Easter is on the horizon and for the sweet tooths amongst us, this is seriously egg-citing news. After all, what other holiday is celebrated by stuffing your face with as much chocolate (and other sugary treats) as humanly possible?
So loosen your belt and check out these bunny-approved spots for some next-level Easter feasting.
Here are the best Easter treats to be found in Auckland.
Ponsonby & Online
This Easter you'll find us cracking into some seriously incredible treats from Little Bird (which, you should know, are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, raw, organic and soy-free). Their caramel-stuffed chocolate eggs are an Easter epiphany, bringing joy with every mouthful and available in a convenient box of eight. However be sure to also save room for their cute-as-a-button Easter nests, raw cross buns and beautiful Easter Spiced Carrot Cake, complete with lashings of rich, lemony frosting (perfect for that family get-together or other Easter event).
Giapo live by the motto 'normal ice cream is boring' and we get the impression they might just feel that way about Easter eggs, too, because their own version is a total game-changer. Half-waffle, half-ice cream, the recipe for their Giapo Egg took hours to perfect and you need only look at a picture to see why. Featuring their famous Nothing Else Matter ice cream (combining a hazelnut base with chocolate streaks, crunchy nutty crisps and hazelnut spread), nestled inside a part-waffle shell and set atop a crunchy chocolate base—this is one seriously unforgettable Easter treat.
Britomart, Fort Street, Morningside & ONLINE
Ah Miann, we can always count on you for epic seasonal treats, be it at Christmas, Valentine's Day or in this case, Easter. Speaking of which, we're head-over-heels for your beautiful Easter eggs, in particular the one decorated with a picture of a bunny that's so gorgeous, we'd hang it on our wall if we could. However that's not to overlook your decadent hot cross buns (made even more indulgent when stuffed with a scoop of your famous gelato), or your cute Easter-themed mousse cakes and macarons. Or your hot cross bun chocolate blocks, loaded with your signature HCB spice mix, orange peel and two types of raisins, topped off with a white chocolate cross and bronze lustre. We've also heard that we can get our coffee dusted with a chocolate Easter egg or a bunny—so we'll be smashing back some of those, too.
What's better than an Easter treat you can eat? One you can drink, duh. Enter Black Pineapple, who've taken some of our fave Easter flavours and bought them together in one glorious tipple, the Hot Cross Bunny. This boozy creation—which comes direct to your door by way of a cocktail kit—puts a spin on the traditional 20th Century cocktail (made from gin, chocolate and lemon) by adding a splash of homemade hot cross bun syrup, along with a dark chocolate Easter bunny garnish. Plus, each kit contains enough ingredients to make four cocktails—that's one for each day of the Easter holidays! Orders close March 28.
Commercial Bay, Matakana & Online
Honest Chocolat are also jumping onboard the Easter bandwagon with a range of hand-crafted Easter eggs, inspired by native New Zealand birds. These beauties are seriously stunning, made from organic, ethically-sourced chocolate and each hiding a special treat within. It's hard to pick a favourite, but we do love the glossy blue Kereru Egg, filled with irresistible hokey pokey pieces. But the deliciousness doesn't stop there, because these guys have also created a game-changing dessert of eggs with dipping soldiers (in store only). Here they've taken a dark chocolate Easter egg shell, filled it with chocolate mousse, hazelnut praline and crunchy caramelised hazelnuts, then paired it with vanilla sponge soldiers and a cute chocolate marmalade 'egg'. Sorry Mum, but your version ain't got nothing on this.
Little French Pastry
Why settle for one Easter treat, when you can have a whole feast? That's exactly what you'll get over at Little French Pastry, who are slinging gift boxes loaded with edible Easter goodies, from eggs filled with chocolate ganache, to cheeky bunny gateau made from carrot sponge cake, topped with orange maramalade and cinnamon or chocolate cream mousse. These ARE designed to be shared, but we won't tell if you don't...
And the award for most fun treat this Easter goes to The Jellyologist, who have created a limited-edition Easter Activity Kit containing everything you need to make your very own Easter eggs, out of jelly. The key ingredient of course is their gourmet jelly mixes (hellooo, Nan's Pavlova), which in the world of wobbly desserts, are second-to-none. You'll even get four cute egg cups to display your creations in, but not before decorating them with a set of festive-coloured permanent markers.
House of Chocolate
Beach Haven, Takapuna & online
House of Chocolate certainly know how to make Easter treats with the X-factor, including their coveted hand-painted eggs. Yes, whether its speckled, splattered or sprayed, these contemporary choccy treats have been egg-citing Aucklanders since their inception several years ago, and again, look more like a work of art than something you'd eat. But make no mistake, these babies don't just look the part, they're also made from premium Vahlrona chocolate, while some are hiding a handful of delicious chocolate dragées.
Constellation Drive, Epsom, Grey Lynn, Mt Eden, Mt Wellington & Orakei Bay
If you're planning on visiting Farro this Easter, be sure to bring along your self-control. From hand-decorated cookies in the shape of chicks and other cute critters, to festive-coloured Easter slabs and teeny-tiny hot cross buns that at second glance, turn out to be marshmallows, you're probably going to want one of—well—everything. They also have a heap of other more traditional treats on offer, including Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies, and gourmet hot cross buns (the real kind).
k' road & online
The Caker also has a couple of treats up its sleeve this Easter. First up is a Hot Cross Bun Cake, which takes a spicy, fruit-filled base and tops it with cinnamon cream cheese icing, dark chocolate ganache, chopped hazelnuts, Valrhona chocolate pearls, freeze-dried blackcurrant slices and a dark chocolate bunny. Next is the super-whimsical strawberry, hazelnut and white chocolate Egg Hunt Cake, decorated with cookie soil, micro-greens, fresh spray roses and Easter eggs. Best grab both.
CBD, Manukau, Newmarket & selected BP stores
When it comes to doughnuts, Krispy Kreme know no wrong. So when we heard they were bringing back their Easter-themed treats for another year, we were beyond excited. Think all the things you love about Krispy Kreme (let us count the ways), with a little sprinkling of Easter magic. Choose from their OG Hot Cross Bun doughnut, filled with cinnamon crème and topped with cinnamon white chocolate icing, or their Choc Cross Bun doughnut, filled with chocolate crème and topped with milk chocolate ganache and chocolate biscuit crumb icing. As for the cross, you'll find this delicately piped on top with white chocolate icing.
Devonport and Online
Let's face it, we're never gonna own an ACTUAL Fabergé egg but Devonport Chocolates have come up with the next best thing—an Easter egg that looks just like one. We're talking about their gorgeous Chesterfield Egg, which is one of our most coveted treats this Easter and available in three jaw-dropping options: dark chocolate with a red ombre wash—milk chocolate with a pink ombre wash and our personal fave—white chocolate with a green ombre wash. Plus, each one of these beauties hides a special treat inside (Kinder Surprise, eat your heart out). You might as well grab one of their Russian Style Egg Tins filled with choccy treats while you're at it, or how about some of their cutesy, Peter Rabbit-like bunnies, or a Graffiti Egg à la Jackson Pollock?
We love ourselves a bit of Whittaker's choccy, so when news of their Chocolate Kiwi crossed our desks this Easter, we knew we had to get one. Because not only does this treat taste incredible (how could it not, being made from either their Five Roll Refined Creamy Milk or 50% Dark Chocolate), it also supports a great cause with 20c from every one sold going to kiwi breeding programme, Kiwis For Kiwi. To top it all off, Whittaker's have just won a Golden Egg award for the second year in a row. They are one of just three companies in the world to receive this honour annually, which recognises businesses that go above and beyond meeting social and environmental benchmarks.
Can't get enough Easter goodness? Here's where to find Auckland's best hot cross buns.
Image credit: Little Bird, Giapo, Miann, Black Pineapple, Honest Chocolat, Little French Pastry, The Jellyologist, House of Chocolate, Farro Fresh, The Caker, Krispy Kreme, Devonport Chocolates, Whittaker's.