Colomba: Italian Easter Cake

Italian Easter Cake


  • 170 gr. flour type 00
  • 315 Manitoba flour
  • 160 gr. butter
  • 150 gr. sugar
  • 1 yeast cake
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 80 gr. crystallized oranges or cedars
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 lemon (3 tablespoons of Limmi lemon juice)
  • 3 eggs + 3 yolks Lukewarm water

For the icing

  • 100 gr. almond flour
  • 100 gr. sugar
  • 1 egg white Coarse sugar and almonds for sprinkling


Combine and stir 60 gr 00 flour, milk and yeast. Cover with a cloth and let rest 20 minutes. Add remaining 00 flour to dough and work (using some lukewarm water) till obtain a smooth one. Let rise 30 minutes. Knead the dough with 115 gr of Manitoba flour, 50 gr butter and 30 gr. sugar. Cover and let rise 1 hour and 30 minutes, until puffy and bubbly. Mix 200 gr. of Manitoba flour together with 10 gr butter, 110 gr. of sugar, a pinch of salt, crystallized citrus fruits, lemon juice (3 tablespoons of Limmi lemon juice) and 3 yolks. Add 3 eggs (one by one), toss dough in flour until easy to handle and beat. Let rise 8 hours. Afterwards, beat dough to deflate a bit and put into a dove mould. Let stand and rise 6 hours.

Meanwhile prepare the icing. Combine almond flour, egg white and 100 gr sugar, then brush on dough. Garnish with some whole almonds and coarse sugar.
Eventually, it’s time to bake!

Cook for 10 minutes at 180° C and other 40 minutes at 160°.

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Do you Know…

From biblical symbolism up to gastronomy.


  • In the Bible the dove, characterized with an olive twig in its beak while returning to Noah after the Flood, testify God and people reconciliation.
  • Easter 750 b. C: a baker, during the siege of Pavia, offered to Lombard king Alboino a ‘bread’ shaped as dove as sign of peace and serenity.
  • 1176 a. C: during the Battle of Legnano, fought between Federico Barbarossa and the Lombard League, 3 white doves flew onto the altar that stood on the Milanese Carroccio (war chariot). Becoming a symbol of Milan’s freedom, the doves stayed on the altar until the Milanese were victorious. The story goes that, since that time, the Milanese have commemorated the event by eating dove-shaped cakes, synonymous with supreme protection.
  • 1900s: the Milanese company Motta rearrange the legendary cake in the Easter version of italian Panettone, without raisins.