Italian Easter Dove Bread (La Colomba di Pasqua) – Traditional Recipe

Italian Easter dove bread or Colomba di Pasqua (Colomba Pasquale) -“Easter dove” in English is a traditional Easter cake. This holiday cake is a counterpart of the 2 well-known Italian desserts – pandoro and panettone.

The colomba was commercialized by the Milanese businessman and baker Angelo Mott as an Easter form of the Christmas holiday specialty panettone that Motta foods were manufacturing.  Today, am sharing with you the traditional Italian Easter dove bread (la Colomba di Pasqua) recipe:

Italian Easter Dove Bread (La Colomba di Pasqua) – Traditional Recipe


  • 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • ¼ – ½ tsp. almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups flour, plus some more for dusting the board
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup warm milk
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 10 whole almonds
  • Pearl sugar



  • Place the yeast in a warm (not hot) milk to dissolve. In a large bowl, combine the butter, almond and vanilla extract, lemon peel, and salt. Then, add the flour, egg yolks, and eggs. Combine until well incorporated. Add the yeast and milk. Combine until you create a soft dough. Knead slightly for around 10 minutes, until dough is smooth. Apply in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let aside at room temperature to rise (about 45-50 minutes).
  • In the meantime, preheat your oven to 325°F/160°C/Gas Mark 3.
  • Cuff the dough down to get the carbon dioxide out, then split in ½ with a sharp knife. With ½, pat or roll out an oval approximately 4-by-7 inches that will be the dove’s wings. Apply midway on greased baking sheet. Then, take the other 1/2 and make a triangle, 6 inches wide and 12 inches high at the base. Place the triangle over the wings. Next, twist and make the pointy end into the beak and head. Twist the triangle one time for the body nearby the bottom for the tail. Using a sharp knife, form 1-inch slits through the bottom for tail feathers. Around each edge of the wings, press 4-5 almonds in a rounded pattern. You can add a chocolate chip to make the eye. To finish, let rise for 15 minutes, no longer.
  • Before baking, brush the Easter dove with the beaten egg white, and then sprinkle with some pearl sugar. Place in the oven and bake around a ½ hour, and some more if needed. Lookout that it does not brown very fast.  Finally, cool on a rack. Serve.

Buon Appetito!

Buona Pasqua!