Italian Easter Colomba Cake

Italian Colomba (Easter cake) La Gran Nocciolata - Maina Italian Easter Colomba Cake or Colomba di Pasqua  (“Easter Dove” in English) is an Italian traditional Easter cake, the counterpart of the two well-known Italian Christmas desserts, Panettone and Pandoro.
For the preparation of Colomba, there are three different leavings. The first dough is composed of flour, water, milk, and yeast and it must be left to rise for a couple of hours; then flour, sugar, and butter are added to the first dough, which should be raised for an hour and a half; the third and final mixture is the addition of flour, butter, raisins, eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla, and oranges to the previous mixture, and let it rise for 16 hours. After that the dough is put into a dove-shaped mold and coated with icing made by flour and cornstarch, egg whites, cane sugar and almonds, it also is garnished with whole almonds and sugarcane. Finally, Colomba is baked in the oven.

Even if they are objectively less famous than those of the panettone, the variants of the Easter Colomba are numerous.
Considering the more classical recipes you can find eastern Colomba cake covered with chocolate black and white, but also stuffed with hazelnut cream, and orange cream, but also you can find strawberry Colomba. In this case, the pastry chef replaces the candied fruit with wild strawberries.
Are you a pastry chef? Here below you can find the original Italian Easter Colomba cake recipe (good luck it’s not very easy) but also the Strawberry cream filling recipe or the coffee variation…in the end, if you have not so time or you do not so practice… consider buying something ready like our assortment of Colombe and cream

Discover Italian Easter Colomba Cake

The birth of the Italian Easter Colomba Cake is characterized by several legends:

Teodolina legend Colomba cake

First legend: San Colombano and Queen Teodolinda

According to tradition, Colomba is a sweet from Lombardy. It is reported that in 610 in Pavia, the Longobard Queen Teodolinda hosted a group of Irish pilgrims, led by San Colombano, to whom she offered a game-based dinner but the Saint declined because it was Lent. Theodolinda interpreted the rejection as an offense, so Colombano, blessing the game and turned it into white doves of bread.

Second legend: Pavia and the siege of Alboino

In 572 the  King Alboino besieged the city of Pavia. After three years of sie, the barbarians won and entered the city. The inhabitants of Pavia, in order to avoid their fury, gave them soft desserts in shape of doves. An action of peace that avoided the plunder and so Pavia became the capital of the newborn king.

Third legend: the battle of Legnano

In 1176 during the Battle of Legnano, a city near Milan, the legend tells that a leader of a chariot saw two doves above the signatures of the Commons League, careless of the approach of the battle. To encourage his men, the captain ordered the cooks to prepare bread in the form of the dove, with eggs, flour, and yeast.

Easter Colomba Cake Recipes and News

The History of Colomba

The History of Colomba

The History of Colomba starts with a legend, but first let's talk about what actually is, Colomba. The Colomba Pasquale is the typical leavened cake of the Italian tradition, which is brought to the table on Easter day together with the Neapolitan Pastiera; and is...