Festive Panforte Recipe

With its mix of nuts, fruit, candied peel and spices, nothing says Italian Christmas quite like a traditional panforte.


  • 100g whole, toasted, skinned hazelnuts
  • 100g almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 50g coarsely chopped dried figs
  • 1tbsp cocoa
  • 225g coarsely chopped candied orange & lemon peel
  • 1tsp grated lemon zest
  • 50g plain flour
  • 1 large tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1tsp each ground coriander, cloves, nutmeg and pepper
  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 4tbsp honey
  • 2tbsp butter
  • Icing sugar


Heat the oven to 150C.

Mix the nuts, figs, candied fruit, zest, spices, flour and cocoa together in a bowl.

Butter and line a 9 inch spring form pan with rice or greaseproof paper.

Heat the sugar, honey and butter in a heavy pan until the syrup reaches 242F-248F on a sugar thermometer.

Immediately pour the syrup into the nut mixture and stir quickly until thoroughly blended.

Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. The batter will become stiff and sticky very quickly so you must work fast.

Bake the panforte in the oven for 30-40 minutes. It will not colour or seem firm, even when ready, but it will harden as it cools.

Once set, remove from the pan and sprinkle with icing sugar.

This cake lasts for at least 2 weeks, if it hasn’t already been eaten! Store in paper not in the fridge.

Copyright Sophie Braimbridge