Lemon & Orange Brioche Easter Bread Wreath

This Brioche Easter Bread recipe, is made with a lemon and orange scented brioche, shaped aslike a wreath, topped with homemade pastry cream. It is also known as Rosca de Pascua.

Belula March 22, 2016 March 12, 2021
Easter bread topped with homemade pastry cream and pearl sugar with a bowl in the top left corner and a knife on the bottom left corner.

This Easter Bread recipe is made with lemon & orange brioche dough that is shaped like a wreath and it is topped with homemade pastry cream. This lemon & orange Easter bread is simple, yet so flavourful. It is something that you can find in every pastry shop in Argentina around this time of the year, where it is known as “Rosca de Pascua”. It smells heavenly. This Easter Bread ring can also be found in the south of France too.

What is Easter Bread?

It is a traditional bread eaten around Easter time in many European countries. It is usually shaped like a wreath and is made of sweetened yeasted dough. This recipe follows the Spanish and French tradition as it is topped with pastry cream and has butter in the dough.

Because European immigration in Argentina has been so important, many of our culinary traditions come from the old continent; as is the case with this Easter Bread.

Closeup of the Easter bread as seen from the top.
A slice of the Easter Bread with the whole bread blurry in the background.

Ingredient notes

  • Fresh yeast: You can replace the 16 g of fresh yeast with 6.5 g of dry active yeast You multiply by 0.4 the amount of fresh yeast in any given recipe to obtain the amount of dry yeast it needs to be replaced with.
  • Citrus Zest: must be added in freshly grated, because otherwise it will dry out and lose much of its flavor..
  • Butter: should have at least 82% fat content and must be added cold into the dough.
  • Pastry Cream: if you make your own, which I highly recommend, you can find a great recipe here.

How to make this recipe

  • Make the lemon & orange brioche dough and refrigerate 24 hours.
  • Make the vanilla pastry cream.
  • Shape the dough into a wreath-like bread.
  • Let the Easter bread wreath rise.
  • Bake the brioche Easter Bread.
  • Top with pastry cream and pearl sugar.
The ferment dough in a bowl.
All the ingredients to make the Easter Bread inside the mixing bowl with the hook attachment on the side and a bowl with butter on the top.
The kneaded dough plus half of the softened butter inside a bowl.
Easter bread dough after kneading inside the bowl.
Easter bread dough shaped into a ball on the counter with flour around.
Easter bread dough placed inside a clean glass bowl ready to prove.
The easter bread dough after proving inside a glass bowl.
Easter bread with a whole in the middle and small cutter placed inside on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Easter bread with a whole in the middle and small cutter placed inside on a baking tray lined with parchment paper with a brush on the side and a small bowl with egg wash on the top right-hand side of the tray.
Pastry cream ready inside the pan.
The baked Easter bread with a piping bag full of pastry cream on the side.
Easter bread topped with homemade pastry cream and pearl sugar with a bowl in the top left corner and a knife on the bottom left corner.

Recipe notes

  • I used this French brioche recipe for the Easter bread. I added lemon and orange zest for that extra citrus flavor.
  • Keep in mind the brioche dough needs to rest 24 hours in the refrigerator before you can shape it.
  • I used this basic vanilla pastry cream recipe and I removed the vanilla bean. You can get all the details and step-by-step explanations there.
  • Once you remove the dough from refrigerator, let it sit for 15 minutes before shaping it into a ball as it risks to break if too cold.
  • When shaping the dough work as fast as possible as brioche dough tends to get sticky when it loses temperature and becomes harder to work with.
  • Shaping happens in 2 stages: first, the dough needs to be shaped into a tight ball. You can watch how to do that here. Once that ball is super tight, you can proceed to shape this bread into a wreath.
  • Place the easter bread on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Use both your hands to make a hole at the center of the brioche ball and place a small ring, old clean can or circular cutter in the hole to help hold its shape.
  • This metallic ring will hold the shape of the crown/wreath and prevent the dough from losing its shape during proving and while baking.
  • It is important to place the easter bread on a baking tray lined with parchment paper before making the hole at the center. Otherwise, it will lose its shape once you transfer it onto a baking tray!
  • The rising time after shaping the easter bread wreath is about 2 hours. Time is approximate as it will be directly impacted by the room temperature.
  • The ideal temperature is 29 C°, so if it’s colder than that, rising time will be longer and vice versa.
  • What you are looking for is that the brioche wreath has grown more than twice its size.
  • If air bubbles forming at the top of the dough, it means proofing time has gone too far.
  • Baking time will depend on the oven and the dough. Be attentive to its coloration and check regularly after 30 minutes have gone by.
  • You can top this Easter Bread with the pastry cream once it has completely cooled down.
  • Smooth the pastry cream using a whisk when you are ready to use.
  • You can use a piping bag to decorate this Easter bread. However, if you are not comfortable using a piping bag, you can use a spoon or an off-set spatula to do this.

Storage tips

This Easter bread should be kept at room temperature. It keeps for up to 4 days without the pastry cream. After that it becomes stale. You can use the old bread to make this bread pudding.

Once you have topped the wreath Easter Bread with the pastry cream it must be eaten immediately.

Once you have sliced it open, cover the edges with saran wrap to prevent it from drying out.

Freezer instructions

I don’t recommend freezing this Easter bread wreath because of the pastry cream, as it doesn’t freeze well.

Variations to this recipe

There are two ways to serve this delicious Easter bread wreath. It is all about the pastry cream:

  • You can top the bread after it has been baked and once you are ready to have this dessert. Or,
  • You can bake this Easter Bread with the pastry cream.

I prefer the option I present here, with the fresh pastry cream added on top of the Easter bread once it has been baked.

However, if you prefer to add the pastry cream before the Easter bread wreath has been baked, this is how you can do it:

  • Once you have shaped the dough and have made the whole at the centre, using he tips of your fingers gently press down the dough to flatten it out.
  • Bush with egg wash, and let it dry for about 10 minutes.
  • Now decorate with pastry cream and the pearl sugar.
  • Let it rest covered for 45 minutes, or until it has doubles in size.
  • Bake as instructed in the recipe.
Easter bread wreath with a serving spatula taking out a slice on the inferior left side of the photo
The Easter bread topped with pastry cream with plates on the background and a piping tip on the left bottom corner.
The ingredients used in all recipes on this site are measured using the metric system. I use a scale to be precise with my measurements and ensure good results. If you would also like to use a scale, here are some: USA, Canada, UK, Australia, France.
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Servings: 24 servings
Nutrition: 266 cal
Cuisine: Spanish


Brioche Easter Bread Dough

  • Milk 10 g
  • Yeast (dry) 8 g
  • Eggs 2
  • Salt 1 pinch
  • Granulated Sugar 20 g
  • Bread Flour 200 g
  • Unsalted Butter 100 g
  • Lemon (the zest of 2 lemons) 2
  • Orange (the zest of 2 oranges) 2

Pastry Cream

  • Milk 125 g
  • Egg Yolks 2
  • Granulated Sugar 30 g
  • Cornstarch 10 g


  • Pearl Sugar

Egg Wash

  • Eggs 1
  • Egg Yolks 1
  • Salt 1 pinch


  • 1. Prepare the pastry cream: Whisk the egg yolks and half of the sugar. Add the corn-starch. Set aside. Bring the milk and the other half of the sugar to a boil. Pour half of the milk over the egg yolk/sugar mixture whisking at the same time. Transfer the mixture back to the pot and bring to a boil over medium heat whisking all the time. Once it starts boiling, cook for two more minutes. Transfer to a hermetic container, cover in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until cold.
  • 2. Make the brioche Easter Bread dough: : Mix the lemon and orange zest with the sugar. Dissolve the baker’s yeast in the milk. Mix the eggs, sugar, and pinch of salt in a small bowl. Add the yeast/milk mixture to the egg/sugar/salt mixture and mix to combine. Place the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer and add the yeast/egg mixture. Mix with a spatula until all the liquid has been absorbed. Knead with the hook attachment for 5 minutes at medium speed, scraping the sides of the bowl often. Add half the butter, cut in small cubes, and mix at low/medium speed until it has been completely incorporated into the dough. Turn up the speed to medium/high and knead for an extra 5 minutes until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining butter and knead at low/medium speed until the butter has been incorporated into the batter. Continue to knead at medium/high speed for an extra 10 minutes. Until the lemon easter bread dough is shiny and smooth.
  • 3. Ferment the brioche Easter bread dough: : Transfer the dough to a lightly floured bowl, cover with saran wrap and let it rest for 1hour and 30 minutes. Then transfer the dough to a baking tray lined with saran wrap, and press it down with the palm of your hands to release the gases. Cover tightly with saran wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • 4. Shape the Easter bread wreath: Shape into a tight ball again by folding the sides of dough onto itself and turning it around. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Make a hole at the centre of the easter bread. Place a greased small ring, can or circular cutter in the whole to help hold its shape.
  • 5. Prepare the egg wash: Whisk all the ingredients in bowl then strain over a fine mesh sieve.
  • 6. Prove the Easter Bread Wreath: Brush the bread with egg wash and cover with saran wrap. Let it rise for about 1.5 hours at room temperature.
  • 7. Bake the Easter Bread: Paint brush with the egg wash and bake at 180 C/360 F for 35 minutes, or until golden. Let it cool down on a wire rack at room temperature.
  • 8. Decorate the Lemon and Orange Easter Bread: whisk the pastry cream until smooth and shiny. Pipe it out on top of the Easter Bread and then top with pearl sugar. This should be done when you are ready to eat it!
If you made this recipe I would really appreciate it if you leave a rating or comment below! Also, if you share on social media please use #cookwithbelula, I would love to see what you create!
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