Easter Baking Projects to Do With Little Chefs

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Easter's coming a bit earlier than usual this year, and given the stress of meal planning and shopping for basket trinkets, it's no wonder that you may not have had time — or even simply remembered — to carve out moments and enjoy the holiday with your kids. This weekend, spend some time with your little ones coloring eggs, decorating the house with all things chicks and bunnies or baking sweet treats to celebrate the holiday. We've rounded up a few of Food Network's favorite Easter desserts, like cakes in the shape of almost-too-cute-to-eat bunnies and larger-than-life Peeps, plus springtime cupcakes and cookies, to help you make the most of your time in the kitchen. Read on below for some of our top recipes, then tell us in the comments what you're baking for Easter.

Food Network Kitchens' top-rated Easter Bunny Cake (pictured above) may look like an all-day adventure to prepare, but it actually takes just one hour to complete. The key to this recipe is starting with pre-baked cakes (pick up a few store-bought boxed mixes to make the process a cinch) and being patient when it comes to shaping them. Check out this step-by-step guide to learn how to best slice and arrange the cakes into an eventual bunny, then let your kids decorate it with fluffy frosting, shredded coconut for the look of fur and candy to add a nose, eyes and whiskers. Even if your cake looks more like a misshapen snowball than Peter Cottontail, it will surely be deliciously sweet in the end.

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120111_FNM_PEEP_014.tif

Photo by: Kat Teutsch

Kat Teutsch

If your little ones are fans of packaged marshmallow Peeps, they'll be wowed by Food Network Magazine's lookalike Peep Cake (pictured right), a replica of the classic confection that's 200 times larger than the original. Like the bunny cake above, this dessert depends on careful cutting, so that what begins as two cake mixes turns into a giant chick. Browse these must-see photos to see how it's done, plus find decorating inspiration to share with your kids.

If more manageable desserts like cupcakes are your style this holiday, try Food Network Kitchens' Easter Flower Cupcake. After baking a batch of classic vanilla cupcakes, set up a frosting-and-candy bar for your kids to delve into as they decorate their hand-held treats with flower adornments — or whatever designs come to mind.

Not just for snacking, Sandra Lee's cherry-scented cookies do double duty, as they're also the stars of this easy-to-make Easter Bunny Centerpiece (pictured left). She uses timesaving premixed sugar cookie dough to make cut-out bunnies and secures into each a lollipop stick before baking. Once the cookies have baked and cooled, ask your kids to bring them to life with eyes, mouths and whiskers using color icings before letting them dry overnight. Standing tall on your Easter table, these homemade cookies will be the talk of your holiday get-together, not to mention a ready-to-enjoy treat after dinner.

Visit Food Network's Easter headquarters for more easy recipes and entertaining ideas.

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