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POSTED APR 10, 2022

What is Colomba?

Colomba cake, also known as colomba pasquale, is an Italian Easter cake that is traditionally shaped like a dove, a symbol of peace and rebirth. The cake is similar to panettone, but with a denser texture and a hint of orange blossom flavor. It is typically made with flour, sugar, eggs, butter, and candied orange peel, and sometimes also contains raisins or almonds. After baking, the cake is usually dusted with powdered sugar and sometimes decorated with whole almonds or pearl sugar. Colomba cake is a delicious and festive addition to any Easter celebration and is enjoyed by people of all ages around the world.


History of Colomba

There are multiple tales about the origins of this unofficial national Easter cake. The first states that colomba dates back to 1176, commemorating the Lombardian victory over the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick Barbarossa. According to the tale, two doves representing the Holy Spirit appeared miraculously on the battlefield. Another version dates back to 572 when King Alboin conquered Pavia after a three-year siege and demanded tribute. A maiden created a sweet bread in the shape of a dove to symbolize peace and, according the story, King Alboin was so impressed with the cake that he set her free and made Pavia his capital.

Authentic Italian Recipe

Today, colomba is exported all over the world and represents a production of excellence in Italian pastry making. Made with flour, eggs, butter, sugar, candied fruit and yeast, this cake must rise three separate times during preparation. Although there are many variations of colomba today, the authentic recipe is baked in a dove-shaped mold then topped with icing and roasted almonds. Rich and fluffy on its own, colomba can be served with fresh berries, chocolate, or paired with whipped cream. It can be enjoyed at breakfast with coffee, as an afternoon snack, or for dessert with a glass of Prosecco or dessert wine.

Ferrara Colomba