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Pack Your Easter Basket Full of Sweet Treats

MISSION, KS -- (Marketwire) -- 03/21/13 -- (Family Features) Spring into action and surprise guests at your Easter gathering with eggcellent desserts and treats. From pastel-colored cakes to homemade kid-friendly candies, Wilton has simple ideas to brighten any holiday table and help you make delicious sweet treats that will have your guests hunting for more.

"Holiday get-togethers are the perfect time to try new recipes, have fun in the kitchen and showcase your baking skills," says Nancy Siler, vice president of consumer affairs at Wilton. "Get the kids involved with candy molds and Easter-themed cupcake kits, or add an element of surprise with a festive cake that reveals its pastel perfection when sliced."

Try these tips from Wilton to make your desserts hop off the table:

  • Celebrate Spring Fashion: Play up seasonal pastel colors by using an ombre technique. Fade through shades of rose, aqua or mint to add personality and chic spring flare to your cake.
  • Some 'Bunny' Special: Involve kids in the process; let them put their creativity to work by adding finishing touches like seasonal nonpareils, bunny with jelly bean icing decorations and sprinkles.
  • Lollipop, Lollipop: Impress guests by creating your own candy lollipops with Wilton's Easter Candy Making Kit Mega Pack. From Easter eggs to butterflies, there are fun and tasty shapes to tempt guests of all ages.
  • Basketful of Fun: Display your Easter candies and sweets in spring floral themed baking cups, and send guests home with leftovers in bunny treat bags and boxes for a festive touch.

For more Easter recipe ideas, baking tips and inspiration, visit www.wilton.com.

Spring Ombre Layer Cake

4-1/2     cups sifted cake flour
2         tablespoons baking powder
1         teaspoon salt
1-1/2     cups (3 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
2-1/4     cups granulated sugar
1-1/2     teaspoons Imitation Clear Vanilla Extract
1-1/2     teaspoons almond extract
6         egg whites
1-1/3     cups milk
          Rose Icing Color
          Homemade Marshmallow Icing
          Bunnies with Jelly Beans Icing Decorations

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 9 inch round pans with vegetable pan spray.

In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy; add extracts and beat well. Add egg whites, 2 at a time, mixing until well blended. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in three additions alternately with milk, beating well after each addition and scraping bowl as needed.

Divide batter into 4 equal portions (about 1-2/3 cups batter each). Add a small amount of icing color to one portion of batter. Add increasing amounts of color to each additional portion of batter to create shades of increasingly darker rose. Fill pans with batter.

Bake 17-19 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on rack; remove and cool completely. Wash and dry pans completely. Bake remaining batter as directed above.

To decorate, stack layers on cake board or serving platter, filling between layers with marshmallow icing. Spoon ice cake; press icing decorations around cake into icing.

Homemade Marshmallow Icing
3         tablespoons Meringue Powder
1/2       cup cold water
2         cups granulated sugar
1/3       cup water
1/4       cup light corn syrup

In large bowl, whip meringue powder and 1/2 cup cold water with electric mixer until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes.

In medium saucepan, bring sugar, 1/3 cup water and corn syrup to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Stir constantly while sugar boils rapidly for 4 minutes. With mixer on high speed, slowly pour syrup down the side of the bowl into meringue, being careful not to let syrup hit the whip or meringue mixture. Continue beating on high speed for 4 minutes. Use immediately to fill and ice cake.

Makes about 16 servings.

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