Easter 2021: this year's best eggs, cakes, sweets, treats and more
From Hotel Chocolat's luxury Rocky Road Egg to BAO's custard-filled cakes, we're all in for a sweet treat this Easter. Get ready for the sugar rush...
Hotel Chocolat's chocolate quail eggs
Hotel Chocolat's Extra Thick Rocky Road egg
Easter isn't all about chocolate eggs, you know. Although both chocolate and eggs feature heavily in this roundup. No, this year, we – and London's bakeries – are branching out to create all manner of Easter-themed treats – Easter cakes, desserts and more.
We don't know if it's because we all need a little more sweetness in our lives right now, but people are going all-out on sugar-spun delights.
Whether you're going for BAO's chick-shaped buns filled with molten chocolate and salted egg custard buns or Lakrids by Bulow's chocolate-encased licorice spheres to Tony Chocolonely's limited-edition lemon meringue bar, the creativity is endless. And we're totally and utterly here for it.
If that's whet your appetite for more sweet treats, there's a whole glut of bakeries, ice cream parlours and more that are delivering dessert to your door, or sate your cravings in this love letter to London's chocolate shops.
But for a quick-fire fix for your chocolate addiction, try these Easter eggs, bars and bakes on for size.
Chocolate and coffee are an iconic duo and while pairing them together is nothing new, this particular collab had us salivating in seconds. East London's favourite coffee roaster Allpress has teamed up with fellow Kiwi company chocolatier Bennetts for a limited-edition box of eggs in two flavours: flat white (45% milk choc, double shot of A.R.T Espresso Roast) and double espresso (80% cocoa, spiked with Allpress's espresso blend), which come in a cute recyclable egg box.
PSA: The bakery counter at BAO King's Cross is open for business, and you can either get your goods hot and ready to eat, or cold for you to heat up later. What's more, the city's cutest cakes are getting an Easter-ready glowup – these chick-shaped buns are filled with molten chocolate and salted egg custard, and they almost look too sweet to eat. Who are we kidding?
From the most eggs-tra pizza restaurants in town, these 10cm-high dark choccy eggs are filled with chocolate mousse, caramel and crunchy chocolate flakes and are adorned with Italian words of love. Sounds intense, but then we'd expect nothing less from Napoli Gang, the delivery arm of Gloria and Circolo Popolare. Eat a massive (seasonally sourced, natch) pizza, shove one of these eggs in your face and slip into a carb coma – what better way to end the bank holiday weekend?
Chocoholics, look away now. Hotel Chocolat maintains its status as reigning champion of chocolate with this year's Easter range, from tiny choc quail eggs with fillings like pistachio and raspberry creme (yes), to the enormous Rocky Road Egg (yes), and this weird-but-good Caramayo Egg Sandwich (oh god yes). White chocolate eggs halves are sandwiched between slices of caramel milk chocolate, with a slick of caramel holding it all together. If there weren't enough, Hotel Chocolat has done it in several different funky flavours: cookie dough and ice cream, marmalade on toast and, erm, lamb and mint.
We like to think of Johan Bulow, the chocolatier behind Denmark's Lakrids by Bulow, as a real-life, posher Willy Wonka. From the way they look to the out-there flavours, there's nothing 'normal' about Lakrids' little chocolate-coated liquorice spheres – and we're definitely not mad about it. This Easter's flavours are crispy caramel – a thin layer of space-age-looking caramel choc – and twisted banana, melty white chocolate banana, both of which have been poured into giant egg-shaped containers made of of 100% recycled and recyclable plastic. And yes, obviously, they're both delicious.
It's hard not to be a fan of Tony's Chocolonely. The Dutch-based brand is on a mission to end child slavery in the cocoa industry – but it also makes incredible chocolate, in satisfyingly large, wonky chunks that represent inequality in the market. It has a whole host of moreish flavours, from straight-up milk to toffee pretzel to salted caramel, and for Easter it's doing a special milk lemon meringue flavour. Yes, yes, 100 times yes.
Forget buying your boo a fancy Easter egg, what about making them one? BRIK makes seriously arty chocolate, inspired by surfaces, raw materials and architecture. Which is cool and all, but we're also pleased to say it tastes friggin' great, too. For Easter, they're offering two Easter eggs tiles (still egg-shaped, but flat rather than 3D) made with sustainably sourced cárdenas tierra hermosa 72% dark chocolate and matcha, and salted caramel and baobab. They're gorgeous as they are, but if you, er, think you can do a better job, BRIK has only gone and made a kit for that, too.
Mini eggs are delicious. That's an undeniable fact. So when Doisy & Dam – specialist in vegan, single-origin, palm-oil and nasties-free chocolate – launched its own take on the Easter classic, we were pretty darn excited. And it turns out everyone else was too, because they can be pretty hard to get hold of. So in short: if you see them, buy them.
While we're big fans of better eating around here, we also firmly believe that a treat should be a treat. So when we caught wind of 'healthy chocolate', we were sceptical. But being the progressives that we are, we decided to throw our judgements to the wind and give it a try. And ooh baby, are we glad we did. Simsanté launched in the UK in January, touting 100% organic, plant-based chocolate made with immunity-boosting ingredients. So far, so healthy. But what that actually means is that the chocolate is packed with crunchy bits, like whole almonds, walnuts and seeds (good), and sweetened with jaggery, an unrefined sugar made in Asia that gives it a caramelised flavour (also good). Some bars are also laced with metabolism-boosting matcha, golden turmeric or punchy pink pitaya. And you know what? They're all delicious, so fair play.