Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman
Ciaramicola is an Easter cake that’s regional to Umbria, a region in central Italy. It traditionally uses an Italian liqueur called Alcheremes, which gives the cake a bright red hue – but it’s quite difficult to find here, so we replaced it with a similarly ruby-red Italian liqueur: Campari!
The result is a delightful cake with a really pleasant subtle taste of Campari liqueur, and a beautiful meringue topping that’s piled a mile high. Topped with sprinkles, it’s a visually festive and fun cake that tastes wonderful.
Giada’s Umbrian Easter Cake (Ciaramicola)
For the Cake:
- Vegetable spray
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup whole Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup Campari liqueur
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
For the Meringue Topping:
- 4 large egg whites
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- Sprinkles, for decorating
- For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a nonstick Bundt pan with vegetable spray. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or using a hand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. On low speed, slowly add the yogurt and the Campari liqueur. With the mixer on low, add the flour, one cup at a time, until combined. Finally, add the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Raise to medium speed and mix for 1 minute, until the batter is fluffy and smooth. With a spatula, transfer the batter to the prepared Bundt pan and smooth out the top. Set the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake until golden and a cake tester comes out clean, about 50 minutes.
- Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 20-30 minutes. Slide a knife around the edges of the cake pan and carefully turn it out onto the baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Turn the oven down to 200 degrees F.
- While the cake cools, start the meringue topping. Thoroughly clean your stand-mixer bowl and use the whisk attachment. Add the egg whites and a pinch of salt to the bowl, and mix on medium-low speed until the eggs look frothy, about 2 minutes. Add the cream of tartar and increase the mixing speed to medium-high. Once the egg whites start to appear fluffy, with large bubbles forming around the edges of the bowl, slowly add the sugar while the mixer is running. Continue mixing until the mixture looks glossy and holds stiff peaks when the whisk attachment is lifted out of the mixture.
- Using an offset spatula or a spoon, spread the meringue over the top of the bundt cake on the baking sheet, piling it up high. Use the spatula or back of the spoon to make decorative swirls across the cake. Top the meringue with colorful nonpareil-style sprinkles.
- Place the topped cake back into the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, so the meringue just sets and is firm to the touch. Remove it from the oven before it starts to turn golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and serve at room temperature.