genoese pandol with dried fruit
Italian cake

Genoese Pandol Cake With Dried Fruit

Pandolce is a Christmas treat in Genoa and Liguria. The oldest version is the pandolce alto (high pandolce), which uses a sourdough base. It takes longer to prepare than the pandolce basso, made with baking powder. Thanks to Annalisa for her family recipe.

genoese pandol with dried fruit

30 minutes preparation time
10 minutes soaking time
20 minutes refrigeration time
40 minutes cooking time
Makes 8–10 serves, or 1 large pandolce


  • 210 g (7½ oz) raisins
  • 80 g (2¾ oz) butter, softened
  • 100 g (3½ oz) raw (demerara) sugar
  • 1 pinch vanilla powder
  • 1 pinch fine salt
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 egg
  • 20 g (¾ oz) pine nuts
  • 50 g (1¾ oz) candied orange, diced
  • 50 g (1¾ oz) candied citron, diced
  • 300 g (10½ oz/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • ½ sachet (3.5 g/ 1/8 oz) baking powder (preferably organic)
  • 80 ml (2½ fl oz/ 1 /3 cup) milk
  • 40 ml (1¼ fl oz) rum


Soak the raisins in a small bowl of lukewarm water for 10 minutes. In a large bowl, cream the softened butter well with the sugar and vanilla. Add the salt and fennel seeds then, still mixing, add the egg, drained raisins, pine nuts and diced candied fruit.

Sift the flour with the baking powder and add it to the mixture with the milk and rum. Briefly knead by hand, or use an electric stand mixer, until it forms a ball. Make sure the pine nuts and candied fruits are evenly distributed throughout the mixture but don’t overwork it.

Place the ball of dough on a baking tray lined with baking paper and flatten it into a circle about 4 cm (1½ inches) thick.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).

Using the back of a knife or a plastic spatula, lightly score a lattice pattern on the surface of the dough. Leave to rest for 20 minutes in the refrigerator, then bake for about 40 minutes, or until golden brown.

Long shelf-life:

Pandolce is better eaten the day after making and keeps improving from there. It will keep, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 20 days.


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