What is Italian Easter Colomba

Easter’s answer to Christmas panettone, colomba are made using natural sourdough fermentation methods to create light, soft, enriched dough. In Italy, colomba cakes are traditionally made in the shape of a dove to signify peace and the Holy Spirit. The sweet bread is classically flavoured with candied orange peel and dried fruit, then topped with sugar and almonds.

What is Colomba di Pasqua cake?

Colomba di Pasqua, translating to "Easter Dove" in English, is a traditional Italian Easter cake. Shaped like a dove, this sweet treat is made with a soft and airy dough, often enriched with candied fruits and almonds.

Baked to golden perfection, Colomba captures the essence of springtime and renewal. Italians typically enjoy Colomba during the Easter season, sharing it with loved ones and savouring its delicious flavour as a symbol of hope and joy.

This delightful cake has become an integral part of Easter traditions, creating moments of sweetness and togetherness for families across Italy.

How to make Colomba cake

Making Colomba at home is a delightful and rewarding experience. With a simple recipe and basic ingredients, you can bring the essence of Italian tradition to your kitchen.

Begin by combining flour, sugar, and yeast to form a soft dough, enriched with butter, eggs, and a hint of citrus zest. Mix in candied fruits and almonds for that authentic touch. Shape the dough into the distinctive dove form, let it rise until light and fluffy, and then bake to golden perfection.

Finally, a dusting of powdered sugar adds the finishing touch. This straightforward recipe ensures a homemade Colomba that not only fills your kitchen with tempting aromas but also captures the spirit of Italian Easter celebrations.

Types of Colomba

Classic Colomba

The classic Colomba stands as a symbol of Italian Easter, shaped like a dove with a soft, airy texture. Adorned with candied fruits and a dusting of powdered sugar, it encapsulates the rich tradition of Colomba di Pasqua.

Varieties and Flavours

Colomba has embraced modern variations too, offering diverse flavours. From citrus-infused delights to chocolate-filled indulgence and almond-adorned options, the range caters to various tastes, providing a contemporary twist to this traditional Easter cake.

TRY: Check out our full range of Easter collection here

What’s the difference between colomba and panettone?

Although the recipe uses the same ingredients, and follows a similar method, there are some key differences between panettone and colomba. To qualify as a colomba, the cake must:

  • Have a glazed top with grains of sugar
  • Be scattered with almonds (at least 2% of the total ingredients list)
  • Be shaped like a dove

Serve your golden, buttery cake with an Italian espresso on Easter morning, or enjoy a slice with a mug of tea in the afternoon. Colomba is also fantastic with a glass of sweet dessert wine at the end of a meal.

Choose your Easter colomba cake


Loison Classic Colomba in Tin, 750g

A traditional colomba with distinct orange and almond flavours, comes in a beautiful tin designed with Faberge eggs. Enjoy the fantastic cake, then re-use the tin for your own bakes and cakes! The vanilla is from Mananara in Madagascar, and they use renowned Cervia salt from Italy. 

Their naturally leavened cakes and breads are made with the traditional sourdough process. Each yeasted cake takes 72 hours from beginning to end, which gives rise to their exquisite texture and rich flavour.


Loison Regal Cioccolato Colomba, 1kg

Topped with single origin chocolate, this regal colomba also has threads of rich chocolate cream running through the middle. It’s a real show-stopper to enjoy with friends and family.

The team of bakers at Loison are constantly looking for new and original flavour combinations to enhance traditional recipes. Try their candied pear filone for a twist on the classic Italian panfrutto.


Leone Colomba With Fruit Jellies, 750g

Presented in a collectible blue tin, this Colomba is studded with Leone’s delicious fruit jellies. Serve it after Easter lunch with a sparkling sweet wine such as Moscato d'Asti. It can also be toasted and topped with jam or chocolate spread.

Leone has been making some of the finest sweets in Italy since 1857. Luigi Leone opened his first shop in Alba, Piedmont to sell digestive pastilles. His mint, cinnamon and clove-flavoured delights proved so popular that before long he found himself opening a shop in Turin. His customers even included the Royal House of Savoy.


Loison Peach and Piemonte Hazelnut Colomba, 500g

Loison’s peach and Piemonte hazelnut colomba is a rich, sweet Italian cake traditionally enjoyed for Easter. Enriched with jewels of lightly-candied Italian peaches, world-renowned Piemonte IDP hazelnuts and Madagascan vanilla, this cake has a delicate balance of aromatic and nutty flavours. Its sweet fragrance and buttery richness fills the room when unwrapped. More toasted hazelnuts and white sugar sprinkles top the cake for a gentle crunch that compliments the light texture.


Browse all our Italian ingredients here or read more about colomba’s cousin, the Christmas panettone, here.



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