Baking In Verona

February 5, 2024

There are many wonderful things to see in Verona, from visiting Juliette’s house to exploring the Giardini Giusti, to seeing and hearing an opera in the Piazza Bra.

But for me, Verona is also about cake. Verona is known for pandoro, its signature star shaped cake that is panettone’s rival.

While pandoro may be the most famous Veronese confection, I was after la torta russa, also a well-known cake that I was going to make in a cooking class with students. Walking past Piazza Bra, I found Pasticceria Barini in Corso Porto Nuovo displaying the cake in the shop windows, and I went in for a chat with the owners.

I learned that torta Russa di Verona (Russian cake) was invented in the early 1960’s by a Veronese pastry chef who was working on a ship going to Odessa and is made with puff pastry that is filled with almonds and amaretti cookies. When baked, the shape resembles Russian hats.

Here’s my recipe for Russian Cake from Verona.

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