33 Spring Dessert Recipes Featuring So Much Rhubarb

We cannot wait to make these light, fresh recipes.

March 11, 2022
Photo by James Ransom

Spring is finally here and we couldn’t be more excited. The time has come to fling open our windows, trade in the parka for a lightweight trench coat, and ease ourselves out of the winter blues with a celebratory little shake. And what better way to push spring into the forefront of our hearts and minds than with a few treats? Here are 33 of spring’s sweetest bites.

1. Effortless Angel's Food Cake

The beauty of baking an angel food cake during springtime is that it’s a blank canvas for serving alongside in-season produce. Macerate strawberries and rhubarb together for a jammy sauce, or prepare a tropical blend of apricots, pineapple, and mango for serving on the side.

2. Roasted Rhubarb and Strawberries

We can’t get too far into talking about sweet spring desserts without welcoming rhubarb with open arms. This tart vegetable (yes, vegetable!) is usually combined with strawberries, which offsets some of that too-tart flavor with a bit of sweetness. Serve this roasted, jammy duo over ice cream or with the aforementioned Angel’s Food Cake.

3. Carrot Cake

Spring is synonymous with one very important dessert—carrot cake—and this one is our very best. A trio of warming spices (ground nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom) bring the necessary warmth to every bite, and olive oil makes the cake super moist.

4. Strawberry, Rhubarb, and Lime Ice Pops

There’s nothing like the feeling of one of those super warm April days where you can walk around outside in shorts and sandals. When you can practically taste summer, try one of these fruity ice pops instead, which are made with spring’s shining stars.

5. Lemon Meringue Pie

You can’t go wrong with lemon meringue pie during spring. Its bright, tart flavor tastes like pure sunshine, which is all I’ll be manifesting for the next few months thank you very much.

6. Erin McDowell's Strawberry Not-So-Short Cake

Don’t blame me for getting overly excited that berry season is around the corner. Even if strawberries don’t technically peak until June, I’m going to start making this fun twist on the classic shortcake ASAP. Might I recommend making this for Mom on Mother’s Day?

7. Almond Cake with Orange-Flower Water Syrup

This light, slightly citrusy cake matches the mood of spring—tiny tulip buds poking out from the garden, the gentle sound of wind chimes blowing in the breeze, and delicate sweet flavors to enjoy for months to come.

8. Maida Heatter's Lemon Buttermilk Cake

There’s a lot of lemon flavor in this extra-moist cake. Like, a lot. The zest and juice of three large lemons are folded into the cake batter. Once the cake is baked, it’s dressed with a two-ingredient glaze and (surprise!) one of those ingredients is lemon.

9. Chocolate-Carrot Snacking Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Our readers voted this their very favorite snacking cake recipe and we can see why: It only requires 15 minutes of hands-on work and the combination of chocolate and carrots is unexpectedly, ridiculously delicious.

10. Lemon Raspberry Layer Cake

I’d like to take a generous slice of this cake—which beckons with layers of a light lemon cake, raspberry jam, and lemon Italian buttercream—and eat it underneath the blooming cherry blossoms, after which I can sneeze profusely from all of the pollen I’ve just inhaled. Worth it.

11. Lemon Velvet Sheet Cake

While all citrus fruit technically peaks in the winter, there’s just something about the cheerful appearance and flavor of fresh lemons that makes it feel just right for spring. This cake, which is a lighter, brighter take on the usual red velvet cake, will certainly do the trick.

12. Key Lime Cake From Isabel Coss

If you can’t swing a trip to Florida over spring break, bring a taste of Florida wherever you are in the world. What you’ll get is a totally surprising and absolutely life-changing trio of flavors: key lime juice, white chocolate, and eucalyptus.

13. Lemon Mascarpone Pie With Meringue Anemones

I know you came here for the meringue flowers piped onto a creamy lemon filling so let’s get right into it: They’re made with a traditional meringue and the center (aka the “pistil”) is created using poppyseeds.

14. Banana Cream Pie

I grew up eating this old-fashioned cream pie for every occasion that celebrated my grandfather (it’s his favorite). While no one recipe will ever beat my grandmother’s, food editor Emma Laperruque’s version comes pretty close to taking the cake…err pie.

15. Strawberry Rhubarb Meringue Cupcakes

Instead of making a strawberry rhubarb pie, introduce those two key flavors in the form of buttery cupcakes. A traditional yellow cake is filled with a homemade strawberry-rhubarb jam and topped with torched meringue.

16. Lime Posset With Graham Cracker Streusel

Think of this spring dessert like key lime pie in the form of a five-ingredient pudding.

17. Coconut Layer Cake

There are two tricks to making a coconut cake that’s light as a cloud: The first is using cake flour, which has a lower protein count than regular all-purpose flour, meaning that each bite will be softer and airy than regular cake batter. The other technique is whipping a whopping 10 whole eggs with sugar and vanilla until it triples in size, resulting in a rich, fluffy batter.

18. Sesame Coconut Crunch Cake

For every aspiring food scientist out there, this one’s for you. Recipe developer Shilpa Uskokovic explains the logic behind reverse creaming the butter and sugar, plus using bleached flour, which she says creates an “airy but close-grained interior.”

19. 'World's Best Cake' With Banana & Coconut

Two of my all-time favorite pies are coconut cream and banana cream pie, which is why I love this super fluffy layer cake. I will defend its ‘world’s best’ claim until there’s not a single crumb left.

20. Raspberry Cake Roll

Rolled cakes aren’t just reserved for the holidays! This one is studded with whole fresh raspberries, which gives a burst of tart flavor whenever you’re lucky enough to bite into one.

21. Ottolenghi's Honey & Yogurt Set Cheesecake

I never expected this elegant cheesecake to be as easy as it is. There’s no fussy water bath or bain-marie; the creamy no-bake filling is all thanks to a combination of Greek yogurt, cream cheese, and melted white chocolate.

22. Raspberry-Raspberry Shortcakes

There’s a double dose of berries in this shortcake recipe: first, fresh raspberries are folded into the shortcake dough and the biscuits are baked individually. Then they’re filled with macerated raspberries and served with fresh whipped cream.

23. Sweet Potato Hummingbird Cake

This 20th-century cake got a modern-day upgrade with the addition of sweet potatoes and green peanuts in place of the traditional pecans; instead of a crunch texture and nutty flavor, the peanuts lend a tender, bean-like chew that is so, so good.

24. Coconut Rum Cream Pie

No one would ever expect that this tropical-tasting pie is entirely vegan. But it is, all thanks to a few cans of full-fat coconut milk that are used in both the filling and whipped cream topping.

25. Peach & Lemon Sorbet From The River Café

You don’t need any fancy equipment—or frankly more than three ingredients—to make this juicy sorbet. You’ll first fall in love with the peachy-pink color…and then fall in love again all over once you taste a scoop of it.

26. Rose Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

These romantic chocolate chip cookies garnished with rose petals are just the thing to serve for dessert on Mother’s Day.

27. Cream Cake

Somewhere in between chiffon cake and pound cake is this luscious six-ingredient cake (yes, only six!). Serve it with whipped cream and berries because it just makes sense.

28. Vegan Macadamia-Coconut Panna Cotta

Normally panna cotta is made with cream and gelatin—two ingredients that are most definitely not vegan. This version relies on agar agar flakes and arrowroot starch to give it body, plus homemade macadamia nut milk for its creaminess.

29. Easter Egg Macarons With Malted Chocolate & Caramel Filling

We’d be remiss to exclude one dessert that was simply made for Easter. These egg-shaped macarons are speckled with dark food coloring to resemble a robin’s egg, the perfect touch for spring.

30. Go-To Vanilla Pound Cake

Pound cake is, quite literally, delicious to eat 365 days a year. What makes this one so special is the addition of one extra egg yolk plus sour cream, which makes it even richer. Serve it with any fruits that feel right for the season!

31. Orange & Rosemary Crème Brûlée

Take a classic crème brûlée into springtime territory with the addition of grated orange zest and a sprig of rosemary, which steep in the custard until it’s time to bake.

32. Strawberries & Cream Éclairs

I don’t know about you, but I have never seen eclairs that are so beautiful and so apt for a sweet spring bite. “A naturally pink glaze made from freeze-dried strawberries is the perfect finishing touch; save some of the strawberry powder for a final sprinkle of flair,” writes recipe developer (and Food52’s Resident Baking BFF!) Erin Jeanne McDowell.

33. Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

Gluten-free baked goods have a reputation for occasionally, well, tasting like cardboard. And sometimes it’s justified. Not this time. To keep the cake super rich and moist, recipe developer Kristina Vanni added a combination of grated carrots, four eggs, and a cup of mayonnaise (you heard me).

Which spring dessert are you going to make first for Passover, Easter, Mother’s Day, or just a random Saturday?

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • MeanGreenBean
  • Lynn
  • Robin Runions
    Robin Runions
  • rox L
    rox L
  • claudia
Former Food52 Staff Editor


MeanGreenBean March 27, 2022
I was given a huge bag of frozen chopped rhubarb by a neighbor when she moved. Does anyone have tips or recipes that start from frozen?
rox L. March 28, 2022
Use the frozen rhubarb the same as fresh in any recipe
Lynn March 27, 2022
Honestly kind of disappointed by this list. Lists of tasty looking desserts but where are all the rhubarb recipes? 3 of 33 doesn’t seems like “ so much rhubarb” to me. Seems more like spring citrus desserts list. Please post more rhubarb recipes.
Robin R. March 12, 2022
Is there a recipe for the beautiful sandwich cookies that look like oatmeal/peanut butter with raspberry filling? All of the desserts look so delicious.
claudia March 14, 2022
Strawberry-Rhubarb Oatmeal Cream Pies
Kelly V. March 17, 2022
Here's a link for that recipe! https://food52.com/recipes/85583-oatmeal-cream-pies-recipe-with-strawberry-rhubarb-filling