The recipe I will show you today is the Original Sicilian Cassata Cake, still used in Palermo, but I am making it without the candied fruit and marzipan.

The name Cassata derives from the Arabic word “quas at,” which means bowl. It was introduced by the Arabs in Palermo in the tenth century when a shepherd combined sheep’s ricotta with honey in a bowl.

Original Sicilian Cassata Cake – “quas at”

Subsequently, at the court of the emir of Palermo in Piazza Kalsa, the chefs decided to wrap the dough in a short pastry and bake it in the oven. Thus, the oven-baked Cassata was born, the most ancient version of this cake.

But in 1873, the great confectioner from Palermo, Salvatore Gulì, recreated it into the now famous and modern version of the Cassata, with candied fruit and marzipan, pictured in this photo kindly taken by tannur.foodblog.

Original Sicilian Cassata Cake – “quas at”
Original Sicilian Cassata Cake – “quas at”

Original Sicilian Cassata Cake – “quas at”

Prep Time 20 mins Cook Time 45 mins Rest Time 2 hrs Total Time 3 hrs 5 mins Difficulty: Beginner Servings: 10 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


Sicilian Cassata Cake – A delicious short-crust cake made with the cream of sweetened sheep’s ricotta and dark chocolate drops.


Cooking Mode Disabled

Shorty Pastry

Ricotta Cream


Shorty Pastry

    • Put the flour in a bowl, add the butter, the sugar, the grated rind, and the salt.
    • With your hands, work the ingredients until they appear like fine bread crumbs.
    • Add the egg yolks and quickly mix all ingredients to obtain a homogeneous mixture and form a smooth paste.
    • Wrap it in the film and put it to rest for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Ricotta Cream

    • Mix well the icing sugar with the overnight drained ricotta 
    • Add the chocolate, chopped into pieces that are not too small. Put it to rest in the fridge.


    • Remove the pastry from the fridge, divide it in two, and work one piece with a rolling pin to form a 1/2 cm (0.2 inch) thick disk to line the greased and floured baking pan.
    • Cut the excess shortcrust with a knife.
    • Prick the dough with the tines of a fork without piercing it.
    • Pour the ricotta cream inside the mold, and with the help of an icing spatula, level the cream.
    • Roll out the remaining pastry disk to a 0.2-inch-thick circle and set it over the leveled cream.
    • Bake in an oven at 180 degrees for about 45 minutes or until the cake becomes golden brown.
Keywords: sicilian cassata cake

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