Featured Italian Dessert

How To Make A Great Cassata Siciliana – (A Very Traditional Sicilian Dessert)

Italian Dessert


For the cake

  • 5 Large Eggs – separated ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 ½ Cups Sugar
  • Rind of 1 Lemon – grated
  • 1 ½ Cups Flour
  • ½ tsp Cream of Tartar


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Butter and flour 2 8-inch cake pans.
  3. Beat the egg whites until they are stiff but not too dry, folding in the salt and ½ cup of the sugar half way through the beating.
  4. Beat the egg yolks with the remaining 1 cup of sugar and the lemon rind.
  5. Fold the yolks into the whites with a rubber spatula.
  6. Sift the flour with the cream of tartar twice and then fold into the eggs.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pans.
  8. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the tops are golden.
  9. Let cool.



  • 2 lbs Ricotta
  • 2 Cups Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 2 tsps Cinnamon
  • ¼ Cup Semisweet or Bittersweet Chocolate
  • Pieces
  • ¼ Cup Chopped Candied Fruit
  • ½ Cup Chopped Pistachios or Pine Nuts


  1. Force the ricotta through a sieve.
  2. Combine with the remaining ingredients and set aside.


  • 6 Tbs Liqueur of Marsala – your choice
  • Confectioner’s Sugar
  1. Cut the cooled cake into strips or slices and sprinkle with liquor or Marsala.
  2. Line the sides and bottom of a 10 – cup round mold completely and tightly with strips of cake, saving enough to cover the top.
  3. Fill the mold completely with the creamy ricotta mixture.
  4. Top with a layer of cake, pressing down to fill the mold solidly.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 6 hours.
  6. Unmold the cake and sprinkle with confection’s sugar before serving.
  7. This works best if you have a large glass bowl.
  8. While chilling, place a little weight on top of the plastic wrap to help compress.

NOTE: I’ve read suggestions to line the mold with Saran or other plastic wrap for ease in unmolding, but I have not tried that.

Buon Mangiata!

Facebook Comments
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

You Might Also Like

No Comments

    Leave a Reply