Easter Braided Ring Cake (Scarcella di Pasqua) – Italian Recipe

The Italians enjoy celebrating holidays with food and wine and Easter are definitely one of those special holidays. Easter is headed by Lent, a time of fasting for numerous Christians. Come Easter Sunday, it’s time to rejoice, indulge and splurge.

Eggs are usually associated with Easter and are believed to be a symbol of birth and life. Italians have a few Easter recipes, today am offering you the Easter braided ring cake, known as Scarcella di Pasqua. Here is the recipe:

Servings 6 


  • 1 lb. all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 5 oz. sugar
  • 3 ½ oz. milk
  • 3 ½ oz. extra virgin olive oil
  • lemon zest, finely grated
  • ½ package baking powder

To garnish:

  • 7 oz. confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • few drops of lemon juice
  • a handful of colored sprinkles



  • Preheat the oven to 350°F/ 180°C/ Gas Mark 4.
  • Combine yeast and flour on a pastry board, then making a well in the middle, apply the lemon zest and sugar. Into the well pour the eggs, warm milk, and oil. Mix gently, pouring a little more milk if needed. Knead the dough for 10 minutes.
  • Divide into 3 equal parts, and knead to make cylinders; braid these. Next, shape the braid into a ring or number 8 and apply on a greased oven sheet.
  • Press into the dough 2 eggs in their shells. Place in the oven and bake for little less than 1 hour (or until golden). Remove and allow to cool.
  • In the meantime, make the frosting by combining the lemon juice and egg white in a mixer bowl. Next, gently add the powdered sugar, stirring with a wooden spoon – be careful to prevent lumps from forming. The batter needs to be thick but smooth. Apply it uniformly on the “scarcella”, avoiding the 2 eggs.
  • Finally, and before the frosting sets entirely, sprinkle the cake with colored sprinkles.

Buon Appetito!

Buona Pasqua!