Alternative Easter eggs: chocolate-free but cracking gifts and indulgences

The humble egg, Easter's favourite ingredient, celebrated in five alternative forms, from a picnic cutlery canteen to a fabulous foamy dessert

Our alternative Easter eggs include this vintage Italian wire chicken egg basket
Christofle is launching an egg-shaped ‘MOOD Roland-Garros’ cutlery canteen, in partnership with the tennis tournament
(Image credit: Courtesy, Christofle)

From a vintage Italian egg basket to a meringue disguised as a fried egg, if omnipresent tinselly towers of chocolate eggs give you that sickly sweet feeling, there are plenty of other ways to celebrate the humble egg this week. Here are some of our favourite alternative Easter eggs.

No-chocolate, alternative Easter eggs

The egg canteen

Rennis special Christofle egg with cutlery inside

(Image credit: Courtesy, Christofle)

The arrival of Easter means that picnics, al-fresco dining, and tennis tournaments are due to start peppering schedules. Roland-Garros, the first European major tennis competition is limbering up to open its doors on 20 May 2024 (tickets here), and French silversmith and purveyor of fine tableware Christofle is marking its partnership with the event in what it terms ‘a match of manners’. ‘MOOD Roland-Garros’, is a celebratory version of Christofle’s noted egg-shaped table-top canteen in three terracotta versions, reflecting the rich, russet Roland-Garros clay courts. Containing cutlery for six people (24 pieces), the special edition is due to arrive at Christofle’s rue St Honoré Paris flagship and international boutiques in April, just in time for spring picnics. It will also be launched in party and coffee versions. 

MOOD Roland Garros available in April, from (other ‘MOOD Christofle’ versions are available now)

The ‘egg’ dessert

Hotel Café Royal Easter meringue shaped like a fried egg

A perfect ‘egg yolk’ is on the menu at Albert Adrià's Cake & Bubbles

(Image credit: Courtesy, Cakes & Bubbles, Hotel Café Royal)

Trust Albert Adrià, the man commonly known as the 'the world’s best pastry chef', to come up with this too-good-to-eat delicacy. Adrià’s carrot cake recipes are legendary and, as part of his Easter menu at Cake & Bubbles, his restaurant at the Hotel Café Royal in Piccadilly, London, he is offering one in a celebratory guise: an orange and carrot concoction of foam, frosting, ginger and biscuit, topped with a perfect ‘egg yolk’ of lime mousse with an orange glaze. However, if you're on the hop or looking for a gift, pop in for a takeaway delight, such as a spiced meringue and mandarin marmalade Hot Cross Bun or a Cake & Bubbles Easter egg, one of which contains a golden ticket offering a prize of an overnight stay for two at the hotel.

The egg basket

Vintage Italian wire chicken egg basket

A 1950s Italian egg basket at 1st Dibs

(Image credit: Courtesy, 1st Dibs)

An egg basket is generally made for everyday use, presumably to sit on a kitchen counter. So why are so many contemporary designs so unattractive, chintzy or all-round aesthetically unpleasing? The point is this: a good egg basket is hard to find, and so it’s off to the past we must go. This abtract brass and aluminium Italian modernist chicken, with yellow and red accents in all the right places, is, we think, an egg basket you could live with, day in, day out. 

£1,313, at 1st Dibs

The egg cup

Hermès egg cup and saucer with riding hat and horseshoe motifs

The Saut Hermès egg cup and saucer

(Image credit: Courtesy, Hermès)

Jochen Gerner, the artist, illustrator and member of comic art experimentalist group OuBaPo, imagined these way-too-charming motifs for the Saut Hermès egg cup and saucer. Inspired by the French maison’s annual showjumping event, traditionally held inside the Grand Palais in Paris, his drawings have been transferred to porcelain using a hand-laid screenprinting method. Whether you are a horse-lover or not, the Saut Hermès egg cup and saucer make a delightful case for boiled eggs for breakfast on Easter Sunday and every other day besides. 

£190, at Hermès

The egg on toast

A fried egg-shape flower on toast on a plate on the table

Egg Flowers On Toast, a timeless recipe by Wallpaper* entertaining director Melina Keays

(Image credit: Stephen Lenthall)

For an oh-so-cute Easter breakfast treat, this fun-sized recipe from our October 2015 edition of Smallpaper* by Wallpaper* entertaining director Melina Keays never fails to raise a smile.

Egg flowers on toast


1 thick slice of bread
butter, at room temperature
1 egg
2 frankfurter sausages
baby tomatoes and baby corn, to serve


Butter the bread generously on both sides. Press out a cavity in the centre of the slice using an 8cm flower-shaped biscuit cutter. Reserve the bread flower.

Break the egg into a small bowl.

Heat a non-stick pan over a medium fame and place the bread and the cut-out flower in the pan. Cook for a couple of minutes until golden, then flip over.

Tip the egg into the cavity. Press lightly at the edges of the flower, until the white begins to set, to prevent the white from spreading outside the toast. Cook until the egg is just set.

To make the frankfurter flowers, bring a small pan of water to a simmer. Slice one sausage lengthways, and make a series of cuts halfway across the width, about 1/2 cm apart, on the whole length of each half-sausage.

Cut the other sausage into 3cm lengths and this time make vertical cuts, halfway down the length of each piece, to form the ‘flower petals’.

Place the sausage pieces in the simmering water for 2 minutes until they have curled into flowers.

Assemble the plate, surrounding the egg toast and cut-out flower toast with sausage flowers using halved tomatoes at their centres, and baby corn as leaves.

Caragh McKay is a contributing editor at Wallpaper* and was watches & jewellery director at the magazine between 2011 and 2019. Caragh’s current remit is cross-cultural and her recent stories include the curious tale of how Muhammad Ali met his poetic match in Robert Burns and how a Martin Scorsese Martin film revived a forgotten Osage art.