Easy Pashka Recipe – Bake Play Smile

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A delicious and classic Russian Pashka dessert recipe filled with dark chocolate, slivered almonds and sultanas.

Taking little time to prepare, this luscious and creamy chilled dessert can be made a few days ahead and is delightful to share, particularly over the festive season.

A fork resting on a plate with a serve of pashka.A fork resting on a plate with a serve of pashka.

We like to mix things up a little and so with a few modifications to the authentic Russian Easter Pashka, this Pashka recipe has been made each Christmas in our family since I was little!

Besides the intense flavours combined in Pashka, I love the rich and creamy texture which is very similar to a cheesecake filling, and so, yes, you guessed it, that brings me to my other love of chilled dessertscheesecakes!

From luscious sweet and fruity no-bake cheesecakes like my white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake, to the more decadent versions such as the ever popular chocolate cheesecake, there’s a cheesecake to please every taste!

I think you’re going to love my Pashka recipe just as much as my cheesecakes…

A creamy Pashka served on a cake stand,A creamy Pashka served on a cake stand,

Why You’re Going To Love This Recipe

Whilst this is not traditionally a Christmas recipe (it’s actually an Easter recipe!), Pashka is made with rum and raisin chocolate, slivered almonds and sultanas, and so it makes the perfect accompaniment to serve with warm Christmas pudding, or as a stand-alone chilled dessert.

  • Add pashka to your family Christmas tradition – I’m sure once you’ve made Pashka, you’ll be coming back to this recipe every year too!
  • Make ahead of time – besides soaking the fruit first, it takes very little time to mix this dessert and it can easily be made a few days before required, taking all the hassle out of preparations.
  • Feeds a crowd – being an intense, rich and creamy dessert, you only need a small(ish) serve. Up to 16 serves!
  • Make for ‘adults only’, or for all the family – the sultanas can be soaked in either Brandy or orange juice, so pick your preference!
  • Exquisite flavours – the combination of almonds, rum and raisin chocolate, plump sultanas soaked in Brandy or orange juice, all churned through a cream cheese mix, and then chilled to allow ingredients to blend = the most flavour intense dessert!!
  • Conventional and Thermomix – I have included instructions for both methods in the recipe card below.
A close up of a creamy and rich festive dessert filled with slivered almonds, chopped rum and raisin chocolate and sultanas.A close up of a creamy and rich festive dessert filled with slivered almonds, chopped rum and raisin chocolate and sultanas.

What You Need

The combo of rich and festive flavours in this dessert only intensifies more as it chills!

Note: Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom for the ingredients quantities and full detailed method.

  • Sultanas
  • Brandy or orange juice – Brandy adds a mellow sweetness to this dessert, but you can simply swap for orange juice if you would like to keep it alcohol free.
  • Slivered almonds – these are almonds that have been blanched and then sliced into thin slivers. They have a delicious creamy nut flavour and firm, fresh texture.
  • Butter – either salted or unsalted is suitable for this pashka recipe.
  • Caster sugar – used as it easily dissolves when mixed with the butter and cream cheese.
  • Sour cream – I recommend using full-fat sour cream rather than the light version, for the creamiest texture.
  • Cream cheese – once again, use full-fat cream cheese such as the original Philly block, rather than light or spreadable cream cheese.
  • Lemon juice and zest – the citrusy zest always gives a subtle twang so try to use a fresh lemon for best results.
  • Vanilla extract – or vanilla essence. Use a good quality vanilla that has been extracted from the vanilla bean, and not synthetically flavoured.
  • Rum & raisin chocolate – there’s different brands around, and often on special pre-Christmas, however I love to use Cadbury’s Old Gold rum and raisin chocolate….. again, it’s that traditional thing….
Ingredients set out on a bench top.Ingredients set out on a bench top.

Equipment Required

Apparently the traditional Easter Pashka was made in a wooden shaped conical bowl to represent a pyramid when inverted – but here, a good old-fashioned pudding bowl (or any small deep bowl) is ideal to use!

  • Mixing bowl – to soak the sultanas in.
  • Frying pan – to lightly toast the slivered almonds.
  • Hand-held beaters, stand mixer or Thermomix – for creaming and combining the mixture.
  • Cheesecloth/muslin sheet/usused Chux cloth – to line the bowl with – see FAQs.
  • Pudding bowl – or any small deep round bowl.
One wedge of Pashka slightly removed from the rest.One wedge of Pashka slightly removed from the rest.

Step By Step Instructions

Make sure you have your dairy products – butter, cream cheese and sour cream – at room temperature to mix smoothly with the other ingredients.

Note: Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom for the ingredients quantities and full detailed method.

Step 1 – Soak The Sultanas

Place the sultanas into a small bowl, and pour over the brandy (or orange juice). Leave to soak for 5 hours (or overnight).

TIME SAVING TIP: Microwave the sultanas and brandy (or orange juice) in 30 second bursts for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Allow to cool.

Sultanas soaking in orange juice in a mixing bowl.Sultanas soaking in orange juice in a mixing bowl.

Step 2 – Toast The Almonds

Place the slivered almonds into a small frying pan over low heat.

Stir continuously until the almonds are just lightly golden – keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly. Set aside to cool.

Step 3 – Beat The Mixture

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with hand held beaters or a stand mixer until pale and creamy.

Creamed butter and caster sugar in a white bowl.Creamed butter and caster sugar in a white bowl.

Add the sour cream and beat until combined with the creamed mixture.

A block of cream cheese added to the mixing bowl.A block of cream cheese added to the mixing bowl.

Add the cream cheese, lemon juice, lemon rind and vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until smooth, pale and creamy.

Step 4 – Combine With All Other Ingredients

Add the toasted almonds, finely chopped chocolate and the sultanas (along with any excess liquid).

Sultanas, toasted slivered almonds and chunks of rum and raisin chocolate added to the creamed mixture.Sultanas, toasted slivered almonds and chunks of rum and raisin chocolate added to the creamed mixture.

Mix through with a spoon.

All ingredients mixed together in a bowl.All ingredients mixed together in a bowl.

Step 5 – Place In Bowl

Place either a cheesecloth, a clean sheet of muslin, or an unused Chux into a medium bowl.

A Chux cloth placed in a small round deep bowl.A Chux cloth placed in a small round deep bowl.

Spoon the mixture into the bowl, over the top of the cloth.

Pashka mixture spooned into a Chux lined bowl.Pashka mixture spooned into a Chux lined bowl.

Place the bowl of Pashka into the fridge for a minimum of 6 hours (preferably overnight).

Remove the Pashka by pulling the cloth upwards, and turn it over onto a serving plate.

Pashka turned upside down, out of the bowl it was chilled in.Pashka turned upside down, out of the bowl it was chilled in.

Expert Tips

Pashka is such an exquisite dessert that we reserve it for special occasions, and the question is always “who’s making the pashka this year?”. Christmas would not the the same without it!

  • I like to soak the fruit overnight, however as a time saving tip, you could microwave the sultanas and brandy (or orange juice) in 30 second bursts for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Allow to cool before mixing with other ingredients.
  • Room temperature ingredients – for a smooth Pashka, ensure ingredients, such as the butter and cream cheese, are at room temperature before using.
  • Double the mixture – if you have a HUGE crowd to feed, this recipe is simple to double up. Believe me, everyone likes seconds!
  • Storing – chill Pashka overnight (or for a minimum of 6 hours) and then continue to store it in the fridge until needed. Consume within 3 days.
  • Freezing – you can freeze Pashka as a whole or in individual portions. Wrap in a layer of plastic wrap and then a layer of foil and freeze for up to 1 month. To defrost, place the Pashka into the fridge overnight.
A serve of pashka, with some on a gold fork at the front of the plate.A serve of pashka, with some on a gold fork at the front of the plate.

FAQs

Why do you line the bowl?

Using a clean cheesecloth, muslin cloth or an unused Chux helps any excess liquid drain from the dessert as it chills, as well as making it much easier to remove from the bowl and invert on to a serving plate.

How do you serve Pashka?

I like to serve it alongside a warm Christmas pudding for tradition, however I have also served it on its own as a chilled dessert, surrounded by fresh berries such as blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. Delicious!

Why is it served upside down?

Pashka was traditionally made in a wooden mould, that once inverted, was the shape of a pyramid, however you can still make this special dessert at home in a good old-fashioned pudding bowl!

What is traditional Pashka?

The traditional Pashka is a Russian Easter dessert that was made from curd cheese, honey, dried fruit and almonds, however there are variations to this recipe nowadays. It’s texture is similar to today’s rich and creamy cheesecakes.
Pashka is also known as ‘paska’ in some eastern European countries.

Overhead shot of a spoonful of pashka on a plate with a gold coloured fork beside.Overhead shot of a spoonful of pashka on a plate with a gold coloured fork beside.

If you’re looking for more luscious no-bake desserts, then take a look at these easy festive cheesecakes. All can be made the day before to avoid any last minute rush!

WANT EVEN MORE DELICIOUS RECIPES? Subscribe to my newsletter or follow along on Facebook or Instagram. And if you love baking, then please come and join my Facebook cooking club group or subscribe to my YouTube channel. 

A slice of creamy Pashka dessert being removed.A slice of creamy Pashka dessert being removed.

Pashka

A delicious Russian Pashka dessert recipe filled with dark chocolate, slivered almonds and sultanas.

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Course: Dessert

Cuisine: russian

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Chilling Time: 6 hours

Total Time: 6 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 16 serves

Calories: 213kcal

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Instructions

  • Place the sultanas into a small bowl. Pour over the brandy (or orange juice). Leave for 5 hours. TIME SAVING TIP: Microwave the sultanas and brandy (or orange juice) in 30 second bursts for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Allow to cool, then use immediately – no need to wait the 5 hours!
  • Place the slivered almonds into a small frying pan over low heat. Stir continuously until the almonds are lightly golden. Set aside to cool.

  • In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with hand held beaters or a stand mixer until pale and creamy. If using a Thermomix: mix for 15 seconds, Speed 5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the sour cream and beat until combined. If using a Thermomix: mix for 10 seconds, Speed 5.
  • Add the cream cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until smooth, pale and creamy.If using a Thermomix: mix for 15 seconds on Speed 5. Scrape down the sides with a spatula and repeat until smooth and creamy.
  • Add the toasted almonds, finely chopped chocolate and the sultanas (along with any excess liquid). Mix through with a spoon.If using a Thermomix: mix on REVERSE for 10 seconds, Speed 2.
  • Place a cheesecloth/sheet of muslin/unused Chux into a medium bowl. Pour the mixture over the top of the cloth.
  • Place into the fridge for a minimum of 6 hours (preferably overnight).

  • Remove the pashka by pulling the cloth upwards. Turn over onto a serving plate.Serve.

Notes

RECIPE NOTES & TIPS:

  • Soak sultanas in either brandy or orange juice.
  • I like to soak the fruit overnight, however as a time saving tip, you could microwave the sultanas and brandy (or orange juice) in 30 second bursts for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Allow to cool before mixing with other ingredients.
  • Room temperature ingredients – for a smooth Pashka, ensure all ingredients are at room temperature before using.
  • Use full-fat cream cheese and sour cream for best results.
  • Storing – chill the Pashka overnight (or for a minimum of 6 hours) and then continue to store it in the fridge until needed. Consume within 3 days.
  • Freezing – you can freeze the Pashka as a whole or in individual portions. Wrap in a layer of plastic wrap and then a layer of foil and freeze for up to 1 month. To defrost, place the Pashka into the fridge overnight.

Nutrition

Calories: 213kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 103mg | Potassium: 129mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 454IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 0.4mg





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