Follow us


Sicilian cassata

Sicilian cassata

Elaborate and rich in flavour, the Sicilian cassata is a truly amazing dessert that can also be prepared at home with a little patience.

It's impossible not to have ever heard of the Sicilian cassata, a dessert that can conquer everyone, absolutely everyone, at the first taste. Sumptuous and baroque , it was born in Sicily between the 9th and 11th centuries during the period of Arab domination and has survived to us with all its sweetness. In fact, the name derives from the Arabic quas'at , in reference to a large basin used to mix the ricotta -based filling.

The traditional Sicilian cassata recipe is made up of sponge cake, candied fruit, chocolate chips, sheep's ricotta and marzipan (or royal paste). The Sicilian cassata cake, we cannot keep it from you, is quite complex, but you just need to carefully follow our suggestions and the result is guaranteed. Don't rush and get ready to make one of the best Sicilian desserts ever!

How to make Sicilian cassata with the original recipe

The preparation of the Sicilian cassata must be followed carefully and down to the smallest details: for this reason we decided to divide the various steps and only close the recipe with the assembly at the end.

Sicilian cassata
Sicilian cassata

Sponge cake

  • 6 eggs
  • 180 g of sugar
  • 180 g of flour
  • zest of 1 lemon
  1. Divide the egg yolks from the egg whites, beat the former with the sugar and the latter until stiff peaks form.
  2. Combine the two compounds, being careful not to dismantle them, then use a spatula and make circular movements from bottom to top.
  3. Lastly, add the sifted flour, stirring gently, and the grated lemon zest.
  4. Pour the mixture into a 24cm diameter baking tray lined with baking paper or, even better, into a 22x22cm rectangular baking tray , and bake at 180°C for 35 minutes .
  5. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 15 minutes before removing it from the pan and completing cooling.

The filling (and its secret)

Filling for cassata
Filling for cassata
  • 800 g of sheep's ricotta
  • 280 g of sugar
  • 100 g of chocolate chips
  • Candied orange to taste (optional)
  1. Drain the ricotta in a sieve for at least a couple of hours so that it loses all the whey (or even better, overnight).
  2. At this point, mix it with 220 g of sugar and leave it to rest in the fridge, covered with a cloth, for a whole night.
  3. The next day, sieve your ricotta to obtain a smooth cream without lumps.
  4. Add the chocolate chips , some candied orange cut into cubes if desired, and transfer everything to the refrigerator.

If you don't want to wait you can also prepare a simple and quick Sicilian cassata without letting the ricotta rest overnight, but by blending it together with the sugar with an immersion blender.

Royal pasta

Pistachio marzipan
Pistachio marzipan
  • 250 g of almond flour
  • 250 g of sugar
  • 65 ml of water
  • Green food coloring (or alternatively 1-2 tablespoons of pistachio paste)
  1. Put the water in a saucepan and bring it to the heat.
  2. Add the sugar mixed with the green coloring.
  3. Mix well until it comes to the boil.
  4. Turn off the heat and remove from the heat, then add the liquid to a bowl with the almond flour and mix well.
  5. Continue mixing to incorporate air until the dough has cooled. You can do it directly in the bowl or on a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar.
  6. Wrap the royal pasta in cling film and leave it to cool in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours before using it.

Alternatively you can use 1-2 tablespoons of pistachio paste.


At this point, making the real Sicilian cassata is no longer just a question of assembly, now we will reveal how.

  1. Cut the sponge cake into three discs or three rectangles approximately 1 cm thick, depending on the pan used.
  2. Take a round cake pan of about 20 cm in diameter , dust it all over with icing sugar and set it aside.
  3. From the first disc or rectangle of sponge cake, make trapezoids and do the same thing with the royal dough (roll it out to a thickness of about 1 cm and then cut it).
  4. Take the cake tin again, line it with a sheet of transparent film, cover the edges with the sponge cake trapezoids alternating with the green marzipan ones until the circumference is completed.
  5. From the second disc of sponge cake, cut out a circle of the same size as the base of the cake tin, and position it so that it fits perfectly with the edge made with the trapezoids.
  6. Wet the cake, made so far, with a non-alcoholic syrup made with water and sugar (you can also prepare a rum or other flavored syrup, depending on your preferences).
  7. Fill the base of the cake with the ricotta cream, leaving 1 cm of space to close the filling well with the last piece of sponge cake (also cut to size so that it fits together perfectly).
  8. Now that the cake is closed, also completely wrap the surface with transparent film in order to seal everything well.
  9. Place the cake in the fridge for at least 24 hours (you can leave it in the fridge for a maximum of 1-2 days before the final decoration).
  10. Once the resting time has passed, take a cake stand and turn the cassata out of the cake tin, remembering that it must be turned upside down (the base will in fact be the one with the largest circumference).
  11. Remove the transparent film, now all you have to do is decorate.

Icing and icing: the decoration of the Palermo (or Sicilian) cassata

First prepare the icing , with a few simple ingredients (and steps).

  • 250 g of icing sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons of water
  1. Mix the sugar with the water until you obtain a fairly liquid and translucent glaze .
  2. Add the liquid part little by little, so you can adjust the final consistency.
  3. Once you have reached it, pour it onto the dessert and completely cover the cassata, also helping yourself with a spatula or a simple knife.
  4. Recover the excess icing and clean the cake well before placing it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes/1 hour so that the icing solidifies.
  5. Repeat the operation with the remaining icing, creating a thicker layer and leave it in the fridge to solidify well for about 2 hours .

Finally, let's move on to the royal icing and then the decoration with candied fruit.

  • 30 g of egg white
  • 130 g of icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  1. Beat the egg white until stiff, add the lemon juice and icing sugar.
  2. Mix well until you obtain a dense and very white ice .
  3. Now use it to make the final decorations and finish by arranging pieces of candied fruit as desired.

If you liked our recipe, you can't help but try the classic cannoli ! Furthermore, it is increasingly included among traditional Easter desserts .

And here is a video recipe to understand how to work the ricotta and assemble the dessert, it will be very useful, we are sure:


We recommend that, once ready, you enjoy the cassata at the moment and store it for a maximum of 1 day in the refrigerator, under a special glass bell jar for desserts. We do not recommend freezing in the freezer.

Riproduzione riservata © - WT