A recipe for Paashaasbroodjes (Easter Bunny Bread)! This yeast-based bread is formed into bunny-shaped buns with an egg in the center.
I first came across the idea for these Paashaasbroodjes (Easter Bunny Buns in Dutch) over on The Dutch Table and they are such a fun spring treat for the family.
A basic yeast dough is rolled into ovals and cut to form the bunnies with ears and arms. Before baking, a raw egg (optionally dyed) is placed on each piece of bread for the bunny to hold and cooked along with the bread!
I have also come across a couple of recipes that use a small carrot in place of the egg.
Forming the Easter Bunnies
To form the Paashaasjes (Easter Bunnies), roll each ball of risen dough into an oval about 7 inches (18 centimeters) long. At the top of the oval, cut a 2 inch (5 centimeter) slit down the middle.
Make two more slits down 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) to the left and right of the center cut. Continue the cuts downward slightly angled out to form the arms.
Place a washed or dyed egg on the bottom third of the oval. Fold the arms over to cover the bottom third of the egg. Gently separate the ears and arrange on the prepared baking sheet.
Once the dough is puffy, use chocolate chips or raisins to create the eyes and nose. Brush over the bread with the beaten egg wash and use a toothpick or small knife to form whiskers and marks on the paws.
Bake the Paashaasbroodjes until puffed and golden.
A Few Tips
If the dough is too wet, add a little more flour (only enough to keep it from sticking). Add a little more lukewarm milk if too tough and crumbly.
Allow the dough to rise until doubled in size. This may take 1 hour in warm kitchens and closer to 2 hours during the winter.
We used chocolate chips for the eyes and nose. You can also swap them for raisins or dried currants. Press down into the dough to keep them attached while baking.
Make the whiskers and paw marks on the bread with either a toothpick or a small, sharp knife. Don’t cut too deep. The lines should be shallow.
These Paashaasbroodjes are best warm from the oven or within a couple of hours after baking.
The eggs on top of the bread are added raw in the shell. They bake in the oven with the bread and come out with a perfectly cooked hard-boiled texture.
You can either add the eggs after briefly washing and drying them straight from the refrigerator or you can dye them first for an additional festive touch.
I usually only have brown eggs on hand, so I soak them in white vinegar first for about 5-7 (no longer than 10) minutes to lighten the shells and make them easier to dye. After soaking, gently rub the exterior under running water until smooth and lightened. Work carefully since soaking in the vinegar will remove the outermost layer and make the shells more fragile.
If dying the eggs, make sure to use food-safe dye. Handle the eggs with care when transferring in and out of the glass since they are raw.
I placed about 1 cup (240 milliliters) of hot water in a glass along with 1-2 teaspoons of vinegar and about 10-15 drops of desired liquid food coloring. Soak the egg in the water, gently turning occasionally to keep the color even, until it has reached the desired hue, about 5-10 minutes. Transfer back to the carton with a slotted spoon to dry.
Make sure the dyed eggs are completely dry before placing over the bread.
Looking for more Easter and Spring recipes?
This recipe was originally published in March 2015 and updated March 2022.
Paashaasbroodjes (Easter Bunny Bread) Recipe
Adapted from The Dutch Table
Paashaasbroodjes (Easter Bunny Bread)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (7 grams) active dry yeast
- 1 1/4 cups (300 milliliters) lukewarm milk 105-115˚F (40-46˚C)
- 4 cups (500 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons (45 grams) unsalted butter softened at room temperature
- 6 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) water
- 18 chocolate chips or raisins
- In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the lukewarm milk. Stir to combine and let sit until frothy, about 10 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt.
- Mix in the yeast with milk and the softened butter to create a soft dough. If too dry and crumbly after a few minutes of mixing, add a little more milk. If too wet and sticky to handle, add a little more flour.
- On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a large bowl, cover, and let rise at room temperature until doubled, 1-2 hours.
- On a lightly floured surface, punch down the risen dough and divide into 6 equal pieces. Form each piece into a smooth ball, cover, and set aside for 5-10 minutes.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment or lightly grease. Preheat oven to 375˚F (190˚C). Wash the eggs if not already prepped and dry.
- Roll one of the balls into an oval, about 7 inches (18 centimeters) long.
- At the top of the oval, cut a 2 inch (5 centimeter) long slit down the center.
- Make two more cuts 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) to the left and right of the center cut. Continue to cut down about 2 inches (5 centimeters) slightly angled out to form the arms.
- Place an egg in the bottom third of the oval. Fold the arms over the bottom third of the egg. Gently separate the ears.
- Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining balls of dough and eggs, placing them about 2 inches (5 centimeters) apart on the baking sheet. Cover and let rest until puffy, about 30 minutes.
- In a small bowl, beat together the egg yolk and water.
- Place two chocolate chips or raisins on the face for the eyes and another under the eyes for the nose.
- Use a toothpick or a small knife to draw or cut thin whiskers on each side of the nose and marks on the paws.
- Brush the top of each bunny with the beaten egg.
- Bake in preheated oven until golden, 15-20 minutes.
- Serve warm from the oven.