Strawberry Lemonade Cake

Photo: © Heather Christo and Jim Henkins

The Just-Right Confection for a Spring Day
Strawberry buttercream frosting and freshly sliced strawberries sandwiched between two layers of tart lemon cake make for a dessert that tastes remarkably similar to a glass of pink lemonade—and is just a littttle more indulgent. The recipe includes fresh lemon zest, fresh lemon juice and a cup of buttermilk (the acid in the dairy helps tenderize the gluten in the batter, so the cake has a softer texture).

Get the recipe: Strawberry Lemonade Cake

Photo: Johnny Miller

The Zero-Brainpower Dessert That Only Looks Complex
These individual ramekins filled with creamy cheesecake, an orange slice and blood-orange gelatin make for a stunning presentation (blood oranges actually appear more pink than orange, so they'll fit right in with the pastel tulips and daffodils on your table). Yet they aren't much more complicated than Jell-O to make. Plus, you can prepare them up to three days before serving.

Get the recipe: Cheesecake Mousse with Blood-Orange Gelee
Lemon-Drop Floats

Photo: Marcus Nisson

A Dreamy Frozen Treat
The showstopping appearance of this dessert is guaranteed to grab anyone's interest, but it's the combination of sweet, rich and tart flavors that'll make them swoon. You start by cutting off the pointed end of a lemon, so it can stand upright; then, spoon out the flesh and juice. Once the sunshine-colored shells are empty, you fill each one with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and top it with a sparkling lemonade made from lemon juice, lemon zest, honey and seltzer. The result: a decadent, Creamsicle-like treat that's a touch fizzy, too.

Get the recipe: Lemon-Drop Floats
Crystallized White Rose Cake

Photo: Thalia Ho

A Lovely Cake That Makes Us Wish One Trend Won't End
The ombré effect seems to be everywhere these days, from hair to nails to walls to, yes, even desserts. And we're just fine with that, considering this white cake scented with rose and vanilla that's frosted with rose buttercream tinted three shades of pink. It may be trendy, but it also sure is beautiful. The finishing touch: a smattering of roses you brush with egg whites and sprinkle with sugar.

Get the recipe: Crystallized White Rose Cake
Blackberry-Lemon Icebox Pie

Photo: Steve Legato

A Reason to Eat Ice Cream Before It's Officially Ice-Cream Season
Icebox pie may be a summertime classic, but this version feels like spring. The cold, creamy concoction hits both pie and ice-cream notes all at once and uses fresh blackberries that you macerate and fold gently into whipped cream, so their delicate flavor—and lavender color—shine through. A graham-cracker crust adds the ideal crumbly counterpoint.

Get the recipe: Blackberry-Lemon Icebox Pie
Strawberry-Frosted Limoncello "Shortcakes"

Photo: Matt Wittmeyer Photography

The Homemade-ish Shortcake
If you're going to make strawberry shortcake for a holiday, get the most bang for your buck by spending your time on the strawberry part, with its beautiful pink hue, and taking a shortcut with the biscuits. That's the thinking behind this treat, which feels special enough for a holiday but is easy enough for anyone to make. Its base is made from refrigerated buttermilk-biscuit dough, and the filling consists of a homemade, five-ingredient strawberry frosting.

Get the recipe: Strawberry-Frosted Limoncello "Shortcakes"