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10 traditional Easter desserts from around the world that are seriously delicious

Easter is synonymous with sugar, no matter where you’re celebrating

Morgan Olsen
Written by
Morgan Olsen

Whether or not you celebrate Easter, it’s hard to avoid the onslaught of pastel-hued jelly beans, cream-filled eggs and marshmallow bunnies that take over the corner store as the spring holiday nears. After all, any excuse to eat something sweet is worth it, right?

Though cities around the world have their own unique traditions, there’s one thing that they all have in common: sweet, sugary Easter desserts that are meant to be shared with family and friends. In the UK and Australia, it’s all about pillowy hot cross buns, while in Mexico, locals nosh on coconut-laden candies called cocadas. Whatever your tastes, here’s a look at the world’s most delicious Easter treats. 

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Easter desserts from around the world

Hot cross buns

A popular Good Friday delicacy in the UK, Australia, South Africa and beyond, hot cross buns are sweet, pillowy, fruit-filled dough balls emblazoned with a cross. Every baker has a signature spice blend, but you can expect notes of cinnamon, cloves, orange zest and nutmeg – the kinds of flavors you might find in mulled wine.

Mona de Pasqua

In Spanish cities like Barcelona and València, Easter mona or mona de Pasqua is devoured on Easter Sunday surrounded by family. Historically, godparents would gift the decorative cake to their godchildren, but who's to say you can't buy one for yourself? The sweet treat ranges from super traditional (brioche topped with hard-boiled eggs) to wildly imaginative (cartoon character stuffed with crème brûlée), with pastry chefs consistently raising the bar year after year.


In Spain, Easter is celebrated over torrijas, a sophisticated cousin of French toast. Slices of day-old bread are soaked in milk (or wine, or sherry) that's infused with cinnamon and lemon rind before they are dunked in eggs and fried in plenty of oil. Locals serve the crispy, caramelized slices with a sprinkle of sugar or a cascade of earthy-sweet honey.

Chocolate eggs

Around the world, masterful chocolatiers are pressing and filling stunning egg-shaped creations. Sure, the cheap drugstore variety will do in a pinch, but if you want to do Easter properly, you must upgrade to the good stuff. Some come adorned with crunchy cocoa pearls, while others are stuffed full of cream, fruit and bonbons – they’re all undeniably delicious. Kind of makes you wonder why we don't demand egg-shaped candies year round.


Ricotta pie

Nothing says spring like a slice of delicate, cloud-like ricotta cake – an Easter staple in households in Sicily. Akin to cheesecake, this holiday favorite is typically brightened up with a pinch of lemon zest, but some bakers take it one step further and add dried fruit to the filling. You'll even find some versions that sub the traditional pie crust for individual hand pies (think of it like an empanada stuffed with sweet cheese – yum!).


These saccharine and sticky South American candies are downright addictive and easily devoured in just two bites. Translating to "coconut sweet," cocadas are crafted with eggs, condensed milk and heaps of shredded coconut. Depending on what city you’re in, you may find some rolled in almonds, studded with dried fruit, infused with baking spices or dyed to emulate the flag.


Mazurek królewski

Perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing dessert on this list (which is really saying something), mazurek królewski is a Polish cake that's decorated in all sorts of sweet pastes, colorful preserves, dried fruits and nuts. It’s pretty on the inside, too: Below the fanciful toppings, you'll find multiple layers of cake, more jam and frosting.

Simnel cake

Fruitcake can be so hit or miss (okay, mostly miss), but simnel cake is the exception. Maybe that's because this dessert, which is popular in the UK and Ireland, is gussied up with loads of marzipan. Sheets of the sugary almond paste are layered inside and on top of the pastry, and balls of the stuff are used as decorations. The treat traces its roots back to the Medieval times, so you know it's a safe bet for Easter potlucks.



If you're thinking to yourself "that sounds and looks a lot like challah," you’re not far off. This braided egg bread is an Easter must-have in Polish households. Oftentimes, the sweet loaf is studded with golden raisins, making leftovers ideal for bread pudding or French toast. You’ll see it on the table again for other special holidays, including Christmas.


Eastern European households will recognize this traditional Russian dish that's not for the lactose intolerant. The molded cheesecake is made with sweetened farmer's cheese, eggs and butter, which are all pressed into a mold that marks the finished product with religious symbols. It can be adorned with dried fruits and easter eggs and is often presented with a lit candle.

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