Easter Bread – Spend With Pennies

This beautifully baked bread is as delicious as it is pretty!

Easter bread is a sweet yeast bread with a buttery texture and a hint of citrus flavor. It’s baked with jewel-toned eggs nestled on top.

Easter is the time to bring out the family’s favorite recipes and make room for some easy, soon-to-be-favorites!

Top view of a baked loaf of Easter Bread

What is Easter Bread?

Easter is a celebration and it’s the first major holiday of the year when families come together to celebrate Spring and new life.

  • This is a favorite bread recipe, tender and sweet with a hint of citrus flavor. The recipe is slightly adapted from an old church recipe I have.
  • The texture of the bread is buttery, almost like a brioche.
  • There are spiritual meanings to this classic holiday bread. The sweet, yeast dough is made with eggs and adorned with colored hardboiled eggs which are the symbol of new life.
  • Easter bread braids can be shaped into circles (the crown of Christ), and the three strands of the braids represent the Holy Trinity. This is a variation of Italian Easter bread however, there are many other variations including different meanings and shapes of the dough.

Labeled Easter Bread ingredients

Ingredients & Variations

YEAST DOUGH Moist and sweet this bread starts with a rich dough containing both eggs and butter. It’s lightly sweetened with sugar and very flavorful.

FLAVORINGS Fresh lemon and lime zest give Easter bread a citrus flavor. Other optional add-ins include raisins, currants, chopped nuts, cinnamon, almonds, a little saffron, or cardamom.

EGGS While large eggs are preferred for the bread dough, medium or small sizes look best for the colored decorative eggs in Easter bread.

I use uncooked eggs for adding to the bread as they will bake in the oven along with the bread.  Once baked, the eggs will be almost hard-cooked (still very slightly soft) and they will still cook as the bread is cooling.

The steps to braid Easter Bread

How to Make Easter Bread

Nothing is better than warm bread fresh from the oven and this Easter egg bread tops the list.

  1. Combine yeast with warm milk and sugar. Let rest.
  2. Mix in eggs, vanilla, and zest and knead in flour until dough forms.
  3. Let the dough rise then punch down and divide into three ropes.
  4. Braid together and add uncooked colored eggs. Cover and let rise again.
  5. Brush with the egg wash and bake on a parchment paper lined pan (per the recipe below).

Cool the bread on a wire rack.

Easter Bread being brushed with an egg wash before baking

How to Dye Eggs with Food Coloring

For our Easter eggs, we dye hard-boiled eggs with whipped cream but in this recipe, I place them in food coloring uncooked. Let them soak in the color while preparing the dough.

  1. Fill a cup with about 2/3 cup water and 1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar.
  2. Add a generous amount of liquid food coloring and add the eggs.
  3. Let them soak until they reach the desired color. Remove from the water and let dry completely before using in the bread.

Tips

  • You can use eggs that have not been dyed if you prefer. Hard boiled eggs can also be used if you’d like firmer eggs.
  • Ensure all ingredients (including milk) are at room temperature.
  • The bread can be kneaded with a dough hook attachment on a stand mixer or by hand.
  • Form the loaf on parchment paper and slide the parchment paper don’t a baking sheet.
  • The loaf can be glazed and sprinkles can be added if you’d like.
  • The eggs will usually leak a little bit of color into the dough, this is expected.

Easter Bread prepped for baking

How to Store

Once Easter bread has been served, remove the eggs and store them in the refrigerator in a bowl for up to 4 days. Keep the bread in a covered container or zippered bag at room temperature for up to 4 days.

More Bread Recipes

Did you enjoy this Easter Bread Recipe? Be sure to leave a comment and a rating below!

Easter Bread

This sweetened, eggy yeast-based bread has a hint of citrusy orange flavor. The colorful eggs and the braids will make this bread the crown of the Easter table.


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  • Combine warm milk with butter in a small saucepan. Warm to 120°F.

  • Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Stir in sugar and yeast. Let rest 10 minutes.

  • Add the yeast mixture to the bottom of a stand mixer. Add in the eggs, citrus zest, salt, vanilla, and lightly mix until combined. Add 1 cup of flour and beat using a dough hook for 2 minutes at medium speed.

  • Add in remaining flour a bit at a time to make a stiff dough, you may not need all of the flour.

  • Turn the mixer on to medium-low and knead with the dough hook for 4-6 minutes or until smooth and elastic.

  • Place the dough into a greased bowl, cover and rise in a warm spot until doubled, about 45 minutes.

  • Punch the dough down and divide into 3 equal portions. Roll each portion into a 26-inch rope.

  • Place all 3 ropes in a row on a piece of parchment paper and pinch the 3 tops together. Braid the ropes and pinch the bottom seams together.

  • Curve the rope to create a ring and pinch the end together. Tuck the colored eggs in between the ropes of dough. Gently cover with a towel and let rise about 30 minutes or until doubled.

  • While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F. Slide the parchment paper onto a baking sheet.

  • Beat the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush the egg over the dough (avoiding the eggs).

  • Bake 28-33 minutes or until the bread is golden.

  • Remove from the oven and cool on a baking rack.

To knead by hand, turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 10-15 minutes.
The eggs will be almost hard cooked once the bread cools. Once cooled ensure eggs are stored in the refrigerator.
Eggs do not have to be colored if you’d prefer. 
To dye eggs with food coloring:

  1. Fill a cup with about 2/3 cup water and 1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar.
  2. Add a generous amount of liquid food coloring and add the eggs.
  3. Let them soak until they reach the desired color. Remove from the water and let dry completely before using in the bread.

Calories: 340, Carbohydrates: 53g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 76mg, Sodium: 188mg, Potassium: 117mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 356IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 45mg, Iron: 3mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Course Bread

Cuisine American

Traditional Easter Bread with a title
Sweet Easter Bread with a title
Easter Bread with a title
Top image - baked Easter Bread. Bottom image - Easter Bread being brushed with an egg wash with a title


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