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Easter sweets: traditional Italian recipes


Casatiello sweet Neapolitan

Easter desserts are many and all different. Each region has its own and talking about all of them is really impossible. Here is a selection of the best ones.

When it comes to culinary traditions, Italy is second to none. If we then go into the detail of the sweets of religious holidays, then a world of sweetness opens up there that contains more or less typical preparations. Easter desserts, except for the colomba, are greatly affected by regional influences and that is why today we want to reveal all those recipes that, despite being little known, deserve to be tried.

Easter sweets: recipes

After the end of the Lenten fasting period, which began immediately after the Carnival revels, sweets finally return to populate our tables. The recipes of Easter desserts are one better than the other and today we want to offer you those that best represent the tradition of the various areas of our peninsula. Obviously we will not forget the Easter cakes, slightly different from the classic desserts.

As always when it comes to traditional recipes it is really difficult to extricate yourself from the many regional preparations , however here are the most popular and appreciated Easter desserts.

dove

Easter cake
Easter cake

Of all the Easter sweets, the dove is undoubtedly the best known: it begins to appear in supermarkets months before the holiday. The colomba recipe is quite long due to the different leavenings, but we invite you to try it at least once.

Ingredients for the homemade colomba:

  • 450 g of Manitoba flour
  • 40 g of milk
  • 100 g of water
  • 5 g of dry yeast
  • 140 g of sugar
  • 100 g of butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 15 g of salt
  • 50 g of candied orange
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 8 g of corn starch
  • 40 g of peeled almonds
  • 50 g of egg whites
  • 15 g of very fine corn flour
  • 40 g of skinned hazelnuts
  • 50 g of brown sugar
  • 20 g of granulated sugar
  • 20 g of unpeeled almonds

The first step is to prepare a dough with flour, water, milk and yeast. After about a couple of hours, one part of sugar, one part of flour and one part of butter are added and it starts to rise again for a couple of hours . The other ingredients are then added, including sugar, flour, eggs, salt, butter and flavorings. The dough is then reinforced with the folds and left to rise in the fridge for another 16 hours . After these long leavening proceeds with the formation of the dove, the preparation of the icing and the decoration. The dove cooks at 160 ° C for almost an hour and must be cooled upside down.

This preparation is quite long and, if you do not want to give up the pleasure of this homemade dessert , we advise you to try the quick Easter dove : taste and texture will have nothing to envy to the traditional one.

Dove tiramisu

tiramisu of dove
tiramisu of dove

We know that after the holidays the leftovers of doves begin to accumulate and it is natural to find a new way to serve them. Colomba tiramisu is an original idea to make a tasty and simple Easter cake.

Ingredients for 2 people:

  • 270 g of mascarpone
  • 180 g of Easter dove
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 oranges
  • 60 g of sugar
  • 40 g of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 20 ml of orange liqueur
  • 20 whole almonds

First, toast the sliced ​​dove in the oven at 180 ° C for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, divide the egg whites from the yolks. Whip the first until stiff peaks while the second ones go amalgamated with the sugar and mascarpone. Add the egg whites to this second compound and use the mascarpone cream to form the layers: slices of colomba soaked in a mixture of orange juice and liqueur , cream, colomba and so on, until concluding with a sprinkling of bitter cocoa and some whole almond.

DIY Easter Eggs

chocolate easter eggs
chocolate easter eggs

There is truly nothing more beautiful than receiving a homemade Easter egg as a gift. The advantage is that they can contain the surprise you prefer : truly wonderful for those who will receive it.

Ingredients for a chocolate egg:

  • 500 g of dark or milk chocolate

Melt 2/3 of the chopped chocolate in a double boiler and when it reaches 42-45 ° C add the rest off the heat so that the temperature drops to 28-30 ° C and the chocolate hardens . Pour it into the special mold , moving it so that it is completely covered, then turn it over and let it cool, recovering the excess chocolate. Once solidified, repeat the operation creating a thicker shell. Join the two halves by heating them slightly and don’t forget to put the surprise inside!

Casatiello sweet Neapolitan

Casatiello sweet Neapolitan
Casatiello sweet Neapolitan

Of this typical Neapolitan Easter recipe there is not only the savory version, although it is more famous. The sweet casatiello has an intense citrus scent and its appearance immediately brings joy thanks to the presence of the icing and sugar sprinkles.

Ingredients for the sweet casatiello recipe:

  • 500 g of flour 0
  • 4 eggs
  • 220 g of sugar
  • 50 g of butter
  • 50 g of lard
  • 150 g of mother yeast
  • 30 ml of witch liqueur
  • 1 lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 3 drops of lemon essence
  • 1 egg white
  • 125 g of powdered sugar
  • colored sprinkles to taste
  • candied fruit to taste

Whip the eggs with the sugar, then add the flour and the refreshed mother yeast twice. Then let the butter and lard absorb and add the aromas. Transfer the dough into a 1 kg mold and let it rise 12-24 hours until it reaches the edge of the same. Then cook it at 170 ° C for an hour and complete with the glaze based on egg white and sugar. Finally, decorate with sprinkles and candied fruit: it will be the most popular of all Easter sweets!

Neapolitan Pastiera

Neapolitan Pastiera
Neapolitan Pastiera

It is truly incredible how the goodness of this dessert has allowed it to spread throughout Italy , becoming a recipe that is no longer exclusively Easter. The Neapolitan pastiera in fact is of a unique goodness and, at the expense of calories, it is truly irresistible as well as being the Easter cake par excellence.

Ingredients for 1 pastiera:

  • 400 g of precooked wheat
  • 320 g of flour
  • 350 g of sheep ricotta
  • 300 g of sugar
  • 200 g of butter
  • 100 ml of milk
  • 100 g of candied fruit
  • 8 whole eggs
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 orange
  • 1/2 vial of orange blossom water
  • cinnamon to taste
  • powdered sugar to taste
  • Salt to taste

The preparation is quite long and is divided into various phases. First, the pastry is kneaded with flour, butter, eggs, sugar and lemon and set to rest in the refrigerator. The wheat cooked in milk is then cooked with butter and orange peel and all the other ingredients are mixed: ricotta, eggs, sugar, candied fruit and flavorings. The shortcrust pastry is rolled out and stuffed with the filling, completing it with a diamond-shaped decoration and then cooked at 180 ° C for an hour .

We also recommend you try our gluten-free version: the rice pastiera is truly amazing and perfect for those suffering from celiac disease .

Lenten

Lenten
Lenten

Similar to the classic cantucci, Lenten biscuits are typical Easter biscuits of Neapolitan cuisine. Preparing them is quite simple and once you try them, their vanilla and lemon aroma will win you over.

Ingredients for 6 people:

  • 150 g of flour 00
  • 130 g of sugar
  • 130 g of almonds
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 sachet of vanillin
  • 1/2 sachet of baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • lemon zest to taste
  • Cinnamon to taste

Mix the flour, sugar, almonds and 1 egg in a bowl. Then add vanilla, grated lemon zest, nutmeg, yeast, cinnamon and salt and finish kneading. Give it the shape of a loaf and bake it at 180 ° C for 25 minutes after brushing it with the other egg, then make the biscuits and put them back to cook at 150 ° C for 20 minutes.

Cassata

Sicilian cassata
Sicilian cassata

We now move a little further south to discover one of the best Easter sweets, so good that it has even become the symbol of an entire region: the Sicilian cassata . The preparation requires some attention but we guarantee that you will forget all the effort when tasting.

Ingredients for 8 people:

  • 3 eggs and 3 yolks,
  • 140 g of sugar
  • 80 g of flour 00
  • 70 g of potato starch
  • lemon zest to taste
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 100 ml of water and 50 of sugar (for the syrup)
  • 800 g of sheep ricotta
  • 180 g of chocolate chips
  • 220 g of powdered sugar
  • candied orange to taste (optional)
  • 200 g of marzipan
  • 30 g of pistachio paste or green food coloring
  • mixed candied fruit to taste
  • 320 g of powdered sugar and water to taste (for the glaze)
  • 1 egg white and 145 g of powdered sugar (for the royal icing)

The first step is the preparation of the sponge cake which will then be cooked at 180 ° C for 35 minutes. We then proceed with the filling based on ricotta , sugar and chocolate drops and pistachio marzipan. Once everything is cold, use squares of sponge cake and intersperse them with squares of pistachio marzipan to line the edges of the cassata pan. Fill the base with a disc of cake, stuffed with the ricotta cream, cover with the remaining sponge cake (remember to moisten it with the syrup) and put it in the fridge to harden. The next day, turn the cake upside down and remove the plastic wrap, decorate with icing, candied fruit and royal icing.

Cuddura cradles the ovary

Cuddura
Cuddura

We stay in Sicily with a cake baked in the oven , glazed and decorated with a whole egg . Tasty and particular, cuddura cull’ova takes on different names depending on the area, but the substance of the recipe for these Easter sweets does not change.

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 500 g of flour 00
  • 150 g of butter
  • 200 g of granulated sugar
  • 5 eggs + 1 egg white
  • lemon zest and juice to taste
  • 1 sachet of baking powder
  • 350 g of powdered sugar
  • colored sprinkles to taste

Put the flour, sugar and yeast in a bowl and mix quickly. Then add the cold butter, four eggs and finish kneading, perfuming with the lemon zest. Transfer the dough to a baking tray lined with parchment paper and give it the shape you prefer , working it with your hands. Decorate by placing the raw egg , sealing it with a cross of pasta and cook at 180 ° C for 30 minutes . Then decorate with an icing based on powdered sugar and egg white and distribute the colored sprinkles.

Sweet Easter pizza

sweet Easter pizza
sweet Easter pizza

The taste and texture of the sweet Easter pizza are reminiscent of the panettone, however we are talking about a dessert that has nothing to do with Milan. Typical of the Viterbo area , this dessert is the symbol of the festivity in Lazio.

Ingredients for 8 people:

  • 400 g of flour 00
  • 4 eggs + 1 egg white
  • 120 g of butter
  • 120 g of sugar
  • lemon zest to taste
  • orange zest to taste
  • 20 g of brewer’s yeast
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 sachet of vanillin
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 120 g of powdered sugar
  • sprinkles of sugar to taste
  • candied fruit to taste

Mix flour, sugar, salt and vanilla, form a fountain and break the eggs in the center. Finally, add the melted butter and the yeast dissolved in the water. Perfume with the aromas and enrich the dough with citrus peel. Let it rise the first time in the bowl and a second time in the special mold then bake at 180 ° C for 40 minutes . Once cold you can decorate the pizza with royal icing and serve it cut into slices.

Easter pinecone

Easter pinecone
Easter pinecone

Typical of Lazio, the Easter pine cone is a donut decorated with icing and colored eggs. Served throughout the region , it is the star of the Easter breakfast and thanks to its simplicity of preparation it can be easily cooked even at home.

Ingredients for the Lazio Easter cake:

  • 500 g of flour 00
  • 300 g of Manitoba flour
  • 2 sachets of baking powder
  • 350 g of granulated sugar
  • half a glass of rum
  • half a glass of Strega liqueur
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 80 ml of seed oil
  • 1 organic lemon
  • 200 g of powdered sugar
  • colored sprinkles
  • water to taste

Beat the eggs with the sugar, add the lemon juice and zest, the vanilla, the liqueurs, the oil and 60 ml of water. Pour these liquids on the two flours sifted with the yeast, mixing well so as not to have lumps. Pour it into a donut mold and cook for an hour at 180 ° C. Once cold, remove from the mold and decorate these Easter cakes with the fat and colored eggs.

Torcolo

Umbrian Torcolo
Umbrian Torcolo

As mentioned at the beginning, the versions of Easter cakes that can be found from North to South are truly infinite. The Umbrian torcolo , symbol of an ancient tradition, deserves a mention. It is said that it was brought as a gift by the boyfriend to his beloved to ask for her hand on Easter day.

Ingredients for 8 people:

  • 5 or 6 cups of flour
  • 1 level teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of alchermes
  • 4 tablespoons of butter at room temperature
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 3 eggs
  • 5 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of warm milk
  • 1 sachet of baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons of raisins
  • 3 tablespoons of candied fruit

The preparation starts with the leavening , obtained with milk, yeast and a spoonful of sugar. Then add the eggs, grated rinds, butter, alchermes, remaining sugar and salt. Finally, the flour is added a little at a time and only at the end of the candied fruit and raisins. After two hours of rising , the dough is divided into two parts and placed in molds. A second short leavening precedes cooking at 180 ° C for 30 minutes .

Piccillato from Calabria

Easter Piccillato
Easter Piccillato

Calabrian piccillato is a dessert usually served for breakfast . Impossible to resist the temptation to steal one of the chocolate eggs that decorate it and then, the soft and fragrant dough will do the rest.

Ingredients of the Easter cake for 8 people:

  • 350 g of flour 00
  • 30 g of lard
  • 100 g of sugar
  • 25 g of brewer’s yeast
  • 1 untreated orange
  • 1 untreated lemon
  • 9 eggs
  • butter to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • powdered sugar to taste

First you need to prepare a leaven with water, yeast and flour. This is then added, after about an hour, to the other ingredients. In the order you will have to break three eggs in the center of a fountain of flour, add the lard, the grated stocks and finally the leaven and sugar. Once the dough has been transferred to a donut mold , let it rise for 4 hours . Decorate with colored eggs and cook at 200 ° C for 10 minutes and then continue at 170 ° C for another 45 minutes .

Loaf of Sarsina

Romagna loaf
Romagna loaf

The Easter loaf of Sarsina , a small town in Romagna, is usually served for breakfast together with cured meats and blessed eggs. Its shape resembles a panettone, as well as the sweet dough enriched with raisins , however it has nothing to do with the classic Milanese dessert.

Ingredients for 6 people:

  • 700 g of Manitoba flour
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 400 ml of milk
  • 150 g of sugar
  • 1 sachet of vanillin
  • 10 g of fresh brewer’s yeast
  • 50 ml of seed oil
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 120 g of raisins
  • 1 small glass of aniseed liqueur

Even the preparation of this Easter cake starts with the leaven . Dissolve half the amount of yeast in a glass of milk, then add the flour and vanilla. Let it rise for 12 hours then add the remaining yeast dissolved in the milk, the sugar, the oil, the butter and all the aromas, including the soaked and squeezed raisins. Finally, incorporate the egg yolks and let them rise for another 8 hours . Give it the shape of a loaf and rise for a third time before baking at 180 ° C for about an hour.

Triestine caliper

Triestine caliper
Triestine caliper

An intense rum scent will invade your home as soon as you churn out these delicious morsels. The Trieste pinza recalls the famous British hot cross buns due to the cross engraving , but the dough of these Easter cakes is slightly different.

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 200 g of Manitoba flour
  • 200 g of flour 00
  • 100 ml of water
  • 3 eggs
  • 100 g of sugar
  • 50 g of butter
  • lemon zest to taste
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of rum
  • 10 g of brewer’s yeast
  • 1 yolk for brushing
  • 1 tablespoon of milk

First, prepare the yeast by mixing it by dissolving the yeast in the water and adding 100 g of flour. After an hour and a half you can add it to the remaining dough obtained by mixing eggs, sugar and flour. Then sprinkle with rum and lemon zest and knead vigorously. Divide everything into three equal parts, form sandwiches and after a quick leavening brush with the yolk and engrave a Y. Bake at 180 ° C for 40 minutes .

Ciambellone bussolano

donut knock
donut knock

In Lombardy, especially in the Cremona area, the Easter breakfast cannot be defined as such if the Bussolano di Soresina is not served at the table. This donut, originally very hard and served with vin santo, is now a soft leavened product with an intense lemon scent.

Ingredients for the Easter cake for 8 people:

  • 300 g of flour 00
  • 125 g of butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 150 g of sugar
  • 1/2 sachet of baking powder
  • lemon zest to taste
  • milk to taste
  • granulated sugar to taste
  • chocolate chips to taste (optional)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • egg white to taste

Work whole egg and yolk with butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Then add milk, salt, flour and yeast and enrich the dough with the chocolate chips and lemon zest . Pour everything into a donut mold, brush with egg white and decorate with sugar grains before cooking at 170 ° C for 30 minutes.

Spasimata of the Garfagnana

Easter Pasimata
Easter Pasimata

Finally, the pasimata della Garfagnana is a typical Tuscan Easter cake whose dough is enriched with raisins and star anise . According to tradition, it had to be blessed with the eggs on Holy Saturday and then enjoyed with Vin Santo on Sunday.

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 500 g of flour 00
  • 3 eggs
  • 200 g of butter or lard
  • 200 g of sugar
  • 50 g of brewer’s yeast
  • 150 g of raisins
  • 1 tablespoon of star anise seeds

Prepare a leaven with a glass of warm water, a little flour and the yeast and let it rest. Separately, mix sugar and flour and divide the mixture into three parts and add one to the leaven together with an egg yolk. Let the dough rise overnight . The next day add another third of powders and an egg and let it rise for two hours . Finally, add the raisins, anise and melted butter as well as the remaining flour and sugar. Let it rise again before baking at 180 ° C for an hour .

Other Easter sweets that you can’t miss

As you may have noticed, we have really tried to offer you a wide choice of Easter desserts that could whet your imagination. However, they definitely didn’t end up here! In the cookbooks of the grandmothers and among the pages of the cookbooks there are many other regional products that are prepared on the occasion of Easter.

For example, there is the Pope’s salami , a dessert that differs from the traditional one due to the use of only IGP hazelnuts, we have the straw cake made with fried noodles and a filling essentially composed of almonds and candied fruit. Not only that, to be part of the sweet Easter tradition we cannot forget the fingers of the apostles , crepes stuffed in the typical southern way with ricotta, chocolate, candied fruit and spices. Do you know the pitte pie ? A traditional dessert typical of Calabria that looks a lot like a small puff pastry ravioli stuffed with grapes and walnuts.

Coming out of regional traditions today, in pastry shops all over the world, shortbread biscuits decorated with all kinds of Easter shapes and designs such as eggs, bunnies or chicks cannot be missing. The same warning with cake design cakes and also with cupcakes decorated in a thousand ways.

Then? Do you like the Easter cake recipes we have selected for you? Sure there are many others , but in our opinion these are really worth trying. In addition, we have also studied an Easter menu that you can then customize with the dessert you prefer.


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