Easter Colomba Cake

L'Antro dell'Alchimista
Easter Colomba Cake


A hybrid of two traditional Italian Christmas desserts, panettone and pandoro, the the colomba dough is similar to that of panettone, with flour, eggs, sugar, yeast and butter. Unlike panettone, however, it contains candied citrus zest and no raisins. This version also incorporates white chocolate. Plan ahead since the dough is kneaded and left to rise multiple times before it's finished with egg white, almonds and and sugar and baked until golden-brown.


  • 1,100 grams strong flour
  • 400 grams sugar
  • 450 grams butter
  • 14 1/2 grams yeast (brewer’s)
  • 20 grams powdered milk (or 50 gr. condensed milk)
  • 130 grams honey (acacia)
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 2 eggs
  • 12 grams salt
  • 50 grams white chocolate
  • 25 milliliters milk
  • tangerine (zest)
  • orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 300 grams candied orange peel
  • 420 grams water
  • 150 grams flour
  • 70 grams water
  • 1 1/2 grams yeast (brewer’s)
  • 150 grams water
  • 75 grams flour
  • 5 grams yeast (brewer’s)
  • tangerine (zest)


  1. 1To prepare the starter, knead the flour, the water, and the brewer’s yeast together and allow the starter to rest at a temperature of 18C.
  2. 2To prepare the pre-ferment, knead the water, the flour, the brewer’s yeast, and the tangerine zest together and allow it to rest in the refrigerator at 5C.
  3. 3To prepare the first kneading at 8 A.M., take the pre-ferment out of the refrigerator.
  4. 4Dissolve 8 grams of yeast in 30 milliliters of warm water and 30 grams of flour in the mixer bowl.
  5. 5Allow the mixture to rest for 30 minutes.
  6. 6Add 200 milliliters of water, 150 grams of sugar, and 200 grams of flour, knead on low speed.
  7. 7Add the pre-ferment, 100 grams of flour and the starter, and knead well.
  8. 8Add the 4 egg yolks, 1 egg, 150 grams of sugar and 320 grams of flour with this sequence: 1 egg yolk and 50 grams of sugar at a time, and knead to incorporate; add some flour and knead well, continuing to add the remaining egg yolks, egg, sugar, and flour. Knead at low speed.
  9. 9Add 300 grams of softened butter gradually allowing it to be incorporated slowly.
  10. 10Place the dough on a work surface and knead by hand.
  11. 11Allow the dough to rise until it triples in size at 30 to 35C.
  12. 12To prepare the second kneading at 1 P.M., melt the white chocolate, the milk, and the salt in a small saucepan over a double boiler.
  13. 13Place the zest of 2 tangerines and 1 orange in a food processor with some sugar to grind.
  14. 14Turn the mixer on to low speed and begin kneading.
  15. 15Begin adding the egg yolks, the remaining sugar, honey, chocolate in two additions with the salt, the vanilla extract and the flour as before with the first kneading.
  16. 16Knead well, then add the remaining butter.
  17. 17Last, add the lightly floured candied orange.
  18. 18Let the dough rest for 1 hour.
  19. 19Place the dough into three 1 kilogram colomba pans, cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at 35C until it reaches the edge of the pan.
  20. 20Prepare the icing with egg white and sugar and coat the top of the cakes, sprinkle with almonds and sugar grains.
  21. 21Bake at 180C for approximately 40 minutes.
  22. 22Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
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