Panforte Christmas Recipe

There are some treats that just make Christmas. And, in our books, one of those is certainly Panforte! It is an ancient Italian Sienese recipe, dating back to the year 1000.
Originally the recipe was more like a honey-based focaccia and was called ‘Honeyato’, and it was only when fruit was added to the mix (and which fermented due to the heat) that the recipe found its more acidic taste and its name became ‘Panforte’. Over time, and to avoid the fermentation of the fresh fruit, the ingredients were adapted and, as it was only prepared only on the coldest days, it became associated with the winter season.
In this recipe we have used our Mild & Light olive oil with sugar, to make a less potent honey mixture.

Serves: 6



  • 35ml Filippo Berio Mild & Light Olive Oil
  • 50g Good Quality Dark Chocolate, Finely Diced
  • 35g Plain Flour
  • ½ tbsp Cocoa
  • ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Mixed Spice
  • 50g Dates, quartered
  • 30g Dried Cranberries
  • 50g Mixed Peel
  • 50g Chopped Hazelnuts
  • 50g Whole Almonds
  • 50g Shelled Pistachios
  • 25g Demerara Sugar
  • 140g Clear Honey
  • Icing Sugar for Dusting


  1. Preheat your oven to gas mark 2/150°C/130°C fan.
  2. Add your nuts, dried fruit, and chopped dark chocolate to a bowl with your spices and the plain flour and stir.
  3. In a saucepan, add your honey, sugar, and 30 ml of olive oil. Save the remaining 5 ml to grease your dish.
  4. Place your pan on a low heat and gently bring it to the boil while stirring. Once your mixture starts to boil, stop stirring and continue to heat until the mix reaches 118°C.
  5. Remove your pan from the heat.
  6. While the sugar and honey mixture is still hot, pour it over your bowl of ingredients and stir. The heat from this will melt your chocolate.
  7. Stir until the mixture looks even and becomes very sticky.
  8. Grease a springform cake tin using the remaining oil and a pastry brush.
  9. Place the Panforte mixture into the tin and press it down with the back of a spoon. If it's too sticky, you can wet your hands and press down with your fingertips.
  10. Place your Panforte in the oven and bake for around 30 minutes; you will start to see tiny bubbles forming on the top.
  11. Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack.
  12. Dust with icing sugar and serve!

Cooks tips

Panforte will keep for a few weeks if it's wrapped up. It’s perfect to make as presents ahead of Christmas. You can swap the dried fruit and nuts to what you wish. Dates are great at creating a chewy texture however all other items can be easily swapped to suit your taste.