How to Make Edible Easter Basket Cookies With Your Kids

Want to explore traditional Easter treats from around the world?

Do you want to make something delicious with your kids this Easter?

How about starting a new family tradition?

Easter is a holiday rich with tradition. In this article I’ll share a few international Easter treats. Then I’ll show how you and your kids can make one of them: a traditional Easter basket cookie from Italy.

Discover international Easter treats and learn how to make a traditional Easter basket cookie from Italy with an Easter egg baked right in with your kids.

Why Bake International Treats for Easter?

Most children are big fans of the Easter Bunny and get excited thinking about the baskets of goodies he brings. And while we love that Bunny too, there’s a whole world of Easter fun to explore!

There are tons of traditions that go along with Easter. In many English-speaking countries, Saturdays are spent preparing for the holiday, while Easter Sunday means going to church, having a meal with family and participating in Easter egg hunts. Egg rolling and egg tapping are also popular activities.

When you look at traditions of other countries, it opens up a multitude of conversations you can have with your kids. In what ways do people in other countries celebrate holidays differently? What foods do they eat? What international tradition would be fun for our family to start this Easter?

Since Easter is a holiday celebrated around the world, it’s interesting to learn about how it’s observed. Trying foods from different countries is one way to bring home the flavors of the globe.

German Igel Cake. In Germany, they celebrate with the traditional German hedgehog cake, like this one from Eleanor Oliver at Quick German Recipes Just Like Oma’s!

hedgehog cake

When’s the last time you saw a hedgehog cake for Easter? Or for any holiday?

The beauty of the hedgehog cake is that it’s a “no bake” cake. Just layer the ingredients into the shape of a hedgehog and ice it.

Russian Easter Pashka Cake. In Russia and Estonia, they celebrate with a Pashka Russian Easter Cheesecake. The blog Face Full of Cake features this recipe, which you press into a flowerpot to get the right shape.

easter cheesecake

This Easter cheesecake is traditionally seen in Russia and Estonia.

And in Italy, they celebrate with delicious cookies in the shape of Easter baskets, complete with dyed Easter eggs baked right in.

finished baskets

These Easter-basket cookies are mouth-watering and cute as can be!

Before we make this favorite Italian Easter treat, which has an egg incorporated into the design, take your children on an international journey of other Easter delights. A quick search of the Internet will give you even more recipes and insights into the traditions of other countries, like the ones I mentioned from Germany, Russia and Italy.

Ready?

We’re now going to make these wonderful, delicious Italian Easter cookies, inspired by the website Cooking With Mama Lombardo.

When I was a little girl, the Easter Bunny brought Easter basket cookies to us every year. They taste like sugar cookies, but are even more fun to make! Remember when I was talking about family traditions? This one is good for starters.

You Will Need

For the eggs:

  • 6 hard-boiled eggs
  • Dye
  • Paper towels
  • Bowls or cups
  • Tongs
  • Water
  • Vinegar

For the cookie dough:

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla
  • 6 cups of flour
  • Mixing bowl
  • Rolling pin
  • Cookie sheet

For frosting the cookies:

  • 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar
  • ¼-½ cup of milk
  • Sprinkle toppings

Preparation Time

  • 1 hour to color the eggs
  • 30 minutes for the cookie dough

Activity Time

  • 20 minutes to bake the cookies
  • 10 minutes to let them cool
  • 10 minutes to ice and decorate them

Location

Kitchen

One of the wonderful things about this activity is you stretch out the excitement and do it in a couple of different parts. You can decorate the eggs in the morning, and make the cookies in the afternoon.

Color these delicious. Let’s get started.

#1: Boil and Color Your Eggs

Your Italian Easter cookie adventure starts when you color some Easter eggs. You’ll probably already be making eggs to dye for your Sunday morning Easter egg hunt, so make 6 extra hard-boiled eggs for these special cookies.

More on Easter Eggs

Eggs have been a symbol of rebirth and springtime growth in countries around the world for thousands of years. The origin of the Easter egg hunt is thought to be in Germany, where children would make nests for Osterhase, an egg-laying hare.

We created an Easter egg hunt PDF that features jokes you can print and hide in plastic Easter eggs for your kids.

Time-saving and planning tip: Hard-boil your eggs the night before you and your kids decorate them. That way you won’t hear, “Are they ready yet?” Instead you will hear, “Yay!” or something to that effect.

egg cups

Anticipation and excitement—getting ready to color the boiled eggs.

There are a several different ways you can dye Easter eggs. The simplest: Fill small bowls with a mixture of water and vinegar, add dye and gently drop in the eggs. Make sure they sit in the liquid for 3-5 minutes so the dye holds. Then use the tongs to carefully take them out.

coloring the eggs

Use any colors you like!

Older kids may want to try some advanced egg-dying techniques. Depending on your artistic tendencies, they might be fun for you to try too!

#2: Make the Cookie Dough

Once you and your kids have colored your eggs, let them dry while you make the cookie dough.

Gather your ingredients, and preheat your oven to 350° Fahrenheit (177° Celsius).

ingredients

Gather your ingredients before you begin.

This is a kid-friendly recipe, so have your children take turns doing the different steps.

In a large bowl, mix the sugar and vegetable oil. Once those are combined, add the baking powder.

mixing the oil

This is an easy recipe, so let the kids do most of the work!

Next, add the eggs one by one, mixing well after each.

mixing in the eggs

Make sure your children wash their hands after handling the eggs!

Now, add the vanilla and mix.

Next, add the flour one cup at a time until your dough is not sticky. You may not need all six cups of flour.

mixing in the flour

Add the flour one cup at a time.

Now, take the dough out of the bowl. Work the dough with your hands on a clean counter or surface until all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

work the dough

The more bakers the merrier. It is, after all, a family project!

Form the dough into a ball. Now you are ready for the next part!

#3: Shape the Cookies!

From the dough you prepared, you can make two large baskets, or four or five small baskets.

The number of baskets you make may depend on the number of kids in your family. You can also divide your family into teams and make two large baskets.

For each basket, break off a piece of dough and form it into a ball.

shaping the dough

Each person can make his or her own basket cookie, adults included.

Roll the dough out in a circle to about ¼-inch (6-mm) thick.

flatten the dough

These circles of dough are perfect for smaller cookies.

Next, place a hard-boiled egg a little less than halfway down.

placing egg in dough

Egg-cellent work!

Now, take another bit of dough and roll it out by hand to form the handle of the basket.

rolling out handles

Once you place the egg in the center, roll out handles for the cookie baskets.

Take another portion of the dough, also rolled out to ¼-inch (6-mm) thick, and place it over the hard-boiled egg. You can cover the egg completely, or leave some peeking out.

Pinch the edges of the top and bottom dough together, so the egg stays in place.

pinching the edge

Place another circle of dough on top, and pinch or press the edges together to seal the basket.

Once you’ve sealed your baskets and added the handles, carefully transfer the whole cookie basket onto a flat, lightly greased cookie sheet.

putting in oven

Put the cookies into the preheated oven.

Bake the cookies at 350° Fahrenheit (177° Celsius) for about 20 minutes.

You’ll know your cookies are done when they start to brown just a bit.

#4: Make Icing

While your cookies are baking, make the icing.

Pour the confectioner’s sugar into a bowl and add the milk, one tablespoon at time. Make your icing thin enough to brush over your cookies.

mixing the icing

The icing uses just two ingredients: confectioner’s sugar and milk.

Once your cookies have cooled, dip a pastry brush into the icing and brush the cookies. If you don’t have a pastry brush, just use a butter knife or spoon to spread the icing.

brushing on icing

The icing will help your sprinkles stick to the cookies.

While the icing is still wet, decorate with sprinkles.

decorating with sprinkles

Get as creative as you want with your decorations!

Remember, this is a family project. Part of the fun is chatting while you bake, working together and admiring each other’s designs.

Here are a couple of beautiful options straight from Italy.

The dove is a popular Easter symbol in Italy, so you’ll find lots of cookies shaped that way. This one below is straight from a kitchen in Italy!

bird cookie

This is Columba di Pasqua—an Easter dove cookie.

The braided cookie is another popular and intricate shape. This is also from an Italian kitchen!

braided cookie

Another Italian cookie.

Some Final Thoughts

Italian Easter basket cookies are fun to make as a family. It takes dedicated family time to work all the steps. And at the end of the process, you might have a wonderful family tradition, along with a yummy treat. Your tradition can be to make these cookies every year or try a new tradition from a different country, as a family.

What do you think? Have you ever made Easter basket cookies? Are you going to make them this year? What are your favorite Easter recipes? Share your favorite traditional Easter recipes in the comments—and post a picture or two. I’d love to give them a try.

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About the Author, Susan Merrill

Susan Merrill is a mom of five, author of The Passionate Mom, and the director of iMOM.com. She loves her kids, dogs, and husband, but not necessarily in that order! ​ Other posts by »


  • Elizabeth

    I love Easter! This is so great. Thanks for sharing, Susan!

  • Our Vintage Life

    This is such a cute idea! The baskets are adorable!

  • http://susanme.com/ Susan Merrill

    Elizabeth – if you try it with your kids, let me know how they liked it!

  • Pingback: Easter Fun Ideas with the Kids | Susan Merrill Blog()

  • http://www.mykidsadventures.com/ Jennifer Ballard

    Thanks Susan! I’ve never seen something like this before. Can’t wait to try baking the eggs right into the cookies!

  • Jay

    So many treats!

  • Robin Carmichael

    This is great! I can’t wait to do this with my kids!

  • Lisa

    What fun! Yes, we’ll be doing this one…

  • http://susanme.com/ Susan Merrill

    The kids loved it! They had never seen something like that before and were wondering if it was safe to keep the shell on the egg. It is! Have fun with it!

  • http://www.MarkMerrill.com/ Mark Merrill

    Way to go Susan! My awesome wifey! Love you!

  • http://susanme.com/ Susan Merrill

    Tell us what they think about the eggs!

  • Kaleigh

    What a cute idea! Thanks so much for sharing, Susan!

  • Candice

    Very cute and unique ideas! I love it.

  • Lauren

    This is soooo cute! Love it!

  • http://susanme.com/ Susan Merrill

    You’re welcome, Lisa!

  • http://www.fineartmom.com/ Crystal Foth

    Cute basket – I never would have though to bake the egg inside!

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