Authentic Italian Recipes from Italy




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 Cassata Siciliana

   Cassata Siciliana Photo
Category: Desserts
Servings: 6
Total time: 35 min + at least 1 hr setting time
Level: Easy
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An authentic Italian recipe from our kitchen to yours. Buon Appetito!

Ingredients for Cake

- 1/2 cup almond paste (marzipan)

- 1 recipe Pan di Spagna or sponge cake cut into 1/4 inch wide strips

- 1/2 cup candied fruit, chopped + more for decorating the cake

- 1/3 cup small chocolate chips

- 1 pound ricotta cheese, strained

- 1/2 cup fine sugar

- 1/4 cup Cointreau thinned with 1/4 cup water

Ingredients for Icing

- 2/3 cup powdered sugar

- 1 teaspoon lemon juice

- water as needed


1.  Place the ricotta in a strainer lined with cheese cloth. Place the strainer over a bowl and allow the liquid to drain from the ricotta.

2.  Lightly dust a pie pan with powdered sugar on all sides.

3.  Lightly dust a pastry board or working surface with powdered sugar. Roll out the almond paste to a 6 - 7 inch long ribbon about 1 1/2 inches wide and 1/8 inch thick. Place the ribbon around the interior ring of the pie pan and press it lightly to fit well. Trim any edges and discard or save for another use.




4.  Place strips of Pan di Spagna (sponge cake) into base of the pie pan and around the side to cover the almond paste. Fit the pieces snuggly together. Drizzle half of the Cointreau/water mixture over all of the sponge cake.

5.  In a mixing bowl, combine the strained ricotta and the sugar. Using a hand mixer, mix thoroughly until the ingredients for a smooth cream. Fold in the chocolate chips and the chopped candied fruit.

6.  Pour the ricotta cream into the pie pan and spread evenly to cover the sponge cake.

7.  Place the rest of the strips of Pan di Spagna to cover the ricotta layer and "close" the base of the cake. Fit the strips of cake pieces together tightly. Drizzle the cake with the rest of the Cointreau liquid.

8.  Place the cake in the refrigerator to set for at least one hour (or overnight).

9.  Once the cake has set, place a serving plate over the top of the pie pan and flip the cake over onto the serving plate.

10.  For the icing, combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice in a bowl. Add water as necessary to thin the mixture until it reaches a honey-like consistency.

11.  Pour the icing over the cake and spread to cover all sides. Decorate the top of the cake with additional candied fruit.

12.  Let the icing set for another 15 minutes and then serve.