are fresher, tastier, and more nutritious than produce that's out of season because they require fewer preservatives and are harvested in their prime. It also means a significant decrease in shipping distances and the pollution that comes with it seeing as 13% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions result from the production and transport of food. Whether it be for a garden tea party or after a dinner grill up, easy spring dessert recipes are just around the corner.
Easy spring dessert recipes you'll love to make all year long
1. Dairy-Free Pavlova
Made with meringue topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit, a pavlova is a “light, fresh” dessert that is naturally gluten-free, and supremely versatile given that you can top it with whatever fruit you have on-hand. This dairy-free take on the OG recipe uses coconut cream for an extra warm-weather kick.
- Mia Rigden, chef, nutritionist, and the founder of RASA, a company specializing in individualized nutrition programs
4 room temperature egg whites
Pinch of sea salt
½ cup raw cane sugar
1.5 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp white vinegar
¼ tsp vanilla extract
Coconut whipped cream
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
2. Using an 8 inch round baking dish, draw a circle on a piece of parchment paper.
3. Beat eggs and salt in a stand mixer until satiny peaks form.
4. Slowly add in coconut sugar, continuing to beat the mixture.
5. Add cornstarch, white vinegar and vanilla extra. Slowly mix until fully combined.
6. Scrape meringue onto the baking sheet and spread evenly inside the marked circle.
7. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Then turn off the oven and let the meringue cool inside.
8. Top with coconut whipped cream, and fresh fruit, and serve.
2. Gluten-Free Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Cake
If, after watching countless episodes of The Crown, the term, "tea cake" is now part of your daily vocabulary, this rich and citrusy lemon cake recipe is made for you.
½ cup olive oil + 1 tbsp for the glaze
A few sprigs of rosemary
2 cups almond flour
¾ cup cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of sea salt
¼ cup dairy free milk
⅓ cup honey + 2 tbsp for the glaze
Zest of 3 lemons
½ cup lemon juice + 1 tbsp for the glaze
½ tsp vanilla
1. Start by making a rosemary-infused olive oil. Heat olive oil and rosemary in a saucepan over medium. Let sit for 15 minutes, then discard rosemary, and allow olive oil to cool.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, line a 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper and grease the sides with olive oil.
3. Mix together almond flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients including rosemary-infused olive oil.
4. Combine wet and dry ingredients, and mix together until fully combined. Pour batter into cake pan, and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
5. Once cake has cooled, whisk together remaining 2 tbsp of honey, with 1 tsp of olive oil and lemon juice. Spread glaze evenly over cake, top with a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt and a sprig of rosemary for garnish.
3. Gluten-Free Banana Pudding
Magnolia Bakery's famous banana pudding is what dreams are made of, so the idea of making a dupe from home that's totally gluten-free, low-glycemic, and potassium filled is just beyond.
⅓ cup light agave
2 tbsp cornstarch
2.5 cups non dairy milk
3 egg yolks, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla powder
1 stick of organic pasture-raised butter, soft
⅓ cup light agave
3 egg whites, room temperature
1 whole egg, room temperature
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup almond flour
⅓ cup coconut flour
¼ tsp baking soda
⅛ tsp salt
1. Start with the vanilla pudding. Mix together agave and cornstarch in a medium saucepan over a medium heat.
2. Add milk and vanilla, whisking constantly over a medium heat until the mixture starts to boil.
3. In a heatproof bowl, whisk together egg yolks until they get light and fluffy.
4. Slowly, pour ½ of the hot liquid into egg yolks, whisking constantly so they don’t curdle.
5. Pour mixture back into saucepan. Continue to whisk over a low heat until it thickens and has the texture of pudding.
6. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. The plastic should touch the top of the pudding. Allow to cool in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
7. Next make the vanilla wafers. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
8. Cream butter and agave in a stand mixer, then add egg white, followed by the whole egg and vanilla extract. Mix to combine.
9. Add almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and salt to a medium bowl and mix to combine.
10. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until fully combined. The dough is very wet, so add dough to a piping bag or ziplock bag to portion. If using a ziplock bag, add dough then clip one of the corners.
11. Pipe 1 inch discs onto a baking sheet, and repeat until all dough is used.
12. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden.
13. To assemble, alternate layers of vanilla wafers, banana and pudding. This can be done in a large glass trifle dish and served family style or individual cups.
4. Zero-Waste Lemon Popsicle Recipe
Nothing says warm weather like a popsicle. Bonus points if it's citrusy. These lemon pops are refined-sugar and dairy-free, and majorly refreshing. The best part is that you can make them with any kind of citrus you have on hand and they are totally waste-free.
2 cups coconut milk
4 sprigs mint
½ cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup fresh lemon or grapefruit juice
1 Tbsp citrus zest
2-3 Tbsp honey
½ tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp fresh ginger juice (optional)
1. Combine coconut milk with mint, orange/lemon juice, honey, salt, ginger juice and whisk thoroughly.
2. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze until fully set (approx. 6 hours).
3. Let thaw 1-2 minutes at room temperature to un-mold easily.
5. Healthy Strawberry Shortcake
This healthy strawberry shortcake is so much more than just majorly aesthetically pleasing. The cake is gluten-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free, and lactose-free while being a delicious crowd-favorite. The coconut whipped cream that goes on top is also super versatile, so you can use that recipe again and again if traditional whip isn't your jam.
Coconut whipped cream:
1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
2-3 pints of fresh strawberries
Juice of 1 lemon
1-2 teaspoons coconut sugar (optional)
2 cups almond flour
½ cup coconut flour
2 organic eggs
¼ cup ghee or coconut oil
¼ cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of sea salt
1. Wash and cut strawberries. Toss with lemon juice and coconut sugar and let macerate at room temperature for 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Combine coconut flour, almond flour, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, honey and vanilla, then add melted ghee or coconut oil. Make sure the ghee/coconut oil isn’t so hot that it cooks the eggs.
5. Add egg mixture into dry ingredients and mix until a dough is formed.
6. Using an ice cream scoop, make rounds of dough and flatten with a spoon or the palm of your hand. You can shape them with a cookie cutter or a round glass.
7. Bake for about 15 minutes or until lightly brown on the edges.
8. To make the coconut whipped cream, throw egg beaters or whisk and stainless steel mixing bowl in the freezer for about 10 minutes before starting.
9. When you open the coconut milk, it should have separated into a solid cream and a liquid. Reserve the liquid for smoothies and add the cream to the mixing bowl.
10. Using a stand mixture or egg beaters, whisk on high for about 30 seconds, then slowly add in vanilla. Continue to whisk for another minute or two until it thickens. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
11. When ready to serve, place a biscuit on the bottom of a plate, top with a spoonful of strawberries, coconut whipped cream and a sprig of fresh mint.
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