Sicilian cassata


The cassata is unquestionably one of the symbols of Sicily. The characteristic dessert that we eat today is the extraordinary result of the different cultures that have alternated in this island: it is of Arab origin, it was then enriched during the Norman period and improved in the eighteenth century with Baroque decorations.

  • Palermo
  • cassata from Sicily





For the filling:

• 1 teaspoon cinnamon

• 100 g dark chocolate flakes

• 100  g diced candied fruit

• 50 g peeled pistachios

• 800 g sheep ricotta

• 3 tablespoons of rum or rosolio or maraschino

• 2 sachets of vanillin

• 500 g icing sugar

For the sponge cake:

• 6 eggs

• 6 tablespoons of boiling water

• 250 g sugar

• 300 g 00 flour

• lemon peel

• 1 sachet of baking powder

To decorate:

o Mixed candied fruit

o Zuccata 

For royal paste (marzipan):

• 200 ml water

• Green food coloring to taste

• 200 g almond flour

• 1 sachet of vanillin

• 200 g sugar

For glaze:

• Water or orange blossom water to taste 

• Icing sugar to taste 


For the filling:

1. Sift the ricotta and incorporate the icing sugar, vanillin, cinnamon and sweet liqueur to taste.

2. Work the mixture until a smooth and soft cream is obtained.

3. Add the flaked chocolate, pistachios and candied fruit cut into small pieces.

For royal paste (marzipan):

4. Prepare the green marzipan with by putting 200 g of sugar and 200 ml of water in a pan.

5. Bring to a boil and, when the sugar begins to spin, remove from heat.

6. Add 200 g of almond flour, the food coloring and a bag of vanillin.

7. Stir until a homogeneous dough is obtained and pour on a damp marble table.

8. Work the cooled real dough until it becomes smooth and compact.

For the sponge cake:

9. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and whip them until stiff.

10. Whip the egg yolks with 6 tablespoons of boiling water.

11. Incorporate the sugar and the lemon peel finely grated. Continue to whip until it is clear and fluffy..

12. Add slowly the flour and the baking powder, continuing to whip.

13. Add the whipped egg whites until stiff and mix them with a wooden spoon with a bottom-up movement.

14. Grease and flour a mold then pour the mixture into it.

15. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 ° C for 40 minutes.

16. Remove the sponge cake from the mold and allow it to cool before using it as described in the recipe.

Last steps:

17. Cut the sponge cake horizontally and make four round discs.

18. Line a cake pan 21 cm in diameter and with high edges with parchment paper. Place in the centre of the pan a disc of sponge cake, and along the edge pieces of sponge cake alternated with marzipan.

19. Pour half of the ricotta cream onto the sponge cake and cover with another sponge cake.

20. Repeat the operation with the remaining cream and close with the last sponge cake.

21.  Let it cool down in the fridge and then remove the cake from the mold, turn it over and cover it entirely with a white glaze (add plain water or orange flower water with icing sugar until you get a thick and leaking consistency).

22. Allow the glaze to harden. Garnish with candied fruit and zuccata cut into thin strips.