Pasca - Romanian Easter Bread with Cheese Filling

Pasca - Romanian Easter Bread with Cheese Filling

I would say this Easter bread recipe with cheese broke all possible records of all the trial batches and the variants that I tried in the last 5 years. I have a whole collection of pictures of Easter cake with cheese from each year, different variants, but none of them was worth posting. The reasons are may - they lost shape, they weren't tasty, the dough wouldn't rise, they didn't look good - so it seemed I hadn't found the perfect recipe just yet. Finally, this year, I came up with a combination which I tested twice in the last month. It turned out perfect, both in taste and appearance.

It's very good to use classic sweet bread dough here, but keep in mind that it will be too soft and sticky - Easter bread will be good, but it will have a very strange shape, you won't be able to work it properly and you'll get annoyed. That's why I had to adapt. I made this dough which would rise more slowly and would be easier to shape. In the end, this Easter cake turned out to be a kind of work of art which made our holiday table more beautiful.

For the cheese filling, I also used a very good combination. It's the farmers cheese cake, with delicious taste and perfect texture for this recipe. Just make sure to choose drier and well drained cheese, not the very creamy one.


Warm water
125 ml
Active dry yeast
10 g
or 25g of fresh yeast
150 g
125 ml
3 pieces
80 g
melted and cooled
1.5 tsp
White flour
650 g
Farmers cheese
500 g
3 tbsp
for the cheese
Semolina flour
4 tbsp
Vegetable oil
1 tbsp
Baking soda
0.25 tsp
Vanilla Extract
1 tbsp
50 g
or candied cranberries

Step by step


The dough:

Combine yeast with 1 tablespoon of sugar and warm water. Leave for 10-15 minutes until it starts to foam.


In a large bowl, pour the warm milk, melted butter, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon of salt, 150g of sugar - beat well with a whisk.


Pour in the yeast mixture from step 1 and mix.


Add 500g of flour and mix the dough with a spoon, at first.

You will still need to add flour, but you will do it along the way, during kneading. If you add too much at once, the dough may get too hard and may not rise.

We have different types of flour and the quantities may vary.


Start kneading the dough with your hands, adding flour little by little along the way.


In the end, we'll have to have a soft, non-sticky and easy to shape dough.


Set aside in a warm place, covered with a towel and let rise for 40-50 minutes.


After this time, turn the dough out onto the table.


Cut about 1/3 of it.


We will use this piece to make the base for the cake.


From the remaining dough, cut another 1/3 - we'll have a smaller piece which we'll use for the cross in the middle.


And the last piece left, the biggest one, see the middle of the picture, will be used for the sides.


We are making the base:

We take the piece for the base and roll it out with the rolling pin into a circle about 28 cm in diameter - the size of the tray.


Place in a pan greased with oil and smooth out / press evenly.

Here I used a springform pan, 28cm in diameter.


We are making the sides:

-Take the largest piece of dough, for the sides - cut in half.


Roll each half into a thin long stick.

Work without flour on the table, otherwise your hands will slip and you won't be able to shape the wands. If the dough sticks to your hands, just lightly sprinkle with some flour on your fingers.


For the 28cm pan, each strip must be about 110cm long.


Twist the edges of the strips in opposite directions - this way you'll have a beautiful and even braid.


And braid - as the sticks are long, it's easier to do it from the half, in 2 steps.


Arrange the border in the tray, carefully joining the edges together.


We are making the cross:

Take the last piece of dough, the smallest, and cut in half.


Roll each half again into a thin long strip.


This time, they should be about 70cm long.


Braid the same way as the border.


Cut in half and we'll have the two parts of a cross.


Now let rise for at least 1 hour - base and border in the tray, the cross, separately, not in the tray.


The filling:

Fifteen minutes before the end of the dough rise time, prepare the cheese filling.

Choose drier, well drained cow's cheese.


Add to the cheese: 1 egg, 3 tablespoons of sugar, 2 tablespoons of semolina, 1 tablespoon of oil, 0.5 teaspoons of salt, a teaspoon of baking soda, vanilla essence and raisins / cranberries. Mix well.


We are assembling the Easter cake:

Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of semolina over the dough in the pan, only on the base, not on the border.


Spoon the cheese in the middle and smooth out.


Use a knife or a spoon to cut out a canal in the cheese, in the middle.


Fit the first part of the cross in it.


The same way, make the other canal  - lightly cut the piece of braid in half, but not completely.


And carefully arrange the other part of the cross.


Brush over with eggwash - both on the dough and on the cheese.


Bake in the preheated oven at 160 degrees C for 1 hour.

In the first 15 minutes, the cake will brown quickly.


Cover with foil and bake like this for 30 minutes.

This is to avoid too much tan :)


After this time, remove the foil and keep the cake in the oven for another 15 minutes.


Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 1 hour.


Then remove from the pan and allow to cool completely for 5-6 hours.

If you cut it while it's hot, it will seem raw because of the cheese filling that needs to set and cool.


Here is a delicious and beautiful section for you.


Quantity: 3 kg (1 large Easter 28cm in diameter)
Prep time: 120 min
Difficulty: intermediate
Ready in: 180 min
Publish date:

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