Tomorrow is Easter, which means family and friends will be hippity-hopping to your home for egg hunts, good laughs, and fresh food. Are you ready? I wasn’t!
I had my entire immediately family heading to my house in just a few hours, and I had no plans for our Easter meal! The clock was running out. I needed several recipes that I could produce quickly, and my dear friends, that’s exactly what I have for you today.
Every recipe that I made for my Easter brunch took less than an hour to create and cooked at the same oven temperature. You read that correctly–if planned properly, this entire brunch could be re-created in just under an hour!
The recipes I used are listed below, so you can jump ahead to specific recipes. Or you can just scroll through the whole post to see them all! Either way, Easter waits for no-bunny (!), so let’s hop to it!
In case you are like me, looking to get the most productivity out of what little time you have left to prepare for Easter, I’ve arranged the recipes in order of what needs to be started first. With proper preparation and sheer determination, you, too, will have a fabulous feast in just under an hour!
The first recipe I’m starting with is the Whole Grain Stout Bread. It’s a quick bread, meaning it doesn’t use any yeast and does not require any rise time. What I love about this bread is its incredible taste. The dark beer and molasses create a sweet aroma, similar to the smell of yeast, while its baking, and it makes the crumb soft, slightly chewy, and just the littlest bit sweet. It is so stinking good! It’s a recipe that I’ve adapted from one on the Guinness website, but doesn’t necessarily take Guinness.
I always serve this bread with hot mustard, and I mean hot! I prefer Colman’s mustard, which is an Irish mustard. It can be purchased at specialty groceries in the U.S., or you can order a jar here. Be warned, though! This mustard is very hot! Usually, just a dab on each bite will do the trick, but boy, is it good.
4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups white flour
3/4 cup unflavored, dried oats
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup dark molasses
1 cup dark beer (I used Panther from Rhinegeist)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease two 9-in x 5-in pans.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine dry ingredients with butter until it becomes a well-combined and crumbly mixture. Slowly add the milk, beer and molasses. The dough will become very wet.
Split the dough between the two pans, and bake for 40-45 minutes. Let cool inside the pans for 10 minutes before removing breads, allowing them to completely cool on a rack.
Next up is the best of the best recipes, the Cheesy Potato Casserole. Every family has a recipe for au gratin potatoes or a similar hash brown casserole, but I’m telling you that none of those compare to this recipe.
This is my mother’s recipe, and she got it from her mother, who got it from her mother, who probably found it in a magazine somewhere. This recipe has stood the test of time and is consistently the most requested recipe the Faust clan makes. It’s a hit at parties–usually the first item to run out. And it’s so decadent! It’s creamy, cheesy, soft, warm, and absolutely crave-able. In fact, we only make this recipe twice a year, at Christmas and Easter, to keep its popularity alive.
But I’m sharing it with you today because the world needs to know. We all need to know how to get these potatoes any time we want. Shockingly, it’s so easy to make! Thank goodness, too, because once you taste this casserole, you’re going to demand them once a week. So here we go.
32 oz frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
2 cans potato soup, undiluted
16 oz sour cream
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Bake in a greased 9-in x 13-in dish and bake for 40 minutes.
This next recipe is so easy, kids could do it. In fact, that’s what I did! I enlisted the kiddos at the brunch to help me out with these petit fours. In part, it was to shave some time off my cooking so I wouldn’t have to decorate the cakes. Another part, it was to keep the kids entertained, giving the adults a chance to catch up.
These cakes are always a big hit at parties. They are small–only about two or three bites–and pack on the flavor.
I’m sure you’ve seen this technique on the internet before, the melted frosting trick. I was very skeptical of this technique because, when the cakes are all said and done, the frosting is still soft cake frosting–not ideal for petit fours, which you eat with your hands. But I think my combination of melted icing for the base and decorating with candy melts saves all the flavor for your mouth instead of getting stuck on your fingers.
2 frozen 10.75-oz pound cakes
1 can vanilla frosting
1 8-oz bag candy melts, white (or several assortments of colors and flavors)
Assorted pastel food coloring
Egg-shaped cookie cutter
Remove the frozen cakes from packaging, and while still frozen, carefully sliced down the middle length-wise. Remove any excess crust from top and bottom of cake, as needed.
Size up cookie cutter against cake to see how many the cakes will yield. Mark spacing by slightly pressing the blade of a knife against the crumb of the cake. Cut shapes from cake, making sure to save the scraps of pound cake.
Set up a drying rack or drip tray over a foil-lined sheet pan. Place the cake shapes on the rack, making sure to leave space between them.
In a microwave, heat frosting at 20 second intervals, stirring between heatings, until very runny. Stir with an off-set spatula. Pour over the cakes, making sure to let enough pile up on the cakes to run over the sides and coat evenly. Shake off the excess icing by shaking the rack. If needed, remove the rack, scrape off the pools of icing from the foiled sheet using the off-set spatula. Return the icing to the can, reheat at 15 second intervals until melted again.
When the eggs are coated, let dry for 25 minutes before letting the kiddies decorate, or else you’ll get smudge marks all over the eggs. To decorate the eggs, put candy melts and food dye inside plastic squeeze bottles. Heat the bottles in the microwave for 15 seconds at a time, stirring in between heatings using a butter knife, until completely melted.
As the kids decorate the eggs, the candy melts will harden. Re-heat as needed.
The candy melts are more stable than the icing, and create a coating over the cakes that make it easier to eat while holding with your hands.
Okay, now this is the easiest recipe I think I’ll ever post. It technically falls under my Cheater, Cheater category because it requires almost no baking skills at all. This is a recipe my grandma came up with a few summers ago when she was battling cancer. She wanted something sweet and flavorful that wouldn’t mess with her body too much.
This casserole tastes like summer and happiness. The cake chunks are light and soft, the cream cheese smooth and tart. The whipped topping is creamy and sweet. And the strawberries! I mean, nothing says summer more than this dessert. It comes together so quickly and tastes so delicious!
This works great with my super easy Easter brunch because it can use the scraps of cake from the petite fours. There’s no food to waste–and no time to waste!–around the holidays.
If you aren’t making all the recipes at once, it can still be done very quickly and easily, as I detail below. I’ve also done this recipe before using angel food cake instead of pound cake, which tastes very similar, but does change the texture. I think pound cake holds up better to the liquid in the dish and being refrigerated afterward. Still, angel food cake is a bit healthier, and as long as you aren’t planning on the dish lasting long, it shouldn’t make much of a difference!
You’ll also notice I used cream cheese spread as opposed to cream cheese. I did this because it maintains a spreadable consistency, even when chilled, which keeps this dish from clumping up. You could get away with using softened cream cheese, but you would need to let the dish return to room temperature before serving every time. Again, if you aren’t planning on leftovers, it doesn’t make that much difference either way.
1 frozen 10.75-oz pound cakes OR the scraps from the petit four pound cakes
6 oz cream cheese spread
8 oz whipped topping
16 oz fresh strawberries, cored and quartered
Remove the frozen pound cakes and, while still frozen, cube the cake into small, bite-sized pieces.
In a large bowl, combine cake cubes, cream cheese and whipped topping. Carefully fold the items together until well-combined. Be careful not to break up the cake pieces too much! You don’t want a creamy, cake-y soup. Sprinkle strawberries over the casserole and gently fold them in.
Serve immediately or keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Alright, guys! If you’ve been following along, it’s been about an hour now. Your cakes are almost dry and are waiting for the kiddos to come play. Your breads are cooling nearby. The Cheesy Potato Casserole just came out of the oven. The strawberry dessert is tempting you with every passing minute. The house smells amazing. The food is to die for. Your family will think you’ve been working on these dishes all day. Don’t worry, though. I’ll keep it our little secret.