Zuccotto di pandoro (Christmas sponge cake dessert)



Zuccotto di pandoro (Christmas sponge cake dessert)

Are guests coming to your house again this year for the holidays? Do you already know what recipe will tempt them the most besides the classic pandoro and panettone? We can help you make the difficult choice: pandoro sponge cake! The tempting chocolate coating on the outside hides a soft pandoro cake inside, with a delicate and fragrant ricotta and orange cream. Make your guests sit down and bring this beautiful pandoro sponge cake to the table, a variant of the classic sponge cake, perfect for the holidays. If you want to make it even more beautiful, then dust the surface with a snowfall of white powdered sugar when serving!


Ingredienti per uno stampo da 17cm (alto 7cm)
Pandoro pastry 1.65 cups (200 g) - thickly-sliced
Powdered sugar to taste - for dusting
For the filling
Ricotta cheese from cow's milk 1 ¾ cup (450 g)
Dark chocolate 0.65 cup (100 g)
Oranges 1 - (peel and juice)
Powdered sugar 0.65 cup (100 g)
For the topping
Dark chocolate ¾ cup (140 g)
Fresh liquid cream ¾ cup (140 g)

How to prepare Zuccotto di pandoro (Christmas sponge cake dessert)

To prepare the pandoro sponge cake, start with the filling. If your ricotta is too rich in whey, then drain it in a colander and store it in the fridge for about an hour. After the time has passed, change or dry the bowl and sieve the ricotta cheese 1. Then add the powdered sugar and mix it in 2. Coarsely chop the dark chocolate 3

and add it to the ricotta 4. After stirring, finish the mixture by grating the orange peel (set the orange aside, because you will need to use its juice) 5. Stir one last time 6 and set the filling aside.

Now cut the pandoro cake: eliminate the top slice (the canopy), then cut four slices about 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick 7, setting aside the smaller piece that will be served as a whole 8. Divide the two central slices in half 9,

while the last one, the largest of the four, you can cut it to obtain a disc: just use a pastry ring with a diameter of 4 1/2 inches (11.5 cm) 10. Take a semi-spherical sponge cake mold, place the smallest slice you have left as a whole on the bottom. Then coat the walls of the mold so the tips of the slices cut in half fit together 11. If necessary, you can rearrange them. Pour the ricotta cream inside 12

and level the surface carefully. Then close it with the round slice you cut earlier 13 Press gently to compact everything together 14 and wrap with plastic wrap. Let rest in the fridge for 2 hours 15.

After this time has passed, take the pandoro sponge cake out, remove the wrap and turn it upside down carefully on a grill placed on a plate 16. Squeeze and filter the orange juice: only 2 tbsp (30 g) are needed. Brush the surface of the zuccotto 17 then put it back in the fridge without covering it 18.

In the meantime, prepare the topping: cut the chocolate and melt it in a bain-marie 19, when it has melted, turn off the heat and add the cream, pouring it little by little and stirring continuously 20. Then take your sponge cake and cover it with the chocolate cream, letting it drip on the plate placed under the grill 21.

Use a spatula to even out the thickness 22, sprinkle with a little powered sugar, if you like 23: your pandoro sponge cake is ready to be served 24!


Pandoro sponge cake can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days; it is recommended to cover it with a glass dome. Freezing is not recommended.


If you don't like orange juice you can replace it with another juice or milk, maybe flavored with cinnamon! If you prefer alternatives to chocolate, opt for diced candied fruit or chopped nuts. Mascarpone cheese can be used instead of ricotta cheese, but be careful, it could be a bit too sweet!