Spongata di Natale

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Spongata di Natale

This Italian Christmas cake recipe is a speciality of the Emilia Romagna region, given as gifts to friends and family. Packed with nuts, honey and dried fruit – including Italian citron – the filling is rich, sticky and sweet and comes wrapped in a crisp, sugared pastry coating.


for 6-8 people:

For the dough

  • Flour 300g

  • sugar 80g

  • butter 100g

  • dry white wine

  • icing sugar

  • salt.

For the filling

  • Almonds 75g

  • sugar 40g

  • honey 200 gr

  • hazelnuts 75g

  • walnuts 150 gr

  • pine nuts 30 gr

  • biscuits 100 g

  • candied citron and orange, cut into cubes 100 gr

  • sultanas, already softened and squeezed 50 g

  • cinnamon powder 5 gr

  • ½ liter of white wine

  • ½ grated nutmeg.


  1. Two days before preparation of spongata prepare the filling: place the almonds for a few minutes in boiling water then drain them and remove the skin. Let dry and pound them in a mortar with a little sugar.

  2. In a saucepan, pour the honey, white wine and boil gently, over low heat for a few minutes, then add the almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and pine nuts coarsely chopped, crushed biscuits, candied fruit, cinnamon nutmeg and then, using a wooden spoon, stir to mix well.

  3. Turn off the heat and let stand the stuffing.

  4. Prepare the pastry: mix the flour with the sugar then add the melted butter, wine and a pinch of salt; knead well and cover the prepared dough with a plastic bowl, then let stand for about 1 hour.

  5. After this time, take the dough and with a rolling pin create a layer of about 3 mm thick; with half of the sheet coat the bottom of a baking pan greased with butter, place over the filling, cover with the remaining dough and weld edges.

  6. Prick the surface of spongata with the tines of a fork and place in preheated oven at 180 ° C for about 30 minutes.

  7. After this time, remove the spongata from oven, let cool, sprinkle with icing sugar and serve.

  8. Preparation time: 3 days and 2 hours, 0 minutes, 0 seconds