Photo © Del keresztje


Panforte, the sweet symbol of Siena cuisine, is a Christmas dessert with ancient origins. Its history dates back to the Middle Ages. In those times, Panforte was exclusively for the rich, the nobility and for the clergy, since it contained almonds, drugs and spices that were very expensive.

Over the centuries, its recipe remained more or less the same, until 1879, when Queen Margherita came to visit Siena. For the occasion, a panforte was prepared with a covering of vanilla sugar, and to this day, this type of white panforte is known as “Panforte Margherita”.
In May of 2013, the Panforte of Siena obtained PGI certification.


For a panforte of around 1kg you will need:

  • 1 hinged baking pan 22 cm in diameter
  • 150 g icing sugar
  • 250 g shelled almonds
  • 150 g acacia honey
  • 150 g “00” flour
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 300/350g candied fruits
  • 1 wafer sheet


1  First of all, lay the wafer at the bottom of the pan and line the edges with parchment paper. Put the flour in a bowl with a tablespoon of cinnamon, the candied fruit and almonds, and mix everything by hand.

2 Put the icing sugar in a saucepan, bring it to a heat and caramelize until the mixture begins to froth. At this point, combine a half cup of water and mix quickly.

3 Remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the contents into the bowl (made up of flour and fruit). Mix all the ingredients together with a wooden spoon (try to be quick with this step), and pour the contents into the pan.

4  At this point, use the bottom of a wet glass to level out the top of your panforte. Place into an oven that has been preheated at 250 degrees and bake for 5 minutes; lower to 200 degrees and continue to bake for 15 minutes.

5 Once the panforte is out of the oven, let it cool and sprinkle it with icing sugar.

In order for it to keep longer, it is necessary to cover the panforte with foil after 2 hours of cooling.

I Comuni di Terre di Siena