TORTA DELLA NONNA (AKA a slice of sunshine)

Torta della Nonna- a slice of sunshine

My second blog entry and recipe number one contains, among other ingredients, marzipan. It’s appropriate given my blog title, no? Surprisingly perhaps, I am not a huge marzipan fan, but it has really grown on me since I moved to Europe and I definitely appreciate its almond-y goodness in certain sweet treats. This is one of them. Torta della Nonna (literally “Grandma’s cake”), a delicious dolce of Tuscan origin, is simplified in this recipe by Swedish baking virtuoso Leila Lindholm (translated and followed by moi)…


150 g soft butter
300 g marzipan
6 organic eggs
250 g ricotta cheese
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 orange
1 bitter almond
½ dl flour
Slivered almonds
Icing sugar
Pine nuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees.
  2. Grate marzipan.
  3. Beat butter and grated marzipan into a creamy paste.
  4. Add the eggs whilst whisking.
  5. Add ricotta cheese, grated zests and grated bitter almond.
  6. Finally, stir in flour.
  7. Grease a cake tin with removable rim and sprinkle with slivered almonds.
  8. Fill with cake batter and sprinkle with pine nuts.
  9. Bake cake in middle of oven for about 30 minutes. Check with a skewer before removing. Cake should be moist but not sticky inside.
  10.  Dust with icing sugar before serving with whipped cream.

I first enjoyed a big slice of Torta della Nonna on a Venetian roof top terrace on my birthday a few years ago. I chose it from a bakery window because I had the distinct feeling that it would taste just how it looked (deliciously citrus-y, nutty and moist). I was right. And now, years later on my terrace in Stockholm, it tastes even better… with the added sweet satisfaction of knowing it was baked in my oven.

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