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Schiacciata alla Fiorentina (Florentine sponge cake)

This is a delicious spongy cake, popular around Carnival time in February but now found year-round, particularly in shops in downtown Florence.

Makes: 12 servings


  • 250g all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (or 50g lard)
  • 1 cup milk
  • grated orange peel from 1 orange
  • ½ tsp saffron powder
  • 90g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • powdered sugar to decorate
  1. In a medium bowl, mix all of the ingredients and beat thoroughly until the batter is smooth and thick with no lumps.
  2. Grease a shallow rectangular baking pan and pour in the batter (the schiacciata should be about 2 cm high). Bake at 150c for 30 minutes. Sprinkle plenty of powdered sugar on top of the cake.

If you want and have a sweet tooth, you can slice the cake and fill it with whipped cream or frosting.

Buon appetito!

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