Italian Ricotta Easter Bread Recipe
Italian Ricotta Easter Bread Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Italian Ricotta Easter Bread Recipe

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I changed our family's traditional Easter bread by adding ricotta and a few other ingredients. The almond flavoring works wonders! —Tina Mirilovich, Johnstown, Pennsylvania
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 45 min.
MAKES:18 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 45 min.
MAKES: 18 servings


  • 3/4 cup plain or butter-flavored shortening, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (or flavor of choice)
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • GLAZE:
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (or flavor of choice)
  • Sliced toasted almonds or assorted sprinkles

Nutritional Facts

1 piece: 376 calories, 11g fat (4g saturated fat), 68mg cholesterol, 247mg sodium, 60g carbohydrate (28g sugars, 1g fiber), 8g protein.


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in ricotta and extract. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition, stirring in final 1 cup flour by hand.
  2. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into thirds. Roll each into an 18-in. rope. Place ropes on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and braid. Pinch ends to seal; tuck under braid. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 45-55 minutes (do not overbake). Remove to wire racks to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, beat confectioners' sugar, milk and extract until smooth. Brush on bread while still warm; top with sliced almonds or sprinkles. Yield: 18 servings.
Editor's Note: To toast nuts, bake in a shallow pan in a 350° oven for 5-10 minutes or cook in a skillet over low heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
Originally published as Italian Ricotta Easter Bread in Taste of Home April/May 2017

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suefalk User ID: 6736080 267403
Reviewed May. 28, 2017

"Wow, wow amazing! This will be an Easter tradition from now on. easy to make, and perfect for hostess gifts!"

Jellybug User ID: 53068 265300
Reviewed Apr. 29, 2017

"For Easter I made several specialty breads, and this one was my favorite. Sweet and moist. Delicious!!!"

Nancy User ID: 9143084 264779
Reviewed Apr. 17, 2017

"Flavor is excellent! And ease of preparation is a plus. My only suggestion is to separate the dough in half then divide each half into thirds and make two smaller loaves. I made one loaf as the recipe stated. It was huge and also cracked in half as I was trying to move it after it cooled. I had extra ricotta so I made a half recipe and made a smaller loaf ( each rope was about 12 inches or so in length). That loaf was beautiful! I did not add almonds or sprinkles. Lightly glazed was perfect!"

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