For ten years I have invariably cooked traditional dishes on the celebration days of our Catholic culture, but this is the first time that a large-sized leavened dessert has satisfied me 100 per cent! I have never tasted a soft and fragrant gluten-free Colomba Pasquale like this one, prepared with simple (albeit numerous!) ingredients and a mix containing only naturally gluten-free ingredients.

You can imagine the joy of seeing the dough rise without any hesitation inside the warm oven: you know what that means for those who have to deal with flours that are always a bit temperamental like gluten free ones.

The other advantage of this Colomba is that it stays good for several days, although to fully enjoy the softness after the first day, it is best to heat the slices for a few seconds in the microwave or in a conventional oven for a few minutes.

Do you know what the only flaw is? That it has to rise at least six hours and therefore it takes a whole day with its waiting… but maybe that’s good because otherwise I think I would bake one every week.

I wish you a very happy Easter that we will certainly remember for the events that have changed our lives without warning, but I hope you will also remember it a little for my Colomba. And in the video recipe you can follow how to prepare Colomba step by step.

Colomba pasquale

49g carbohydrates per 100g

 Ingredients for the poolish

  • 75g unsweetened almond milk or soya drink*
  • 50g gluten-free multi-purpose flour mix, Massimo Zero**
  • 25g wholemeal rice flour*
  • 10g acacia honey
  • 10g brewer’s yeast

Ingredients for the dough

  • 100g gluten-free multi-purpose flour mix, Massimo Zero**
  • 95g sugar
  • 95g butter
  • 85g sultanas or candied fruit
  • 4 eggs
  • 35g tapioca starch*
  • 30g rice starch*
  • 25g rice flour
  • 25g acacia honey
  • 20g liqueur to moisten the raisins
  • 2g guar gum
  • 1g xanthan gum
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • orange flower water (optional)
  • tonka bean (optional)
  • salt

Ingredients for the icing

  • 40g egg white (corresponding to 1 egg white)
  • 30g icing sugar
  • 30g almond flour
  • 10g corn starch
  • 10g granulated sugar
  • almonds in their skins

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (or, in Italy, present on  Prontuario AIC)


  1. Mix the flours for the poolish in a planetary mixer with the honey and warm milk in which the brewer’s yeast has been dissolved. You will obtain a soft dough that you will have to put to rise at room temperature for about 3 hours covered with cling film.
  2. After 3 hours, put the poolish in the planetary mixer, add the Massimo Zero mix, starches, rice flour, sugar, guar and xanthan gum. Knead by adding the eggs, one at a time, then add the very soft butter gradually so that it is absorbed. To knead in the planetary mixer, you can use the dough hook or the leaf mixer and when the dough starts to stick to the hook, it is ready to be put to rise.
  3. Let the dough rise directly in the bowl of the planetary mixer in the oven set on proving  function for 1 hour.
  4. Soak the raisins in liqueur.
  5. Put the planetary mixer bowl back in place with the hook and add the last ingredients: grated lemon zest, vanilla bean, grated Tonka bean, orange flower water and finally honey and a pinch of salt. Stir the whole mixture and complete by adding the soaked raisins and the soaking liquid.
  6. Pour the mixture into a 500g Colomba mould and put it to rise in the oven at 30°C for at least another 2 hours.
  7. Meanwhile, prepare the icing. Whip the egg whites until stiff by adding the icing sugar, then add the almond flour and corn starch. Stir well and when Colomba is ready to be baked, sprinkle the icing over the surface of the cake and top with whole almonds with the peel and granulated sugar.
  8. Heat the static oven to 165°C and bake Colomba for 1 hour and 15 minutes (depending on the oven, it may be ready even 10 minutes earlier), preferably with the cake placed in the lower part of the oven. You can add a small pan of water in the oven to keep it slightly moist. After the first 15 minutes, cover the surface of the cake with tin foil to prevent it from browning too much.
  9. Once removed from the oven, place the Colomba upside down by poking it with two Chinese food sticks and let it cool for 1 hour.
  10. Once completely cold, store the Colomba in a well-sealed plastic bag.


Well, here we are with gluten-free Cardinali muffins… beautiful to look at, but especially delicious to eat.

Preparing them was a great fun because I needed someone from Sardinia who could teach me how to make the “real stuff”, so I invited my friend Maria Elena for a full immersion in Sardinian cuisine. So, together with Cardinali, we also prepared Culurgiones ravioli: amazing!

But let’s focus on the dessert now and find out what we need to prepare it!

Gluten free Cardinali muffins

63.18g carbohydrates per 100g


  • 200g gluten-free cake flour mix, brand Molino Dallagiovanna**
  • 200g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 90g milk
  • 75g seed oil
  • 8g baking powder*
  • 1 lemon peel, grated
  • icing sugar*

Ingredients for the pastry cream and to complete

  • 250g milk
  • 50g sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 35g potato starch*
  • 1 whole lemon peel
  • alkermes liqueur* or raspberry juice with a few drops of red colouring*

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (or, in Italy, present on  Prontuario AIC)


  1. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and whip the latter until stiff.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks together with the sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the grated lemon zest, oil and flour, alternating with milk until all ingredients are well incorporated. Finally, add the sifted baking powder and lastly the egg whites.

Uno-Chef-per-gaia-cardinali-senza-glutine.Foto Chiara Marando

  1. Place 3-4 cm diameter ramekins inside silicone moulds, or aluminium ramekins, so that they do not get deformed during baking filling ¾ of the ramekins.
    Bake at 180°C for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown; let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the cream. Heat the milk with the lemon peel. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar, add the flour and mix well. Pour the lukewarm milk into the freshly prepared mixture and mix until smooth. Place everything on the heat and let it simmer, stirring with a whisk until the cream has thickened. Remove it from the heat and let it cool covered with cling film.
  3. And now assemble the cake.

Uno-chef-per-gaia-ricetta-senza.glutine-Foto Chiara Marando

  1. Holding a small knife at an angle, cut a cone and remove it whole from the sweets. Using a teaspoon, moisten the freshly hollowed-out inside with alkermes or red juice and do the same with the cones, dipping them in the coloured liquid until they are completely red.

uno-chef-per-gaia_Foto Chiara Marando

  1. Pour the cream into the holes you have drilled in the cakes and sprinkle with icing sugar. Finally, cover all the sweets with the cap, i.e. with the cones turned upside down with the tip facing upwards. Place them in the refrigerator and let them rest for a few hours to allow the cream to harden well.


Version with gluten of Cardinali muffins

Replace Molino Dallagiovanna gluten-free flour with standard flour and reduce the amount of milk for the dough to 75g instead of 90g.