The Pangiallo Romano Recipe, literally “Roman Yellow Bread,” is a Roman dessert typically prepared on the Winter Solstice day as a good omen hoping that the sun will return soon. For this reason, it has a golden crust. It has a lot of ingredients, but it is effortless and fast to prepare.
We recently moved to Milano immediately after the second lockdown, decreasing our chances of getting to know people in the region, so we knew the holidays would be very lonely. However, we had the option to visit friends in Rome before the Christmas lockdown, and we took it without thinking twice!
We are still in Rome and have also had the chance to explore Roman Cuisine more in-depth; we will be dedicating an entire post about Rome, its Cuisine, traveling tips, and traditional and re-invented recipes; soon!
This delicious dessert can be part of a Christmas table, especially in the Lazio region, where Rome belongs.
This winter solstice meal has just a few easy-to-find ingredients.
- Dark chocolate
- Maple syrup
- Gluten-free flour
- Candied fruit
- Orange zest
- Lemon zest
Optional (if making the glazing):
- extra-virgin olive oil
See quantities and complete instructions in the recipe card.
To make this roman holiday recipe, mix all the ingredients (except the glaze) in a food processor and give it a cake shape with your hands. Bake it.
Mix the Glazing Ingredients in a bowl with a whisk.
Remove the cake from the oven and brush it with the glazing mix.
Put it back in the oven for 3 minutes, remove it from the heat, and let it cool down.
Enjoy with coffee!
📖 Variations and substitutions
This seasonal recipe reminds me of the Christmas cake we have in Panama, my hometown, since it shares some commonalities, such as candied and dry fruits and nuts. However, what makes it very different is the presence of chocolate, honey, and saffron.
Gluten-free flour - instead of using a gluten-free flour mix, you can use all-purpose flour, almond flour, or chickpea flour.
I made two versions: a traditional one, where I only changed the only non-vegan ingredient to make it vegan: Maple Syrup in place of honey.
The second version I made follows the same proportions. I made it an even healthier Italian Christmas cake by changing a couple of ingredients.
If looking for healthy desserts, try this creamy cardamom rice pudding. For a fresher summery option, check out the vegan berry ice cream or the peanut butter banana ice cream.
📚 More Holidays dishes
⭐ If you try this recipe, let us know! 💬 Leave a comment, rate it, and don't forget to tag us @ourplantbasedworld on Instagram. Cheers!
Pangiallo Romano (Roman Christmas Cake)
- 3.5 ounces dark chocolate organic
- 3.5 ounces maple syrup
- 3.5 ounces raisins
- 2.5 ounces walnuts
- 2.5 ounces hazelnuts
- 2.5 ounces almonds
- 2.5 ounces gluten-free flour all-purpose flour works as well
- 1.5 ounces pine nuts
- 1.5 ounces candied fruit
- 1 orange zest
- 1 lemon zest
Optional (for the glazing):
- 2 tablespoons gluten-free flour all-purpose flour works as well
- 2 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 0.1 ounce saffron (2 saffron packs)
- Preheat the oven to 350 ºF (175 ºC).
- Line a tray with parchment paper.
- Grind the orange and lemon zest avoiding the bitter white part.
- Coarsely chop the almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts. I use a blender on minimum speed for 10 seconds.
- Mix all the ingredients except the chocolate in a bowl with a spoon.
- Melt the chocolate in a water bath or the microwave for 3 minutes.
- Add it to the mix using the spoon, and then use your hands as soon the mixture has cooled down (approx 10 seconds).
- Mix everything until you obtain a homogeneous mixture.
- With floured hands, form a ball and place it on a pan with parchment paper. Flatten it a little bit with the palm of your hands.
- Bake in a preheated oven for about 40 minutes.
- Prepare the covering’s glaze by putting the flour, oil, and saffron in a bowl, start mixing, and add water until you get a thick and homogeneous batter.
- Brush the pangiallo with the saffron glaze.
- Put the cake back in the oven for 2-3 minutes, remove it from the heat, and let it cool down.
Take it out of the oven and let it cool completely before serving.
Let it cool completely before serving.
Feel free to make it without the grazing is just as good.
🌡️ Food safety
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with a high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
See more guidelines at USDA.gov.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice. See our full Nutritional Disclosure here.
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In the intro instructions, the glaze is put on after baking then baked for an additional 2 minutes. In the recipe instructions, the glaze is added before baking. Can you clarify when the glaze is put on? It looks so nice, and the idea of the solstice sun is great. Thanks!
Thanks for the catch. I have updated the instructions. Bake the cake without the glazing, and then the cake should be back to the oven for additional 2 minutes so the glaze sticks to the baked cake. 🙂
What a beautiful winter cake. Sounds amazing and so delicious with all the dried fruits inside. I have to bake this.
It is definitely one of our favorite winter cakes!
I love trying new and different recipes from other cultures. I haven’t tried this before. I enjoyed it so much and will be making it at Christmas for sure ?
I'm intrigued by this recipe and can't wait to try it for Christmas!
I am sure you will love it Holly!
the chocolate, honey, and saffron really makes this christmas cake so delicious! Will make it again for the holidays!
Thank you for your review Nancy! I'm so happy to hear that the chocolate, honey and saffron in this recipe made it a delicious Christmas cake.
I agree with you - this is one of my favorite recipes too, especially during the holidays when we're all looking for something sweet but still want to keep our diets clean. It's also really easy to make ahead of time which makes it perfect for entertaining guests without any fuss or muss.
We hope that you'll enjoy making this recipe again soon!
Maria San Juan says
Great recipe! I would love to make them for my kids! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you so much for your feedback Maria! We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed the recipe and would like to share it with your kids.
We hope that this is just the first of many more recipes, stories, and conversations we'll have together.
Looks like a healthier version of the fruit cake. I can't wait to make it.
yes, it is! You will love it! It doesn't lack any flavor!
Ana F. says
I'm so glad I found this recipe for Pangiallo Romano! It was a hit with the family and I loved how easy it was to make. It will be on repeat! Thanks!
We are all about fruit and nut cakes at Christmas time and this looks amazing.
Que pinta que tiene! Me encantó la receta! Sin dudas la tendré en cuenta para prepararla pronto!!!
Thanks for this awesome seasonal recipe! I love how cool the yellow glaze comes out!
Claudia Lamascolo says
oh wow this was so much better than expected I will make it often all year long!
Chocolatey fruitcake? Oh yes please! This sounds ingredible. I'll have to bake it for the solstice 🙂
This Roman dessert looks absolutely gorgeous. Definitely going to make this delicious cake this weekend.
Jessica Formicola says
Now this is my kind of cake! All of those nuts AND chocolate?? Yes, please!
Shashi at Savory Spin says
Your Pangiallo Romano reminds me of our Sri Lankan Christmas cake - only without brandy. This cake looks so delicious and rich! Would love to try this soon!
Surprised I've never heard of this cake before but love all the ingredients and will be trying it out this season. Thanks for the healthier version too, I feel drawn to that one!