Russian Easter Bread

  • PrepTime: 30 Mins
  • CookTime: 55 Mins
  • TotalTime: 1 Hrs 25 Mins


  1. For the Yeast Sponge:
  2. 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  3. 1/4 cup water (warm)
  4. 1/4 cup white sugar
  5. 1/2 cup milk (scalded, cooled to 110 F)
  6. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  7. For the Dough:
  8. 4 ounces unsalted butter (room temperature)
  9. 1/2 cup white sugar
  10. 8 large egg yolks (room temperature; reserve 2 egg whites)
  11. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  12. 2 teaspoons cardamom
  13. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  14. 3 to 3 1/2 all-purpose cups flour
  15. 1/3 cup golden raisins
  16. 1/4 cup almonds (slivered)
  17. 1/4 cup candied orange rind (chopped)
  18. For the Glaze:
  19. 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  20. 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  21. 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  22. 2 to 3 teaspoons water (warm)
  23. Optional: Sprinkles (for topping)


  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. In a large bowl, combine yeast, water, 1/4 cup white sugar, and milk. Mix until the yeast and sugar have dissolved.
  3. Stir in 1 cup flour until well blended.
  4. Cover and let stand in a warm place for 1 hour.
  5. Gather the ingredients.
  6. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter, 1/2 cup white sugar, and egg yolks.
  7. Add yeast-flour mixture, combining thoroughly.
  8. Add vanilla, cardamom, salt, and enough of the 3 to 3 1/2 cups flour to make a soft dough. Stir in raisins, almonds, and orange rind.
  9. In a small bowl, beat 2 reserved egg whites until stiff.
  10. Fold them into the dough. Knead by machine or hand until a smooth and elastic dough forms, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  11. Place in greased bowl, turning once to coat both sides.
  12. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until doubled.
  13. Coat a 2-pound coffee can or kulich pan with cooking spray.
  14. Punch down dough and knead a few times.
  15. Place it in the prepared pan, cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until dough reaches the top of the can.
  16. Heat oven to 400 F.
  17. Place pan on a baking sheet and bake 10 minutes.
  18. Reduce heat to 350 F and bake another 35 to 40 minutes or until a cake tester or long toothpick or thin skewer comes out clean.
  19. Remove kulich from oven and let cool 10 minutes. Unmold from the can and cool on a wire rack.
  20. While still slightly warm, drizzle glaze (see below) over the top of the kulich.
  21. Gather the ingredients.
  22. While kulich is baking, prepare the glaze in a small bowl by combining the confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, almond extract, and enough warm water to make a smooth, runny glaze.
  23. Pour over the top of the kulich allowing it to run down the sides of the cake.
  24. To serve, cut off the crown and slice base into rounds. To keep any leftovers moist, replace the crown.