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Pinza Goriziana (Traditional Easter Cake from Gorizia)

  • 1 hour and 10 minutes
  • Difficult
  • Desserts and Fruit
A soft and light dessert from Italy’s Friuli region.


  • 2 lb all-purpose flour
  • ½ lb sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 5 oz butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 9 egg yolks
  • 1 ¾ oz fresh yeast
  • Rum to taste
  • citron essential oil to taste
  • salt to taste


Mix together 4 cups (100 g) flour, 2 tbsp sugar, yeast and about 1/3rd of the milk. Knead until the dough is smooth and uniform, then let it rise for 30 minutes

Once the dough has risen, knead it again, adding half of the remaining flour, all of the remaining sugar, half of the butter (melted and allowed to cool), 1 egg, 6 egg yolks, half of the remaining milk and a pinch of salt. Mix together until you have a soft, uniform dough and let rise for another hour.

After the dough has risen a second time, add the remaining flour, 3 egg yolks, the remaining milk, the other half of the melted butter, the citron oil and a little rum. Mix together until smooth and uniform, then shape the dough into a ball. Let rise for another hour.

Place the dough in a baking dish lined with parchment paper. Whisk the remaining egg and brush it onto the dough. Bake the “pinza goriziana” in a 320° F oven for 40 minutes.

Chef's tips

For the best results, use an electric mixer to knead the dough.

Food History

Even if desserts may seem to be a modern creation, they actually date back to ancient times: our desire for sweet flavors is a part of human nature.
It is quite probable that the first desserts to be created were cakes. The ancient cakes derived from bread recipes and were made using a similar dough of flour and water cooked in a fireplace. By adding sweet ingredients like honey, milk or fruit to this dough, it was possible to turn the bread dough into something delicious – considered to be the food of the gods.
Cakes were considered almost sacred in Ancient Egypt. It is believed that pharaoh Ramesses III was very fond of cakes and images of various cakes were sculpted into the walls of his tomb.