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Traditional Italian Christmas Desserts

No Italian Christmas would be complete without one or more traditional Christmas desserts.   Here are a few favorites.
Zuppa Inglese
Zuppa Inglese consists of layers of cake that are brushed wth a rum and jam mixture, alternately layered in a glass bowl with vanilla and chocolate pastry cream and topped with sweetened whipped cream and fruit.
Buccellato - Sicilian Christmas Fig Cake
Chestnut Tortelli (aka Baby Jesus' Pillows)
Apostles' Fingers (Sweet Ricotta Crepes)
Venetian Layered Cookies
Grispelle - Italian Christmas Doughnuts
Pandoro: The traditional Christmas bread from Verona
Parrozzo - Chocolate Covered Almond Cake from Abruzzo
Christmas Biscotti with Cranberries and Pistachios
Befana Cake
Sicilian Christmas Fig Cake - Buccellato
Chestnut Tortelli - Baby Jesus' Pillows
Apostles' Fingers - Sweet Ricotta Crepes
Venetian Layered Cookies
Grispelle- Italian Christmas Doughnuts
Seasonal Biscotti
Befana Cake
A pizzelle is a traditional Italian waffle cookie that is made by
placing batter into a pizzelle maker, which resembles a waffle
iron.   The result is a thin golden-brown cookie, which has a crisp
texture once it is cooled.

Pizzelle Recipes  >>
Struffoli is a traditional Neapolitan Christmas dessert made from
small puffs of  citrus-flavored dough that are crunchy on the
outside and soft inside.  The fried balls are dipped in honey and
dusted with multi-colored candy sprinkles.

Struffoli Recipe  >>
A fig and nut filled ring called a buccellato heralds Christmas in
Sicily.  Buccellato is also given by godparents to their godchild
and family on the christening day.

Fig Cake Recipe  >>
Chestnut Tortelli are made with a pastry dough that is filled with a
mixture of ground chestnuts, rum, cinnamon,and chocolate. 
They can be dusted with confectioners' sugar, drizzled with
honey or rolled in cinnamon-sugar.

Chestnut Tortelli Recipe  >>
These crepes are flourless, light, and aromatic.  The filling is
similar to a cannoli filling.

Apostles' Fingers Recipe  >>
These festively colored cookies are made with 3 layers of cake
with  a rich almond flavor, separated by sweet apricot jam, and
topped with chocolate icing.

Venetian Layered Cookies Recipe  >>
Grispelle are fried potato doughnuts which come from Calabria
where they are a special Christmas treat.  You can use white
potatoes or sweet potatoes in this recipe.

Grispelle Recipe  >>
Pandoro or pan d’oro means ‘golden bread.’   It is a traditional
Christmas cake from Verona that gets its name due to its
pleasing yellow color.

Pandoro Recipe  >>
Panettone, the tall, cylindrical, fruit-filled sweet bread from Milan
has become an essential part of the Christmas season.

Panettone Recipe >>
Parrozzo is a traditional Christmas cake from the Abruzzo region
of Italy.  The classic dome-shaped almond cake is flavored with
citrus zest and topped with a rich chocolate glaze.

Parrozzo Recipe  >>
Delight in the special flavors and aromas of the holiday season
with our seasonal biscotti recipes ... pumpkin, cranberry,
gingerbread, and chocolate-peppermint.

Seasonal Biscotti Recipes  >>
Befana Cake is traditionally made for the Feast of the Three
Kings.  Before the cake is baked, a large dried bean is added to
the dough.  The cake is presented on a crown and whoever
receives the slice with the bean is king (or queen) for the day.

Befana Cake Recipe  >>
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Cream Puffs
Italian Cream Cake
Italian Rum Cake
Pasta Ciotti
Natale, or Christmas, is a very special holiday
throughout Italy and each region has its own
traditional dishes.  Natale is one of the few
occasions of the year in which ancestral
traditions are revered above all else.  What
will be eaten during the feast is a kind of ritual. 
Very often each course is prepared more or
less in the same way it has been for
generations.  Mothers, sisters, aunts, and
cousins get together to make these foods in
assembly line fashion. These are the key
ingredients that make these foods so special
... the togetherness, the stories and laughter,
the reconnecting with and preserving of the
past ... a time to celebrate. 

Italian Christmas Eve - La Vigilia di Natale  >>

Christmas or New Year's Day Breakfast >>

Christmas Cookies  >>

Holiday or Special Occasion Entrees  >>

Italian Christmas Day Dinner Menu  >>
Panforte (Panforte di Siena)
Panforte ( Panforte di Siena)
Panforte, or Siena Cake, is a traditional Italian Christmas
dessert that is made with honey, nuts, chocolate, spices, and
dried fruit.

Panforte Recipe  >>