How to bring the Sicilian sun to your home!

To a completely new travel destination takes us todya’s guest Astrid – namely to Sicily! I’m already so excited for the tasty recipe, which she has for us. 🙂

And keep in mind to join the current giveaway. 🙂


Cassata siciliana

When I heard of the great event on Baking Avenue I directly was hooked and I’m happy, to present you a real piece of Sicily. On my travel blog Späte Vögel Sicily plays a big part. Yes, I’m a little in love with this island.

When I came to Sicily for the first time a few years ago, I was impressed with the beauty of the island, the culture in the cities and the excessive nature. Sure, I wasn’t there during summer, but in the season between November and May, which you call ‚winter’ in Sicily, but here you’d rather call it eternal spring. Back then I ate Cassata siciliana for the first time. A baroque, richly ornamented cake made of ricotta, biscuit, marzipan and glacéed fruits. It’s a lot of work to make a good Cassata, but if you’d like to make an impression on your guests, the effort is totally worth it. Not least because the Cassata is amazingly tasty. It tastes like sun, blooming lemon trees, sea and beach, like Dolche Vita and holidays.



Another tip regarding the ingredients: You rarely find glacéed fruits in German stores. Same with pistachio cream and maraschino. Completely worthless trying to find a Cassata pan over here. The internet is very helpful in this cases, but best is to bring it with you from your next Sicily trip.




Cassata siciliana

Preparation needs 2 days

Vorbereitungszeit 2 hours
Zubereitungszeit 50 minutes
Arbeitszeit 2 hours 50 minutes
Portionen 1 cake
Autor Späte Vögel


For the Pan di Spagna

  • 10 eggs
  • 300 g fine sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • grated peel of a half lemon
  • 300 g flour
  • 1 pack baking powder
  • 2 tbsps soft butter for the pan
  • 2 tbsps flour for the pan

For the syrup

  • 100 ml water
  • 50 g sugar
  • thin cutted peel of a half lemon
  • 1 shot glass maraschino

For the green marzipan

  • 200 g marzipan
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened pistachio cream
  • powdered sugar for roll out and the Cassata pan

For the cream

  • 1 kg ricotta
  • 250 g powdered sugar
  • 50 g glacéed orange slices
  • 100 g semisweet chocolate drops

For the icing

  • 350 g powdered sugar
  • water

For the decoration

  • mixed glacéed fruits
  • 1 egg white
  • 150 g powdered sugar


  1. Separate the eggs for the Pan di Spagna. Add salt and whisk stiff the egg whites. Take a second bowl and add the 300 g sugar, the egg yolks and the grated lemon peel. When the mass has a consistency of mayonnaise it’s perfect. Then carefully fold in beaten egg whites.

  2. Preheat oven to 160°C top/bottom heat. As a cake pan I use a enameled casserole dish of 35 x 25 cm. Grease it with butter and dust it with flour. Now mix remaining flour with baking powder and sift it into the beaten bit by bit. Best is to use a whisk to fold in the flour. When everything is stirred to a smooth dough, pour it into the dish and let the Pan di Spagna bake for about 50 minutes.

  3. Let the ricotta drip off in a fine sieve over night.

  4. On the next day prepare the cream with the ricotta, powdered sugar, chocolate drops and glacéed oranges. Place the cream in the fridge.

  5. Knead the marzipan with the pistachio cream until the marzipan is evenly green. Roll out with lots of powdered sugar. The sugar helps so that the marzipan won’t stick. The marzipan should be a half cm thick and a little wider than the edge of the Cassata pan. Cut the marzipan into 2 cm wide lozenges.

  6. Halve the Pan di Spagna horizontal, so that you get a top plate and a bottom plate. Use a sharp knife for it. Stamp a round piece of biscuit out of one of the plates – use the Cassata pan for it. Cut lozenges in the same size as the marzipan ones out of the remaining biscuit. If the biscuit pieces are thicker than the marzipan pieces you should halve the pieces horizontal. You’ll need the pieces with the crust side.

  7. Now you have to coat the Cassata pan with powdered sugar. This is an art in itself. In my case the sugar most of the time slides from the edges to the valley. So that’s why I proceed in two steps here. First I sift a ‚closed snow cover’ on the bottom. There you place the round piece of cake. Attention! The crusty side downward. 

  8. The sides of the pan you cover rotational with marzipan and biscuit lozenges. Therefore you dredge the marzipan pieces properly with powdered sugar and place them in the pan. The Pan di Spagna has to be dipped in powdered sugar and place it with the crusty side towards the pan.

  9. When the whole pan is covered with cake and marzipan, cut all overcoming edges.

  10. Prepare the syrup by boiling up water with sugar and lemon peel. Let the liquid boil up and then simmer for 5 minutes. Let it cool. Finally add the maraschino and sprinkle the biscuit pieces in the pan with it.

  11. Now fill in the cream. Cover it with crumbled Pan di Spagna. Place in the fridge over night and let it steep.

  12. Turn out the Cassata on a cake plate.

  13. Next you make the glaze. Sift powdered sugar in a pot. Now add a few tablespoons water. How much? So many, that you get a viscous mush. Warm up the mash, don’t boil. The glaze should remain white. With the glaze you cover the cake. The green marzipan and the brown cake should still be seen on the sides. But the top can get a thick glaze layer.

  14. Finally comes the most beautiful: The decoration. Let your imagination run free. Classically you display ornaments our of glacéed fruits. Out of a beaten egg white and 150 g powdered sugar you prepare an icing which you fill in an icing bag with a small nozzle. As soon as the icing is dry the cake is ready.

Serve with an Espresso or a glas of maraschino – and immediately the sun shines over the sea.

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