Sicilian Cassata Cake

This classic Sicilian cake is a favourite of mine. Its light ricotta filling with chocolate, glace’ fruit and nuts makes it hard to stop at one piece!

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  • 1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Grease and line a 7" (18cm) round cake tin with baking paper.
  • 2. Place the eggs, sugar and salt into a heatproof bowl. Whisk continuously over a double boiler until the mixture is lukewarm.
  • 3. Remove the eggs from the heat and place into an electric mixer. Whisk until the mixture holds a 3 second ribbon.
  • 4. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl and gently fold into the mixture.
  • 5. Place the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked. Set aside to cool.
  • 6. To make the ricotta filling - beat the ricotta in an electric mixer until creamy. Add the cream and combine. Add the sugar, cinnamon, chocolate, glace’ apricots, pistachio nuts and gently combine.
  • 7. Cut the sponge cake in half. Line the cake tin that you cooked the sponge in with cling wrap and place the bottom half of the sponge into the tin.
  • 8. Using a pastry brush, moisten the sponge with grappa. Place the ricotta mix on top. Top with the other sponge half and press down to remove of any air pockets.
  • 9. Moisten the top with more grappa. Cover the top with cling wrap and refrigerate to set.
  • 10. To make the icing - sift the icing sugar into a medium bowl. Gradually add lemon juice until the icing is at a firm pouring consistency. Add a little of the green colour and mix well.
  • 11. Place the cake onto a cake plate of board and pour the icing over the top. Add more lemon juice to the icing if it is too thick.
  • 12. Using a palate knife or spatula, carefully work the icing to the edges of the cake and let it run over the sides. Lightly chop the pistachio nuts and sprinkle over the cake.

About The Author


Elizabeth’s culinary journey started in her childhood home. Coming from Greek and English immigrant parents, food always seemed to be the main focus of everyday life. “Dad would come home from ...