Romanian Easter Cake or Pasca is a traditional dessert eaten on Easter Day. It’s similar to the Italian panettone, and it’s usually made with cheese and sultanas/raisins.
There are many variations recipes for Pasca across the country, with different regions having their own traditional Easter Cake.This recipe, however, is really easy to make and very tasty. Made with cow’s cheese or cottage cheese and raisins, flavoured with vanilla extract, and topped with a red-painted egg, this cake is true delish.
Like Christmas, Easter is one of the most important religious celebrations in Romania, a time when families gather together and share the most mouth-watering dishes. The preparations for Easter start well ahead of the big holiday and everybody in the family, to a certain extent, gets involved. No house in the country will be without these on the table: Naturally-dyed Easter eggs, Easter meatloaf with egg and herbs, Easter Cozonac, Russian Salad or salata de boeuf. These dishes have always been part of our tradition and one cannot imagine Easter without them. The Romanian Easter cake is one of its kind.
Shall we call it a cheesecake? Why not, after all it’s a dessert made with cheese, even if it looks nothing like the cheesecake we are used to. Plus, this one has to be baked in the oven. My very first attempt to make Pasca was quite successful. I love how a recipe that sounded complicated turned out to be easy peasy. I so enjoyed baking it!
And you know what goes so well with this cake? A nice glass of red wine. It’s the preferred drink at Easter, plus it’s goes down a treat with the ither traditional dishes like roast turkey, lamb or chicken, meat loaf, and other sweets. Or, why not, a nice glass of lemonade. No matter what drink you go for, I am sure you’ll enjoy the Easter Cake. Do give it a try!
Romanian Easter Cake with cottage cheese and raisins, a traditional Easter dessert.
- 300 g strong white bread flour (10 oz)
- 150 ml milk (5 oz)
- 40 g caster sugar ( 3 tbsp)
- 75 g butter (1/3 cup)
- 7 g dried yeast one sachet
- 1 egg yolk
- zest of one lemon
- a pinch of salt
- 150 g cottage cheese ( 5 oz)
- 1 egg
- 25 g raisins (3 tbsp)
- 2 tbsp vanilla sugar
- 40 g caster sugar ((1/4 cup)
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tsp lemon extract
In a jug, warm up the milk in the microwave for about 10 seconds, it should not be hot to touch.
Add the yeast, 1 tablespoon of sugar and one tablespoon of flour and set aside for 10 minutes, it will become foamy.
In a large bowl, sift the flour and add the sugar, egg yolk, lemon zest, salt and butter, which should be at room temperature.
Mix in the milk once the 10 minutes are gone.
Knead everything into a dough for at least 5 minutes, the dough will become elastic and non sticky.
Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place to prove for at least 2 hours.
Divide the dough into two balls.
Oil and flour a round cake tin of approximately 10 cm
Flatten one ball out and place on the bottom of the cake tin.
The second ball will be divided into 2 again and shape 2 strings out of it.
Knead them together and place around the cake tin edges, so that the dough can have the shape of a well.
The centre will be filled with a mixture of cottage cheese, egg, raisins, vanilla sugar, caster sugar, flour and lemon extract.
Bake in the preheated oven set to 180 degrees C (375 Fahrenheit) for at least 40 minutes or until golden brown and set.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Top with an egg painted red, have a look at my recipe on how to paint eggs red naturally: Naturally-dyed Easter eggs