This braided brioche-like bread is traditionally topped with real eggs that have been dyed red to symbolise the blood of Christ. These days, the eggs come in a range of colours — some even elaborately painted — to create one of the tastiest and most festive treats of the season.
Melbourne’s Sweet Greek stall at the Prahran Market is your one-stop Greek Easter shop this Lenten season. At The Good Filo in Sydney’s Ramsgate, Tsoureki are made year-round (check out the Oreo and red velvet flavours) but come with the more traditional coloured eggs during the Easter season.
Hot cross buns
A traditional treat of the British Commonwealth, these spiced and fruit-stuffed buns are served throughout the UK, Canada, British Isles, South Africa, some parts of the Americas, New Zealand and Australia in the weeks (or months, if you’re a major supermarket chain) leading up to Easter.
Lucky for us, superstar sellers such as Melbourne’s Tivoli Road Bakery and Sydney’s Bourke Street Bakery and Black Star Pastry make them by the dozen. And then there's Mörk's triple choc X buns, which are making a comeback in Melbourne. Vegan hot cross buns in both chocolate and fruit will be on sale at Melbourne plant-based institution Smith & Deli. In Brisbane, head to Jocelyn’s Provisions for your hot-crossed fix.
Pane di pasqua
Similar to Greece’s tsoureki, pane di pasqua (Italian Easter bread) is a sweet bread that has been braided around a coloured egg like a little nest of deliciousness. The bread is usually topped with an anise glaze and dotted with pearl sugar, sprinkles or chocolate bits. Traditionally served for Easter breakfast in Italy, this bread also makes a great dessert for Good Friday or Easter Sunday.
Pasticceria Papa in Haberfield will be doing a traditional cuddura cu l’ova — a basket-shaped bread roll with both real and chocolate eggs within.
Hot Cross Doughnuts
Short Stop have rehashed their hot cross doughnuts again this Easter. The spiced, yeast-raised dough laced with brandy-soaked dried fruits are fried and dipped in a honey glaze, then finished with a cinnamon sugar stripe. Available for pre-order for pick up or delivery between now and Easter Monday at Melbourne and Sydney outlets.
This sweet roll, which falls somewhere between a brioche and a biscuit, is stuffed with poppyseed or walnut paste and rolled into a number of different shapes, the most common being scroll-like. The treats are commonly served at Christmas and Easter in Hungary, but can be hard to come by elsewhere. You can hit up Sweet Kiss Cake Shop in Clovelly or Bondi’s Wellington Cake Shop for some of Sydney’s best versions.
Lebanese kak (or ka’ik)
Ka’ik can come as a sweet biscuit or more savoury bread, depending on the region or cook. Both versions are often ring-shaped. The sweeter ones are glazed with rosewater and orange blossom and sometimes stuffed with dates and walnuts before going into the oven. The savoury ons are covered in sesame seeds, sumac or stuffed with cheese. They're not exclusive to Easter but are often enjoyed at this time of year.
Australians have been busy putting their own stamp on Easter traditions with some rather delicious chocolate. Haighs famously snubbed the Easter bunny motif for an Easter billby in 1991. The concept raises awareness of the damage to the environment wrought by wild rabbits, foxes and feral cats that have since pushed the bilby to the verge of extinction.
If you’re feeling slightly less political, you can head to The Grounds of Alexandria to see Australia’s biggest speckled Easter egg, towering over three metres tall and weighing in at over 500kg. Bonus: they smash that bad boy at 5pm on Easter Sunday and everyone gets a piece. Not a bad way to celebrate the season. Meanwhile, Melbourne's home of choc-opulence, Ganache is rolling out a 53 cm gold-dusted Easter bunny and an army of praline ones, too.
Easter Bunny bao
From the makers of the snowman bao and “Make Me Rich” dumpling comes the Easter bunny Bao. New Shanghai has once again created a special dish for the Easter season; Lindt chocolate is encased in a cute-as-a-button bao bun for maximum indulgence and Insta-appeal. So, go forth and filter. Available from 23 March to 2 April at New Shanghai Chadstone, Emporium Melbourne, Westfield Sydney and Queens Plaza.
Hot Cross Scones
The Hotel Windsor knows a thing or two about scones, having served 4.3 million of them in their lifetime. This Easter, they’re rolling out a hot cross scone as part of a limited edition Easter-themed afternoon tea. From Monday, 26th March until Monday, 2nd April, guests can sit back in the elegant One Eleven Spring St tearoom and enjoy afternoon tea. Menu highlights include the Chocolate Gianduja – layers of 70% Gianduja chocolate mousse and ganache, almond and hazelnut feuilletine, and hazelnut caramel; a walnut and cream cheese-frosted carrot cake; as well as freshly-baked hot cross scones – a spiced and fruity take on the favourite teatime treat, served with thick cream and Windsor jam.