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Russian Easter Bread Kulich

Russian Easter Bread Kulich


Probably there is a countless number of Easter cake recipes. Every family has its own, best of the best recipe. And each one is good in their own way.

My favorite recipe is the one I developed, based on the famous French bread brioche.

The bread turns out very fluffy, light, and silky. It has a pleasantly pale yellow color, and, thanks to the butter, it melts in your mouth. Aromas from vanilla and cardamom complete this wonderful taste.

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I like to bake medium and small size breads in ramekins. It gives me a chance to decorate each cake in a different way: with glaze, nuts, jeweled dry and candied fruits, dusted with baking powder or sprinkled with bright colored sugar. It is such a fun!


Soufflé dishes, ramekins, panettone paper molds, some pots or even empty cans from beans and coffee canisters will work for baking a kulich.

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Russian Easter Bread Kulich


2 large or 1 large and 3-4 small breads


  • ½ cup warm milk
  • 2 tsp dry yeast
  • 3 1/ 2 cup flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ – 1 tsp ground cardamom (optional)
  • 1 tsp – 1 tbsp grated citrus zest (lemon or orange)
  • 1 – 1 ½ cups mixture of light and dark raisins, candied fruit, chopped nuts, dry fruits, chocolate chips)

For the icing:

  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk, lemon juice or water (maybe a little less – a little more. It depends on the powdered sugar and the liquid used)




Butter the molds generously. Put a piece of a greased parchment paper on the bottom of the form.

In a mixer bowl, mix ½ cup of the flour and yeast, add the warm milk and lightly beat. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for about 20-30 minutes.

Add the eggs and vanilla to the yeast mixture. Beat until smooth.

In a bowl, combine the remaining flour, sugar, salt, citrus zest and cardamom (if using). Add this mixture into the yeast mixture. Beat until smooth. Allow to stand for about 5 minutes.

In four steps, add the melted butter, mixing well after each step (medium speed). It takes a few minutes.

Then, mix the dough for approximately 5-7 minutes on a medium speed.

Stir in the raisins, candied fruits and nuts.

Fill 1 /3 of the forms with the dough. Cover with a kitchen towel or a plastic wrap and let stand for about 1 – 1 ½ hours. Proofing time depends on the room temperature.

The dough should triple in size.

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C) for large bread and 375-400 F (175-200 C) for small ramekins.

Bake the kulich for 35-40 minutes for large and for 15 minutes for small breads.

Remove from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes, remove from the form on the cooling rack.

Cool completely.

Decorate with icing, dry fruits, nuts, etc.


For the icing:

In a bowl, mix the powdered sugar and add the liquid (milk, water, lemon juice) until thick. Gently pour on the kulich, starting from the center.

Immediately sprinkle with colored sugar, dry fruits, nuts, etc.

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  • Tip :

If you want your cake literally melt in your mouth, take 3 sticks of butter.


Cook with pleasure!


9 thoughts on “Russian Easter Bread Kulich”

  • It’s delicious! I made it last year and it was the best kulich I’ve ever tried. This time I will definitely cook it again. Nina, thank you for the recipe!

  • It is indeed delicious! ???? I cook it every year. I tried it first 4 years ago and I’ve never tried a better kulich since that. Thank you Nina!

    • You are welcome Daria! Glad to here this. I’m always looking for new and better recipes and, for now, this one is the best so far 😉

      • Nina this year I’ve treated my husband’s relatives with this kulich and they have enjoyed it. I’m really grateful to you for all your recipes ???? With you I got to like cooking and especially baking 🙂 Hope you had a wonderful Easter holiday.

        • I’m so glad to hear this Daria! So glad!
          This year, I missed my Easter table – I was in Japan, and it was a wonderful trip (I hope, I will share some Japanese recipes soon)

          • That must have been so interesting! Look forward to see your new recipes and a post about your Japanese vacation ????

  • Dear Nina, I noticed that the bowl in the first photo looks like the one normally used in a bread maker. Does it mean I can use it to do the mixing? If yes, do you think I can just pour all the ingredients into the bowl, like for a regular bread? Of course, in the correct order (our bread maker requires dry ingredients first, and then liquids).
    And one more thing, I couldn’t find vanilla extract in local shops. Maybe it’s possible to use vanilla sugar instead (with real vanilla, not vanillin)?
    Thank you in advance for your reply!

    • Hi Anastasia,
      Yes, you can use a bread maker for making the dough – just put all the ingredients (except dry fruits and nuts) into a bread machine basket on a ‘dough’ setting like you normally do in your bread maker (for my machine it is 45 minutes), and then manually add the nuts and fruits and then follow the recipe.
      Yes, you can definitely use vanilla sugar – but it will give less intensive vanilla flavor.
      Good luck with baking this bread. Hope you will have a wonderful kulich and will love its look and taste.

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