Easter Bunny Easter Bread


This is a fun technique to create a basket of Easter bunny bread rolls, perfect for Easter brunch or a kids' party. They're so adorable, people will barely be able to stand it! You can use this dough recipe (which is my Hot Cross Bun recipe, without the rum and dried fruit), or my Easter Bread recipe, or any sweet or unsweetened bread dough you like.

Prep Time:
1 hr
Cook Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 45 mins
8 bunnies

The big takeaway from this recipe? The choice of bread dough. If you plan on making these for Easter, I highly recommend using our Italian Easter Bread dough recipe. The Hot Cross Buns dough was fine, but as I ate the bunny bun, I wanted it to be sweeter and richer.

And the Italian Easter bread is just that, a rich egg bread that comes out of the oven buttery, eggy, a little sweet and spicy with that wonderful anisette aroma and flavor. It's also an authentic family heirloom recipe that's been passed down through the generations. So there's that.

Anyway, suit yourself, and as always, enjoy!

For more Chef John, be sure to subscribe to Food Wishes on YouTube! Click the "Join" button there to get Chef John's bonus video footage and behind-the-scenes pictures, live chats, and other Food Wishes member exclusives.



  • ¾ cup milk, warmed to 100 degrees F/40 degrees C

  • 3 cups bread flour, divided, or as needed

  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast

  • 5 tablespoons white sugar

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest

  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon fine salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom

  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 7 tablespoons butter, melted


  • 1 large egg

  • 2 teaspoons water

  • 8 raisins

  • 1/4 cup warm simple syrup

  • 2 tablespoons flaked coconut


  1. Whisk warm milk, 1/4 cup flour, and yeast for dough together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let sit about 15 minutes to ensure yeast is active; small bubbles should start to rise to the surface. Add sugar, beaten egg, lemon and orange zest, cinnamon, salt, cardamom, nutmeg, melted butter, and most of the remaining flour (you might not need it all). Mix with a dough hook attachment until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and becomes slightly elastic, 5 or 6 minutes. Continue kneading until dough is soft and shiny, about 10 minutes. Remove dough from dough hook and shape into a ball. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface.

  2. Shape dough into a round ball. Transfer to lightly oiled mixing bowl. Cover and let rise in a relatively warm, draft-free place until double in size, about 2 hours.

  3. Poke dough down a bit with your fingertips. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Work dough into a uniform piece and cut into eight 4-ounce pieces. Roll one piece with the flats your hands into a 12-inch rope; it's okay if one end is a little thicker than the other.

  4. Cut 2 inches off the smaller end and 3 inches off the larger end. Roll the 2-inch piece into a ball for the tail. Roll the ends of the 3-inch piece into points, then flatten one end slightly for the face. Roll the remaining piece into a 12-inch rope, about 1/2 inch wide.

  5. Transfer the rope to a Silpat®-lined baking sheet and make a coil for the body. The end of the coil will be the bunny's front legs and paws, so place the head on top of that, touching the body, with the flatter side facing the same way as the paws.

  6. Cut the back side of the head (the pointy side) about 2/3 of the way in towards the face to make 2 ears. Make depressions in the middle of each ear with a bench scraper or the back of a knife; do not cut all the way through. Set the tail in place, touching the back of the body.

  7. Repeat to form remaining bunnies; you will use 2 lined baking sheets for 8 bunnies. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and proof in a warm spot for 15 minutes.

  8. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Beat egg and water together for egg wash.

  9. Remove plastic wrap from the baking sheets and brush dough with egg wash. Poke small holes in the faces for eyes, then push raisins in the holes. Redefine the ears by pressing again with a bench scraper or knife.

  10. Bake in the center of the preheated oven until beautifully browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Carefully remove from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

  11. Cut into the center of the ears again to redefine them. Brush bunnies with simple syrup and sprinkle coconut onto the tails.

Chef's Notes:

In the video I used 1/2 of my Hot Cross Bun dough recipe (without the rum and fruit) to make 4 bunnies. This written recipe is for the full dough recipe (or 32 ounces dough) which yields 8 bunnies.

You can also use my Italian Easter bread dough or your favorite sweet or plain bread dough recipe.

You can use currants for the eyes, and flaked, shredded, finely chopped coconut, or even pearl sugar for the tail.

To make simple syrup, bring 2 parts sugar and 1 part water to a boil and allow to cool. Instead of a simple syrup, you can brush the bunnies with melted apricot jam.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

322 Calories
13g Fat
43g Carbs
8g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 322
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g 17%
Saturated Fat 8g 38%
Cholesterol 75mg 25%
Sodium 249mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 43g 16%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 2mg 11%
Calcium 49mg 4%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 126mg 3%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

You’ll Also Love