This recipe comes from my grandmother and is the way we’ve been making easter bread in Ukraine for many years. The recipe features a sky high brioche bread stuffed with plump raisins and topped with a sweet frosting.
If you’re in Easter mode, check out our guide on Ukrainian Easter Eggs (with Grandma’s Secrets).
Paska bread is almost too pretty to eat. Baked tall and festively decorated with frosting and sprinkles, it’s always the centerpiece of any easter celebration. In this paska recipe, you’ll learn all you need to know to bake it just like my family has for many years.
Tool Tip: You’ll need panettone molds or a springform cake pan to make this recipe. The recipes yields 4 large paskas when I use these paper molds.
What is Paska Bread?
Ukrainian Easter bread, or paska, is a tall, cylindrical egg bread that’s speckled with raisins and baked in festive paper molds (much like Italian panettone or Russian kulich). Slightly sweet, it’s often eaten early in the day at church alongside other baked goods like chocolate babka and brioche braids. Below, find a breakdown of the flavor, texture, and time it takes to make our version of this classic Easter bread recipe.
- Flavor: The flavor of paska bread is a balance of slightly sweet, eggy brioche and tart, juicy raisins. This is all capped off with a super sweet powdered sugar frosting.
- Texture: The texture of paska is light and fluffy. When baked right, it will almost melt in your mouth!
- Time: From start to finish, this paska recipe takes 3 hours to make.
Reader Tip: One of our readers suggested a great tip if you don’t love raisins. Instead, she left out the raisins and after baking the bread used a straw to poke holes in it and then stuffed it with Nutella! It was a hit!
Paska Bread Video
How to Make Paska Bread from Scratch
Making Easter paska bread requires a bit of patience, but if you follow the instructions closely you’ll be golden.
- Make the Bread Base: In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the warmed milk, active dry yeast and two cups of all-purpose flour. Cover the bowl with a towel. Set it aside in a warm place for 30 minutes.
- Make the Egg Mixtures: Next, separate the egg yolks and egg whites into different bowls. Whisk the yolks with 1 cup sugar and beat the whites until they reach stiff peaks.
- Finish Building the Dough: Mix the sweet egg yolks into the dough, followed by the butter, vanilla extract, and foamy egg whites. Next, mix the rest of the flour into the dough in small portions. Knead the dough until elastic and sticky.
- Allow the Dough to Rise: Cover the dough with a towel and set it aside to rise for 30 minutes.
- Soak & Add the Raisins: Next, soak the raisins in warm water for 15 minutes. Drain the raisins and mix them in to the dough. Allow the dough to rise for another 30 minutes. (Skip the raisins if you don’t love them, or substitute with nuts or chocolate chips!)
- Bake the Paska Bread: Fill each paper bread mold halfway with dough. Cover the molds with a towel and allow them to rise for 30 more minutes. Bake the bread at 350°F in the oven for about 30 minutes.
- Make the Glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk the powdered sugar and milk together until smooth. Using a piping bag, drizzle the frosting all over the top of the bread. If you’d like, add some sprinkles right on top. Enjoy!
Don’t have a stand mixer? No problem! You can make paska bread the old-fashioned way with a wooden spoon and a well-floured surface for kneading.
Tips for The Perfect Paska Bread
Some handy tips will help you make the most authentic paska bread.
- Use high-protein, high-quality flour. If you can get your hands on Canadian flour, do it! It tends to have a higher protein count and makes for such a killer texture.
- Adjust the flour if necessary. Depending on the kind of flour you use, you may need to add a little more. This dough should be on the sticky side but it shouldn’t be runny.
- Get the milk to the right temperature to activate the yeast. To activate the yeast, the milk temperature should be at around 110 °F – 120 °F. If you have a candy thermometer, use it to help you gauge when the milk is ready.
- Don’t skip the soak. Soaking the raisins for a quick 15 minutes before adding them to the dough will bring such a wonderful texture and moisture to the bread. Don’t skip this step!
- Pay attention to the size of panettone molds. Depending on the size of paper molds you use, the amount of paskas this recipe yields will vary. (Make sure you aren’t buying tiny, cupcake sized panettone molds!) I like to use ones that are roughly 4×6 inches in size, this typically yields 3-4 paska breads. I like using these or these paper molds.
- Fill the paper molds halfway. Don’t be tempted to overfill the molds, the dough will rise quite a bit during the final proof and while baking. Avoid your bread from overflowing by only filling the molds halfway.
- Make the dough in advance. Split your prep by completing steps 1-6 in advance, and then baking the next day. You can do this by adding the raisins or other mix-ins in as desired in step 6, then covering the dough and refrigerating it. Make sure it’s in a large enough bowl or container as it will continue to rise overnight. When ready to bake, divide the dough amongst the paper molds or pans, and let it proof for at least 60 minutes before baking.
Hot Tip: All-purpose flour will work for this recipe, but the best option we’ve used is Bob’s Red Mill Bread Flour. So worth it for the texture and taste!
Storing & Freezing Best Practices
Whether you have leftovers to store or you want to freeze some paska for a rainy day, here’s all you need to know.
- Storing: To keep paska on hand for up to 4 days, store them in an airtight container on the counter to prevent the bread from drying out. If you want them to keep for even longer, transfer the container to the fridge.
- Freezing: You can freeze paska for up to 3 months in an airtight container. For best results, make sure to keep them unfrosted before popping them in the freezer. To thaw the bread, place it on the counter for a couple of hours.
Can you bake paska bread in a loaf pan?
Yes, you can bake paska bread in a greased loaf pan instead of a paper mold. This bread can be baked in just about any pan.
Can you use coffee cans for the paska bread molds?
Yes, you can use coffee cans for the paska bread molds. This is actually the old-fashioned way to make this Easter bread. Oftentimes, bakers will use different sized cans to create many different sizes of the breads. This makes for such a cool presentation!
Can you use panettone molds for paska bread?
You can absolutely use panettone molds for paska bread. They’re pretty much identical and are often used interchangeably.
Should you use bleached or unbleached flour for paska bread?
Unbleached flour is the best choice for baking paska bread. It has a denser, tougher texture that makes the bread that much more decadent.
Other Sweet Bread Recipes to Try
- Easy Brioche Bread – Braided sweet bread
- Best Challah Bread Recipe – Sweet, fluffy Jewish bread
- Whole Wheat Banana Bread Recipe – Hearty banana bread
- Honey Wheat Bread – Slightly sweet honey bread
- 2 cups lukewarm milk
- 1 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup Unsalted Butter melted
- 2 cup raisins
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp milk
Baking the Paska Bread
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the lukewarm milk with the yeast and two cups of flour. Cover the bowl with a towel and set it aside in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
- While the dough is rising, separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and place them in separate bowls. Whisk the egg yolks with 1 cup of sugar. Then, beat the egg whites until they turn foamy and reach stiff peaks.
- Mix the egg yolk mixture into the dough, followed by the melted butter, vanilla extract, and foamy egg whites.
- Mix the rest of the flour into the dough in small portions. Using the dough hook attachment, knead the dough until it becomes elastic, smooth, and a bit sticky.
- Cover the dough with a towel and set it aside to rise for 30 minutes.
- While the dough is rising, soak the raisins in warm water for 15 minutes. Drain the raisins and mix them into the dough. Cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough rise for 30 more minutes.
- With oiled hands, fill up each paska bread mold about halfway with the dough. Cover the molds with a towel and allow them to rise for 30 more minutes.
- Bake the bread at 350°F for about 30 minutes, depending on the size of your paska. Let the bread cool completely at room temperature.
Making the Paska Bread Topping
- In a medium bowl, whisk the powdered sugar and milk together until smooth. Transfer the frosting into a piping bag or a plastic storage bag with one of the edges snipped off.
- Drizzle the glaze along the sides of the bread and completely cover the tops. Optionally, add some sprinkles on top. Enjoy!
Hey, so would i be able to use chocolate chips instead of raisins?
Hi Averie, You absolutely can! Thank you for reaching out. Enjoy!
Hi, Natalya! How many pastas this recipe makes? Also, do you use metric or cups when you make it yourself?
Hi Natallia, typically I get 3-4 of larger size molds. It depends on the size you go for. Sometimes, I make 10 mini breads and they are so adorable in a smaller serving. I use cups to measure. Thank you for reaching out!
Natalya, where did you purchase the Ukrainian pattern paper mold?
Hi Lidia, I will send you a link below. Thank you for reaching out!!
Hi there.What size eggs should I use ? Large ? Extra large?Thank you .
Hi yana, I usually use large eggs. Thank you for reaching out!
Hi there .Do you think I can increase sugar a bit to like 1.5 cups as my kids like paska a bit sweater ? Thank you in advance
Hi Yana, you can add more sugar to this recipe! Thank you for reaching out. Enjoy it!!
Hi Natalya, I've been searching for a recipe that is most like what I remember of my mothers and yours, with separating the egg yolks and whisking the egg whites, is what I remember. If I going to put this recipe in a 10 inch spring pan instead of smaller molds, what is the bake time and is it still at 350 degrees? I remember my mom's standing very tall and being very yellow from the egg yolks, she did not add colouring
Hi Teresa, you can build up the side with parchment paper to make it taller. Baking would be a 350F but a longer time. Also, I worry that it wouldn't fit into one mold. About the yellow part, it really would depend on the color of the egg yolks.
I had to add 2 more cups of flour for the dough to not be extremely sticky, I hope it turns out ok
I also had to add about that much more…the dough was runny. But the end results were good!
Hi Christine, How did it go? You should not have had to add that much extra flour for this recipe.
This may be a dumb question but can one use fast rising instant yeast?
Hi Vita, I have not tested this recipe with fast rising yeast. I am not sure what the result would be. If you give it a try, would you let me know how it goes?
I just made Paska bread for the first time in my life by using this recipe and it turned out great. My pre schooler helped me as well. Thank you for the recipe. It is delicious.
Hi Halyna, I am thrilled that the recipe was a success! It always warms my heart when the kiddos get to help in the kitchen. Thank you for sharing your feedback with me. Enjoy it dear!
Hi , do you think I would be able to make this in a muffin/cupcake pan ? To make them mini sized
Hi J- I don't see why not! You will get ALOT of them though, so be prepared to scoop a lot of dough. 🙂 I would still recommend filling the liners or muffin tins halfway. You may need to reduce the baking time as well, I haven't tested with them being this small but I would probably check on them after 20 minutes or so. They're ready when they are a darker golden brown on top. Enjoy!
How many minutes to knead the dough?
Hi Karina, The times can vary a bit so you want to Knead the dough until elastic and sticky. I hope this helps!
Spilt into 4 loaves, two with walnuts and raisins and the other two with walnuts and chocolate chips. Top them all with melted white chocolate 😋🤤
Hi Deanna, they are going to turn out delicious!! My mouth is watering just reading this! Thank you for sharing your process with me!
What’s this always the recipe? I thought you recommended different flour.
Hi Masha, This recipe is the same as it has always been. All-purpose flour will work for this recipe, but the best option we’ve used is Bob’s Red Mill Bread Flour. So worth it for the texture and taste! Thank you for reaching out!
Would golden raisins work for this recipe? thanks
Hi Jessica, I think golden raisins would be delicious in this recipe! Happy baking!
Sounds a little like my recipe. I also soak some saffron and put the liquid in.
Hi Val, I love that. Thank you for sharing your feedback.
This recipe looks wonderful. I can’t wait to try it. If I use an 8 inch springform pan, does the whole recipe fit in the one pan?
Hi Bobbie, I think you need to build up sides to make it taller and it would make at least 2 of 8 inch pans. I hope this makes sense. Thank you for reaching out and happy baking!
This is very close to my Mom and Gramma's recipe except that we have always added juice and zest from one orange and one lemon. Perhaps for the amounts in your recipe half of each would be enough. This adds a lovely light flavor. And my Aunt forms the dough into large buns, 4 or 5 inches, baked. Our coffee cans rusted. We slice and enjoy!
Hi Deanna, I love these family traditions! Thank you for sharing that! I hope you get to try this recipe. I would love to know your thoughts on it, if you do.
I remember my mom telling me that my Ukranian Nanna's paska needed to rise 3 times and b/c it took time to make didn't get the recipe. This is the closest to what I remember and I've been looking for a recipe for a very long time. Thanks.
Hi Mary, I am thrilled that you found a recipe that brings back happy memories for you! Thank you for sharing, enjoy!
I would like to make a tall one about 11 inches tall in a coffee can. Do I use on full recipe for a full size can number 10 vegtable can or full size can coffee? Should I just fill any can 2/3 full before rising the dough for the second time?
Hi carolyn, You can absolutely make it in a can. I would recommend that you fill it half way. Hope this helps!
How many molds does this call for?
Hi Tara, typically I get 3-4 of larger size molds. It depends on the size you go for. Sometimes, I make 10 mini breads and they are so adorable a smaller serving.
It turned out beautifully!! Great recipe! I have never made bread before!
Thank you, Tara! I'm so glad you loved it. This is one of my favorite sweet breads as well 😀
great ,Mom always baked in a coffee can
Thank you! Resourceful cooks use whatever they have on hand; I love the coffee can tradition for this bread!
Thanks for the recipe! Turn out great 😊
Yay! Thank you so much. Really appreciate the feedback and happy it worked out for you. Happy Easter!
My favorite Paska recipe!
Ina, thank you! So great to hear this feedback! Enjoy it!
The best paska!!!! Thank you for this recipe! I made it on Thursday and today is Saturday and it’s so soft and moist. May God Bless you!!!
Thank you so much, Linda! It makes me so happy to hear that others love this recipe as much as I do! 🙂
I am not sure what I'm doing wrong (and I 've baked before :-)). I had to add anotehr cup *7th of flour and I still cannot get to the 'ball like' consistency on the picture. I stopped there and let it rise as I don't want the double to be too tough. I'm using all purpose KAF/ The is still on a 'liquid' side, definately not able to form a ball...
i HAD TO ADD 2 MORE CUPS STILL TURNED OUT GREAT
I find that is the case when you don’t mix the dough long enough in the mixer, the dough needs to be mixed for approximately 15 minutes to reach elastic and ball consistency, trust me I’ve tested it so many times, and I always set a timer.
Hi Ela- that's ok, let the dough rise and see what happens. If it's still a bit tacky or sticky, that's fine. You'll use oiled hands to shape the balls into the baking pans/paper forms so you'll be able to get the round shape later. Do you have Instagram? If so, please see my "easter bread" stories on my page (Momsdish), there are some videos of what the dough will look like that I think you'll find helpful!
Natalya, working on your recipe now. Is it possible that I will need more flour than 6 cups? I am using Costco all purpose flour. Thank you for such a good recipe!
Hi Lk- it depends on how your dough is looking. If you're using a kitchen aid mixer with a dough hook, let it knead the dough for a few min and see how sticky/soft it is to the touch. It should be tacky and a little sticky. If it's too runny/too sticky, then yes, you may need a bit more flour.
First time making paska- it came out amazing!!! So flavorful and soft, fluffy. I will definitely use this recipe again.
Hi Natalya, would bread flour work for this recipe? Thank you.
Hi Aly- yes, bread flour is actually recommended for the paska! Enjoy!
How long is it good for? Would it still taste ok in 3 days?
Hi Victoria- Other commenters have mentioned that they lasted 3 days without any issues. Personally, I like them best fresh. I'd recommend keeping them in an air tight container so they stay as soft as possible.
I just did a test run before Easter and the result blew me away. This bread is delicious!
Ah, I'm so happy to hear that, Anna!!