Tuscan Carnival Cake/Schiacciata alla Fiorentina

Schiacciata alla Fiorentina is a humble flat cake made with simple ingredients. The word schiacciata means flat or crushed. Originally made as a yeasted bread with lard, today’s version has morphed into something easier and faster. It is best to make this cake in a rectangular or square pan to retain its flatness. This cake is so important to the Florentines that each year at Carnival time, a contest is held to see who can make the best one. After baking, the fleur-de-lis, the symbol and coat of arms of the city of Florence is the final decoration on top of the cake.


  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • Juice and zest of one large orange (1/4 cup juice)
  • 2-1/4 cups flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • sprinkling Powdered Sugar for coating top of cake
  • sprinkling Baking cocoa for sprinkling on top of cake design


  1. Download a free image of a fleur de lis and cut out a stencil design from it. Set aside.
  2. Butter a 9 x 7 inch or other similar pan and line it with parchment paper. Butter the paper and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F
  4. Beat eggs with sugar until fluffy. Add milk and olive oil and beat a couple of minutes. Add juice and zest and beat in.
  5. Sift flour with baking powder and add in increments to the egg mixture until well blended. Pour into prepared and bake for about 12 minutes or until a cake skewer comes out clean and the cake is firm to the touch.
  6. Cool cake completely on a wire rack. Turn cake pan upside down and remove parchment paper. Turn cake right side up and place it on a serving dish. Dust the cake completely with Confectioners sugar. Place the stencil design in the middle of the cake. Use a sm'all sieve to fill in the stencil with baking cocoa powder. Carefully lift the stencil design to reveal the fleur di lis. Cut into squares.
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