Spongata: the recipe for a delicious and simple typical Christmas cake

The spongata is a typical Christmas speciality of certain areas of ‘ Emilia-Romagna, of Tuscany and Liguria. A puff pastry shell, similar to a sweet shortcrust pastry, contains a rich and aromatic filling, with a firm consistency, based on white wine, dried fruit, honey and stale bread. It is a preparation to be made comfortably in advance and which matures in the following days, mixing textures and flavours, to give the best of itself. Make our version, decorated with a delicious braided crown, sprinkle it with a little icing sugar and serve it at the end of the Christmas lunch. Find out how to prepare it following our recipe.


FLOUR TYPE 00 200 gr • 750 kcal
BUTTER 75 gr • 380 kcal
GRANULATED SUGAR 70 gr • 146 kcal
SWEET WHITE WINE 1 small glass
VANILLA essence to taste • 470 kcal
HONEY 250 gr • 304 kcal
BREADCRUMBS 75 gr • 21 kcal
ALMONDS 40 gr • 595 kcal
RAISINS 30 gr • 317 kcal
PINE NUTS 25 gr • 595 kcal
POWDERED SUGAR TO taste • 380 kcal
The calories refer to 100 grams of the product

How to prepare the spongata

Collect the soft butter into cubes in a bowl, add the flour, sugar, a few drops of vanilla essence and the wine. Mix with your fingertips (1).

Knead until the mixture is firm and homogeneous, adjusting if necessary with a drop of wine. Then wrap it with cling film (2) and let it rest for an hour.

Collect the wine and honey in a saucepan (3), put on the stove and bring to a boil.

Remove from the heat and add the breadcrumbs (4). Mix well.

Add the raisins, previously soaked in water and well squeezed, the walnuts, almonds and pine nuts, coarsely chopped (5), then mix. Add the candied fruit, a generous grind of cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix again and let cool.

Line a 22 cm diameter mould with a sheet of parchment paper. Divide the dough in half, roll out one part and arrange it as a base (6).

Cut off the excess edges and prick the base with the tines of a fork. Pour the filling inside (7) and level it well.

Roll out the second portion of dough and use it to close the cake (8).

Seal the edges and prick the surface with the tines of a fork (9).

With the leftover scraps of dough, cut two long cords, intertwine them and arrange them on the edge of the cake (10).

Cook the spongata in a preheated static oven at 180 ° C for about 30 minutes, or in any case until golden brown (11).

Remove from the oven and allow to cool, then unmold and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Sprinkle with a little icing sugar and serve (12).


You can line the mould with a sheet of parchment paper, slightly wet and then well wrung out: with this trick the paper will adhere perfectly to the bottom of the pan, preventing it from moving; alternatively, you can butter it and then sprinkle it with a little flour.

For pasta, instead of sweet white wine, you can use a liqueur of your choice, such as Vinsanto.

Also for the filling, you can vary the dried fruit, adding what you have at home, or you can further enrich it by completing everything with chocolate chips. In addition to cinnamon and nutmeg, you can perfume it with coriander, cloves or a mix of spices.

Use a liquid and delicate honey, such as acacia or wildflower honey. In addition to this, or in its replacement, there are those who add quince jam or fig jam.


The spongata is kept under a glass bell or in a special airtight container for at least 4-5 days at room temperature.

You may be interested to read Mint cheesecake recipe/ Orange Poke Cake Recipe/ Pumpkin and almond cake recipe/ Salmon with green peppercorn sauce recipe.

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