A Traditional Easter Cake
A Traditional Easter Cake

A Traditional Easter Cake

Do you have any Easter traditions?  We really don’t have many, and the ones we do have are ALL about chocolate! Don’t tell anyone, but I’m not that much of a chocolate fan… this is strictly a secret between you and I please readers, shh.

Anyway, in our house it’s all about the Easter Bunny, and everything centres around chocolate. Sometimes we even hide more chocolates for an Easter Egg hunt.  I think it’s kind of easy to overdoes on chocolate at this time of year so I want to start a few other, less sweet food traditions.

Easter Cake

Easter Cake

I know I could always make Hot Cross Buns but I really can’t get that excited about these either. I never feel that a store bought product feels like a tradition. Also Hot Cross Buns are available so soon after Christmas it seems to spoil the idea of it being an Easter tradition.

Do I sound like the Grinch that stole Easter yet?

Anyway I decided to think of some more interesting Easter recipes to try this year. The first one I want to share is this traditional Easter cake recipe.

I wanted to take my Easter baking inspiration from another culture.  My sister-in-law in from Slovakia so I thought it might be nice to bake an Easter cake from her country of origin.

Easter Cake Recipe

Easter Cake Recipe

After doing a little bit of research I found that in Slovakia the Paska is a traditional Easter bread.  It’s baked and shared amongst friends and family. I found various recipes but they all seemed to be very similar to my brioche recipe. I decided to make a Paska using my own brioche recipe as the base and then simply add the  raisins and cheese centre required for the Paska.

The flavour and texture of the bread is a little difficult to explain. Imagine brioche, rich and sweet with dried fruit, like a hot cross bun and iced in a lemon glaze. Running through the bread is a centre of bread is a delicious cheese dough! YUM.

Yep, I’m definitely all for celebrating Easter with a tradition that doesn’t include chocolate,

A Traditional Easter Cake

A Traditional Easter Cake

Ingredients

    Basic Dough - Yeast
  • 10gm yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Basic Dough
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups milk, warmed
  • 115gm or 1/4 pound butter (1 stick)
  • 8 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 3 eggs
  • Cheese Dough:
  • 10gm yeast
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • Cheese Dough
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 450gm or 1 pound dry cottage cheese
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 cups sifted flour

Instructions

    Activate the Yeast for Basic Dough
  1. Add warm water to a small bowl and mix in the yeast and the sugar.
  2. Set aside the yeast for 5 minutes until frothy.
  3. Basic Dough
  4. Pour warmed milk over butter, add the sugar and warm water.
  5. Stir until the butter melts.
  6. Add the milk mixture to a bread maker, with the flour, salt, eggs and activated yeast mixture.
  7. Set the bread maker to knead the dough.
  8. If making by hand, knead by hand until smooth and elastic.
  9. Cover the dough and place in a warm place to rise until it doubles in size.
  10. Activate Yeast - Cheese Dough
  11. Add warm milk to a small bowl and mix in the yeast and the sugar.
  12. Set the yeast aside for 5 minutes until frothy.
  13. Cheese Dough
  14. Mix cottage cheese with spoon until smooth.
  15. In a bowl combine raisins, yeast mixture and cottage cheese.
  16. Add egg yolks, remaining sugar, salt and lemon zest to the cheese mixture and stir until combined.
  17. Place the cheese mixture in the empty bread maker, add baking powder and flour; Set the bread maker to knead the dough.
  18. Once the cycle is complete it's time to assemble the loaves.
  19. Assemble Paska
  20. Preheat oven to 325 F or 170 degrees celcius.
  21. Turn the basic dough out onto lightly floured board and divide into 4 parts. 1 part is for decorating the top of the loaf if you don't intend to glaze the loaf. The remaining 3 are for the 3 loaves.
  22. Shape 3 of the dough loaves into rounds. Let basic dough rounds stand on board, covered, for 15 minutes.
  23. Take 1 part of basic dough on board; lightly punch it down a little.
  24. Divide cheese dough into thirds.
  25. Roll out 1 part of cheese dough into long log and place it around the edge of basic dough loaf.
  26. Gently turn the edges of the basic dough over to enclose the cheese dough.
  27. Place dough in a round pan and let it rise for 30 to 45 minutes.
  28. Repeat for remaining 2 basic dough rounds and remaining 2 parts of cheese dough.
  29. Optional Decorations
  30. The final basic dough round is used to make a decorative plait around the top of the loaf. (not shown, I iced my Easter Cake)
  31. If you are going to make a plait, divide the remaining basic dough into 3 sections.
  32. Take one section and divide it into three again. Make a plait with the dough and add it to the top of the bread.
  33. Brush the bread loaf with egg yolk and sprinkle with caster sugar.
  34. Repeat for the remaining loaves
  35. Bake the loaves for 10 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 350 F (180 celsius) and continue baking for an additional 40 minutes.

So after smelling this bread baking and then devouring at least half of it all by myself I though I should get some more information abut the Slovak Paska from my sister in law. I made a phone call and much to my horror Lisa had never heard of Paska.

Needless to say I was feeling a little dejected after our conversation. I had created this delicious traditional Easter recipe with Lisa’s Slovakian heritage in mind, and all of a sudden it was not quite so traditional.

Then my brother shared an amusing story about a Slovak Easter tradition that Lisa HATES! Apparently this is a REAL custom in Slovakia. He said the men visit the houses of their girlfriends and “playfully” hit the women with a stick and then splash her in the face with water. Once this ritual is complete the men are given shots of alcohol and dyed boiled eggs.

Easter Recipe Paska

Easter Recipe Paska

Even young girls are likely to get woken up by their brothers wielding a stick and a water pistol. Suffice to  say this is not a tradition my brother will EVER be allowed to participate in.

I did a little more googling and found that Paska is a traditional Eastern European Easter bread. Google mentions countries such as the Ukraine, Poland and Slovakia enjoying the treat.  Regardless of the origins of the bread I think it will make a lovely inclusion to our breakfast menu Easter morning!

Traditional Easter Recipe - Paska Pin

Traditional Easter Recipe – Paska Pin

Although this may not be a traditional Slovak Easter recipe I’m sharing it with you because it was too good not to publish.  This will be my traditional Easter Cake.

Easter Egg Mousse Torte

Easter Egg Mousse Cake

Do you have any traditional Easter recipes? In the past I have made an Easter Mousse Cake and other chocolate Easter Treats.

Little Chickies Easter Egg Nest

Little Chickies Easter Egg Nest

Take a look at these if you prefer a Chocolate Easter.

 

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Comments

  1. That cake is pretty as a picture! We don’t have any Easter traditions as such, unless you count eating chocolate eggs! I’m not sure Talking of traditions, I’m with Lisa, I wouldn’t be so keen on the water pistol and stick caper either!

  2. A very pretty cake, Julie.

  3. How adorable! What a perfect way to enjoy and celebrate Easter. Don’t worry your secret is safe with me. Love your table set up so festive.

  4. Well let’s just say we make our own traditions! It’s all about family. Cake looks divine Julie, I think your secret is safe here! P.S. I don’t care much about chocolate either, unless it’s dark.

  5. This looks delicious. We’re chocolate lovers, but we’re also cheese lovers (including the cat) so this would be a good treat for us. We don’t have any Easter traditions, but maybe we should start with this. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Hi Julie, we do not have any real Easter traditions except for the Easter egg hunt. We have a theme and then build props around it. Each child has there own treasure map and finds their own specialized treats along the way.

    Love your Easter cake, so nice to bake it in honor of your sister-in-law. Have a wonderful week-end!

  7. Good grief those photos make me want to eat my phone! They are so beautiful, the cake looks magnificent and it’s like I can taste it from here (driving to Orange!)

    The mousse cake is also making me salivate.

    My Easter tradition is to aim for fair trade chocolate for everyone. Aldi is proving helpful!

  8. It looks amazing Julie, and thanks for sharing the background to it ?

  9. What a wonderful cake Julie!
    Have a happy weekend.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  10. What an interesting cake – thanks for sharing.

  11. I do love the sound of the Chocolate Mousse Cake – it is sad the Hot Cross Buns are in the shops so early – it does spoil the fun of the Easter Treat. x

  12. what a gorgeous Easter cake! I do love Easter baking but get why you want to bake something without chocolate. You have outdone yourself with this lovely cake.

  13. That’s funny Julie, bit of devastating news with the sister-in-law’s take on the Paska tradition 🙂 The other tradition could be improved with the women doing shots then hitting the men with sticks 🙂

  14. How cute is this? I totally didn’t expect this to have cheese in it either.

  15. Il est adorable ton gâteau! Here in France, kids try to find the chocolates in the garden, is really funny! Your easter cake is very nice Julie! x

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