For many of you, and certainly for me, the meaning of Easter and the Promise it holds has become much more real and precious this year. I am doing the Easter column perhaps a bit early, but I want you to have time to plan. Maybe this year some of your gatherings will be more "normal" since so much progress is being made combating the effects of Covid.

Easter is all about rejoicing, so rejoice and share!

It was always our custom to have turkey at Christmas and ham at Easter, but since there are many different tastes when it comes to planning holiday food, I am including a variety of things today, including lamb which I know many of you enjoy cooking.

Make this Easter one you will remember, hold your loved ones close in your heart, and take time to ponder its message. I know I will.

Easter Promise

My sister Pamela Diane Daugherty Coker sent me this poem one Easter. I offer it in her loving memory and in memory of all those loved ones who are not with us this year.

If we but had the eyes to see

God's face in every cloud,

If we but had the ears to hear

His voice above the crowd

If we could feel His gentle touch

In every springtime breeze

And find a haven in His arms

'neath sheltering, leafy trees...

If we could just lift our hearts

like flowers to the sun

And trust His Easter promise

And pray, "Thy will be done,"

We'd find the peace we're seeking,

The kind no man can give,

The peace that comes from knowing,

He died so we might live."

Southern Baked Ham

Once you put your ham in your baking pan, Make the following mixture:

Brown sugar dissolved with Coca Cola or pineapple juice.

Then liberally slather your ham with yellow mustard. Then take the brown sugar mixture and spoon it liberally across your ham. I then like to add a sprinkle or two of cinnamon. Pour the rest of the liquid around your ham. Cover with foil and bake according to the package directions.

Southern Coconut Cake

Richard's Note: Be sure to get the full size cake mix if you can find it! I particularly like the. Food City cake mixes because of their size, cost, and taste!

1 (15.25 oz.) butter cake mix

3 large eggs

1 cup Sprite or 7-Up

1 stick of butter, melted

1 tsp. vanilla


1 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup white corn syrup

3 egg whites

1 tsp. baking powder

2 cups shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix all of the cake ingredients together with a wire whisk until well blended. Don't use an electric mixer for this. Mama says it makes a cake dry when you beat the batter up too long. Butter and flour two 8-inch round cake pans. (You can use two 9-inch cake pans, but the cake won't be as high.) Divide cake batter between pans. Place in oven and bake for 25 minutes. While the cakes cool, make the icing. Place the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a sauce pan on medium heat. Using a candy thermometer cook to the soft, ball stage or 240°, stirring constantly. The mixture should become almost clear. You can also do this in the microwave to make this step easier. Cook on high for four minutes, remove and stir well and then cook for about three more minutes on high. This could vary by a minute or two depending on the power of your microwave. It still needs to reach the soft, ball stage. With an electric mixer beat the egg whites with the baking powder until it reaches the soft peak stage. Slowly pour in the syrup and keep mixing until the icing stands in peaks. This takes some time to accomplish so don't give up on it. Just keep beating it and eventually the peaks will form. Place one of the cake layers on a pretty cake plate. Frost the top of the first layer and sprinkle with one-half cup coconut. Place the other layer on top of the first and frost the entire cake. Sprinkle the rest of the coconut over the top and sides of the cake.

Coconut Cake from Martha Newell

Martha’s Note: Do not open the oven door while cake is baking. The La Preferida brand of cream of coconut works well in this cake. Bagged coconut works well also.

1 box coconut cake mix, prepared according to the box directions. (Richard's Note: if you cannot find coconut flavor, use butter flavor and a bit of coconut flavor if you have it.)

1 can cream of coconut

1 can Eagle Brand milk

8 oz. Cool Whip

Shredded coconut

Slightly cool the cake. Poke holes in and pour the cream of coconut into it. Cool a little more. Pour the can of Eagle Brand over cake. Cool completely. Cover with Cool Whip and then the coconut. Refrigerate overnight before serving. Let stand outside of refrigerator 30 minutes to one hour before serving. Cook cake in a 9x13 Pyrex dish.

French Coconut Pie

Despite its name, this recipe came to me from Madrid, Spain. It is delicious and part of its secret is the method of baking. When I make it, I first beat my eggs lightly and then dip my pastry brush into the eggs to “wash” the pie shell and then bake it for one minute as the recipe says. You will love this pie. Many coconut pies are actually named “French,” not for France but for the fact that there was a time when most of our coconut was imported from French Polynesia!

1 unbaked pie crust

3 eggs

1 & 1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup melted butter

1 cup coconut

Brush a little egg wash on the unbaked pie crust. Bake at 400° for one minute. This prevents a soggy crust. Beat eggs slightly, add all other ingredients and mix. Pour mixture into pie shell. Bake for 10 minutes at 400°, then at 375° for 15 minutes, and finally at 350° for 20 minutes.

Easter Dinners Recipes

Honey Glazed Easter Ham

4 lb ham; boneless, fully cooked

1 (12 oz.) can lemon-lime soda

1/4 cup honey

1/2 tsp. mustard

1/2 tsp. cloves; ground

1/4 tsp. cinnamon; ground

Place ham and lemon-lime soda into crock pot. If your pot has a rack, you can use it. Cover and cook on low six to eight hours (high three to four hours). Thirty minutes before serving, combine honey, mustard, cloves, and cinnamon, and three tablespoons drippings from bottom of crock pot. Spread glaze over ham and continue cooking. Let ham stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Richard’s Easy Ham

I like to take a ham of any size and any kind. I slather it good with mustard. Then I make a paste of coca cola, cinnamon, cloves, and brown sugar. I drizzle this over the ham and cover it good with foil and bake it until done. Not only does the entire house smell wonderful, but the ham is just delicious!

Ham Dressing

Richard’s Note: This is very much like turkey/chicken dressing except with ham. This is the recipe that I loosely follow.

2 cups all-purpose cornmeal, preferably stone ground (I was happy to be able to use stone ground cornmeal that I bought from a local grist mill not far from my home.)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

Pinch of salt

Cracked black pepper

1 & 1/4 cup buttermilk

2 eggs, slightly beaten

2 tsp. bacon fat, for bottom of the skillet

1 sleeve of saltine crackers, crushed

1 onion, finely diced

3 stalks of celery, finely diced

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1.5 tsp. rubbed sage (or ground)

Cracked black pepper, to taste

3 cup cooked ham, chopped (recipe follows)

3/4 cup pan cooking juices (optional)

4 cups Chicken or Pork Stock (if not using pan juices, use 5 cups of stock instead)

3 eggs, slightly beaten

1 (5-7 lb.) naturally smoked ham

1/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 400°. Add bacon fat to a cast iron skillet and place into the oven while it preheats. In a mixing bowl combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, buttermilk and eggs and stir to combine. Remove skillet from oven when it reaches temperature and add the cornbread batter. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown. Combine cornbread, crackers, onion, celery, and seasonings together in a large mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. (This can also be done early in the day before baking ham) The next day after ham bakes - add the chopped ham, pan juices (if using) ,stock and eggs to the dry mixture stored in the refrigerator. Mix well to combine until everything is moistened. Use additional stock if needed. Preheat oven to 375°. Place ham dressing mixture into a casserole dish and place into the oven. Bake 30 to 45 minutes until set as desired and slightly browned on top.

Richard’s Easy Baked Corn

2 tubes of frozen corn—I use one yellow and one white, thawed

1 stick butter, cubed

1 (8-oz.) brick cream cheese, cubed

1 Tbs. olive oil (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

Put all this into a lightly greased casserole dish and bake until hot and bubbly. Stir once or twice while baking. (I sometimes add a chopped jalapeno to this, depending on what I am serving it with.)

Easter Greek Lamb

5 lb. leg of lamb, boneless

1 cup olive oil

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

2 Tbs. garlic, minced

1/2 cup parsley, chopped

1/2 cup dill, chopped

4 Tbs. oregano, rubbed

Black pepper

Whisk together the oil, vinegar, garlic, parsley, dill, oregano, and pepper. Butterfly the lamb and pepper generously on both sides. Cut some slits in the meat. Marinate the lamb for two to 24 hours. Drain marinade from lamb and put lamb in 425° oven in shallow roasting pan for about 45 minutes. You want an internal temperature of 135°. Let lamb rest before serving.

Baked Angel Hair Pasta & Shrimp for Easter

Non stick cooking spray

8 oz. uncooked angel hair pasta

12 oz. frozen, fully cooked, peeled Shrimp, thawed

1 Green onion, chopped

2 plum tomatoes, peeled, Seeded, and chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, or 1 tsp. dried

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 cup clam chowder

3 & 1/2 Tbs. grated parmesan cheese, divided

Spray a baking dish with a 5-cup or larger capacity with non stick cooking spray. Set aside. Heat oven to 350°. Cook the angel hair pasta in lightly salted boiling water according to the package directions. When tender, drain, rinse under cold running water and drain again. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the thawed shrimp, green onion, tomatoes, garlic, basil, white wine and clam chowder. Sprinkle in three tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, reserving one-half tablespoon for the top. Stir in the cooked angel hair pasta and toss to coat the ingredients evenly. Spoon into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the reserved Parmesan cheese on top. Lightly coat a sheet of aluminum foil with non stick cooking spray. Cover the baking dish and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot from dish with lemon wedges on the side if desired. You can prepare this dish up to 8 hours in advance and bake it when you are ready to serve.

Resurrection Easter Cookies

Richard’s Note: This would make a good quarantine activity and it has a good lesson too!!!

This is a super thing for an object lesson at Easter.

1 cup. whole pecans

1 tsp. vinegar

3 egg whites

Pinch salt

1 cup. sugar

Zipper baggie

Wooden spoon



Preheat oven to 300°. Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested he was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3. Let each child smell the vinegar. Put one teaspoon vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30. Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11. Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27. So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 c. sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16. Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3. Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60. Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 27:65-66. GO TO BED! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22. On Resurrection morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Resurrection day Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matthew 28:1-9. HE HAS RISEN!

Poppy Seed and Lemon Cake—a delicious Easter cake!

3 cups flour

4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 cups unsalted butter

2 cups sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

6 eggs, at room temperature

2/3 cup milk

1/2 cup poppy seeds

Combine the flour and baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Gradually add the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, to the creamed mixture. Beat well after each addition. Add milk alternately with the dry ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Be careful not to over beat. Fold the poppy seeds into the batter. Turn into two well-greased and floured 9-inch pans. Bake at 350° for 45 to 50 minutes until cake springs back. Cool on racks five minutes. Cool completely. Then slice each layer into half, creating four layers. Put Lemon Butter between layers and frost with a cream cheese frosting. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Lemon Butter

2 eggs

6 Tbs. lemon juice

2 Tbs. grated lemon rind

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup butter

In a heavy pan, beat eggs with a fork until well blended. Stir in lemon juice, rind, and sugar. Add butter. Cook over low heat until thickened. Cool and store in refrigerator.

Easter Brisket

7 lb brisket; trimmed

2 tsp onion salt

1 Tbs. celery salt

1 tsp garlic salt

2 Tbs. worchestershire sauce

1 & 1/2 Tbs. liquid smoke

Rub brisket with onion salt, celery salt, and garlic salt; let stand for about 30 minutes. Place in a roaster and pour Worchestershire sauce and liquid smoke over surface of roast. Cover and refrigerate several hours. Drain off marinade, wrap brisket, fatty side up, in heavy duty aluminum foil and seal. Bake five hours at 300°. Incredibly delicious and tender.

Maple-Glazed Roast Turkey Breast with Cornbread Stuffing

1 (6 to 6 & 1/2 lb.) turkey breast

1 & 1/2 tsp dried sage

1 & 1/2 tsp dried thyme

Freshly ground black pepper

2 Tbs olive oil

1 & 1/4 cup diced celery -- with leaves

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 Tbs. water, or as needed

2 medium Granny Smith apples, cored and diced (about 2 1/2 c)

2 (8 oz.) bag cornbread stuffing mix

1 (14 & 1/2 oz.) carton chicken broth


1/3 c maple syrup

3 Tbs coarse-grained Dijon-style mustard

Remove skin and excess fat from turkey breast. Rinse turkey. Blot dry with paper towels. In a cup mix sage, thyme, and pepper. Rub 2 teaspoons over turkey breast.

Preheat oven to 375°. In large non-stick skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add celery, onion, parsley, and remaining herb mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are slightly softened, three to four minutes. If skillet gets dry, add a tablespoon or so of water. Stir in apples and another tablespoon water. Cook, stirring, two to three minutes more. Spoon into large bowl. Add stuffing mix. In measuring cup add enough water to broth to equal two and one-fourth cups. Add to stuffing. Toss gently to mix. Spoon into roasting pan. If desired, place roasting rack in pan over stuffing. Place turkey breast on rack or directly on stuffing. Cover pan completely with foil. Roast one and one-half hours. In medium bowl mix glaze ingredients. Remove foil from bird. Spoon about one-third of glaze over breast. Roast, uncovered, 30 to 40 minutes longer, basting two or three times with remaining glaze, or until instant-read meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of breast registers 165°. Transfer turkey to platter and stuffing to covered serving dish. Let turkey stand 20 minutes. Carve into thin slices.

Apricot Mustard Glazed Leg of Lamb for Easter

1/4 cup apricot jam

2 Tbs. honey mustard

2 garlic cloves; chopped

2 Tbs. soy sauce

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 tsp. dried rosemary

3 lb. lamb leg; butterflied

1/2 cup red wine

1 cup beef stock; canned/homemade

Salt & ground pepper, to taste

Combine jam, mustard, garlic, soy sauce, olive oil and rosemary. Reserve two tablespoons. of marinade for sauce. Brush remainder all over lamb. Season well with salt and pepper. Marinate for 30 minutes. Broil lamb for three minutes per side. Then bake lamb at 425°, fat side up for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest on a serving dish for 10 minutes. Pour off any fat in pan. Add red wine to pan and reduce to one tablespoon. Add beef broth, reserved marinade and any extra lamb juices from the serving dish. Bring to boil and boil for two minutes. Slice lamb in thin slices against the grain. Serve with some sauce poured over.

Baked Rice Broccoli

2 cup rice, cooked

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1/2 cup celery, chopped

2 pkgs. frozen chopped broccoli, thawed, uncooked

1 cartons cream of mushroom soup

1 cartons water chestnuts, drained; chopped

1 cup Velveta cheese, cubed

Melt butter in saucepan. Saute onion and celery in butter. Mix in a big bowl the cooked rice, onions, celery, broccoli, soup, water chestnuts and cheese. Mix all together and put in a 9x13 casserole dish. Cover with foil and bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350°.

Apricot Baked Ham

1 fully cooked ham with bone

20 whole garlic cloves

1/2 cup apricot preserves

3 Tbs. dry mustard

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

Score the surface of the ham with shallow diamond-shaped cuts. Insert cloves in cuts. Combine preserves and mustard; spread over ham. Pat brown sugar over apricot mixture. Place ham on a rack in a roasting pan. Bake at 325° for 20 minutes per pound or until ham is heated through and thermometer reads 140°.

Baked Salmon Steaks

6 salmon steaks, 1-inch thick

1/3 cup butter or margarine

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 Tbs. grated onion

Preheat oven to 350°. Place salmon steaks in a greased shallow baking dish.

Melt butter, add salt, paprika, and Worcestershire Sauce and spread mixture over fish. Sprinkle one teaspoon grated onion over each steak. Bake at 350°. for 25 to 30 minutes.

Crock Pot Easter Turkey Dinner

6 lb. turkey breast

1 Tbs. salt

2 large onions

Garlic powder


Thaw frozen turkey in refrigerator till almost thawed. The next day put the breast of turkey in a large bowl with salt water (use about one tablespoon of salt). Refrigerate overnight. Slice the onions and put in the bottom of the stock pot. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with garlic powder and paprika, liberally. Cook for about four and one-half hours on high.

Crusty Roast Lamb (Easter)

1 (4 lb.) shoulder of lamb

1 cup Fresh bread crumbs

Pinch mixed herbs

2 Tbs. butter, soft

1 & 1/2 lb. potatoes, peeled, sliced

1 large onion, diced

1 large cooking apple, peeled, cored and sliced

10 oz. chicken stock

Wipe the lamb over, and cut criss-cross slits around the top. Mix together the bread crumbs, herbs, butter, salt and pepper Rub the mixture onto the top of the meat, pressing down well so that it sticks. Fill the bottom of the roasting pan with the vegetables and apple, mixing them and the seasoning well. Put the joint on top, then pour the stock into the pan, but not over the meat. Cover loosely with a piece of foil and bake at 400° for half an hour. Then lower the heat to 350°, and cook for a further 20 to 25 minutes to the pound. Take off the foil for the final half hour, and check that the vegetables are nearly cooked. Finish the cooking without the foil, to let the top get brown and crusty.

Homemade Natural Dye for Easter Eggs

We used to go out and pick pretty leaves and small plants, lay them on our eggs, and stretch a piece of panty hose over them to hold the leaf in place. We would hold the panty hose in place with a bread twist tie on the back. Then we would dye our eggs in these natural dyes, especially onion-skin dye. When they had reached the desired hue, we would discard the panty hose and all and we were left with a beautiful design from nature on our egg. We would dry them and then polish them with vegetable oil. This is an old German Bavarian way of doing eggs.

For a fool-proof way to hard-boil eggs:

Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan; add enough tap water to cover at least one inch above eggs. Cover and bring to boiling. Remove from heat and leave for about one-half hour. Immediately place pot under cold running water until water in pot is cold. Dry eggs and decorate immediately or store in refrigerate. Do not decorate cracked eggs, instead use them in recipes or eat them up as soon as possible.

Different Shades of Red: beets, raspberries, cranberries, grape juice, or red onions

Different Shades of Yellow: Yellow onion skins, orange peels, lemon peels, shredded carrot, celery seed, ground cumin or ground turmeric

Pale green: Spinach leaves

Golden: Yellow Golden Delicious Apple peels

Light Blue: frozen blueberries, thawed

Light Brown: Strong brewed coffee

Place the hard-boiled eggs in a single layer in a large pot (do not stack them). Pour in just enough water to cover the eggs, add about one teaspoon vinegar and the desired natural dye to the water. Bring the water to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Giant Easter Eggs

Richard’s Note: There is now a commercial product that takes the place of the glue or sugar water we used to use.

Balloon that blows up into an oval shape

Crochet Thread—we liked the pastels and the varigated!

Watered Down Glue.

Large Paint brushes

Blow up the balloon and tie a 2-foot piece of thread to the bottom. Using a large paint brush, cover the entire balloon with the watered down glue (work quickly so the glue doesn't have a chance to dry). Wrap crochet thread around the balloon in one direction, leaving small gaps about 1/2-inch wide so the balloon isn't completely covered. Apply another light layer of glue on top of the thread and wrap with another layer of crochet thread in another direction. Repeat until the balloon is covered with thread. Hang the balloon from the bottom thread to dry for about 24 hours. When fully dry, pop the balloon and gently pull it out of the thread.

Quick Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns are traditional for Easter!

1 pkg. hot-roll mix

2 Tbs. butter or margarine, melted

2 Tbs. golden seedless raisins

2 Tbs. chopped candied fruits and peels

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Prepare hot-roll mix according to package directions, adding butter, raisins, fruits and peels, sugar and spices to flour mixture; mix well. Cover with damp cloth and let rise in warm place till double (about 45 minutes). Using sharp scissors (or knife), snip top of buns to form shallow cross. If a glaze is desired, brush with one slightly beaten egg mixed with one tablespoon water. Bake at 375° about 15 minutes or till done. Cool slightly; fill crosses with Confectioners' Icing. Makes 12.

Hot Cross Buns

1 cup milk

1/2 cup shortening

1 & 1/2 pkg. active dry yeast

3/4 cup warm water (105° to 115°)

1/2 tsp. sugar

7 cups all-purpose flour, divided

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground cardamom

3 large eggs

1 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup sifted powdered sugar

1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. milk

1/4 tsp. almond extract

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine one cup milk and shortening in a saucepan; heat until shortening melts, stirring occasionally. Cool to 105° to 115°. Combine yeast, warm water, and one-half teaspoon sugar in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup; let stand five minutes. Combine milk mixture and yeast mixture. Combine two cups flour, one-third cup sugar, salt, and cardamom in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture, stirring vigorously until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Stir in raisins, apricot, and one-half teaspoon vanilla. Stir in remaining five cups flour, one cup at a time, stirring vigorously until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface, and knead lightly until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Place dough in a well-greased bowl, turning to coat top. Cover loosely, and let rise in a warm place (85°) free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Divide each half into eight equal portions. Shape each portion of dough into a ball. Place balls on two large greased baking sheets, leaving two inches of space between balls. Cover loosely, and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 30 to 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Preheat oven to 375°. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until rolls are golden. Remove rolls from baking sheets, and let cool on wire racks. Combine powdered sugar and remaining three ingredients; stir vigorously until icing is slightly stiff. Spoon icing into a small zip-top plastic bag; seal bag. Snip a tiny hold in the corner of bag. Pipe icing over top of each bun to form an “X”. Allow icing to set before serving. Yields 16 buns. (Note: The icing should be thick enough to hold its shape when piped. If the icing is too thin, add powdered sugar, a little at a time, until the icing reaches the desired consistency.)

Easy Bunny Cake

Richard’s Note: Jan Phillips sent me this fun cake! I have made it any number of times, and it is so fun to do with and for children!

1 (18.25 oz.) pkg. yellow cake mix

3 & 3/4 cups flaked coconut

1 (16 oz.) pkg. vanilla frosting

30 small multi-colored jellybeans

4 red licorice

Heat oven and prepare two 9 inch round baking pans as directed on cake box. Prepare cake batter with as directed on package adding in one-half cup of coconut. Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake and cool cake as directed on package. When cooled, place one whole 9-inch cake layer on serving tray, forming the bunny's head. Cut two convex shaped ears from each side of the second layer, place on each side of head to form ears. Use concave shaped piece for the bowtie, place about one-half inch below head. Frost entire bunny covering top and sides of bunny. Pat remaining three and one-fourth cup coconut evenly over top and sides. Decorate the bunny face and bowtie with jellybeans and use the licorice to make whiskers. (We dye a small amount of coconut pink to do the inside of the bunny ears, and a larger amount, green, for the bowtie, before putting jellybeans on it. My mother also uses a double boiler frosting, rather than the pre-made one, but this is probably much easier! -- Jan.)

This recipe, also from Jan, reminds me of something Mother used to do at home for Easter. She would make up a batch of those chocolate oatmeal boiled cookies, but instead of dropping them on to waxed paper for cookies, she would shape the mixture into a large Easter Egg shape, frost it, and then decorate it. To eat it we sliced it off and ate it like a slice of cake. Boy, was that every pretty and good too! That was just a part of Easter!

Easter Eggs

These are peanut butter and coconut cream eggs dipped in chocolate.

Prep Time: approx. 3 hours. Cook Time: approx. 10 minutes. Ready in: approx. 3 hours, 10 minutes. Makes 60 eggs (60 servings).

2 lbs. confectioners' sugar

1/4 lbs. margarine, softened

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese

2 tsp. vanilla extract

12 oz. peanut butter

1 lb. flaked coconut

4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

2 Tbs. shortening

In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, margarine, cream cheese and vanilla extract. Divide the batter in half and place each half of the batter in a bowl on its own. Stir peanut butter into one of the bowls and coconut into the second. Using your hands, mold the dough into egg-shapes and arrange the forms on cookie sheets. Place the eggs in the freezer until frozen. Once the eggs have frozen, melt the chocolate and shortening in the top of a double-boiler. Dip the eggs into the chocolate until coated. Place the eggs on wax paper lined cookie sheets and return to the freezer to harden. After the chocolate has hardened the eggs can be kept in the refrigerator.

Almond Joy Cake

1 devil's food cake mix

24 large marshmallows

14 oz. coconut

1 cup evaporated milk

1 cup sugar

1 cup almonds, chopped

Make chocolate cake according to package directions in two round pans. Make favorite chocolate frosting for cake. While cake is cooling, heat evaporated milk, sugar and marshmallows in a very large pan to avoid spilling over. When marshmallows are melted, add coconut and almonds. Spread this on top of the bottom cake layer. Top with other cake layer and frost with chocolate frosting.

Applesauce Walnut Cake

1 butter recipe golden cake mix

1/2 cup butter or margarine; soften

1 1/3 cup applesauce

3 eggs

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 1/2 oz. black walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 375°. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Put dry cake mix, butter, applesauce, eggs and cinnamon into large mixer bowl. Beat for four minutes at medium speed. Stir in black walnuts. Turn batter into pans and spread evenly. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Frost with Mocha Frosting:

3 Tbs. margarine

1 & 1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 Tbs. cocoa

1/2 tsp. each of instant coffee and vanilla

1 Tbs. milk

With wooden spoon mix butter, sugar, cocoa and coffee. Add vanilla and milk and beat until smooth.

Four-Day Coconut Cake

Note: For this cake you can use a butter recipe cake mix, baked according to package directions or else use a large purchased pound cake cut into multiple layers.

2 cups sugar

2 cups sour cream

2 (6 oz.) pkg. frozen coconut

1 2-layer yellow cake mix

The night before baking the cake, combine sugar, sour cream and coconut. Store covered in refrigerator. The next morning prepare cake according to package instructions and bake in two layers. Turn out layers and cool. Split each layer in half to make four layers. Frost each layer and the top with the sour-cream-mixture, stacking them to form four layers. (Frost sides if desired.) Cover (in a container that doesn't make contact with the sides and top of cake) and store in refrigerator for two to four days. If desired, frost sides with any remaining frosting on the last day.

Butterfinger Cake

1 German chocolate cake mix

8 oz. butterscotch topping for ice cream

2 large Butterfinger bars

1 large Cool Whip

1 cup pecans, chopped

Bake cake in a 9x13 pan. While cake is still hot, pour butterscotch topping over cake, poking small holes in cake so that topping can soak in. Cool completely. Crush Butterfinger bars. Reserve one-half of one bar and mix the rest into a large carton of Cool Whip along with the pecans. Spread over cooled cake and top with reserved Butterfinger. Refrigerate until ready to serve.