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Pandolce, oh sweet bread

This cake is primarily prepared during the Christmas season in Genoa but it is even popular in the rest of the Liguria region, in Italy. In the United Kingdom, a similar version is known as Genoa cake.

I know what you are thinking. Am I going to propose a Christmas recipe now? More than a month after Christmas!  Well, when I was looking for recipes of this pandolce during Christmas time, I read that according to the tradition a slice should be kept for the feast of San Biagio which is today, the 3rd of February. Not that there is any slice left, but I took the opportunity to prepare another pandolce and celebrate the feast of San Biagio!


Although there are some complicated pandolce recipes which require long hours waiting for the dough to rise, this recipe is simple. Ingredients are mixed together to form a dough and oven-baked immediately, without any resting time.


  • 300g flour ‘OO’
  • 10g instant yeast (ideally use the one for sweets)
  • 2 eggs
  • 120g icing sugar
  • 120g butter
  • 100g candied orange peel, cubed
  • 50g candied lemon peel, cubed
  • 150g sultanas
  • 50g pine nuts
  • 1 tsp aniseed

Preheat oven at 180 degrees Celsius. Sift the flour and yeast in a large bowl. Form a well in the center and break the eggs, beat them lightly with a fork. Add the sifted icing sugar and butter and mix together quickly to form a dough.

In a small bowl, mix the candied fruits, sultanas, pine nuts and aniseed and add to the dough.

Transfer the dough on the floured table top and work the dough well to form 2 round balls. Flatten the dough until it is like 2 fingers high. Place the pandolci on an ovenproof dish covered with baking paper and cook in oven for 45/50 minutes until the surface becomes golden. Remove from oven and leave to cool on a wooden board.






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