Easter baskets are traditionally for children, but there is no rule against finding fun Easter baskets ideas for adults! There are many ways to elevate the time-honored basket components such as marshmallow peeps, chocolate bunnies, and colorful eggs to delight an adult’s palate. Not to mention the many ways you can design an elegant basket to contain these goodies without using fake grass or hollow plastic eggs.
Artisanal bakers are always searching for ways to make conventional treats more remarkable by using natural, fresh, high-quality ingredients. Easter treats are no exception! Easter gift ideas for adults can be reminiscent of childhood and an earlier era, or they can be completely reimagined for healthy, organic and/or gluten free or vegan diets.
Old-Fashioned Easter Baskets Reimagined for Adults
If you are of a certain age, and your parents celebrated Easter with the traditional Easter basket for children, you will remember the yellow-dyed marshmallow peeps, the large, machine-molded Easter Bunnies, and the reusable hollow plastic eggs of all colors, that when opened contained 3-4 flavors of jellybeans.
Usually the Easter basket was lined with tufts of curly bright green plastic strips to emulate grass upon which the chicks, bunnies, and eggs sat. The entire basket was wrapped in cellophane and then a big pink or yellow or green manufactured bow was attached to the top.
These baskets can still be found pre-made in grocery stores. Depending on the person, a funny idea for an adult is to just purchase one of these pre-made Easter baskets! Good for a laugh, but probably lacking in the taste department (and by taste I mean to convey both flavor and style).
Or you can replicate the traditional Easter basket, but with upgraded ingredients. You might even want to enhance your gift with fresh Spring fruit for a healthy addition.
How to Make Fun Easter Baskets for Adults
If you want to make your own conventional, but elevated, Easter baskets for adults, start with finding a nice willow or sea grass basket. If you are delivering your gift by hand, then the open-handle style is de rigueur as it allows all the delectable and colorful treats to be displayed in their full glory at a first glance.
If the weave is open a bit, you can buy some fresh flowers to decorate the outside for another fun Easter basket gift idea that will be especially appreciated by an adult. Look for a daisy such as the Gerbera, with their wildly hued large petals in bright yellow, pink, orange or red. They will work well if you are making the gift right before you deliver it.
Cut the flower off a few inches from the bloom. (Gerbera daisies usually have a plastic tube on the stem designed to help support the heavy head. You can cut the stem at the plastic.) Insert in between the weave until just the head of the flower shows on the outside. You may need to trim the stem on the inside. If you need to make your adult Easter basket ahead of time, try using heather sprigs or statice, both of which come in a variety of seasonal colors and still look great as they dry.
Next, think about lining your basket with real grass — why use plastic?! Wheat grass is a beautiful grass to use, and you can buy small trays of it at your local juice shop or natural food store. It is long, silky, and edible too! Wheat grass will create a lush pillow upon which you will nestle your ingredients.
If you don’t use flowers to decorate the outside of the basket, think about putting fresh flowers inside of the basket. Look for small plastic tubes with points at the end at your local flower shop to stick flower stems in. You can cut the flowers to any length, fill the tubes with cold water, carefully place the stems into the tubes and then stick them into the sod of the wheat grass.
You can use roses, tulips, daffodils, or any other spring flower. Sometimes, floral shops only carry tubes with rounded bottoms. If those are the only ones you can find, you can use them in the same way, but instead of sticking them into the sod, you can place them in pockets around your gift at the very end, once you have arranged all the other ingredients inside. Either way, flowers make a beautiful accent.
What Should You Put Inside Your Adult Easter Basket?
Now, what to put into the beautiful adult Easter basket you have now created? Chocolate is a good place to start. Today there are many highly regarded small-batch chocolate makers that craft their creations using only the highest quality cacao. This is chocolate an adult can appreciate. If you live near a local chocolate shop or sweet shop, stop in to see what they are offering for Easter, or go online to search. There are a variety of chocolate bunnies available that will please an adult palate and aesthetic.
For example, we found this adorable Easter bunny trio (or trios lapins de Pacques) by Claudine Desnoyers of Le Comptoir Chocolat in Montreal Quebec. The rich, dark, creamy milk and sweet white chocolates are all organic and fair-trade with a smooth texture and luscious taste. What could be better than that?
When Claudine decided to dress her bunnies in woven “sweaters” (edible chocolate!) in an array of pastel colors, she brought the Easter bunny to entirely new heights. No adult could resist the charm of these one-of-a-kind Easter treats.
The marshmallow “peep,” or yellow-dyed marshmallow chick, is an iconic Easter gift and it’s a great idea to include in any Easter basket for adults. Pastry chefs like to offer seasonal and occasion-specific treats and Easter is no exception. You can find peeps that are made with higher quality ingredients than the grocery store bought brands.
Using hand-made marshmallow and real sugar in place of corn starch can make a peep actually taste really good as well as look adorable. We especially love these marshmallow Easter peeps made at Duane Park Patisserie.
Each peep is a unique creation because they are entirely handmade with distinctive body shapes, beaks and hand-dropped black eyes. It’s hard to resist these charming little chicks. (Having said that, I know a few adults who really like the old-school peeps, especially once they get a little stale!)
Hard boiling and then dying eggs continue to be a popular activity with families. The colors are so fun! Easter egg hunts are a well know past-time in preparing for the holiday. So another Easter gift idea that could still be fun for adults is to arrange an Easter egg hunt! You can do it in your own home, backyard, or make it a larger event. Be sure you remember how many eggs you hide and where you hid them… otherwise you’ll be smelling rotten eggs in a week or two.
For an adult Easter basket, there are many options for colorful eggs that are neither plastic nor real. Chocolate eggs can be painted in vivid colors, hand-sprinkled with sparkling spots, or even brushed with gold-leaf.
A great example is the hand-painted chocolate Easter eggs filled with praline (a luscious almond and hazelnut paste) by Christophe Paume of Christophe Chocolatier in Charleston, South Carolina. Just look at the extraordinary glazes on these! They could be mistaken for collector’s items, but don’t wait to enjoy them — these chocolate eggs don’t have the chemical preservatives that make store bought brands “shelf-stable” for months and months on end.
Another customary Easter candy is the ubiquitous jelly bean! In years past, jelly beans came in red, black, yellow, and green — the green ones always got eaten last in my house — and they all tasted basically the same, with the exception of the black ones which were definitely more licoricey.
Today, however, jelly beans come in a myriad of colors and a nearly limitless variety of distinctive flavors such as root beer, popcorn, and watermelon. A peppering of modern day jelly beans is another good idea for designing your traditional Easter basket for an adult.
As you arrange your goodies in your adult Easter basket, think about taking the ingredients out of their wrappers. Maybe a little less sanitary, but if you are giving the gift right away, it really does make a better presentation without the cardboard and plastic. Immediately afterward, you can put the items into ziploc bags (if anything remains uneaten!).
Types of Easter Baskets for Adults
Healthy Easter Baskets
Eating healthier is a national trend that spans age groups. Parents are more concerned than ever about finding healthy alternatives for snacks and treats for their children, and adults are also paying closer attention to their diets and healthy lifestyles.
There are many ways to make healthy Easter baskets for kids or adults that are still fun and appealing. One of the best ways to start is to use fresh fruit as your base. You can shop your local produce market for your favorite fruits, but why not also explore some more exotic options?
Pomegranates are just ending their season now, but you may still find some good markets that carry them. These are especially fun fruits for kids to discover. Help them set up by the kitchen sink to open the pomegranate.
First, score the skin of the pomegranate with 4-5 cuts around the fruit and then pull the sections apart to reveal the deep dark ruby red seeds. Let your child experience the fun of plucking or scraping the seeds out of the pith while they crunch on the juicy niblets during the process.
Be sure to pull the pith entirely off the seeds before eating them (no harm, but the seeds may taste bitter). It takes work to build a pile of pomegranate seeds and it can get messy (pomegranate juice can squirt all around) but it is also fun.
Pomegranates are nutrition packed with vitamins and have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Other spring fruits that are a bit more unusual include Sumo Mandarins, blood oranges, Asian pears (also called Nashi), black mission figs, pink Muscat grapes, rambutans, pepino melons, miniature pineapples, and Tommy Atkins or Ataulfo mangos.
Organic Easter Baskets
More and more people are looking for organic alternatives of the foods they eat. Many fruits can be found in both conventional and organic varieties. In the exotic fruit realm, mangos, dates, kiwis, and blood oranges can be found organically grown.
Similarly, baked goods, chocolates, and candies can be found that are made with all organic ingredients. Your local health food store will likely have a good selection to choose from to construct your very own organic Easter basket.
One of our favorite organic chocolate bars is from Cacao Prieto, made in Red Hook, Brooklyn. We like the original 72% dark organic chocolate, but they offer a wild variety of flavored chocolate bars such as orchid, absinthe, and mandarin & bergamot, as well as more familiar combinations such as almond sea salt, and cashew and cranberry.
We also love the traditional organic Swedish cookies from Unna Bakery. These are delicate little handmade bites of chocolate and caramel, classic butter & almonds, ginger snaps and cardamom biscotti. And the little boxes are decorated sweetly too!
Gluten-Free Easter Basket
Fruit is naturally gluten-free so fresh fruit is always a great addition to a gluten-free Easter basket. You can still decorate with wheat grass, and flower accents. As more and more people move to a gluten-free diet, more and more gluten-free bake shops are opening. If you have one in your neighborhood, check to see what offering they have for Easter.
Alternatively, many grocery stores have gluten-free sections. Be sure to read the labels carefully. If you are sending a gift to a person who has Celiac Disease or is otherwise gluten-intolerant, you must be very careful to choose products that are certified gluten-free by one of the gluten-free certification organizations.
Some organizations certify gluten-free to only 5 parts per million (ppm), which is the safest, while others certify only up to 20 ppm.
Vegan Easter Baskets
If your Easter basket recipient — whether child or grown-up — is vegan, fresh fruit is a natural go-to and is readily recognizable as “animal product free”. Vegans are also generally very health-conscious people and fresh fruit fits the bill. But don’t forget to add some sweet treats to your vegan Easter basket.
Vegan cookies, cakes, chocolates and candies abound! And don’t mistake vegan for tasteless or textureless! Check out these amazing Choc-a-Bloc cookies made by Sweet Leaf Bakery of Long Island City made exclusively for us! Packed with coconut, chocolate chips, almonds, banana and peanut butter, these cookies would please any palate, vegan or not!
Whether you are making an Easter basket for an adult or a child, you can make a very sweet small basket or a shockingly gigantic one! Both will have impact and appeal. And if you need to ship your Easter basket, you can modify your creation by using a lidded basket or other container and putting your flower accents inside rather than outside.
Leave your delicate treats in their original containers to protect them during the shipping and handling process. A shipped Easter basket for adults or children can also be a beautiful gift experience!