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Quick Veronese Christmas Cake

Pandorato di Verona


In addition to its renowned Christmas cake, Verona is also famous for its large confection houses such as Bauli, which makes a quick version of pandoro called pandorato. This cake does not begin with a yeast starter; instead the batter is lightened with baking powder and stiffly beaten egg whites. Using a pandoro mold is optional - any deep one-and-a-half-quart mold will do. The cake has an interesting biscuit-like texture and is very good with fresh fruit.


1 cup King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour

1 cup potato starch

1 teaspoon baking powder

9 tablespoons butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

4 large eggs, separated

1 tablespoon Cognac

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Confectioners' sugar for sprinkling


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Generously butter and flour a pandoro or other deep 1 1/2-quart mold. Sift the flour, potato starch, and baking powder together into a bowl.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the sugar, then beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Beat in the Cognac, lemon juice, and vanilla. Spoon the flour mixture over the egg yolk mixture a little at a time, beating well after each addition.

In another bowl, with clean beaters, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. With a rubber spatula, fold the whites into the egg yolk mixture. Fill the mold with the batter.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the mold on a rack for 30 minutes.

Gently run a knife around the edges of the mold, turn the mold upside down, and gently shake the cake loose. Let the cake cool completely, then dust the top with confectioner's sugar. Cut into wedges to serve.

This recipe is from Celebrations Italian Style by Mary Ann Esposito.


  1. Michal Biagionimik's avatar

    Michal Biagionimik

    I tried this twice and each time the pandorato turned out very dense and unpleasant. It was inedible. The second occasion although it looked quite nice when it came out of the oven after an hour coolng it collapsed to half it's original height and was dense inside although the outer edges were quite nice were the cake ws drier. Any idea what I might have done wrong. My egg whites were not very stiff when I mixed them into the other ingredients and I might have taken it out of the ovenjust a fraction too soon but could those things alone cause such a total disaster Mike Biagioni
  2. Ann Gasperetti/Thiery's avatar

    Ann Gasperetti/Thiery

    I believe your problem is that you did not beat your eggs to stiff peaks as she says. They help the cake rise & make it light.

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