Annabel Langbein’s Perfect Panforte

7:00 am on 29 November 2019
Annabel Langbein's Perfect Panforte

Annabel Langbein's Perfect Panforte Photo: Annabel Langbein

I always don a clean pair of dishwashing gloves to mix this dense Italian festive fruitcake as it’s too heavy to mix with a spoon and you need to work fast so the toffee mixture doesn't set before it’s mixed through the fruit and nuts. You can play around with different types of fruit and nuts as long as you keep the quantities constant. 

Panforte is very rich, so serve it in very thin slices. It also makes a lovely gift. For free printable gift tags see my website.

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: about 35 mins

Serves: 20

Makes: 1 cake


  • 1 cup almonds, toasted and very coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skins rubbed off and very coarsely chopped
  • 2½ cups (combined amount) of dried fruit, such as mixed peel, raisins and chopped dried figs
  • 2/3 cup plain flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 60g dark chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Icing sugar, to dust


Preheat oven to 150°C fan bake and thoroughly grease or line with baking paper a 20cm-diameter springform cake tin.

Combine nuts and fruit and mix with flour, cocoa and cinnamon. Boil the honey and sugar in a saucepan until mixture reaches ‘soft ball’ stage. Add chocolate and stir until it is melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour into dry ingredients and quickly mix with a very strong wooden spoon (or your hands) until combined.

Press into tin and bake for about 35 minutes or until set. Remove from tin while still warm. When cool, dust liberally with icing sugar. Stored in an airtight container it will keep for weeks.

TIP: I often free-form small panfortes on the baking tray so I can cook a whole lot at one time without needing a lot of baking tins. They do tend to spread a little when they cook, so just round them up into tight circles with a flat knife after they come out of the oven then leave them to set and cool fully before you take them off the baking paper and store them.

Recipe courtesy of Annabel Langbein. For more of Annabel’s recipes see


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