Paska (also known as Kulich) is a classic Easter Bread. It's a wonderful Easter tradition.

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Paska (also known as Kulich) is a classic Easter Bread. It’s a wonderful Easter tradition shared by Russian and Ukrainian people. This recipe comes from my aunt Tanya and cousin Lena; thank you so much!

Easter only comes once a year so don’t panic when I tell you how long it takes to make this. First I will tell you how soft and delicious it is. Then I’ll explain how you will feel like a domestic diva once you’ve got this under your belt. After that I’ll convince you that this bread makes for an incredible french toast (like really, really good!).

I’ll also mention that the active time for this recipe is about 30-45 minutes and the rest is oven/rising time. Then, and only then will I tell you that it takes basically half the day to rise. I made it a couple weeks early just so I could photograph it and share the recipe with you. I’m going to make it again for Easter. See, that means it was worth it.

Thank You Lena and Aunt Tanya for this wonderful recipe; It’s a keeper for sure. My parents and sister tried it and were raving about it.

Ingredients for the Kulich/Paska:

2 cups + 2 Tbsp warm milk (I used whole milk)
6 eggs, room temp
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
2 cups sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, (1/2 lb or 226 grams), melted (if using salted butter, omit the salt)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
9 cups all-purpose Canadian flour, divided ** (measured correctly)
1 to 1 1/2 cups raisins (white or brown)

**On Flour Substitutions:

Canadian flour is made in Canada has a higher gluten content and produces a softer bread than American all-purpose flour. It is available in Cash and Carry, Winco and Canada of course! Several readers have reported great results with American all-purpose flour but because Canadian flour has a higher gluten content, you often need to use more American all-purpose flour, so keep that in mind if you substitute. Read helpful review below:

One of my readers, Natalia, shared this amazing review with her flour substitutions:

“I want to thank you for this wonderful Paska recipe. My family loved it. I made a half of the recipe, That was enough to make two medium and two small breads. I used the King Arthur’s bread flour (4 cups) and 1/2 cup of a/p flour (I was running short on bread flour). It turned out amazing. I’ve never made Paskas before, and it was a success from the first time. Thank you!!!”

Paska (also known as Kulich) is a classic Easter Bread. It's a wonderful Easter tradition. This bread also makes for an incredible french toast.

For the Topping:

2 cups powdered Sugar
3 Tbsp Lemon Juice

What you’ll need:

3 Large Panettone Paper Molds (4.8″H x 6.75″ W); we purchased them on Amazon (you can also buy the mini ones and make baby paskas; I Imagine those would be adorable, but you’d need to adjust the baking times for sure). My husband actually discovered these molds and they were great!

Paska Easter Bread Recipe-2

How to Make Paska Easter Bread Recipe (Kulich):

1. In a large Mixing bowl, whisk together 2 cups + 2 Tbsp warm milk, 6 eggs, 1 Tbsp yeast, 2 cups sugar, 2 sticks melted butter (just warm, not hot!), 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 cup sour cream and 1 tsp vanilla. Whisk in 4 cups flour. Your batter will be thick like sour cream. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place or a warm oven (about 100˚F) for 2 hours.

Note: Do not put the mixture in a hot oven or it will deactivate the yeast and it won’t rise; yep we learned this the hard way and an entire batch ended up in the garbage can. So either put it in a warm 100˚F oven or put it in a warm spot in the sun. 

Paska (also known as Kulich) is a classic Easter Bread. It's a wonderful Easter tradition.

Paska (also known as Kulich) is a classic Easter Bread. It's a wonderful Easter tradition.

Paska Easter Bread Recipe-5

Paska Easter Bread Recipe-6

2. Add 5 more cups of flour; one cup at a time or until the dough no longer sticks to your hands (it will still feel sticky but won’t stick to your fingers). I find it’s easiest to stir in the flour with a stiff silicone spatula. Dough should be soft. Stir in 1 to 1 1/2 cups raisins. Cover and let dough rise another 2 hours in a warm oven (100˚F).

Paska (also known as Kulich) is a classic Easter Bread. It's a wonderful Easter tradition. This bread also makes for an incredible french toast.

Paska (also known as Kulich) is a classic Easter Bread. It's a wonderful Easter tradition. This bread also makes for an incredible french toast.

3. Divide dough evenly into the three paper baking molds; try not to mix it or stomp it down too much. Let dough rise uncovered in a warm 100˚F oven for an additional 2 hours or until the molds are almost full. Remove from the oven and preheat oven to 350˚F.

Paska (also known as Kulich) is a classic Easter Bread. It's a wonderful Easter tradition. This bread also makes for an incredible french toast.

4. Bake at 350˚F for 30-35 minutes in the middle of the oven until the top is golden brown. Let cool to room temp or just warm and then tear off the wrapper.

Paska (also known as Kulich) is a classic Easter Bread. It's a wonderful Easter tradition.

5. Once the Breads are at room temperature and wrappers are off, get your frosting ready. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups powdered sugar with 3 Tbsp lemon juice. Add a little water if it’s too thick or a little more powdered sugar if it’s too runny. Pour the glaze over each cooled Easter bread.

Top with sprinkles, which just make these seem so traditional and festive. I remember having lots of sprinkles growing up. I’ll put sprinkles on my next one and post it.

Paska (also known as Kulich) is a classic Easter Bread. It's a wonderful Easter tradition.

Paska (also known as Kulich) is a classic Easter Bread. It's a wonderful Easter tradition.

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Paska Easter Bread Recipe (Kulich)

4.91 from 217 votes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Traditional Paska Easter Bread Recipe a.k.a. Kulich has been made by our family for generations.
Prep Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 7 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 3 large paska breads
  • 2 cups + 2 Tbsp warm milk, I used whole milk
  • 6 large eggs, room temp
  • 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, (1/2 lb or 226 gr), melted (if using salted butter, omit salt)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 9 cups all-purpose Canadian flour, divided
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups raisins, white or brown

For the Topping:

What you'll need:

  • 3 Large Panettone Paper Molds; we purchased them on Amazon

Instructions

  • In a large Mixing bowl, whisk together 2 cups + 2 Tbsp warm milk, 6 eggs, 1 Tbsp yeast, 2 cups sugar, 2 sticks melted butter (just warm, not hot!), 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 cup sour cream and 1 tsp vanilla. Whisk in 4 cups flour. Your batter will be thick like sour cream. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place or a warm oven (about 100˚F) for 2 hours.
  • Add 5 more cups of flour; one cup at a time or until the dough no longer sticks to your hands (it will still feel sticky but wont' stick to your fingers). I find it's easiest to fold flour in with a silicone spatula. Dough should be soft. Stir in 1 to 1 1/2 cups raisins. Cover and let dough rise another 2 hours in a warm oven (100˚F).
  • Divide dough evenly into the three paper baking molds; try not to mix it or stomp it down too much. Let dough rise uncovered in a warm 100˚F oven for an additional 2 hours or until the molds are almost full. Remove from the oven and preheat oven to 350˚F.
  • Bake at 350˚F for 30-35 minutes in the middle of the oven until the top is golden brown. Let cool to room temp or just warm and then tear off the wrapper.
  • Once the Breads are at room temperature and wrappers are off, get your frosting ready. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups powdered sugar with 3 Tbsp lemon juice. Add a little water if it's too thick or a little more powdered sugar if it's too runny. Pour the glaze over each cooled Easter bread. Traditionally, these are topped with colorful sprinkles before the glaze sets.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Russian, Ukrainian
Keyword: Kulich, Paska Easter Bread
Skill Level: Medium
Cost to Make: $

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Comments

  • April
    February 21, 2024

    Has anyone used this recipe to make cupcake-sized loaves in a muffin pan? Just curious as to whether or not I’d need to tweak anything….

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 21, 2024

      Hi April, I have not tested that to advise. Let’s see if others have tried them and maybe they can share some feedback.

      Reply

  • Lana
    November 14, 2023

    Love your recipes and your channel!! Could you share a recipe of Kraffin-Easter cake if you have one? Thank you.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 15, 2023

      Hi Lana, I’m glad you’re enjoying them. I don’t have a recipe for that yet but thanks for the suggestion.

      Reply

  • Marie Rose
    August 15, 2023

    I make these at least twice a month in loaf pans, yields about 4, and freeze them. Recipe always comes out perfect, I do use bread flour. Thank you so much for all your recipes, your roast beef is also a mhit in our family!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      August 15, 2023

      Hi Marie! That’s wonderful. So glad that your family is loving the recipes.

      Reply

  • Natalka
    April 27, 2023

    I’ve been making variations of this holiday dish (helping my mom, then on my own) for about half a century. I’m always looking for a new recipe, a better recipe. Well — my search is over: this is the best I’ve tried!

    The texture is superb and the level of sweetness is ideal. Following the lead of a previous commenter, I used a small amount (1c) of pizza flour along with all-purpose for the rest; the structure and chew were delicate, yet perfect for spreading cheese Pascha. Oh— and I went off ethnic script and added some chopped apricots along with the raisins.

    Thank you for a clear, low-fuss, and *delicious* recipe!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 27, 2023

      I’m so happy you enjoyed this bread recipe, Natalka! Thank you for sharing that lovely review with me.

      Reply

  • Anna R
    April 22, 2023

    I love this recipe. Btw I make it with gluten free flour and you need LESS flour. It comes out great!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      April 22, 2023

      Hi Anna! That’s great to hear. Thank you for sharing.

      Reply

  • Carrie Harmon
    April 13, 2023

    Well, I attempted to make this bread last week for Easter. It looked beautiful on the outside…. It raised and was golden brown. I couldn’t wait to frost it. I took the paper off and discovered that the loaf was hollow and a bit doughy on the inside. I was able to cut off the outer edge and save some which I will use to make French toast. What happened? 🤔 This made me so sad. 😩

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 14, 2023

      Hi Carrie, it’s hard to say what went wrong without being there. It sounds like it may have needed a bit more time in the oven. I recommend ensuring your oven is preheated and you’re using regular bake mode in a calibrated over. I wish I could be more helpful.

      Reply

  • Marina
    April 12, 2023

    Hi Natasha,

    I’ll be making this tomorrow and was wondering if this would turn out the same if I doubled this recipe as I need to make quite a few and when you say warm/rise in 100 oven, does this mean you have pre warmed the oven before hand then turned it off or left it on during the rising process? Thank you

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 12, 2023

      Hi Marina, most ovens come with a proof setting that stays at a constant temperate around 100 degrees.

      Reply

  • MelOk
    April 11, 2023

    It was the best easter bread I’ve ever had! Thank you for the recipe Natasha’s kitchen! I can’t wait for next Easter, so I will bake it again!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      April 11, 2023

      I’m so glad to hear that! Thank you for trying my recipe.

      Reply

  • Rita
    April 9, 2023

    I grew up in Alaska where many people are Russian Orthodox and this bread is fairly common. Though my family is neither Russian or Orthodox we always had it on regular and/or Orthodox Easter which is a week later. I have tried to keep the tradition alive with my family but do not have my late mother’s recipe. I have tried many and this is by far the best recipe. I will stick with this one. I initially added 5 cups of flower instead of 4 to make my batter the consistency of sour cream. Then I ended up adding a bit more in the 2nd round of flour adding for what I would think is roughly a total of 9.5 cups instead of 9 cups of flour to reach the point where it didn’t stick to my hands. Thank you so much for this great recipe!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 10, 2023

      I’m so glad that you found and loved this recipe, Rita. Thanks so much for dropping by here and for sharing that with us!

      Reply

  • Olesya
    April 6, 2023

    The recipe is very liquidly and won’t rise. I re read the instructions like 10 times, did everything by your directions and it’s not like sour cream it’s like a watery smoothie

    Reply

    • Natasha
      April 6, 2023

      Hi Olesya, it sounds like maybe the flour was miss-measured. It can happen which is why I try to count my scoops out loud especially if I have other distractions around me. I wonder if that was it? I don’t know why else a batter would be too loose.

      Reply

  • Ceil
    April 6, 2023

    Looking on Amazon for paper molds but they have different size panettone paper molds – what size do you bake 3 loaves in?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 6, 2023

      Hi Ceil, This makes 3 large ones (I linked to the molds I used in the post above).

      Reply

  • Lena
    April 5, 2023

    Hi Natasha,

    I am planning on making Paska tomorrow. I was wondering if I could add some lemon juice and/or zest to the dough.
    What would you recommend?

    Thank you,
    Lena

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 6, 2023

      Hi Lena, I haven’t really tested that to advise. If you do an experiment, we’d love to know how it turns out!

      Reply

      • Lena
        April 10, 2023

        Hi Natasha,

        I swapped 2 T milk for fresh lemon juice and it worked out wonderfully. Next time I will also add some zest.
        This is a fantastic recipe. It tastes just like the paska I had growing up.
        Thank you

        Reply

        • NatashasKitchen.com
          April 10, 2023

          That’s wonderful, Lena! Thank you for your feedback and review. So glad you loved it.

          Reply

      • Fr Simeon
        April 17, 2023

        Lena, I have added orange zest to this recipe along with the raisins for several years without any problems.

        Reply

  • Lena
    April 4, 2023

    Hi Natasha, could I have the dough rise twice in the evening, put it in the fridge, and then take it out for the last rise in the morning and bake?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 4, 2023

      Hi Lena, I haven’t tried it that way so I can’t speak to that working or not. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe.

      Reply

  • Kat
    April 3, 2023

    How many days can it stay fresh? Can make 1 week before Easter ?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      April 3, 2023

      Hi Kat! This is best fresh or with 1-2 days. One of my readers gave the following make-ahead suggestion: “I always bake ahead and freeze it, removing it from the freezer on Holy Saturday to defrost. I usually pop it into the oven to warm it for Easter breakfast. The recipe I use does not have the glaze, but I don’t see why you couldn’t freeze it un-glazed and glaze when you’re ready.” I hope this is helpful.

      Reply

      • Inna
        April 8, 2023

        I love this recipe but for some reason my bread is still raw inside after 35 min in the oven :/ hate that I have to cook it longer because my oven gets hot and the bread browns too quickly. So I have to bake it longer and at a lower temp.

        Reply

        • NatashasKitchen.com
          April 8, 2023

          Hi Inna! Are you using the same-size baking molds? The size of the mold will determine how long this takes to bake.
          Every oven bakes and heats differently so you may need to make some adjustments. I highly encourage the use of an internal oven thermometer if you don’t already use one.

          Reply

  • Janet Alexander
    March 26, 2023

    Can this be baked in any other type of pan or form? I don’t have the paper forms and would like to try a different shape if possible. thanks!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 26, 2023

      Hi Janet. Some of my readers have used cake/loaf pans to bake this.

      Reply

    • Michele
      April 4, 2023

      I use my springform pans or Corningware casserole dishes as they have a nice side on them, my grandmother always baked paska in 1 lb coffee cans which are hard to get now, but tomato cans work too!

      Reply

      • Maria
        April 6, 2023

        Great idea about the tomato cans – perfect blessing of the basket size. Thanks!

        Reply

        • Fr. Simeon
          April 17, 2023

          I ordered a set of springform kulich pans for this that work fantastically. Some of thr old ladies at church used coffee/soup cans lined with baking parchment, but finding metal coffee cans is getting increasingly difficult.

          Reply

  • Judy
    March 25, 2023

    I read the reviews and note you had a question concerning using whole eggs but in your photo it appears that the yolks are separated and the whites are stiffly beaten. Which is best

    Reply

    • Natasha
      March 27, 2023

      Hi Judy, the eggs are whole eggs and are not separated. There wasn’t a good way for me to photograph adding an egg besides having it in it’s have shell that way. It does look a little like it’s just yolks but the whole eggs went it. The recipe is correct as written.

      Reply

  • Boris
    March 25, 2023

    The ingredients that my mother and grandmother used for Kulitch included Saffron. I would like to use it because it provides a distinctive flavor. However, I’m a bad cook and don’t know how or how much threads of saffron should be used. Can you help?
    Thank you.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 25, 2023

      Hi Boris, one of my readers mentioned the following “I add a teaspoon of saffron threads to the milk as I warm it” I hope that helps.

      Reply

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