Dash of Class: Topping off Easter dinner with dessert

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Food column by Nora Sweat

By Nora Sweat

Here we are, five days from Easter Sunday. Most people use this as an occasion for a family dinner. Baked ham seems to be the favorite for most, but turkey, fried chicken, pulled pork or a chuck roast are close seconds.

We will have ham at our table with green beans, corn, sweet potato casserole, peanut banana salad, deviled eggs, homemade rolls (by my husband) and then comes the biggest decision of all, dessert. There must be a million dessert recipes for a special occasion, but narrowing it to one very special dessert is difficult. That is what I have for you today, some tried and true desserts for you to choose from for the Easter menu.

Last year, I made Dreamsicle Cake and it was a hit!

Nothing fancy about the cake, but the icing is a treat by itself. I also have a Coconut Cake that is fairly simple and so good. The third recipe is a Pineapple Cream Cheese Cake and the fourth is a Chocolate Italian Cream Cake. I know many of you have had Italian Cream Cake and this is a delicious variation.

I hope your dessert will be a hit and I hope these recipes help you decide the type of dessert to have. Happy Easter.

Dreamsicle Cake

1 orange cake mix


2 teaspoons orange extract

16 ounces Cool Whip

16 ounces sour cream

2 cups powdered sugar

Mandarin orange segments

Bake cake mix according to package directions except use milk instead of water and add 2 teaspoons orange extract. Bake in two 9” greased and floured pans. Allow to cool completely and slice each with serrated knife to form 4 layers. For filling, mix sour cream and powdered sugar, fold in Cool Whip. Use between layers and to frost cake. Garnish with mandarin orange segments. Refrigerate.

Source: Mama and Me, Nora Sweat


Coconut Cake

1 white cake mix

1 teaspoon vanilla

8 ounces sour cream

1½ cups sugar

12 ounces frozen coconut (in dairy case next to whipped topping)

12 ounces whipped topping

Prepare cake mix according to package directions and then add vanilla. You can bake in 2 round pans or a 13” x 9” x 2” pan. Allow to cool, split layers with a serrated knife if you use round pans, do not split for sheet cake. Mix sour cream, sugar and coconut. Fold in whipped topping. Spread between layers and over top and sides. Chill for three days before serving.

Source: Mama and Me, Nora Sweat


Pineapple Cream Cheese Cake

1 white cake mix, batter prepared as directed on box

1-8 ounce cream cheese, softened

½ cup sour cream

2-3 oz. boxes instant cheesecake pudding mix

1½ cups milk

½ teaspoon almond flavoring

20 ounce can crushed pineapple, well drained

12 ounce tub frozen non-dairy whipped topping

½ cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted

1 cup mini malted milk candy eggs

Bake cake mix in four 9-inch cake pans prepared with non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes until golden on top and centers test done. Cool completely. Meanwhile, beat together cream cheese and sour cream in a medium bowl until smooth. In a large bowl, whisk together pudding mix, milk, and flavoring until mixture begins to thicken. Add cream cheese mixture. Beat on low speed for 1-2 minutes. Stir in pineapple. To assemble, on a large cake plate, add one cake layer then ¼ of cheesecake mixture. Repeat layers, ending with cheesecake mixture. Spread whipped topping over top and sides. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving. Just before serving, sprinkle with toasted almonds to simulate an egg nest and place malted milk balls in the middle of the nest. Slice and serve. Serves 12

Source: Meredith Corporation www.betterrecipes.com


Chocolate Italian Cream Cake

1 stick butter

½ cup vegetable oil

2 ¼ cup sugar

5 eggs, separated

2 cups all purpose flour

6 T. cocoa (1/4 c. + 2 T.)

1 box (4 ½ oz.) chocolate instant pudding

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup flake coconut

½ cup pecans, chopped

Separate eggs and set aside. Mix butter and oil until creamy. Add sugar, beat until smooth, add egg yolks, and beat well. Mix flour, cocoa and chocolate instant pudding and alternately add buttermilk with the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Stir in vanilla, coconut, and pecans. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form and fold gently into cake batter with a spatula. Pour batter into three greased and floured 9-inch cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes, remove from pans, and ice with icing below.


8 ounces. + ½ of another 8 ounce cream cheese, softened

7 cups sifted powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

¾ cup cocoa

Mix cream cheese and vanilla and add powdered sugar and cocoa gradually until well mixed and creamy. If icing does not seem to be stiff enough, add more powdered sugar.

Source: Marcella Hill and Mama and Me


Nora Sweat, author of Mama and Me is a native of Hardin County and a retired home economics/family and consumer science teacher. She can be reached at norasweat@thenewsenterprise.com or by mail at 408 W. Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY 42701