I have a new favourite Christmas dessert. This vegan Panforte.
What is Panforte?
Panforte is a traditional Italian dessert made with fruits, nuts and spices. It dates back to the 13th century in Siena, Tuscany, hence why it’s also sometimes called a Siena cake or Panforte Di Siena.
The texture is somewhere between a fruitcake and a candy and the flavour is sweet, festive and completely addictive!
Panforte keeps really well (it will stay fresh in an air-tight container for a few weeks) so it’s perfect for gift-giving. You can either serve it in slices or cut it into squares or strips.
A dusting of icing sugar on top not only makes it look pretty but turns it into a real festive show-stopper. I love to add fresh holly leaves on top for a simple added decoration.
Compared to most other Christmas treats, Panforte can be a fairly healthy option. With fruits, nuts, natural sugars, minimal flour and just a small amount of oil. It’s easy to make gluten-free too! (Just use gluten-free flour).
More treats to make
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- 310 g / 2 1/2 cups mixed roasted nuts, chopped and skins removed (I used hazelnuts, almonds and macadamias)
- 280 g / 1 1/2 cups mixed dried fruit
- 90 g / 1/2 cup mixed citrus peel
- 4 tbsp cacao powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground mixed spice
- 100 g / 1 cup plain flour, (or gluten-free plain flour)
- 120 ml / 1/2 cup maple syrup, (or agave nectar)
- 100 g / 1/2 cup brown sugar, (or coconut sugar)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 120 ml / 1/2 cup boiled water
- Icing sugar, (confectioners sugar)
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees C. Oil the sides and line the base of a 30cm spring-form tin with non-stick paper.
- Mix the nuts, fruit, cacao powder, spices and ﬂour in a large bowl.
- In a small saucepan, add the maple syrup, brown sugar and olive oil. Mix on a medium heat until the sugar has been dissolved. Stir in the hot water.
- Stir the wet into the dry and mix until everything is well combined.
- Transfer the mixture to the baking tin and press down evenly with a spoon or wet hands.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until you can see the sides of the cake start to bubble slightly.
- Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing and allowing to cool completely.
- Dust with icing sugar and serve.
You can either serve it in slices or cut it into squares or strips. A dusting of icing sugar on top not only makes it look pretty but turns it into a real festive show-stopper. I love to add fresh holly leaves on top for a simple added decoration. This delicious vegan Christmas cake recipe can be kept in an air-tight container for a few weeks.