From North to South, each Italian region has its own customs and traditions, especially on holidays like Easter. In each Italian region, there are traditional Easter desserts with a history. This is a collection of the most famous Italian Easter Desserts.
One of the things that I find most fascinating about Italy is how different the traditional foods are even going from one city to another, a few kilometers distance. Some ingredients and recipes are traditional to a specific area and they'll be very difficult to find outside of that area.
Some of these Italian Easter Desserts are known and loved all throughout the Country and beyond, while some of them are hidden gems you can only taste if you travel to that specific region at that specific time of the year. Or if you make them yourself following these delicious recipes, that is!
If you want to complete your Italian Easter Menu, also try the delicious Torta Pasqualina, a traditional ricotta and spinach savory pie.
- Colomba - Easter Dove Sweet Bread
- Pastiera Napoletana - Ricotta Pie
- Cassata Siciliana - Ricotta Cake
- Pan di Ramerino - Rosemary Sweet Buns
- Schiacciata di Pasqua - Tuscan Easter Bread
- Pane di Pasqua - Italian Easter Bread
- Pardulas - Sardinian Saffron and Ricotta Tarts
- Ciaramicola - Pink Lemon Meringue Cake
- Cuddura - Sicilian Easter Cookies
- Casatiello Dolce - Spiced Cake
Colomba - Easter Dove Sweet Bread
Colomba is most definitely the most popular and most loved Easter dessert in Italy. It's very similar to the Christmas Panettone, but it has a dove shape to celebrate Easter. It's from the region of Piedmont but you can find it in every Italian region around Easter.
Pastiera Napoletana - Ricotta Pie
Pastiera is another Italian favorite (and one of mine too). I have yet to meet someone who doesn't love this delicious pie with sweet ricotta filling. Originally from Naples, this delicious pie is a very popular delicacy.
Cassata Siciliana - Ricotta Cake
Another famous Ricotta dessert, this time from Sicily. Cassata is also loved by most Italians. It's not only delicious with its ricotta filling and liqueur-soaked sponge cake but also very beautiful with colorful decorations made of marzipan and candied fruits.
Pan di Ramerino - Rosemary Sweet Buns
Tuscany's traditional desserts are as usual more modest and simple in flavors and ingredients, coming from peasant traditions. Pan di Ramerino are simple sweet buns flavored with spices, raisins, walnuts, and rosemary. All typical Tuscan flavors.
Schiacciata di Pasqua - Tuscan Easter Bread
The shape reminds of the Christmas Panettone, but it's missing the raisins and candied fruits the flavor of aniseed
Pane di Pasqua - Italian Easter Bread
Probably one of the most internationally famous Italian desserts, especially in the US, is the sweet Easter Bread. A soft braided brioche that holds colorful eggs. It has various names and shapes in several Italian regions.
Pardulas - Sardinian Saffron and Ricotta Tarts
Pardulas are delicious small ricotta pies that even though can be found year-round in the island of Sardinia, they're a traditional Easter treat. The saffron and citrus give the ricotta cheese an incredible aroma that makes you crave more.
Ciaramicola - Pink Lemon Meringue Cake
Ciaramicola is a traditional cake from Umbria and not only is it a delicious lemon cake topped with meringue, but it's also pretty with its pink color from the traditional Alchermes liqueur.
Cuddura - Sicilian Easter Cookies
In the shape of pastry egg nests, similar to the Easter Bread, these cute cookies are an Easter tradition from the island of Sicily. Easy to make and pretty to gift.
Casatiello Dolce - Spiced Cake
This is the sweet version of the most famous savory Casatiello from Naples, a bread filled with cheese and meat, also traditional for Easter. The particularity of this cake is the flavor given by the spices and the traditional Strega liqueur.
Undoubtedly, the most iconic Italian Easter dessert is the Colomba cake. It's the only traditional cake that broke the regional barriers and became common and loved in the whole Country.
Depending on how religious a family is, Easter would start with mass in Church and then be celebrated with a big lunch with the whole family. Big chocolate eggs are also gifted to all children (and sometimes lucky adults).
Each region has its own traditional dishes, just like desserts. But usually, on the Italian Easter table, there are always hard-boiled eggs (blessed in Church during the Easter morning mass) and roasted lamb as a main course.
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