Traditional Italian Honey Panforte

Posted on Dec 23, 2017

With the countdown to Christmas almost over, time is running short for all of us that still have things to do. But if you need a quick, easy, yet still impressive dessert for your dinner table. This Traditional Italian Honey Panforte is the answer to your prayers. As promised when I posted my Gluten Free Vegan Italian Chocolate Panforte here is the recipe to the more traditional version that you will find in most corners of Italy. So sit back and enjoy my version of  Traditional Italian Honey Panforte.

Jump to Recipe

Traditional Italian Honey Panforte, is a traditional Italian dessert. Packed full of figs, apricots and nuts and baked in honey and sugar |

Let’s jump straight in!

This delightful European treat is easy to make and only requires a few ingredients. It keeps really well for a month. It’s great for gifting or keeping on hand for those unexpected Christmas guests that always seem to turn up unannounced!


Traditional Italian Honey Panforte, is a traditional Italian dessert. Packed full of figs, apricots and nuts and baked in honey and sugar |


This traditional Italian Honey Panforte is a mix of dried fruits, I used figs and apricots combed with a mixture of nuts. I used a combination of pistachios, hazelnuts and cashews. The fruit and nuts are held together by a mix of flour and a few sweet fragrant spices. A touch of sugar, honey and a splash of sweet dessert wine. It’s all baked together on a low heat to give you a sweet, sticky delightful treat.


Panforte is traditionally covered in icing sugar / powdered sugar so it is easier to handle when cutting and eating.


Traditional Italian Honey Panforte, is a traditional Italian dessert. Packed full of figs, apricots and nuts and baked in honey and sugar |

Easy to turn Vegan & Gluten Free

It’s easy to make this traditional Italian honey panforte vegan and gluten-free. To make it vegan simply swap out the honey for light agave nectar and make sure your dessert wine is vegan-friendly because not all of them are. To make gluten-free simply swap out the flour for your favourite gluten-free flour. Rice, coconut, plain/all-purpose mix. The amount is so little the flour really has more of a binding property than flavour and structure property.

Merry Christmas

I am going to leave you all here and keep this short and sweet. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and I sincerely hope you all have a fabulous, wonderful day with your friends, family and loved ones. If you are working then I hope it’s not a stressful day for you and you still manage to have some fun.


Traditional Italian Honey Panforte, is a traditional Italian dessert. Packed full of figs, apricots and nuts and baked in honey and sugar |

Traditional Italian Honey Panforte

Traditional Italian Honey Panforte is an easy to make Italian cake. Packed full of nuts, dried fruits and sweet spices and honey. Easy recipe to follow and only a few ingredients needed. Can easily be adapted to be Vegan and Gluten Free.
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Course: Cake
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 307kcal
Author: Emma


  • 300 grams pistachios (hazelnuts and cashews (2 and ¼ cups))
  • 125 grams dried figs (1 cup)
  • 125 grams dried apricots (1 cup)
  • 100 grams finely chopped mixed citrus candied peel (2/3 cup)
  • 50 grams plain / all-purpose flour (1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon)
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 125 grams honey (a scant ½ cup)
  • 150 grams dark brown sugar (2/3 cup - packed)
  • 4 tablespoons fortified / dessert wine
  • Icing sugar to coat.


  • Preheat your oven to 150C / 300F / Gas mark 2.
  • Prepare a 20cm / 8inch round springform pan by lightly greasing it with butter and line the tin with baking parchment then place to one side.
  • Cover a large flat baking sheet with baking parchment or use a silicone baking mat and sprinkle all of the nuts over it and place them in the oven for 5 minutes.
  • Once 5 minutes are up, stir the nuts and give them a further 5 minutes. Take them out of the oven and allow them to cool down.
  • While they are cooling down, take your figs and apricots and chop them up into small chunks and toss them into a large mixing bowl.
  • Once the nuts are cool, chop them up - not too fine still leave them chunky and place them in with the figs and apricots.
  • Add in the candied citrus peel and give all the nuts, fruit and peel a good mix.
  • Pour in the flour and spices and mix until everything is well combined.
  • In a small saucepan over a low heat pour in the honey and sugar. Add-in, the wine if you are using it.
  • Then over a low heat, stir until the ingredients warm up and allow it to gently bubble for a few minutes.
  • Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until everything is well coated.
  • Carefully pour the batter into your prepared cake tin, pat it down with the back of a spoon and place in your warm oven for 40 minutes.
  • Once baked take it out of the oven and allow it to sit in the tin and fully cool down. The cake will firm up as it cools.
  • Once cool release the cake from the tin and liberally coat with icing sugar.
  • Wrap the cake with baking parchment and keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month.


See above for how to make this recipe Vegan and Gluten Free.
Nutrition Facts
Traditional Italian Honey Panforte
Amount Per Serving (1 slice (out of 12))
Calories 307 Calories from Fat 118
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13.1g 20%
Saturated Fat 1.6g 8%
Sodium 53mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 43.9g 15%
Dietary Fiber 4.3g 17%
Sugars 31.5g
Protein 5.3g 11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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  1. This would be my weekend recipe. I love italian food. It is delicious and simple. But this time I will make it Gluten Free. Thank you for your sharing.

    Post a Reply
    • Thank you Tiana, it is a simple recipe to turn gluten free, just simply swap out the flour for your favourite gluten free blend. I used white rice flour in my gluten free version.

      Post a Reply
    • Of course you can Agness, I have seen Panforte in all seasons in Italy.

      Post a Reply
  2. Nice how easy it is to turn it into a gluten-free treat and I love the nut/dried fruit combo! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and all the best for 2018!

    Miriam x

    Post a Reply
    • Its super easy to turn gluten-free so your husband can enjoy it. Thank you Miriam and I hope you too had a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year 😀

      Post a Reply
  3. What a classic dish, and you did it right. This looks perfect. Thanks. Hope your Christmas was wonderful. Happy New Year!

    Post a Reply
    • Thank you John, I too hope your Christmas and New Year were great fun 😀

      Post a Reply
  4. Emma – panforte is one of my favorite things on earth! I just make my second for the season. I will have to try your recipe now! When I was in Siena this fall, I bought a lot of “ostia” – the wheat starch paper for the bottom and sides. And some beautiful citron and candied orange peel! Best panforte I have ever made!

    Also. I just subscribed again for your posts. It didn’t seem to go through last time!

    Happy New Year!

    Post a Reply
    • Oh, that citron peel sounds divine, the best stuff is always found in the Mediterranean countries. I tried finding some ostia in the UK but I had no luck so I just used icing sugar. I am sure if I had visited a few Italian delis down South I would have had more luck. Or maybe I can just use it as an excuse to return to Italy again this year!!!

      Post a Reply
      • I find any excuse I can to go to Italy! Ostia seems like the perfect excuse to me!

        Post a Reply
  5. i’m unfamiliar with this dessert, but based on the ingredient list, i know i’d love it! it’s definitely like a cakeless fruitcake. 🙂

    Post a Reply
    • Thank you Grace, it really is like a cakeless fruitcake 😀

      Post a Reply
  6. I really want to make panforte one year! This looks stunning 😀 Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

    Post a Reply
    • Thank you, Lorraine 😀 Hope your Christmas was wonderful too.

      Post a Reply
  7. ooh i love the sound of all those nuts! this sounds like such a great holiday treat, especially now that i can say for certain i know the difference between panforte and pannetone (;

    Post a Reply
    • Lol, don’t worry Heather I got it wrong the first time I went to Italy as well….. 😉

      Post a Reply
  8. This sounds perfect for the holidays! Better than the traditional fruit cake for sure!! Hope you had a marvelous Christmas, too! xo

    Post a Reply
    • Thank you Liz, hope you also had a wonderful Christmas 😀

      Post a Reply
  9. This looks so yummy and addictive! You too have a peaceful and beautiful holiday season, Emma.

    Post a Reply
    • Thank you Angie, I hope your Christmas was wonderful 😀

      Post a Reply

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