Pastel Easter Egg Pastries

March 30, 2022
1 Ratings
Photo by Mandy Lee
  • Prep time 3 hours
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • makes 12 pastries
Author Notes

If you're looking for a unique, child-pleasing and adult-wowing pastry to serve on your Easter table, I have just the thing. Based on a classic Taiwanese taro pastry yu tou su, these little Easter “eggs" are made with a laminated dough swirled with dreamy pastel colors. And it’s easier to make than it looks. When broken apart, the translucent flakes of the crust are so delicate that they almost resemble the wings of bees. But that's not all. The inside of each pastry is stuffed warmed brownie, and in its heart, a molten lava center of salted caramel. Bonus: this recipe will be able to adapt to whatever color-themed holidays you're celebrating throughout the year.

Here, I use a chocolate filling (like brownies or chocolate cake)—and store-bought is fine. But red bean paste, chestnut paste, or other types of cake will also work.

Note: This recipe can be a bit tricky, so we recommend watching the video to help you visualize the steps. Also, for a helpful tip when measuring out the dough, check out the the video at the 8-minute mark. —Mandy @ Lady and pups

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Pastel Easter Egg Pastries
  • Water & Oil Doughs:
  • 251 grams all-purpose flour, divided
  • 104 grams cold unsalted butter or lard, divided
  • 30 grams granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Red, yellow, and purple food coloring
  • Cornstarch, for dusting
  • Filling:
  • 2 1/2 cups (crumbled and packed) chocolate cake (see Author Notes)
  1. Make the water dough: In a food processor or a large bowl with your hands, pulse together or stir 155 grams of the flour, 28 grams of the butter or lard, granulated sugar, salt, and 75 grams of water until it forms a shaggy ball of dough. Turn out the dough onto a work surface and knead for 5 minutes, until the dough is very smooth and soft. (It will be a bit sticky at first, but resist adding more flour. It shouldn't stick to the counter or your hand at the end of kneading.) Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour and up to 4, or refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  2. Make the oil dough: Wipe out the food processor or bowl, then pulse together or stir the remaining 96 grams of flour and 76 grams butter or lard until it clumps up into a rough ball. Divide the dough into thirds, placing each in a small bowl. Color one bowl of dough with a bit of red food coloring, one with yellow food coloring, and one with purple food coloring to get a pale pastel pink, yellow and purple color. (The exact amount will depend on the brand and style of food coloring, so add a little bit as you go until you reach the desired shade.)
  3. Dust the work surface very sparingly with cornstarch, then roll one batch of colored dough into a log about 8 inches (20 centimeters) long and 1/2 inch (1 1/2 centimeters) thick. Use a bench scraper or knife to cut the log into 6 equal, 1 1/3-inch, tube-shaped pieces. Repeat with the remaining 2 batches of colored dough. Stack 3 pieces of dough together horizontally, starting with purple on the bottom, yellow in the middle, and pink on top. Smash them together gently so they form a connected, color-blocked square of dough. Dust with a bit of cornstarch and very gently use a bench scraper and your hands to lightly form a square color-block. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough until you have 6 approximately 1 1/2-inch color-blocked squares of dough (if the dough has gotten warm and soft at this point, transfer a parchment-lined sheet pan and freeze for 10 minutes.)
  4. Dust the work surface very lightly with cornstarch. Divide the rested water dough into 6 pieces and roll into a rough ball. Cover the balls loosely with plastic wrap. Place a dough-ball on the work surface and press it with your fingers into a 3-inch (7 1/2-centimeter) square large enough to encase the color-block oil dough.
  5. Place a color-blocked square of dough diagonally in the center of the water-dough square, then shift if needed to ensure that the colored stripes are facing vertically. Bring the four corners of the water-dough square over the color-blocked dough, pinching to encase the color-block completely with the same thickness. Keeping the colored strips vertical, flip the dough seam-side down, then use a bench scraper to neatly press the sides together into a rectangle (the exact size doesn't matter, but the vertical sides should be longer to remind you of the direction of the colored stripes.). Set aside and cover it with plastic wrap. Repeat with the rest of the dough, making sure that you arrange them in the order that they're handled.
  6. Place the first piece of dough you shaped onto the work surface, keeping the long side vertical. Using even pressure, gently roll the dough into a 10-inch (25-centimeter) long rectangle. You should be able to see faint colored stripes through the dough; if there is any excess water-dough at each end of the rectangle, trim it off. Working from the bottom up, roll the rectangle from one end to the other into a little cigar. Place it back to where it was sitting unrolled, as you’re still keeping track of chronological order. Repeat with the remaining 5 pieces of dough.
  7. Place the first cigar onto the work surface, keeping the long side vertical. Use the rolling pin to press down gently on the cigar to get a 2-inch (5-centimeter)width. Roll it out again into a rectangle about 10 inches long. (Again, you should be able to see the color blocks through the dough; and if there is any excess water-dough at each end of the rectangle, trim it off.) Fold it in half lengthwise (you'll have a 1-inch strip). Roll the strip from one end to the other into a tight snail (keep in mind that whichever end you start with will be on the top of the finished pastry “egg”; for consistency, place the purple in the middle). Place it back in chronological order and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining 5 pieces of dough, letting each rest for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  8. Prepare the fillings: Place some cornstarch on a small plate. Take about 2 tablespoons of tightly packed crumbled cake and stuff caramel or truffle) in the middle. Use your hands to form it into a tight ball, then roll it in the cornstarch so it’s very lightly coated, rolling it again between your hands to ensure the caramel is enclosed. Repeat until you have 12 balls.
  9. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Working in chronological order, place the first pastry-snail on your work surface With a sharp serrated knife, slice the snail in half crosswise into 2 snail-shaped disks. Place 1 disk cut-side-down, then gently roll it out into a roughly 3 1/2-inch (9-centimeter) wide circle, keeping the center of the spiral in the middle of the disk. Place 1 ball of filling in the middle, then bring the dough together and pinch to enclose the filling in the colored dough as tightly as possible, making sure there are no air pockets and the dough is in an even layer, cutting off the excess colored dough with a scissor. Gently press the ball in between your palms to shape it into an oval. Place the egg on the parchment-lined sheet pan and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining snails and balls of filling. (At this point, the eggs can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days and baked straight from the refrigerator—I actually recommend doing this because I find that it produces better layers.)
  10. Heat the oven to 340ºF/170ºC with a rack positioned in the center. Remove the sheet pan from the refrigerator and bake for 22 to 25 minutes, until the pastries’ flaky layers are visible but they have not browned at all (if they start to brown, you can tent with foil), nor puffed significantly. Let the pastries cool on the sheet pan placed on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room-temperature for up to 2 days.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • tamg
  • donnallene
  • Mandy @ Lady and pups
    Mandy @ Lady and pups

4 Reviews

tamg April 17, 2022
I made this recipe! It was really fun and they are really beautiful colorful treats! The only thing that went wrong for me, was that I bought cake mix for the filling, I didn't realize it was suggesting premade cake to crumble (this obviously saves you a few steps). Otherwise, really fun process with a beautiful outcome. I premade mine to cook the next day but made one before hand, to see how it turned out.
donnallene April 8, 2022
this is absolutely brilliant and a great easter project! I'm going to make these. Would these work with savory filling like sweet potato or meat?
Mandy @. April 8, 2022
Sure but I would precook the meat first cuz the baking time and temperature may not be sufficient to cook meat all the way through
donnallene April 8, 2022
because of this recipe and excellent video, i am now buying your cookbook :)