How to Celebrate Easter Without Eggs

From classic chocolate eggs to egg replacers, here's how to Easter without eggs.

March 22, 2023
Photo by Julia Gartland

The most egg-centric holiday of the year is right around the corner, and if you haven’t heard, eggs are expensive this year. Like, really expensive. If a walk down the refrigerated section of your local grocery store fills you with fear, or the idea of dyeing a bunch of eggs just to leave them out at room temperature to spoil makes your stomach turn, worry no more. We’ve compiled a list of a few swaps you can make this spring to celebrate Easter without the eggs-istential dread.

1. Make an egg-free cake

This Vegan Chocolate & Pear Olive Oil Cake from Jessie Sheehan is a wonder for two reasons: It bakes in a cast iron pan, which makes for a lovely serving moment, and though it contains no eggs, it’s still fluffy and rich. The walls of the cast iron pan radiate heat, which helps create the lush moisture and bouncy texture we’ve come to expect from the best chocolate cakes, and this one definitely delivers.

2. Consider a butter sculpture centerpiece

Essentially, as long as humans have had butter, we’ve been making funky shapes out of it. An enduring classic is the Baranek wielkanocny, or the Easter butter lamb, an absolutely adorable Polish butter sculpture complete with a red ribbon around its neck. A butter sculpture as a centerpiece is a multi-purpose item at your table. First, it’s a conversation starter. (Where did you get this little lamb? Is it really butter?) Second, your guests are free to use the butter throughout the Easter meal.

3. Try a flax egg

Flax has long been a secret for vegan bakers. Similar to the properties of chia seed, when broken down, flax forms a gelatinous substance that can act like a binder in baked goods. To create one replacement egg, use 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed plus 3 tablespoons of water.

4. Stock Up On Chocolate Eggs

As if we had to encourage you to have more Easter chocolate. These delightful, colorfully-foiled chocolate eggs from La Maison du Chocolat are filled with crunchy hazelnut praline and coated in dark chocolate. They make a great Easter basket filler, or even better, are perfect for nestling into hiding places for a hunt.

5. Replace egg wash with milk or cream

Brushing egg wash over your baked goods prior to popping them in the oven helps create the beautiful, golden crust that’s the hallmark of a well-done pastry. That’s because the proteins in the egg provide a Maillard reaction—without it, crusts come out of the oven looking flat and dull. Because dairy has those same proteins, brushing the same amount of milk or cream in lieu of egg wash creates a similar effect.

6. Trade quiche for a different tart

If you’re looking for the perfect brunch food with a flaky crust but don’t want to buy the dozen eggs needed for a quiche, this Mortadella & Dijon Tart is an ideal swap. Layered with two kinds of zesty mustard, sharp provolone cheese, and salty mortadella ham, this puff pastry tart comes together quickly and, depending on the size of your gathering, can be sliced into portions large or small.

7. Decorate cupcakes instead of eggs

Missing the fun (and mess) of dyeing eggs? Have the smaller hands at the table—big kids welcome too—decorate cupcakes instead of eggs. Erin McDowell has a great primer on how to make food dye from almost any food scrap.

What egg swap will you be trying this Easter? Let us know below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Darlene
  • emgoh
  • Emily Ziemski
    Emily Ziemski
Emily Ziemski

Written by: Emily Ziemski

Food Editor @ Food52


Darlene March 22, 2023
The cake listed in first bullet point (Fudgy, Flourless Instant Pot Chocolate Cake) does have 4 eggs in it. I'm allergic to eggs so I was excited to see a flourless, eggless cake mentioned, and then disappointed when I clicked through to see the recipe contained multiple eggs.
emgoh March 23, 2023
I’m allergic to eggs, too. I found that Isa Chandra Moskowitz has a great vegan chocolate cake recipe. I make it for any occasion calling for a cake and it is so good! I usually make it in a low tart pan and just dust with powdered sugar once it’s cooled. I’m not even a big cake fan but I love this one. https://www.theppk.com/2008/08/just-chocolate-cake/
Emily Z. March 23, 2023
Hi Darlene. The piece has been updated to reflect a vegan chocolate olive oil cake (still from Jessie Sheehan, and another one of our favorites)! Happy baking.
Darlene March 23, 2023
Thank you!