Traditional Italian Easter Cake Recipe

Author: Veruska Anconitano, Award-Winning Food Travel Journalist, Sommelier & Outdoor LoverAuthor information
About the author
Veruska Anconitano
Veruska is a a food travel journalist with awards to her credit, such as World Best Food Travel Journalist. She holds a certification as a sommelier and she is also an ardent lover of the outdoors. Aside from this, Veruska is a Multilingual SEO and Localization Consultant and co-owns multiple websites that cater to a global audience.
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When it comes to finding an Easter Cake Recipe, we Italians have so many options that we can talk and talk for hours. Baking a cake for Easter is common in Italy, especially in the Central and Southern part of the country where instead of calling them “cakes” we use to call them “pizza”. In reality, they’re cakes, Easter Cakes Recipes every family bake.

The one I’ve decided to share with you is very traditional, different from the Dove, another type of Easter Cake, and extremely flavourful.

Every region, every family, every person within a family has its own recipe but the same rule applies to all of them: the Easter Cake must be high, well risen, soft, fragrant and yellow. Very similar to a panettone cake, but to be enjoyed right during Easter.

Inside you can find candied peels, aniseeds, chocolate or simply nothing; the surface can be left at it is or glazed and covered with sprinkles. In short, you can indulge yourself at will, to bring to the table a truly unique sweet Easter cake.

I do not use candied fruit but I leave all the burden and honor to the aromas that, wisely mixed, make this sweet Easter Cake excellent both when accompanied with desserts and when accompanied with charcuterie.

This Easter Cake, even though it has so many ingredients, does not require so much processing and preparation time as long as you use a very strong flour (Manitoba flour is perfect, self-raising flour is completely wrong) and let the dough rest, after having it worked perfectly, for the needed time without hastening the procedures.

This is the recipe for preparing a sweet, high, soft, fragrant and delicious Easter Cale to serve for Easter and Easter Monday. You can also bake this amazing Italian Easter bread to accompany your Easter dinner.

Ingredients for 1 Easter Cake [1 Kg]

  • 600 grams of Manitoba flour
  • 150 grams of caster sugar
  • 100 grams of butter at room temperature
  • 100 ml of lukewarm water
  • 20 grams of fresh yeast
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 grated orange peel
  • 1 grated lemon rind
  • 50 grams of dark chocolate drops
  • 2 tablespoons of cinnamon powder
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg powder
  • 1 tablespoon of anise seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of rum
  • 1 tablespoon of anise liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon of natural vanilla extract


  1. In a bowl mix orange zest, lemon peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, rum, anise liqueur and vanilla extract. Put aside;
  2. Dissolve the yeast in warm water, mixing it well to help decomposition. Combine the dough with 100 grams of flour, knead quickly and let it rest for about 1 hour;
  3. Whisk the eggs with the sugar until you get a soft cream, then take the dough again, place it in the planetary bowl and add the eggs with the sugar. Start kneading and as the planetary mixer works, incorporate the rest of the flour and salt;
  4. Add the macerated aromas and the chocolate drops to the rest of the ingredients inside the mixer bowl, then, once the mixture is mixed and compact, add the yeast at room temperature and knead at low speed until the butter is absorbed. completely;
  5. When all the ingredients are mixed and the dough does not come off well from the walls of the bowl because the flour / liquid ratio is not in favor of the flour itself, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour;
  6. After one hour, take the dough again, form a ball and place it in a greased and flour pan. Let the sweet Easter pizza rise until it reaches the edge of the mold;
  7. Turn the oven on at maximum temperature then place a glass of water on the bottom and place the pan with the Easter pizza on the grill just above the glass of water;
  8. Cook for at least 45 minutes without NEVER open the oven at 180°C in a fan oven. After the first 45 minutes, check that the cake is cooked by sticking it with a toothpick (if it comes out dry the cake is ready). If it is not, let it cook until the toothpick comes out dry;
  9. Turn off the oven, open the door and let the sweet pizza cool inside, then take it out of the oven and let it cool completely before cutting it.


Preparation time: 7 hours

Cooking time: 1 hour

Total time: 8 hours

Pizza Pasqua Dolce

Italian Easter Cake: tips and tricks

  1. This Easter Cake can be eaten as soon as it’s cold or, even better, stored in a plastic bag and cut 2 days after cooking so that the aromas are released even better;
  2. This cake can be frozen whole or sliced and defrosted at room temperature before being heated quickly or served directly;
  3. Brush the surface of the cake with a beaten yolk so that, during cooking, it becomes shiny;
  4. If you want to decorate your Easter Cake, once it is cold brush it with a beaten egg white and sprinkle with colored sprinkles. You can also prepare a quick glaze by mixing egg white, sugar, and lemon juice and sprinkle the surface with this icing; add colored sprinkles (or chocolate powder like I did) and leave the icing to set before cutting.
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