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Panforte Recipe

Christmas Panforte


Panforte Christmas Cake

For those of you who know me, you will know that I like to be organised (well) in advance. I am not a spontaneous kind of girl. I hate to do things at the last minute, it makes me stressed. I know this about myself so I work around it by planning and doing things well in advance. Christmas shopping is usually completed early in the year.   I keep a list of birthdays in my diary and wallet so that I can collect gifts across the year when I find something suitable. I was the girl at university who was fast asleep at 1 am in the morning when her friends came knocking on her door tired, looking for snacks, and stressed, trying to finish an assignment that had to be submitted first thing in the morning. Mine was ready a few days prior and I had started researching the next one. Annoying to some I know….

This recipe was never in my blog post planner (yes – I plan everything a month in advance that appears here), nor was it on my radar but somehow it squeezed into my December blog post schedule. How??

I adore beautiful food photographs!  I think that I may also be becoming less of a “control freak” as time progresses, children probably have contributed to that.  I saw a gorgeous image of a panforte on Pinterest by Red Shallot Kitchen . It triggered a light bulb moment and as usual I had a full pantry 🙂

We are spending Christmas with my parents this year and I know that my mum likes to offer guests a slice of panforte or similar when they drop in for a coffee over the holiday period.  She usually purchases one but I decided that this year the panforte would be made by me.

Panforte  Food Gift

Yesterday morning I had an occupied three year old and all of a sudden there was dried fruit, nuts and other ingredients spread out all over the kitchen bench. This is the result, inspired by Red Shallot Kitchen’s gorgeous photograph.

Panforte Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A rich, Christmas cake to share with friends over a cup of coffee or tea. Filled with macadamia nuts and hazelnuts, espresso, honey and raw cocao. This recipe is refined sugar free. A very simple cake to make and lovely to gift to others.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
  • ½ cup dried craisins (cranberries)
  • ½ cup of dried dates - chopped
  • 1 cup mixed dried fruit
  • ¾ cup hazelnuts - chopped
  • 2 cups macadamia nuts - chopped
  • 3 tablespoons raw cocao powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • ¼ teaspoon clove powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup plain organic flour
  • ½ cup of espresso coffee
  • ⅔ cup honey
  • ½ coconut sugar
  • 50 grams butter
  1. Line the round cake(s) tin with baking paper
  2. To a bowl add all of the ingredients except the coffee, honey, coconut sugar and butter
  3. Turn on the oven to heat to 130 degrees
  4. Add the coffee, honey, coconut sugar and butter to a saucepan and over medium heat wait until the butter melts. When bubbles just start to appear in mixture, stir and remove from the heat
  5. Add the liquid to the bowl of dry ingredients and stir well to combine
  6. Pour the mixture into the lined cake pan(s)
  7. Jiggle to settle and place into the heated oven
  8. Cook the small individual sized panforte for 15 minutes, the larger size will take 30 minutes (see note for pan sizes used).
  9. You can tell that the cake is cooked when you see the cake just starting to crack around the nuts on the surface of the cake.
  10. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes and then gently remove
  11. Once the panforte has completely cooled wrap it in baking paper, seal in an airtight bag and wrap to gift or place into an airtight container or cake tin
  12. It is tempting to cut a large slice (as per my image), especially if you have smelt it cooking but it is a rich cake. Serve small slices.
This recipe made 1 large panforte and two small ones. (sized - small 10cm, large 21 cm)
Use a cake tine with a removable base if available.
The cook time is impacted by the size of the pan that you use. The mixture will make two larger sized ones.
Panforte RecipeCreating and cooking this panforte made me begin to feel very festive. The house smelt insanely amazing for the entire day.  I am going to make another round to gift to friends over Christmas – I did have a plan for that but I decided this was better!

What is your approach to Christmas/festive food? Planned well in advance or spur of the moment ?




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{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Lizzy (Good Things) December 12, 2014, 5:38 pm

    Very festive, delicious and gorgeous!

  • Marian@Apricot Tart December 12, 2014, 10:25 pm

    What a beautiful, not to mention thoughtful, gift for your Mum! Your recipe sounds delicious!

  • Chuck December 13, 2014, 11:54 am

    re: panforte oven temperature– Celsius or Fahrenheit?

    • Kyrstie Barcak December 13, 2014, 1:00 pm

      Hi Chuck, all temperatures are celcius here. Regards Kyrstie

  • e / dig in hobart December 15, 2014, 11:43 am

    ohhhh. golly that looks good, and brings back memories of travelling in Italy and keeping a wedge of panforte in my backpack for sustenance!

    • Kyrstie Barcak December 18, 2014, 8:52 pm

      Thanks e, what a wonderful thing to put into your pack 🙂 Your mention of travel and Italy in a sentence makes me yearn……

  • Krista December 15, 2014, 3:39 pm

    I used to be super organized like you, but somehow, this year, organization and planning have eluded me. 🙂 This year things are very laid back and comfy, just focusing on a few delicious things and spending our days on the farm playing board games, reading books, watching movies, taking naps. 🙂 Your panforte looks beautiful and delicious. 🙂

    • Kyrstie Barcak December 18, 2014, 8:51 pm

      That sounds like a heavenly lead up to Christmas Krista. I have not been too frantic this year to be honest but am getting some last minute panic setting in now! Thank you, I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas.

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