gluten-free colomba

Gluten-free Easter “Colomba” cake


A culinary symbol of Easter in Italy, the “Colomba” is a traditional dove-shaped cake featuring a rich, soft dough flavored with orange peel and vanilla beans. It is sweet, but not too sweet. Soft and fluffy, it be filled with hazelnut cream or pistachio cream. The dough for the colomba is made in a similar manner to panettone, with flour, eggs, sugar, yeast and butter. In this gluten-free version I used only naturally gluten-free flours, without thickeners such as xhantan gum. I normally use soy milk and soy yogurt, but dairy butter. You can choose to either use all dairy products, or all plant based ones.

The delicious detail is this hazelnut glaze and whole almonds on top, that creates a crunchy element to the otherwise soft treat, with a natural nutty taste. This rich loaf is comforting and delicate and goes so well with a steaming cup of tea.

Easter “Colomba” cake

5 from 2 votes
Course: BreakfastCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Difficult


Prep time


Cooking time





  • First dough
  • 65 g 65 rice flour

  • 55 g 55 soy milk

  • 35 g 35 soy yogurt

  • 1 tablespoon 1 dry yeast

  • Aromatic blend
  • 1 organic 1 orange

  • 1 organic 1 lemon

  • 1 tbsp 1 rum or cognac

  • 1 1 vanilla bean

  • 1 tbsp 1 seeds oil or light olive oil

  • Second dough
  • 20 g 20 of milk

  • 10 g 10 of honey

  • 1 teaspoon 1 of dry yeast

  • 115 g 115 potato starch

  • 40 g 40 tapioca starch

  • 2 teaspoons 2 of psyllium powder

  • 1 teaspoon 1 of agar agar

  • 70 g 70 of sugar

  • 2 2 medium egg yolks

  • 1 1 medium egg white

  • 50 g 50 of butter in soft pieces

  • 1 tbsp 1 seeds/olive oil

  • 50 g 50 candied fruit / chocolate chips (optional)

  • Glaze
  • 1 1 egg white

  • 60 g 60 of powdered sugar

  • 1 tablespoon 1 of seed oil

  • 20 g 20 of almond flour

How to

  • Prepare the first dough on the evening before baking day:
    With a fork, mix 65 g of rice flour with 55 g of soy milk, 35 g of soy yogurt and 1 tablespoon of dry yeast (cow’s milk and regular yogurt are also fine). Leave to rest until the following morning in a warm and sheltered place.
  • Prepare the aromatic blend in advance, too: mix the grated peel of an orange, a lemon, a teaspoon of rum or cognac, the seeds of a vanilla bean and a tablespoon of seeds oil or light olive oil in a bowl. Keep in the fridge until the next day.
  • The next day, around noon, warm 20 g of milk (soy or cow’s milk) with 10 g of honey. Remove from heat and add a teaspoon of dry yeast. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  • In the meantime, take the first dough from the night before, add 115 g potato starch + 40 g tapioca starch, 2 teaspoons of psyllium flour (powder), 1 teaspoon of agar agar, 70 g of sugar, two egg yolks and an egg white. Continue mixing at low speed.
  • Add the yeast dissolved in the milk, a tablespoon of olive or seed oil and 50 g of butter in soft pieces. Only at the end add the aromatic blend and the raisins (or candied fruit or even chocolate chips).
  • Pour the dough into the mold, level it out well with a wet spoon, cover with cling film and let it rise in a warm place for about 2 hours, until the dough is less than a finger from the edge.
  • Prepare the glaze by mixing an egg white, 60 g of powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon of seed oil and 20 g of almond flour.
  • When the dove has almost reached the edge of the mold, pre-heat the oven to 170 °C/340°F. Pour the icing glaze on the cake and decorate with more almonds. Add more powdered sugar to the top. When the oven is hot, bake for 45/50 minutes. If it becomes too dark soon, cover with aluminum foil.
  • Ideally, the cake must cool upside down. It is usually skewered with two long toothpicks and flipped upside down until it cools. This prevents the cake falling in on itself it and keeps the lovely soft and fluffy texture.

Want more recipes like this?

Follow me @martainthejar on Instagram and see!

Ready to try this recipe?

Save it from my Pinterest @martainthejar !

And if you are looking for other delicious, easy to make gluten-free cakes? Check out THIS RECIPE for a vegan yogurt banana bread, amazingly moist and easy to make. Or if you have some more time, treat yourself with these summer fruits pastry mini tarts.

Moreover, if you want to stay updated on my latest recipes, make sure to follow my Pinterest page where I publish all the news!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *