This traditional Italian treat is a gorgeous mosaic of dried fruit and toasted nuts, perfectly accented by warm seasonal spices and honey. Look to Our Holiday Baking Standouts for more festive baked goods. 

Panne Forte
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
  • 2⅓ cups (264 grams) hazelnuts, toasted, skins removed and roughly chopped
  • 1¾ cups (198 grams) sliced almonds
  • 1⅔ cups (209 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (96 grams) dried apricots, chopped
  • ½ cup (64 grams) dried cherries
  • ⅔ cup (85 grams) dates, chopped
  • ⅓ cup (43 grams) dried Calimyrna figs, stems removed and chopped
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground black pepper
  • 1¼ cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter
  • Garnish: confectioners’ sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with baking spray with flour, and line pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together hazelnuts, almonds, flour, apricots, cherries, dates, figs, zest, vanilla bean seeds, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and pepper. In a medium saucepan, combine granulated sugar, honey, and butter. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer for 2 minutes. Carefully pour hot liquid over dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Once mixture is cool enough to handle, continue mixing with your hands until all ingredients are well combined. Press mixture into prepared pan.
  3. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Loosen edges of pan with a sharp knife, and turn cake out onto a wire rack to let cool completely. Invert onto a serving platter, and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Panne Forte will keep refrigerated for up to 1 month, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, or at room temperature for up to 1 week.


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