Shopping Cart


Posted by TEAM TDSV on 2024-03-06
Easter Dove Cake 
You know it’s almost Easter in Italy when every grocery shop you go to is filled with every type of Colomba, almond cakes and chocolate eggs.
La Colomba is a delicious sweet bread made with yeast. In English Colomba means Dove which is the symbol of peace – especially significant at Easter. While Pandoro or Panettone are the traditional sweet breads for an Italian Christmas, Colomba is the traditional bread for Easter.
The Easter Colomba, can be made with your favourite fillings, such as chocolate chips, candied fruit, raisins or even plain. The Perfect Italian Easter recipe for breakfast, brunch or even dessert. Our recipe is the traditional one with candied orange.

To make the Classic Colomba you have to start with a starter dough. This is a yeast dough that is not as complicated as it looks, you just need patience and time, so give it a try! 


For the sponge:
24g fresh yeast or 6g fast action
100g warm water
3 egg yolks
15g sugar
70g strong white flour

For the first dough:
6g fresh yeast or ½ tsp fast action
75g warm water
45g butter, softened
210g strong white flour

For the final dough:
145g sugar
15g honey
3 egg yolks
zest of 2 oranges
2 tsp Amaretto di Saronno almond liqueur/almond essence or orange liqueur
115g butter, softened
250g strong white flour
5g sea salt
150g chopped mixed peel

For the glaze:
1 egg white
25g sugar
25g ground almonds
50g flaked almonds
3 tbsp coarse crystal or pearl sugar 

Preparing the cake: 

  1. First make the sponge: whisk the yeast into the warm water, mix in the egg yolks and sugar, and stir this into the flour until well combined.

Leave in a warm place for 30 minutes.

  1. Mix the second quantity of yeast into water, then mix it into the sponge.

Beat in the butter and the 210g flour. Cover and leave somewhere warm until doubled in volume, for about 1 hour.

  1. Stir in the sugar, honey, egg yolks, Almond liqueur/almond essence or orange essence, orange zest and the butter into the first dough. (We use the Amaretto Di Saronno almond liqueur).

Add the flour and salt and knead or mix in a standing mixer with a dough hook attachment for at least 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and stretchy and bounces off the sides of the bowl or stops sticking to your fingers.

Place it in an oiled bowl, cover and leave in a warm place until tripled in volume – for 3-4 hours.

  1. Tip the risen dough onto a work surface and sprinkle with chopped peel (and raisins, if using).

Knead the fruit in well, folding the dough onto itself, until the fruit is well distributed. 

  1. Divide the dough in half and on a floured surface, roll one piece into a log about 25cm long and the other cut into 2 10cm long pieces.

Butter thoroughly the paper colomba case if using.

Place the longer piece in the case head to tail, and place the shorter pieces either side.
Cover the case with a plastic wrap and leave to prove until the dough comes up almost to the rim of the case, 2-3 hours.


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6.
    Make the glaze: mix the egg white with the ground almonds and sugar into a paste. Spread over the risen dough and sprinkle with flaked almonds and coarse or pearl sugar.


  1. Bake for about 40 minutes.
    Halfway through the time you can cover the head and tail parts loosely with two pieces of foil to stop them from burning.


  1. . When cooked through and golden remove from the oven.

Cool on a wire rack.


To serve:
Slice and eat with your favourite sweet wine or for breakfast. Dip into your coffee or spread your favourite topping such as fresh fruit compote, chocolate spread or with your yoghurt. It is also delicious toasted and topped with honey, butter or cream!
Buona Pasqua e buon appetito!

Top tip:

  • Candied fruit are available from Italian food shops and local supermarkets.
  • The baked cooled bread should be stored in an airtight plastic bag, and kept at room temperature, it will keep for up to 3-4 days. It can also be frozen in a freezer safe bag or container. It will keep for two months in the freezer.
  • If there is a chance you have any left over or did not store it correctly, if dried out, it can be sliced and toasted – delicious with butter! Or it can be used to make the base for other dishes such as French toast or bread and butter pudding! 
Serve with a bottle of our fabulous Terre Di San Vito’s Tinto red wine.

Older Post Newer Post