My home-made Colomba recipe for Easter

“Colomba” means dove in Italian and the name comes from the unique shape of this precious dessert: this Easter cake is a symbol of peace and love and it is a must of the Italian Easter holidays.


This year I tried for the first time to bake a Colomba at home. The process is quite long and complex and made me appreciate even more the amazing artisanal Colomba by Borsari that we sell on BellaItalia, but it was an exciting experience and allowed me to personalize the recipe: my kids are not great fans of candied fruit so I tried making Colomba with chocolate chips, and they loved it!

For a first attempt, I am really proud of my home-made Colomba! Follow the recipe and let me know in the comments if you tried it too!


To get started I turned to one of my favorite food Bloggers: Sonia Peronacci has this great recipe for Colomba made with Mother Yeast and I followed her process personalizing it just a bit to make the Colomba perfect for my taste.


Ingredients for a 1kg Colomba


freshly refreshed mother yeast 70 g

Manitoba flour 230 g

water 140 g

butter 70 g

granulated sugar 70 g

egg yolks 50 g


It all starts the night before...First I refreshed my Mother Yeast adding as much flour as its original weight and half as much water. I then let it rest for around 3 hours and it doubled in size. This meant that it is time to start working on the first knead for my Colomba. 


I slowly added first the water and flour to my yeast and then the other ingredients carefully mixing. When the dough was super soft and smooth I put it aside in a bowl, covered it, and let it rest at room temperature for the night.


The dough should triple its size in the morning, if it is not so, let it rest for a couple more hours.



We are ready for the second step:




1 untreated orange zest

1 vanilla bean

acacia honey 20 g


First I mixed all the aromas in a cup and let the mix rest while I got ready for the second knead.


I added to the leavened dough the other ingredients, slowly mixing.


manitoba flour 60 g

sugar 60 g

butter 100 g

yolks 85 g

honey 1 tbsp

salt 3 g

the aromas mix



The traditional recipe requires also diced candied orange (150 g) and some may like to add raisin too, but as I told you, I decided to add chocolate chips instead for my chocolate-loving kids!

I left the dough rest for 30 minutes and then it was ready: I divided the dough into two pieces and place it in the mold creating a cross. Then let the Colomba rest until it grew to fill half the mold - this can take several hours, so be patient!

Time to add glaze and decorations!


While I waited I mixed the typical Colomba Glaze:


egg white 60 g

almonds 30 g

hazelnuts 20 g

caster sugar 120 g

potato starch 10 gr

corn flour 10 g


I blended the almonds and hazelnuts with the sugar to obtain a flour-like consistency and then mixed it with the other ingredients.


Once my Colomba was ready I started preheating the oven at 160° C and decorated it with the glaze before baking it. I also added more almonds, hazelnuts, and grains of sugar for that perfect artisanal look.

Last touches:

Bake the Colomba in a preheated static oven at 160° C for about 60 minutes. Before taking it out, I always do the toothpick test: if it comes out clean, the Colomba is ready!

Once out of the oven the Colomba should cool naturally upside down, to preserve its delicious softness.


Buon Appetito!


I waited for the Colomba to cool completely and then I was ready to serve it! I added some spreadable creams on the dessert tray and each guest was able to personalize his or her slice to their taste.


Colomba is definitely not an easy dessert to improvise but everyone will love it and next year I know I will try again and perfect the recipe even more!


Here are my favorite spreadable creams by Di Iorio to add to your home-made desserts and make them even more special!