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Easter Bread Traditions from Around the World

The tradition of Easter bread dates back for centuries from all corners of the world. Easter bread celebrates the advent of a new season, rebirth, and resurrection; and are typically egg-enriched and sweet to the taste. Depending on their cultural origin, Easter breads may feature a hard-boiled egg; can be filled with dried fruits and nuts; or topped with glazes. Many are shaped into religiously symbolic forms such as braids, rings, doves, and crosses. And they can be presented as whole loaves to slice and share, such as a braided Easter bread, or as individual rolls, such as hot cross buns. Here are some Easter breads from around our world!

Kozunak — Bulgarian Easter bread is a traditional, sweet yeast bread that is cotton-soft, sugar-crusted, studded with rum-soaked raisins, and perfumed with vanilla and lemon zest. It is incredibly delicious!

Pinca — a Croatian bread made with amaretto and infused with traditional rum-soaked raisins that add a a mellow sweetness. Drizzled with sweet icing makes this bread very tasty!

Pane di Pasqua — this delicious Italian Easter bread is a brioche-like loaf with orange zest, orange juice, anise seed, dyed eggs, and colorful sprinkles.

Tsoureki — a traditional Greek Easter bread made with Mahlepi and Mastic spices. The baked in, bright red dyed eggs symbolize Christ’s resurrection and represents life, victory, and the blood of Jesus Christ. This braided bread can be shaped either into a circle or into two large braids and sprinkled with nuts, usually slivered, blanched almonds.

Pääsiäisleipä — this Finnish Easter bread is usually made in milking pails! It is a simple bread that is scented with cardamom, lemon, and orange zest.

Paska — a sourdough Ukrainian bread that is rich in eggs. Loaves are round topped with decorations that include ropes, twists, rosettes, and crosses. The bread is taken to Church on Holy Saturday where it is blessed with prayers and sprinkling of holy water by the priest. It may not be consumed until after the morning Resurrection Liturgy on Easter Sunday.

Velykos Pyragas — this Lithuanian Easter bread is a sweet yeast dough with raisins. It's delicious on Easter morning slathered with butter and a good accompaniment to the hard-cooked colored eggs everyone "clinks" together to see whose egg is the strongest!

Babka — Polish for "grandmother," this bread is named for its shape which resembles a woman's skirt. With its rich ingredients of eggs, butter, and raisins, Babka rises high and golden brown. In its native Poland, a traditional blessing readies the loaf for the Easter table.

Paasbrood — this traditional Easter loaf from the Netherlands is filled with a sweet almond paste and studded with golden raisins and candied lemon peel.

Folar de Pascoa — a popular Easter bread in Portugal that consists of a slightly sweetened dough that can sometimes be flavored with citrus zest or liquor. Boiled eggs are baked into the dough, but they are often left natural and uncolored.

Hot Cross Buns — these legendary sweet rolls from the United Kingdom are traditionally baked and eaten on Good Friday to mark the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Each element of the hot cross bun has a religious significance, particularly their signature cross. The fruit-studded sweet buns are painted with a flour paste cross, which stands out against the shiny brown crust after being baked.

Mazanec — in the Czech Republic, no Easter is complete without this round loaf with crosses cut into the top of the crust to remind people of Jesus. The slightly sweet bread is studded with rum-soaked raisins and covered slivered almonds.

Osterbrot — in Germany, this light and fluffy, dome-shaped bread is glazed with apricot jam and sprinkled with slivered almonds. Some versions include veins of sweet marzipan!

Hornazo — this savory Spanish Easter bread consists of a yeast dough stuffed with meats, including sausage, and hard-boiled eggs.

Chipa — in Paraguay, locals enjoy a Native American style of bread called “chipa” on Easter. These little rolls are very similar to cornbread but include fresh Paraguayan cheese.

Sunbeam Bread — In the melting pot that is the United States, bread traditions from around the world are integrated into our Easter celebration. While bread is undoubtedly the most important; eggs are another big part of the Easter tradition because they represent new life and rebirth. Easter hard-boiled eggs can be made into a variety of delicious egg salad recipes. And what better way to enjoy egg salad, than on America’s favorite — fresh, wholesome Sunbeam Bread! Find some delicious recipes at

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