Like a brioche but all the more festive, Romanian cozonac is a sweet Christmas bread, rich with the addition of rum, raisins, nuts, chocolate and Turkish delight. Tottenham’s award-winning artisan patisserie, and one time Bake Off: The Professionals contestant, Prestige Patisserie makes them every year to celebrate the festive season. And for husband-and-wife team George and Geanina Ursache, it’s full of nostalgia. “These loaves are packed with childhood memories. The recipe has been passed down by Geanina’s mother. When you cut your first slice and see those swirls of meringue and jewels of Turkish delight, it feels like home.”

Recreate this cozonac recipe, then check out our chocolate yule log, classic trifle, stollen bites and more Christmas desserts.



  • 1 sachet dried fast-action yeast
  • 65g caster sugar, plus 1½ tsp
  • 250g strong white bread flour, sifted
  • 30g raisins
  • 75g whole milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp dark rum
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ orange, zested
  • ½ lemon, zested
  • 60g unsalted butter, softened and cut into chunks, plus extra for the tin


  • 1 egg white (about 45g)
  • 85g caster sugar
  • 125g ground walnuts
  • 15g cocoa powder
  • 5ml vanilla essence
  • 5ml dark rum
  • 150g Turkish delight (a mixture of bright colours), half chopped finely, the rest chopped roughly


  • 1 egg
  • demerara sugar, for sprinkling


  • STEP 1

    Start the dough by making a fermentation using the yeast, 1½ tsp of caster sugar, 50g of flour and 75ml of warm water. Mix together and leave in a warm place until it has doubled in volume. Meanwhile, soak the raisins in hot water for 10 mins before thoroughly draining.

  • STEP 2

    Gently heat the milk and remaining sugar in a small pan for 2-3 mins or until warm and the sugar has dissolved. Leave to cool slightly. In the bowl of a stand mixer put the fermentation, warm milk, remaining flour, egg yolks, rum, vanilla, citrus zests and ¼ tsp of salt, and use the dough hook to combine on a medium speed until it forms a dough.

  • STEP 3

    With the mixer still going, gradually add the butter bit by bit, waiting until the butter has been absorbed before adding the next chunk. Once fully combined, mix the dough slowly for 10 mins until it feels fairly elastic. Add the raisins and mix until combined – it will be sticky. Once finished, prove the dough for 1 hr until it has doubled in volume.

  • STEP 4

    Meanwhile, start on the filling. In a large, clean bowl, whip the egg white using an electric hand whisk until it reaches stiff peaks. Add the sugar in 1 tbsp at a time, returning to stiff peaks each time. Once you’ve added half the sugar, scatter in the rest, whisking until stiff peaks and no grains of sugar remain. Now add the remaining filling ingredients and the finely chopped turkish delight, and lightly fold it in using a spatula.

  • STEP 5

    Divide the dough into two and shape each into a flat sheet, around 25cm x 18cm. Spread the meringue filling equally over each and sprinkle with the roughly chopped turkish delight. Roll each sheet from the long side, making sure it’s not too tight, allowing a bit of space for it to expand. Take both lengths of dough and lightly twist them together.

  • STEP 6

    Butter and line a 20cm x 7cm loaf tin and add the dough, leaving it to prove for 1 hr until it has doubled in size. During this time, heat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Once the dough has proved, lightly egg wash and sprinkle with demerara sugar for a delicious crunch. Transfer to the oven and bake for 50-55 mins or until deeply golden and cooked through.

Goes well with


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