The Italian Easter Dove Cake

I’m in CHINA! Got back to Shanghai yesterday morning and I’m still suffering from jet lag…

Leaving home is always soooo painful, like my mom starts crying, and I feel the shittiest daughter on earth for having decided to live so far away from home leaving my parents alone in Lecce. Ah, why life has to always been sooo complicated and painful for everybody?

Is there someone out there that can give me an answer? Please…



Whatever, let’s move on and talk food…

I haven’t had time to spend in the Kitchen yet so I’m going to post a recipe I made when I was still back home in Italy. This is the first Easter recipe of the year, many more will follow and they are all Italian typical ones.

The Italian Easter Dove Cake is, well….a cake shaped like a dove…The Dove is the Christina symbol of Easter as it means Peace. In Italy all families has the habbit of buying several of these cakes and eat them with friends and relative at picnics or lunches.

This year, for the very first time, I  tried to homemade mine: it came out delicious. All you need for homemaking a dove cake is:

1. Simple ingredients

2. A dove mold

3. Several free hours

Have you got all of the above? Great! Let’s get started!

Ingredients (for one dove cake of 1 kg):

a dove mold of 1 kg

for the dough:

  • 2-3/4 cup flour (350 g)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (105 g)
  • 1/2 cup butter (115 g)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 20 g of fresh yeast
  • 50 ml whole fat milk
  • 65 g candied fruit
  • 50 g raisins
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 orange (only zest)

for the glass and decoration:

  • 50 g pealed almond
  • 1/4 cup sugar (50 g)
  • 1 egg white
  • 80 g grain sugar
  • a few non pealed almond

Grab some fresh yeast and crumble it in a bowl

pour in 50 ml of warm milk

and stir with a wooden until the yeast is totally melted

sift in 1/3 heaping cup of flour (50 g)

Cover with wrapping paper and a towel and let rest in a warm place for 30 min

This is how it will look 30 min later

Now add in 2 egg yolks

2/3 cup flour (75 g)

and while stirring pour in 20 ml of lukewarm water

Cover again and let rest for 45 min

See how freaking bubbling it looks now?

Now grab other 2/3 cup of flour (75 g), 1 egg, 15 g soft unsalted butter and 1.5 tbsp of sugar (50 g)

and add them to the dough stirring with a wooden spoon until combined

Now let the dough rest covered for more 30 minutes

meanwhile soak in water the rasins.

Add to the dough the remaining flour (150 g, 1-1/4 cup) and sugar (90 g, slightly less then 1/2 cup)

butter (100 g, 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp),

a pinch of salt and orange zest

vanilla extract and 1 egg yolk

then grab the candied fruit

and add them in too

then the raisins

and mix all the ingredients together on a floured surface until you get a smooth and very soft dough

Divide the dough into 2 oval pieces

grab your dove mold

and place the two pieces one on each other, as to form a cross

Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and let rest for a couple of hours or until it doubled in size

At this point we can prepare the glass!

In a food processor combine 50 g pealed almond, 50 g sugar and 1 egg white

you will get something like this

about 2 hours later your dove cake will look nice and fluffy

brush the top with the glass we have just made

sprinkle the surface with grain sugar

then decorate with the unpealed almonds


Bake at 180 C for 45 min!

When ready take it out of the oven and let it cool down on a wire rack

You can wrap this up and give it as a present or bring it to your friends’ easter picnic brunch!

and if you have some leftovers….eat it for breakfast with a cup of cold milk…THE BEST!


– LittleDani

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About the author:

An Italian living in China with a strong passion for cooking! Browse my ‘left-overs’ session for many tasty grub!

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6 comments on “The Italian Easter Dove Cake

  1. Lo so come ti senti e cosa provi, io vivo in Irlanda da anni oramai e ogni volta che vedo la mia famiglia mi si illumina il cuore ma quando devo tornare a casa, qui in Irlanda, lascio il mio cuore li’ con la mia mamma. Mia mamma non piange e cio’ e forse rende il saluto meno doloroso, ma so dai suoi silenzi e da come respira che sta piangendo….e che non c’e’ risposta alla tua domanda….
    un bacio

  2. This looks so yummy! I’m Italian too, and I’m only 18 so I still live with my parents… anyways, my mom has been wanting to make a Dove cake forever! The only tricky part is that we can’t find a dove mold anywhere… and making it round wouldn’t be as pretty, so we just haven’t attempted yet. I’m sure you can buy them plenty of places in Italy, but in Texas, I really don’t even know where I could look.

  3. I am making this right now and I am having difficulty with the first 3 steps. I put the fresh yeast in a bowl, added 50 mL of whole milk, and 1/3 cup flour. The mixture is dry and not even close to the picture. Is it supposed to be 50 mL?? Please get back to me as soon as possible. Thanks 🙂

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