Our Easter tradition: paska! What’s yours?

Every Easter, my mom use to make Paska. It’s a Mennonite traditional dessert that’s a cross between bread and cake. Basically, it’s a sweet bread that you ice, then slice and slather with fresh butter. One slice is never ever enough, so fair warning!

Our family would always devour it! I remember her baking lots and freezing some so there’d always be a quick dessert fix to enjoy. But if you could land a fresh piece or 5 on the day it was baked, NOTHING else mattered.

I’ve personally never made it before because I’ve never had to! But with my mom no longer with us, I’ve been mulling over whether to give it a whirl.

And then who comes knocking on my door this fine AM? My neighbour Janette. She brings over this beauty and you can bet I was all over it! And last year it was neighbour Corinne! Yup, our neighbours indeed take care of us.

Anyway, this amazing paska disappeared before noon. Gone. *POOF* It was sooo delicious!

The inside is pale yellow due to the high egg content with a zesty lemon and orange tang.  No pics of it cut… because once you cut and eat, you can’t stop.

And icing smothered on top is a MUST. My mom use to heavily ice the entire thing so no bread was showing and if you landed the icing edge, it was like winning the lottery. 🙂 A lighter glazed icing on top like this was less rich which enabled you to eat more. 🙂 It was perfect!

My mom had her own amazing recipe, (which I can’t locate) however Janette did share where she got this one. And let me tell you, it was amazing.

You can find the recipe at Mennonite Girls Can Cook on THIS POST.

Or THIS POST. There are two variations.

And HERE’S even a gluten free one.

Thank-you Janette AND Mennonite Girls! 🙂

My son was also invited next door to join their family’s Easter egg hunt. After I hung up the phone, I disappeared for a moment to gain my composure. My son hates to see me emotional. 🙂

We miss my mom’s warm laughter and tight hugs. But I’m positive my mom is equally grateful for the kind of neighbours we have right about now. And so are we.

May your Easter be extra special and meaningful to you. We have so much to be thankful for after all.

H a P p Y   e A s T e R   f R i E n D s !

Do you have a special Easter tradition of some kind?

I’d love to hear about it!

The current SNS 127 link party for this weekend is still live HERE.

Feel like a little Easter DIY? The best of Easter 2011 is HERE.


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30 thoughts on “Our Easter tradition: paska! What’s yours?

  1. What a wonderful bread and thanks so much for the recipes. I have never heard of or tried this bread…but try I will.
    Thanks so much!!

  2. It looks delicious! It reminds me of a panettone, which my mom always had around Christmas. Even though she would bake cookies she’d always just buy this! We would always make an Easter bunny cake out of 2 round cake pans and my boys would help decorate it. Now they are too big for such things!

  3. Happy Easter to you, Donna. It is weird, isn’t it, how the loss of a family member changes the very fiber of our being…how even the “little things” become so much more important because they are attached to that special someone. I know the feelings- I lost my Dad when I was 21 and my Mom when I was in my early 30s…and all those little things come flooding back even after all these years. Blessings to your family today as you move forward through the Easter Holiday- xo Diana ps..that bread LOOKS delicious! xo Diaan

  4. I got all choked up reading this post this morning…my grama used to make a Hungarian version of this. My heart aches some times, I miss her so!

    You have beautiful friends in your neighbors! Tell them I LOVE them! : )

    Happy Easter my dear friend!


  5. I blogged about our Easter traditions here -http://jamesandleighann.blogspot.com/2012/03/easters-fast-approaching.html My favorite is the rocks in the basket and we also make resurrection rolls.

  6. The little familly tradition make as strong and full of love. I indtroduce easter hunt to my 2 boys. Every Easter the Easter Bunny is coming to them and leaving speciall letters with clue. FInally they are finding chocolate Easter eggs. I hope when they will grow they will remember our little traditions and will smile to themes children. Happy Easter Donna.

  7. I am all over anything that is a bread and if it is a cake/bread then all the better! This looks so yummy Donna ~ will have to give it a whirl. Our Easter tradition is eggs benedict for Sunday brunch ~ just finished actually and it was oh so good. Off to dinner with family this afternoon amid our April snowstorm here on the East coast ~ we were raking yesterday ~ welcome to the Maritimes! Happy Easter Donna. xo

  8. That looks so delicious! I am so sorry you are missing your mom- I admire your strenghth, I can’t imagine how the holidays must be. You are being so strong for your family. I am so sorry for your loss.


  9. I think I know your Corinne and Jeanette…beautiful girls and not surprising at all that they would love on you this way.
    blessings to you and your son this Easter Donna!

  10. I smiled when I saw the title of your post today. As a Mennonite girl transplanted from the Canadian prairies to north Texas (!) a few years ago, paska is one of the traditions I miss. I have tried to make it a couple of times, and it’s been ok, but not quite like the fluffy confection my mother and grandmothers make (one of my grandmothers used to bake it in a coffee tin). My family would tell me I just need to practice more 🙂 And I will check out those recipe links. Happy Easter, Donna!

  11. Happy Easter, Donna. The paska looks delicious. My mom passed ten years ago, so I completely understand you missing yours. However, imagine what a great Easter they are having. Our tradition has always been, church, family, and lots of food. I’ve never been able to get the exact taste of some of the dishes my mom and grandmother made. They were the, little of this and a bit of that kinda cooks, but it was oh so good.

  12. Wow…this is so interesting. We have paska in Moldova, which is where I am originally from. I used to make it all the time, but this year I found out I am sensitive to gluten, so no paska this year. The Easter celebration seems different without it. Thank you for sharing.

  13. My mom is not with me either and during a holiday there is a small hole in my heart that cannot be filled. By carrying on their traditions we honor our moms. I always have baked ham and biscuits, because those are two of my mom’s favorites. We have an egg hunt for our 3 adult children and grand daughter but we put in money, lottery tickets, and a sky miles trip, that makes them as eager as a bunch of 5 year olds!

  14. Now you have done it!!! This sounds amazing, never heard of this but sounds yummy and I now I want to try it/ Is this a Northern thing? Greek? I am interested to learn and I sure don’t need the calories ha ha

  15. It seems to be an eastern tradition too. My mother is russian and she makes paska every Easter. I remember when I was little she used to use big cans to bake them in order to make them round like towers but the last decades she uses cake forms. Happy Easter to you and your family!

  16. It’s interesting–Russians and Ukrainians make Paskas for Easter too. In Siberia, my grandma used to bake them every Easter for our family. I wonder if Mennonites adapted this recipe from Ukrainin/Russian cusine. Happy Easter to you too!

  17. Sounds delicious, we like to make ham, potatoe salad, green beans, and then add some family fav’s from the girls! This year my daughter made a chocolate buttermilk cake with chocolate gaunache frosting and a toffee crunch topping for my husbands birthday! Di@cottage-wishes

  18. I started following your blog after seeing some of your ideas on Pinterest. Was interested to discover today that you came from a Mennonite background as I do, and I recently discovered the recipes from “Mennonite Girls Can Cook” as well. What a wonderful heritage to have! I don’t recall having eaten this bread; the yeast bread that my mother and grandmother made was ZWIEBACK. Like you, I rarely made them but now that my mother too is not with us, need to start keeping the legacy alive. A blessed Easter to you! Jeanette, Oklahoma

  19. What kid (old or young!!) wouldn’t love this yummy bread!! Sorry I don’t have traditions! Every year is a new year and what we did the year before probably won’t happen again this year. : )

  20. I, too, come from a Mennonite background. Although we raise our kids in a strong Christian faith, I feel saddened that I have incorporated so little of my heritage in the celebration of holidays. Traditions keep memories alive for generations to come. I will definitely check out the Mennonite girls website. Thank you, Donna, for bringing back memories to me. May God bless you this Easter and may you feel His presence and peace this most blessed of seasons.

  21. Donna I have never heard of this bread, but it sure looks good. Happy Easter to you and Cody.
    Our tradition is I cook for all of our children and grandchildren. Then we have a big egg hunt
    with money in some of the eggs and then a big prize egg.

  22. I’m so glad you have great neighbors to take care of you like that! We lost my mom this passed October, so I understand the loss, frustration and severe sadness. {{{hugs}}}

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