The Panforte of Siena is a traditional Christmas cake dating back to the 19th Century. Often known as ‘Panmielato’ the cake is made using a base of flour, honey, spices and dried fruits. The Panforte is now enjoyed across Italy throughout the year and not just at Christmas. 


1 x 18cm diameter round tin – line the tin with a disc of parchment or wafer paper 200gm Almonds 

100gm Hazelnuts 

120gm Mixed peel 

120gm Bakers flour 

150gm Honey 

150gm Caster Sugar 

2 tsp freshly ground Cinnamon, star anise & clove OR of mixed spice powder


  1. Toast the Almonds and hazelnuts for 10 minutes at 180C. Remove from the oven and chop into midsize pieces. This can be done in a blender or using a chopping knife. 
  2. Place the honey and sugar in a medium saucepan and put on a low heat. Bring slowly to the boil, to 130 degrees if you have a thermometer, or until the sugar is fully dissolved. 
  3. Mix the flour, dried fruit, nuts and spices in a mixing bowl. 
  4. When the honey and sugar are completely melted, remove from heat and rest for 1 minute. 
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the honey and sugar and combine thoroughly. 
  6. Pour the mix into the prepared tin. 
  7. Dampen the palm of your hand and press the mix firmly into the tin. Keep dampening your fingers to ensure the mix does not lift or stick. Continue until the mixture is flat in the tin. 
  8. Cook at 150C for 15 – 20 minutes 
  9. Remove from the oven, check that the centre of the cake is firm to ensure it is cooked through. 
  10. Leave to rest for 5 minutes and turn out from tin onto your serving platter. 
  11. To serve, dust generously with Icing sugar. 
  12. Enjoy with sweet wines, port or mulled wine.

Poppyseed Gourmet Cafes are located in Clarinbridge, Oranmore and Galway Crystal.