Romanian Easter Bread | Pasca

Romanian Easter Bread or Easter Cake, which is translated Pasca, is a traditional dessert eaten on Easter Day. It’s usually made with cow’s cheese filling and sultanas or raisins, and it’s absolutely delicious.

Overhead shoot of a Romanian Easter Bread topped with a red egg

There are many variations recipes for Pasca across the country, with different regions having their own traditional Easter Sweet Bread.

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 sweet bread 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, Meatloaf,  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 bread is one of its kind.

A blue bowl with flour, egg, butter and lemon zest to make Romanian Easter Bread

How to make Romanian Easter Sweet Bread

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!

Don’t be put off by the amount of ingredients needed, making this sweet bread is a piece of cake.

  • make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature, and the butter is soft, but not melted
  • check if the yeast is still active by adding it to the warm milk together with a bit of flour and sugar

If it’s still active, in about 10 minutes it should become all foamy. If not, start again using a different yeast. If the yeast is no longer active, the dough will not rise, and the cake will be too dense, rather than spongy.

  • once all the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is ready, leave it to proof for at least 1-2 hours. It helps if the room is warm, the dough will double its volume quicker.
  • to make the filling, all we need to do is mix all the ingredients together. Simple!

What to serve with Pasca

And you know what goes so well with this cake? A nice glass of red wine. It’s the preferred drink at Easter.

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 on a white plate with 3 red eggs on the left hand side

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5 from 1 vote
Overhead shoot of a Romanian Easter Cake topped with a red egg
Romanian Easter Bread
Prep Time
2 hrs 20 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
3 hrs
 

Romanian Easter Bread or Pasca with cottage cheese and raisins, a traditional Easter dessert.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Romanian
Keyword: easter desserts
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 393 kcal
Author: Daniela Anderson
Ingredients
to make the dough:
  • 300 g strong white bread flour
  • 150 ml milk
  • 40 g caster sugar
  • 75 g butter
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
  • 1 egg yolk
  • zest of one lemon
  • a pinch of salt
to make the filling:
  • 150 g cottage cheese or cow's cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 25 g raisins
  • 2 tbsp vanilla sugar
  • 40 g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
Instructions
  1. In a jug, warm up the milk in the microwave for about 10 seconds, it should not be hot to touch.
  2. Add the yeast, 1 tablespoon of sugar and one tablespoon of flour and set aside for 10 minutes, it will become foamy.
  3. In a large bowl, sift the flour and add the remaining sugar, egg yolk, lemon zest, salt and butter, which should be at room temperature.

  4. Mix in the milk once the 10 minutes are gone.
  5. Knead everything into a dough for at least 5 minutes, the dough will become elastic and non sticky.

  6. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place to prove for at least 2 hours.
  7. Divide the dough into two balls.
  8. Oil and flour a round cake tin of approximately 10 cm.

  9. Flatten one ball out and place on the bottom of the cake tin.
  10. The second ball will be divided into 2 again and shape 2 strings out of it.
  11. Knead them together and place around the cake tin edges, so that the dough can have the shape of a well.
  12. The centre will be filled with a mixture of cottage cheese, egg, raisins, vanilla sugar, caster sugar, flour and lemon extract.
  13. Bake in the preheated oven set to 180 degrees C (375 Fahrenheit) for at least 40 minutes or until golden brown and set.

  14. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
  15. Top with an egg painted red, have a look at my recipe on how to paint eggs red naturally: Naturally-dyed Easter eggs
Recipe Notes
  • If you'd like to see the ingredients listed in cups and ounces, please check the US Customary Link.
  • Also, the amount of ingredients changes depending on the servings, so click on the number listed to change it to the number you prefer.
Nutrition Facts
Romanian Easter Bread
Amount Per Serving
Calories 393 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 22%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 93mg 31%
Sodium 205mg 9%
Potassium 168mg 5%
Total Carbohydrates 55g 18%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 12g
Protein 10g 20%
Vitamin A 9.4%
Vitamin C 0.3%
Calcium 6.7%
Iron 15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Chris
    May 1, 2016 at 11:35 pm

    What a fun way for Easter cake!

    • Reply
      Daniela Apostol
      May 1, 2016 at 11:38 pm

      Thank you, Chris! Nothing better than the traditional way ?

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