All About Colomba, The Italian Easter Cake

Learn about Colomba di Pasqua, the Italian Easter cake.

Learn about Colomba di Pasqua, the Italian Easter cake.

La Colomba di Pasqua, or “the Easter dove,” is a sweet Italian cake that is served on Easter and represents the start of spring. The cake can be thought of as the counterpart of the classic Christmas cakes panettone and pandoro, and is found on every Italian family’s table on Easter. As the holiday is just around the corner, Giolitti Deli will start selling Colomba this week up until Easter, as supplies last. Continue reading to learn more about the delicious Italian Easter cake!

How To Make Colomba

Making Colomba is not an easy process- in fact, even the most traditional Italians will typically buy the cake from the store rather than make it from scratch. The fluffy cake is traditionally made with high-quality flour, fresh eggs, sugar, butter, and natural yeast, but it takes at least 30 hours to rise. The dough is baked into a dove shape and topped with pearl sugar and almonds.

Colomba can be eaten on its own, but it’s often served with toppings such as fresh berries, dark chocolate, sweet spreads, or whipped cream. While the cake is perfect for an after-dinner dessert with a glass of wine, it can also be enjoyed with a cup of coffee for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.


While everyone agrees on the traditional way Colomba is made, not everyone agrees on the origin of the cake. There are a few different legends that stretch back to the Middle Ages that explain why the cake is made in a dove shape. According to one story, the Colomba marked the 1176 Lombaridian victory over the Holy Roman Empire, when two doves appeared out of nowhere on the battleground.

However, another legend says that the peace-inspiring cake originated by a young girl 600 years before the Battle of Legnano. This story says that the young girl decided to make a cake in the shape of a dove and presented it to King Albion of the Lombard tribe, and he loved the Colomba so much that he set her free and made her hometown of Pavia his capital. While we may never know the true origin of Colomba, Italians will continue to celebrate the Easter holiday with a slice of the dove-shaped cake!

Authentic Italian Cuisine From Giolitti Deli

Giolitti Deli is a full-service Delicatessen in Annapolis, MD, specializing in authentic Italian cuisine. Founded in 1992, we use the freshest ingredients to make time-honed recipes from scratch, with no MSG or preservatives. We believe in real food and offer many healthy options, including vegetarian and vegan menu items. At Giolitti Deli, we make our own sauces, mozzarella, grilled and roasted vegetables, bread, pizza dough, and desserts, and our sandwiches, salads, pasta, pizza, and entrees are made to order. Owner Mary Giolitti has combined her passion for great food and fine wine to offer Annapolis a true taste of Italy!

Team members who also make the business possible include Manager Kathy Hunter, Manager and Catering Director Cheryl Molesky, Head Baker Porfirio Diaz, Chef Alfredo Escobar, and Deli Manager Noe Merino. To contact us, please visit our contact pageor give us a call at 410.266.8600. Also, be sure to keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and our blog!

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments are closed.