Recipe By Traci
Published Jun 30th
Prep - Cook - Additional - Ready In -
Servings 1 - 9 inch layer cake Calories 439.7

A beautiful sponge layer cake filled with a delightful ricotta cheese filling.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons sherry
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ pounds ricotta cheese
  • 6 tablespoons rum
  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 (1 ounce) squares sweet chocolate, grated
  • ¼ cup candied cherries, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup chopped toasted almonds
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 ½ cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ cup rum
  • ¼ cup confectioners' sugar for dusting

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. 2 To Make Pan di Spagna (Sponge Cake): Have the following ingredients at room temperature for at least one hour before baking; 6 eggs, lemon juice, orange zest, and sherry.
  3. 3 Separate 6 eggs and set the egg whites aside. Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon colored. Beat in sugar, lemon juice, orange zest, and sherry or 1 teaspoon almond extract. Beat until foamy.
  4. 4 Sift flour 3 times and fold into eggs yolks gently but thoroughly. Beat egg whites until foamy, add salt, and beat until stiff but not dry. Fold into yolks. Pour batter into one ungreased 9 inch spring form pan.
  5. 5 Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 50 to 60 minutes. Test by pressing lightly with finger tip, if cake springs back at once it is done. Leave cake in pan to cool, and invert on a wire rack.
  6. 6 Once cake is completely cool slice into 3 layers and sprinkle layers with rum.
  7. 7 To Make Filling: Crush ricotta very finely with hands or a potato masher, add 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar and beat for about 3 minutes until creamy. Stir in 6 tablespoons rum, grated sweet chocolate, chopped candied cherries, cinnamon and toasted almonds.
  8. 8 Spread ricotta filling over sponge cake layers, using half-inch of filling on each layer. Leave the top and sides of cake plain.
  9. 9 To Make Frosting: Cream butter with 1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar. Beat the 2 egg whites until stiff and gradually beat into the egg whites the remaining 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar. Fold egg whites into the butter mixture and add fold in 1 teaspoon almond extract.
  10. 10 Cover sides and top cake evenly with frosting. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Serves 10.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 439.7
  • Carbohydrate 59.8 g
  • Cholesterol 120.8 mg
  • Fat 14.6 g
  • Fiber 1.1 g
  • Protein 12.3 g
  • Saturated Fat 7.1 g
  • Sodium 258 mg
  • Sugar 45.1 g


  1. Very nice dessert for a special occasion. It can be made a day or two ahead of serving and kept in the refrigerator. I have made the frosting with rum as in this version or with chocolate and espresso coffee. As Caterina pointed out in her review some years ago you can change the additions - Read more ...
  2. I came across this recipe almost seven years ago on this website and have been making it each Christmas ever since. I always omit the candied fruit (although this is traditional) to suit the tastes of my family. The cake is very good and is requested by my Sicilian parents every year.I have omitted the - Read more ...
  3. I found this recipe to be written up poorly. I followed it word for word and it didn't turn out. My mother was Sicilian and made these cakes all the time and they were wonderful. This one was a mess. I probably won't waste the money on ingrediants to try this one again. Sorry.

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