Homemade Panforte

Panforte di Siena has very ancient origins, it was prepared inside the monasteries. It was later entrusted to the apothecaries, the pharmacists of the time, almost alchemists, who used ingredients such as almonds, sugar, candied fruit and very expensive spices for that time. Known by the name of Christmas Bread or Gingerbread, this particular dessert typical of special occasions was intended exclusively for the noble classes and members of the clergy. The name Panforte originates from the fact that the poorer classes prepared a focaccia based on water and flour, to which honey and chopped fruit were added. The dessert obtained was rather acidic because the fruit was added fresh and then fermented, hence the name Panforte was born, from the Latin panem fortis, literally “sour bread”. The recipe did not change until 1879, the year in which Queen Margherita decided to go to visit Siena and on that occasion a pharmacist decided to pay homage to the noblewoman by varying the preparation of the dessert and so it was called Panforte Margherita.

Homemade Panforte

Video recipe of the day

  • DifficultyEasy
  • CostMedium
  • Serving10-12
  • Cooking methodOven
  • CuisineItalian
  • SeasonalityWinter


12 ounces almond
5.2 ounces candied orange
5.2 ounces candied cedar
2.8 ounces flour
5.2 ounces honey
5.2 ounces powdered cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/4 teaspoon cloves (powder)
1/4 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper (powder)


1 Bowl
1 Baking Dish
1 Pot


Coat a ring mold with oven paper. Place a sheet of wafer the same size as the mold on the parchment paper, 8.6 inch (22 cm ) Toast the almonds in a 356°F (180°C) oven for about 10 minutes. In a small saucepan add the sugar and honey and melt. Bring to a boil and thicken. The syrup will be ready when a small, well-formed but not too hard ball is formed by taking a small amount and passing it under cold water. Combine the flour, spices, diced candied fruit and warm almonds in a bowl. Pour the syrup into the fruit and mix quickly. Pour the panforte into the mold and level with the back of a spoon dipped in water. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Bake at 356°F (180°C ) for 30 minutes. Leave to cool and sprinkle again with icing sugar. Keep wrapped in aluminum foil, tightly closed to prevent it from hardening.

Homemade Panforte

Cook’s tips

It’s preferable to use almonds with skins.

Keep wrapped in aluminum foil, tightly closed to prevent it from hardening.

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Homemade Panforte

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