How To Make Italian Easter Sweets | Recipe Videos

Our recommendations on what Dolci di Pasqua to have, and how to make them at home.

One of the typical Italian Easter sweets, Colomba.
Colomba Pasquale. Photo: N i c o l a, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr.

Over the last few weeks you would have seen more and more Easter sweets filling the shelves of supermarkets — in Italy, and also wherever you may be reading from. Much like with Christmas, Italians have a list of specialties to indulge in once Lent ends and the Easter festivities begin.

Today we highlight our top five Dolci di Pasqua, detailing their significance, and also the recipes for you to try making them at home!

Colomba

What the Panettone is to Christmas, the Colomba is to Easter. While they are similar in composition, the main differences between them are the shape (a colomba is shaped like a dove, hence the name, and the panettone is cylindrical and rounded), the toppings (colomba has crunchy pieces of pearl sugar and almonds, while the panettone has none), and the candied fruit within (colomba has only candied oranges, while the panettone has that as well as raisins). The traditional recipe calls for a rising time of 12 hours for the dough, but if you’re in a rush, here is a more time-friendly option to make in an afternoon.

Uovo di Pasqua

The globally known Easter egg, or uovo di Pasqua in Italian, is ubiquitous at this time of the year. Famous chocolate brands like Baci, Lindt, and Kinder all have their unique spin on the simple chocolate desserts of various sizes, incorporating local tastes including pistachio or hazelnut. This is probably the easiest treat to make at home, all you need is your preferred type of chocolate and the egg mould, and if you want to get creative some dried nuts to add some crunch!

Cuddura

This Easter biscuit originally comes from Sicily, called cuddhura or coddura in the regional dialect. It’s another very easy recipe, which consists of a biscuit base (made into different shapes significant to Easter like baskets, nests, doves, bells or crowns) and a whole uncooked egg still in its shell which is woven into the pastry and cooked together. It reached Sicily’s shores when it was colonised by the Greeks, and draws its name from the word kulloura, meaning crown.

Pastiera

Hailing from Naples, the pastiera is typically made around Holy Thursday (before Good Friday) and is made of cooked wheat, eggs, ricotta cheese (made of either sheep’s milk or a blend of sheep’s and cow’s milk), and flavored with orange flower water. In the original recipe the ricotta would be mixed with either the grain or the eggs, but the new rendition mixes in pastry cream which creates a softer tart. The recipe can be quite difficult as it involves making short crust pastry, but if you’re up to the challenge the end result could be quite rewarding.

Easter pizza

Don’t let the name fool you, this specialty from Umbria and Marche puts a sweet spin on what is otherwise a savory dish in other regions in the country. This version of the pizza is similar in shape to the panettone, and also to the composition of the colomba mentioned earlier, this time made with the zest of orange and lemon, pine nuts and almonds, and three tablespoons of the liqueur Alchermes. Tradition dictates preparation must start a day in advance as the dough needs to rise, but some modern recipes factor in enough time for you to make it all in one afternoon.