Cassata Siciliana

The queen of Sicilian pastry-making, Cassata, is probably Arabic Qas’at meaning “basin”, or Latin caseum meaning cheese, because it’s rich in ricotta cheese. Its history is as mysterious and fascinating as the history foreign domination in Sicily.

Here’s the recipe:


  • 1 glass white Vermouth
  • 500g fresh ricotta
  • 350g sugar
  • 1 sponge
  • 1 sachet of vanilla
  • 70g dark chocolate, diced
  • 50g zuccata
  • 200g ground almonds
  • 200g sugar
  • Green food coloring for cakes
  • Candies from 300 to 400g
  • 100ml water
  • 250g caster sugar
  • Orange flower water

For almond marzipan, mix the ground almonds with water and sugar. Then add the green colouring. Mix well and then knead to make it soft and compact. Roll the dough with a rolling pin until it is smooth. Cut into a rectangle shape to use for the outer cassata.

For the ricotta, run the ricotta mixture through a sieve. Next, add the sugar, the chopped dark chocolate, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and the zuccata.

For the icing: Dissolve the icing sugar into the water. Add a little orange flower water to the mixture and heat on low heat. Let it rest for a while. The sponge should be cut into three discs. In a bowl, pour one glass each of Vermouth, sugar, and water. Place the discs into the bowl. To make the cassata’s outer portion, use one of the soaked discs. Cover the mould with clingfilm. Place the marzipan rectangles along the mould’s edge. Spread the ricotta on top of one of the sponge discs that have been soaked. Continue with the second and third sponge disks. Let them rest for approximately half an hour. Turn the mould upside down, remove the cake with the clingfilm and then cover it with the icing that you made earlier. Cover the cassata with candied fruits. The cassata should be placed in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before being served.

There is an alternative version of this dessert that you can try if you don’t like the rich decorations or the sweet taste. The baked cassata is a combination of shortcrust pastry and sponge cakes. It has a filling made up of ricotta and sugar. This dessert should be baked in the oven. This version will be as delicious as any other well-known recipe. Why not try ?…?