Sicilian cake can include anything from the famous Cassata to the iconic Cannoli and more. Many Sicilian cakes use ingredients such as lemon or Ricotta which are iconic to South Italian cuisine. In this article, we will dive into the top 10 Sicilian cakes and discuss some of the options on our menu at Goloso in Soho London.
What is Sicilian Cake and Where Can You Try It?
The cake that originates on the Island of Sicily (just off the southwest coast of Italy) belongs to Sicilian cuisine which is somewhat similar to general Italian cuisine.
Cakes from Sicily often use local ingredients such as citrus fruit that thrives in the island’s warm temperatures. For example, the Torta Della Nonna Lemon from the Goloso dessert menu is popular with our customers as this plays homage to our Italian deli’s cultural roots.
Top 10 Sicilian Cakes
- Cassata Cake: Number one on our list of Sicilian cakes is the cassata as this spongey layered cake with candied fruit, marzipan and liqueur (or fruit juice) is iconic on the isle of Sicily.
- Cannoli: Read all about cannolo in our previous blog post!
- Apricot Crostata: A slice of this dessert is a popular choice at Goloso for its rustic appeal with flaky pastry and sweet apricots.
- Torta Della Nonna Chocolate: Translated as “Grandmother’s Cake,” this Sicilian chocolate cake is almost like a pudding-pie hybrid. Chocoholics be warned – this chocolate dessert is very more-ish!
- Torta Della Nonna Lemon: similar to the aforementioned dessert but with a refreshing lemon twist.
- Ricotta Cheesecake: Unlike Rachel and Chandler in ‘Friends’, Sicilians don’t make a habit of eating cheesecake off the floor. But we would go as far as to say that a rich, traditional Sicilian Ricotta cheesecake is up there with the best cheesecakes and you can combine this creamy cheesy filling with flavours such as citrus, vanilla or almond.
- Sicilian Lemon Ricotta Cake: The Sicilian Ricotta Cake with a citrus twist is a popular choice among all those with a sweet tooth, as it perfectly combines tangy lemons with rich ricotta cheese.
- Sicilian Apple Cake: Although sometimes this cake can appear very dark in colour on top due to the cinnamon and sugar crunch topping, this impressive cake is lighter inside with layers of butter, apple slices, and rum-soaked raisins alongside crunchy toasted walnuts. If you like a fruity cake this is an excellent option to bake at home, or you may wish to try one of our fruit options at Goloso café in Soho including our flaky pastry Apricot Crostata or the Sicilian Lemon Ricotta Cake.
- Cassatelle: As the petite sister of the standard cassata cake, cassatelle are mini pastry pockets filled with sweet ricotta cheese and candied fruit.
- Sicilian Orange Cake: If you enjoy orange-flavour desserts, such as the infamous Terry’s chocolate orange, you will adore this cake made with fresh orange juice or orange zest. As Sicily is abundant in citrus fruits, this cake pays homage to the land it originated on and can be served as a simple, homemade dessert to an elaborate celebration cake.
Please note – like any regional variety of mains or desserts, these sweet treats are often made using family recipes (shout out to all the Italian Nonnas!) that have been handed down for countless generations. Meaning that the ingredients used and cooking methods can vary between families or from one bakery to another. Consequently, each cake you see may be slightly distinguishable from the description we have provided or vary from previous cakes of this variety you have tried before.
Sicilian Cake FAQ
What do Sicilians have as a Birthday Cake?
A traditional Sicilian birthday cake is usually a layer cake, like the English Victoria sponge. However, the cake is usually chocolate, hazelnut or pistachio flavour (or all of these!). Sicilians may also enjoy a standard cassata cake which is often the go-to cake of choice for most Sicilian celebrations.
Why is Valerie Bertinelli’s Sicilian Love Cake Famous?
Emmy Award-winning actress Valerie Bertinelli’s Sicilian Love Cake was circulating the internet in the summer of 2022 which was inspired by her Italian heritage on her father’s side. Valerie’s father, Andrew, is of Italian descent and her mother is of English descent.
As a foodie, Valerie wanted to show her love for her friends and family with her ‘Love Cake’ made with chocolate cake and chocolate pudding.
It is well-known that Italians love to pass down family recipes to their kids and grandchildren. However, as this recipe uses store-bought chocolate cake mix, we couldn’t say it is a particularly traditional Sicilian Cake Recipe. Anyhow, if you would like to bite down on a classic Sicilian Cake, head down to Goloso, the best Italian Focacceria and gourmet deli serving all the best Italian desserts, and breakfast and lunch options in London.
What is a Traditional Sicilian Wedding Cake Made Of?
If you’re planning to marry into a Sicilian family or are just curious how other cultures go about choosing items for a wedding, the majority of Sicilian wedding cakes are made using the Cassata cake mentioned in our list of Sicilian cake examples.
The cassata works well as a wedding cake as it is spongy and moist from the fruit juice or alcohol and the ricotta cheese is studded with candied fruits to elevate the flavour of the cake and ensure no one gets a bland slice of cake on the special day.
What is The Most Well-Known Pastry in Sicily?
The humble cannolo with fresh ricotta is, in our opinion, the most famous pastry from the Isle of Sicily.
Who Doesn’t Like to Discuss Cake?
Read more about what makes Italian pastries different in our previous blog post! Or message our friendly team on Instagram to let us know any of cakes or pastries, such as the Sicilian Pistachio Cake, that you’d like us to discuss in future articles.