CNYEats A Taste of Utica Italian Egg Baskets

by Joanne on July 18, 2010

I changed the name of this week’s recipe slightly because I don’t think you need to wait until next April to make these delicious and versatile treats.

The recipe from A Taste of Utica is called “Italian Easter Egg Baskets” or “Buba cu l’Uova” by Dolores Cecere Piccione and posted by Rainie Piccione.  It uses a soft, sweet, delicate dough in a muffin tin to form a basket around an egg.  If making these at Easter, use colored eggs. If you make these any other time, I’ve offered a variation for your consideration.


The above is the basket with the raw shell egg.


This photo offers a unique taste experience of sweet bread enriched with a baked egg. Even though both almond and vanilla extract were used in the dough, the flavors come together for a truly delightful adventure on the palate.  You’ll be pleased with the result. 

Italian Egg Baskets – makes 12 baskets  *I changed the order of ingredients offered in our book


because I believed it would be easier to follow if listed in the order in which you use it in the recipe.

  • 5 cups sifted flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup shortening * I used Promise Healthy Heart and it worked beautifully.
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 12 eggs, shell on, raw (colored if using at holiday time)
  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup shortening *or use a healthy alternative
  • water or milk
  • cake decorating sprinkles

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Grease a 12 container muffin pan.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. 

Cut in the shortening (or healthy alternative)  and mix using a pastry blender or form to resemble a coarse crumb.

Make a well in the center and add the 4 eggs, extracts (both or just vanilla), and 1/2 cup milk.

Mix until the dough is smooth. *If it is too wet to roll out, add a little more flour. Form dough into a ball.

Turn onto a lightly floured board and roll out in a large 1/2 thick sheet.  Cut into 12 rounds to fit your muffin tins.  Cut 24  3 inch long strips to form handles.  Line the cups with the rounds, pressing gently with your fingers to fit the muffin tins.

Place the raw egg (in the shell) into the center of each muffin tin.  Place 2 strips, crisscross fashion over each egg.  Press ends over round to seal edges.

*Since it is not the holiday season, I chose not to color the eggs. I also decided to experiment and crack an egg in the middle. 


Bake until lightly browned, about 20 – 30 minutes. *The book says 15 – 20 minutes but to ensure the egg was cooked, it took about 25 minutes.  ** You may have to cover the baskets after 15 minutes with foil to prevent over browning. Simply drape (loosely) a piece of foil over the top.  Let cool 10 minutes before removing from pan.

When cool, combine the powdered sugar, 1/4 cup shortening (or alternative), and enough water or milk to make a smooth paste.  Frost baskets, decorate with sprinkles.



It amazes me that the result of each recipe followed from A Taste of Utica book  is such an enjoyable experience in food tasting.  The collection of memories and family favorites results in an enjoyable experience every Sunday in this house. 

 Check in tomorrow to see how I used the left over pastry.  You will LOVE it!!


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    • At 2010.07.18 12:14, Tammy said:

      I love baked eggs and do them in ramekins with olive oil, garlic, seasoning, etc, but have never done so with pastry – especially a sweet pastry. I’ll file this one away for the holidays.

      • At 2010.07.18 17:44, Joanne said:

        Yeah, the egg in the sweet pasty was a great surprise. It really is tasty.

        • At 2010.07.18 15:31, Monet said:

          Joanne…I have never seen anything like this! I love looking at your blog because you always have such delicious and unique recipes. I loved baked eggs too, but I’ve never tried to nestle them in such a sweet pastry package!

          • At 2010.07.18 17:44, Joanne said:

            It’s pretty neat. I used the baked SHELLED eggs tonight in a vegetable tier recipe I’ll post at a later date. Delish!

            • At 2010.07.18 17:39, Allie said:

              I’m not sure I understand– if you were to bake these eggs *without* cracking them, how do you eat this? Do you eat away the “basket handles” and then crack the egg to eat it like a softboiled egg? And finish by eating the rest of the basket?

              Thanks! These look lovely! 🙂

              • At 2010.07.18 17:47, Joanne said:

                Exactly. You eat the pastry then eat peel the egg like a hard boiled egg but it is baked in the shell instead of boiled. Basically, if you do it that way, it’s more of a decorative presentation rather than ease of eating. It’s all still edible and equally delicious.

                • At 2010.07.22 12:48, kuriouskitteh said:

                  Those are so cute! I really like how you decided to crack an egg inside instead of keeping the egg in its shell =).

                  ~Kurious Kitteh

                  • At 2010.07.22 21:33, claudia lamascolo said:

                    very elegant. I make something similar but with egg whites like a souffle this looks wonderful and hearty!

                    • At 2012.03.06 20:57, Nonie said:

                      As a kid in Sicily this was a real treat at Easter time. We used to braid dough strips to form the basket but this is a much easier way to handle it and I will make it for my grandkids this Easter. Thanks for the tip and reminder to carry this fun tradition.

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