Siena Cake - Panforte de Siena

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 35 mins

My husband Steingrim makes this fabulous fruit and nut cake every year for the holidays, and it's one fruit cake that you won't find people using for a door stop! No, our family members tussle over pieces of this stuff. :) The cake originates from Siena, in the Tuscan region of Italy, where it is very popular and is exported to many countries. It is a perfect accompaniment to after-dinner coffee.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Chop almonds, hazelnuts, apricots, pineapple, orange and lemon peel.
  2. Mix well with flour, cinnamon, and cocoa.
  3. Put sugar and honey in a saucepan, stirring over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Add chocolate to saucepan, stir until melted, and remove from heat.
  6. Combine with fruit and nut mixture; cut parchment paper circle to fit bottom of 8" well-buttered round cake pan, then butter the paper and evenly spread the batter into the pan.
  7. Bake at 300 degrees F for 35 minutes.
  8. Let cool in pan.
  9. Remove cake from pan, wrap in foil, and let stand overnight.
  10. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into thin wedges.
  11. Wrapped in aluminum foil to stay air-tight, it will keep for weeks, refrigeration not needed.
  12. Note: the Julesong photo accompanying this cake was taken about a month after it was made, because this cake can keep for so long and we forgot to take pics when it was newly done and the powdered sugar was still all pretty. :) Please excuse the slightly messy nature of the cake in the photo - we'll replace it with a good one, next year.
Most Helpful

made this up for my xmas hampers, but found it not sweet enough, and a tad dry. BUT I had nothing to compare it too :) I cut up some little pieces and put them in a ziplock bag with a teaspoon of icing sugar, and took them to some friends to try. They had tasted the real thing in Italy. They said it was better then the one they had :) Once it was dusted all over with the sugar, I found it was a lot nicer then without. My mix was also a little dry, I think it needed a little more honey, as it certainly wasnt a "Batter" thanks for posting!

mummamills November 05, 2008

This tasted really lovely and rich but I had trouble getting the dough to come together, I made it as stated but there didnt seem to be enough liquidy ingredients and some of the dry floury fruit&nut mix was left in the bowl. regardless it baked up ok.

dizzydi April 29, 2008

This looks exactly like the panforte my aunt and her family send out every year to all us lucky relatives! I've never made it myself, but I have to say: in our modern culture of super-sweet, quick&cheap desserts, this is a rich and truly amazing treat.

White Rose Child January 10, 2009