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Deutsches Osteressen

German Easter food and traditions have developed over centuries to create an enjoyable, unique experience. Combining old customs with new recipes and flavors, German Easter cuisine has something for everyone to enjoy. If you have ever wondered what the culinary Easter highlights are enjoyed in Germany you will find a nice collection of Osterrezepte (German Easter recipes) in this post.

Celebrate this joyous occasion by cooking up some traditional German dishes! From Senfeier and Easter lamb cake to Easter brunch ideas, you’ll find plenty of recipes here to make your Easter celebration truly special.

German Easter basket with flowers and sign saying "Frohe Ostern".
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Easter in GermanyCultural Background

Easter in Germany is truly a big deal. It’s a time for family gatherings, delicious food, and enjoying cherished Easter traditions. In fact, the country celebrates with two national holidays – Good Friday and Easter Monday – which provide paid time off for many people. Most shops close during these days, giving families the opportunity to spend quality time together and fully embrace the Easter festivities.

How to say “Happy Easter” in German?

If you want to wish someone in Germany Happy Easter, you would say “Frohe Ostern”. Click the play button to hear how to pronounce “Frohe Ostern” in German.

German family painting Easter eggs.

German Easter Holidays 2023

The German Osterzeit, also known as “Karwoche,” is a five-day celebration filled with religious holidays and magical traditions that families look forward to every year. This time of the year is full of activities and customs that create unforgettable memories and bring families closer together.

Whether it’s baking traditional Easter treats, coloring eggs, or gathering around the dinner table for a delicious meal, the Easter holidays are a time to reflect on the past, cherish the present, and look forward to the future with loved ones by your side.

The five days of the German Easter celebrations, known as “Karwoche,” consist of the following holidays in 2023:

Sun, March 24, 2024 Palmsonntag (Palm Sunday)
Thu, March 28, 2024 Gründonnerstag (Maundy Thursday)
Fri, March 29, 2024 Karfreitag (Good Friday)
Sat, March 30, 2024 Karsamstag (Holy Saturday)
Sun, March 31, 2024 Ostersonntag (Easter Sunday)
Mon, April 1, 2024 Ostermontag (Easter Monday)

Senfeier with mustard sauce and boiled potatoes on a white plate.

Traditional Gründonnerstag Recipes

At Gründonnerstag dishes are created with green foods and dishes to celebrate the occasion. Eating green on Gründonnerstag is not only a tasty tradition, but it’s also an incredibly meaningful one for many Germans. The vibrant colors of these dishes not only symbolize springtime, but also hope and renewal for the year ahead.

  • Senfeier (German eggs in mustard sauce)
  • Grüne Sosse (Frankfurt green sauce)
  • Rahmspinat mit Spiegelei (creamed spinach with fried eggs)
  • Lauchsuppe (leek soup)
  • Erbseneintopf
  • Grüner Kopfalat (lettuce salad)
  • Gurkensalat (Bavarian cucumber salad)
Maultaschen with salad garnish.

Traditional German Karfreitag (Good Friday) Recipes

On Good Friday, meat is usually not on the plate of German Christians. But there is one sneaky exception: Maultaschen, a German-style meat-filled noodle pocket that is similar to a ravioli. According to legend, naughty monks found a way around the no-meat rule on Good Friday by concealing the forbidden meat from the eyes of God.

This ingenious technique was to put the meat filling inside a pasta pouch. Therefore, this dish is also known in the Swabian German dialect as “Herrgottsbescheißerle,” which means “little God cheaters.”

German Pfannkuchen with mushroom filling on white plates.

German Easter Food Preperations on Karsamstag (Holy Saturday)

Easter Saturday is an exciting and busy time for many German households. On this day, families are preparing for the upcoming Easter holidays by baking and cooking up a storm. From traditional dishes to sweet treats like cake, cookies and other desserts – it’s all part of the festivities that celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Cooking and baking is an important part of these religious traditions, as family members come together to share in their faith and enjoy each other’s company over delicious food.

On this busy day people will make quick easy dinners and lunches like these ones:

  • Pfannkuchen (German sweet and savory filled pan cakes)
  • Dampfnudeln with sweet or savory toppings
  • Eiersalat
German pork Easter roast on a white serving plate.

German Easter Sunday and Monday Food

Easter Sunday and Easter Monday are the two days that make up the culinary highlight of a much-anticipated holiday. On these days, families gather to enjoy traditional dishes as well as over-the-top indulgences. Whether you’re someone who prefers old classics or looking for something new to try, there is something for everyone in the culinary world of German Easter.

From Gulasch and schnitzel varieties to classic roasts like Schweinebraten or Sauerbraten, no one will leave the table feeling hungry! Don’t forget all those delicious sides like Kroketten and potato salad.

Traditional German Easter Dinner

Lamb is, in many countries, a traditional Easter dinner. And for many German families, the Osterlamm also takes center stage as the star of the classic Sunday lunch. Delicious spring lamb meat can be prepared in a myriad of mouthwatering ways, from a hearty roast to tender lamb chops or even as delicate skewers, each bite more heavenly than the last.

But let’s not forget the other culinary delights that grace German tables on this special holiday. Everyone is looking forward to a juicy rabbit roast, a delicious Easter ham, and hearty meat pies on Easter, when they can finally eat meat again after Lent.

German Osterfladen in Easter decoration.

German Easter Bread Recipes

Easter bread comes in many variations in Germany. They can be shaped traditionally into a sweet bread, called Hefezopf in Germany, or a braided wreath decorated with colored eggs, but they also come as cute little figurines like these German Easter Bread Bunnies.

Osterfladen, Hefezopf, and Easter lamb cake are just a few of the most popular German Easter cake specialties. These delicious treats add even more joy to the festive celebrations, making the holiday season extra sweet and memorable.

In addition to these delights, there are other mouth-watering German cake specialties to enjoy. Butterkuchen is a delightful buttery cake topped with sugar and almonds, perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth. Easter Amerikaner are cute, fluffy cakes resembling a large cookie, often decorated with colorful icing and sprinkles for the holiday.

And if you are looking for the perfect addition to your Easter Brunch buffet these versatile German pastry variations will impress your family and guests. Just one dough recipe can create six delightful German pastry specialties, offering a scrumptious assortment for everyone to enjoy.

Eierlikör on a wooden table with eggs and burlap decoration.

German Easter Drinks

Eierlikör (German Egg liqueur)

Eierlikör, also known as Advocaat or German egg liqueur, is a rich and creamy traditional German liqueur made from egg yolks, sugar, and alcohol, typically rum or brandy. This velvety-smooth drink boasts a custard-like consistency and a sweet, indulgent flavor, often enhanced with a touch of vanilla. Eierlikör can be served on its own, chilled or at room temperature, and is commonly enjoyed in small glasses during festive occasions such as Easter.

Eierlikör is not only enjoyed as a drink but also used in various Easter desserts, including Eierlikörtorte (Egg liqueur cake) and Eierlikörpralinen (Egg liqueur truffles). Its versatility makes it a popular ingredient in many holiday recipes, where it adds a rich, unique flavor. Homemade Eierlikör is relatively simple to prepare, allowing for customization of flavors, sweetness, and alcohol content. Many families pass down their own recipes, ensuring that this delightful beverage remains a cherished part of German Easter celebrations.

German mother with daughter holding up Easter eggs.

German Easter Eggs

Most families in Germany can´t imagine Easter without Easter eggs! Not only do kids adore the tradition of colorful painted eggs, but it actually has its roots in pagan customs. Back in ancient days, eggs symbolized spring and fertility. In Christianity, eggs symbolize life and resurrection. To preserve the eggs that weren’t eaten during Lent, people would boil them. Then, they’d bring these eggs to church on Easter for a special blessing.

German Easter candy eggs on wooden boards and yellow plate.

German Easter Candy

These days, Easter is not just about boiled eggs anymore – people love to indulge in the most scrumptious chocolate eggs too! From silky milk chocolate to hazelnut nougat and nut-filled delights, there’s something for everyone. You can even find eggs filled with heavenly creams or tempting German liqueurs and schnapps. It’s definitely a treat for the taste buds during the Easter celebration!

Additionally you can find high quality chocolate Easter bunnies in all sizes. From tiny little cut bunnies to enormous rambler that weigh more than 2 pounds.



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