Easter sans Eggs and Bunny Rolls

This will be our first Easter in Switzerland, and our first time celebrating the holiday without eggs. Since learning of our youngest son’s positive test result for an egg allergy last summer, we’ve been avoiding eggs—including all products with eggs as ingredients or potential traces of eggs.

Picnic eggs - Pre-decorated, hard-boiled eggs from the grocery storeŒuf suisses pique-nique or “picnic eggs”–pre-decorated, hard-boiled eggs from the grocery store

Egg Ingredient Translations

Similar to the post I did on milk ingredients in French, Italian and German, here are some ingredient translations for eggs, based on a list provided by one of our allergists. Food labels can apparently use the following terms to indicate the presence of eggs.

English French German Italian
Egg(s) Œuf(s) Ei, eier Uovo, uova
Egg proteins Protéines d’œuf Ei proteine Uova proteine
Egg white, albumin Blanc d’oeuf, albumine Eiweiss, albumen Bianco d’uovo, albumina
Animal proteins Protéines animales Tierische proteine Proteine ​​animali
Ovalbumin Ovalbumine Ovalbumin Ovoalbumina
Egg powder Poudre d’œuf Eipulver Uova in polvere

Celebrating Easter without Eggs

When I was growing up, we always grabbed a branch from our yard and decorated it with colorful Easter eggs. This year, I bought plastic eggs from Migros, which we painted and hung from branches we found at a local park. The kids loved this project, and I don’t think it made a difference that we didn’t use real eggs. Plus, I avoided having to poke holes and blow out the eggs from their shells!

DSC07897Our Easter Egg tree with plastic, painted eggs

In terms of candy, the Easter bunny has struggled to find allergy-friendly candy (dairy/egg/nut-free) this year. I’ve only seen a few allergy-friendly Easter candy options in the stores. As such, the Easter bunny will hide some jelly beans, along with a few little animal figurines that I’m planning to purchase yet (although I’m starting to run out of time!). I’ll figure something out, making sure both my sons get some tasty and safe Easter treats, one way or another. And, both will get chocolate, although my food-allergic son’s may not be in a bunny shape. Yet, I’m tempted to buy a mold and make some myself! To be determined…

Huge Swiss, chocolate bunnies for EasterHuge Swiss, chocolate bunnies for Easter


Zopfhasen: Bunny Rolls

Lately, the boulangeries around us are making Zopfhasen or what I fondly refer to as “bunny rolls”–delicious little breads shaped like Easter bunnies with raisin eyes (Zopf is a very traditional Swiss bread). I tracked down a recipe for Zopfhasen online, which I’ve been adapting all week. As with my banana pancake experiments last week, my family is sick of eating bunny rolls. Yesterday, I finally got the recipe right, so here it is. I hope you like it!

Makes 6 large rolls

3 to 3 1/2 cups of flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1 1/4 cups soy or rice milk, warmed
1/4 cup vegetable-based margarine, melted
1 tablespoon melted vegetable-based margarine, for brushing
Toppings: Raisins for eyes, and sucre en grains (sugar)

1. Whisk together the dry ingredients—3 cups of flour, salt and sugar.

2. Dissolve yeast in the warmed soy or rice milk. Add the melted margarine, and blend well.

3. Form a trough in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir together and knead for about 5 minutes into a smooth dough. Add extra flour, as needed. Cover and let rise at room temperature for about an hour.

4. Punch down the dough and divide into 6 equal portions. Form dough into bunny shapes and let rise on a parchment-covered baking sheet while the oven pre-heats. For a brief bunny-making tutorial (in German), check out Swiss Milk’s video.

5. Using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, spread melted butter on the top. Place a raisin in an indentation made with your finger for the bunny eye.

6. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 220°C/425°F.

Optional: While warm, spread margarine on top and sprinkle with sugar.



We’re heading into a 4-day weekend here in Switzerland, as Good Friday and Easter Monday are federal holidays. I’ll be experimenting with some new gâteau recipes, which I’ll be sure to post if they turn out. Bon week-end!

Updated: June 23, 2014


4 thoughts on “Easter sans Eggs and Bunny Rolls

  1. Sandy Shaw says:

    Hi Heddi! Happy Easter to you! Lindsey and Ryan will be up for an Easter brunch And egg hunt. I’m learning a lot from reading your blog. Thanks! XoSandra Ps…Ryan may have some travel to Switzerland in his future…job related trips

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Stephanie says:

    How great that you worked out this recipe….especially because salée à la crème is just sweet tresse (zopf) dough with the cream topping!

    Joyeuses Pâques!

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