As Christmas approaches, you want to get in the kitchen and cook for friends and family. Would you like to surprise them with a new recipe and are you a lover of sweets with spicy flavors?

We’d like to suggest a Christmas recipe typical of the area of Siena and the Crete Senesi: the Panforte of Siena.

Once called Panpepato, given the high presence of pepper inside, this Sienese dessert already existed around the year 1000. Originally Panforte was reserved exclusively for nobles and clergy, given the considerable quantity of candied fruit and spices inside, once very expensive. It was in fact a sweet produced in the shops of the apothecaries, as at the time they were the only owners of all the indispensable spices. Given the high quantity of spices inside, the panforte has always been attributed healing powers and has always had great success among the Sienese tables.

When Queen Margherita visited Siena in 1879, for the occasion an apothecary prepared the panforte with a coating of vanilla sugar, instead of black pepper. Since then there have been two versions: the white one (the Panforte Margherita) and the black one.

Today we offer you the Margherita version (in honor of the queen), more delicate and more widespread today. Are you ready? Then put on your apron!


Difficulty Medium

Cost Medium

Preparation Time 30 Minutes

Cooking Time 20 Minutes

Cooking Method Oven


Ingredients for 1 kg approx

100cc water

350 gr sweet unpeeled almonds

50 gr candied orange peel

150 gr candied lemon

50 gr candied melon

150 gr flour 0

150 gr all flower honey

Vanilla Pod

5 gr cinnamon powder

10 gr ground spices for panforte (see below Spices for Panforte)

150 gr Icing Sugar

Icing sugar for decorating


Spices for panforte

4 g ground coriander,

3 g ground macis,

1 g ground cloves,

2 g ground nutmeg.


You will also need:

  • A cake tin with an opening circle
  • A pan
  • If necessary, a kitchen thermometer



First, start by cutting some parchment paper into a cylindrical shape (it must correspond to the diameter of the cake pan) and place the sheet on the bottom of the mold. Then cut out a strip of parchment paper and use it to cover the entire lateral circumference of the mold, so that the mixture once poured does not stick to the pan.

Preparing Panforte is not difficult, but if the ingredients are not of quality, the final result will certainly be poor. In a pan, pour 100 cc of water, the honey and the icing sugar, heating everything gently until it starts to melt, but be careful not to caramelize it! (the color must not become too brown and the temperature must remain around 160 °, not exceed 170 °!)

Take a small knife with a sharp point and cut the vanilla pod lengthwise in the center. With your fingers spread the gap and, using the knife with the flat blade, scrape the inside of the berry in order to extract the seeds. Add the diced almonds and candied fruit to the sugar syrup, leaving it on low heat for 2-3 minutes before adding the spice mix, cinnamon, vanilla seeds and flour. We mix the mixture vigorously and pour it into our previously prepared mold. We level the surface with a wet spoon and after having sprinkled with icing sugar, bake in a preheated oven at 250 ° for 5 minutes; lower to 200 ° and continue to cook for another 15 minutes. After cooking, let the panforte cool and add a little icing sugar before serving.

If the pan is too small, then divide the dough and have fun creating other panfortes.

Enjoy your meal!

If instead of cooking it, you would like to taste the original recipe by visiting the Crete Senesi, we are waiting for you at our farmhouse Podere Salicotto, where in the heart of the Crete Senesi you will find good food and good wine, and the well-deserved relaxation you dream of so much!


We are waiting for you at Podere Salicotto to celebrate Christmas and the New Year together!


Find out HERE  the reasons to visit the Crete Senesi in winter

Discover our winter offers for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception HERE  or our winter rate HERE and remember that on direct booking you will get a special 10% discount!



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