Today is the World Cake Day; what delicacies can celebrate it in Italy?

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Cake is a dessert that has always existed, in every culture, loved by adults and children, perfect both to underline an important occasion, as well as for tea-time or breakfast. They can be simple or elaborate, traditional or innovative and all are able to bring joy to those who eat them and those who make them.

Food is an important part of Italian culture and cakes are very popular here. There are so many typical recipes that counting them is impossible. Each region has its own, but there are also plenty of those widespread throughout the country whose origins are lost in the mists of time. Let's celebrate and learn more about our desserts on World Cake Day.


Celebrating World Cake Day in Italy

Festeggiare la Giornata Mondiale delle Torte in Italia

World Cake Day is a quite new occurrence. It was back in 2015 when a group of baking lovers decided that cake deserved a special day and chose the 17th of March. From that point on, the popularity of cakes has only grown from year to year.

You don't have to be an expert pastry chef to join the celebration, because the goal of this day is actually to encourage those who still don't feel confident in grabbing their apron, whisker and rolling pin and challenging themselves. The key word is just one: fun!

Anyone can celebrate World Cake Day simply by baking a cake. The most beloved or a newly invented recipe, super elaborate or with just a few basic ingredients, it doesn't matter: what matters is the passion you put into it and the joy that comes from it. 

Don't have an oven at your disposal? You can still join the party, perhaps enjoying learning more about Italy from north to south just through some of its many, much-loved cakes we'll tell you about here.

Remember, regardless of what life offers us, we can always bake a cake

Sarah Ban Breathnach

A sweet journey: the cakes in the north of Italy

Tiramisù for the World Cake Day

On the occasion of Cake Day, let's learn about some of the typical cakes from northern Italy. 

The Tenerina, for example, native to Ferrara, is a butter and dark chocolate delight created in honor of Elena Petrovich, wife of King Victor Emmanuel III. It is a melt-in-your-mouth delight and today is generally served with mascarpone cream (while some people hazard with a ball of ice cream). 

Sacripantina, on the other hand, is a Genoese creation named after King Sacripante, a character in Ludovico Ariosto's famous work, Orlando Furioso. Regarding its soft, dome-shaped sponge bread, which encloses buttercream and chocolate-hazelnut cream, some say it is an homage to the gowns of the ladies of Genoa. 

Talking about hazelnuts, we could not but mention Piedmont and its Langhe, a land where this fruit is an institution, and the Langarola cake, which is made with a very fine mince, eggs and sugar: a simple but really striking recipe.

In Mantua, on the other hand, there is a truly scenic dessert, the Torta delle Rose, a cake on which the dough is rolled in a way that resembles a bunch of roses. It was prepared on the occasion of the wedding of Francesco II of Gonzaga and Isabella D'Este, and its beauty and elegance is perfect for such a special occasion.

In this tour dedicated to cakes, we must mention the most beloved and famous Italian dessert: Tiramisu. Its paternity is contested between Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and it consists of two alternating layers: savoiardi biscuits soaked in coffee and sweet mascarpone cream. A goodness that the whole world envies us.

Simple, genuine, delicious, if you are in Tuscany you just can't miss it. It's the Torta della Nonna, which translates to Granma's Cake and which, according to some, originates from Florence, according to others from Arezzo. What matters, however, is the inimitable taste of the shortcrust pastry meeting the custard. There is also an chocolate variant, perhaps a little less famous, but definitely worth trying, the Torta del Nonno, Grandpa's Cake.

Let's go on our yummy journey on the occasion of World Cake Day towards the green heart of Italy, Umbria. Here, according to an ancient recipe, in the Easter period the Ciaramicola is made. It's characterized in the inside by the typical red color due to Alchermes. It's a simple cake, but thanks to the meringue and a shower of colored sprinkles, it looks cheerful and festive.

Black and white chocolate, coffee, almonds and rum are just some of the ingredients that make up the Pizza Dolce Abruzzese. A truly special, traditional and very elaborate cake from Abruzzo, which is made for special occasions, such as birthdays and weddings. The processing is perhaps a bit long, but the final result compensates for any effort.

An itinerary through Italian cakes must pass through Campania, home of famous desserts such as baba and sfogliatelle, but also of torta Caprese. This cake, as its name indicates, originated on the beautiful island of Capri and is made of chocolate, almonds and eggs. The scent is divine, the flavor even more so.

In Calabria, meanwhile, we find Riganella, a single-portion dessert or a cake that is traditionally eaten at Easter. It is rich in fragrance and flavor, thanks to the clever combination of raisins, almonds, walnuts, lemon, oregano and liqueurs. It also has an important meaning because its spiral shape recalls the cycle of life.

Let's move on to Sicily, home of unmissable delicacies, and the famous Cassata. Sweet, colorful, made of sponge cake, Sheep milk ricotta and sugar. Actually, there would be no need to wait for the World Cake Day to know about it, as it is among the most famous Italian desserts in the world. Making it takes some time, but it is not difficult. The most fun part? The decorating. With icing, royal pastry and the colorful candied fruit, you can unleash your imagination.

Our trip, inevitably far from being complete, would not be the same without a stop in Sardinia, with its dreamy beaches, ancient culture and also its Torta de Arrescottu, that is ricotta cake. The traditional recipe calls for sugar and sheep milk ricotta, but there are so many variations that enrich the dough with pine nuts, raisins, almonds and so on. It is a genuine, fluffy dessert that has a homey, family flavor.

World Cake Day: taste or cook them

World Cake Day: delight yourself with Cassata

As you may have noticed, Italy has a very rich dessert tradition and local patisserie is truly endless. Here we have told you about only a couple of the typical Italian pastries and there are many others, each of them featuring habits and traditions of its home area. We are sure that some of these have tickled your gluttony and so, to celebrate World Cake Day, we invite you not only to go to your favorite bakery to try a slice but to dare in their preparation: do you accept the challenge?

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