(Makes one 12-inch cake)
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Grated zest of one orange
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1-1/2 cups almonds, coarsely chopped
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 12-inch round pizza pan or a large baking sheet.
With an electric mixer, beat together the butter, sugar, and salt until light and fluffy. Add the egg, orange zest, vanilla and almond extracts; beat to combine.
Stir in the flour, cornmeal, and nuts until just blended.
Pat the dough into the prepared pizza pan or into a 12-inch circle on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and the center feels firm. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes. Slide a large spatula under the cake and transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.
Sprinkle the top with confectioners' sugar before serving.
You can store the sbrisolona covered at room temperature for about 3-4 days.
Sbrisolona (Sbriciolona) is a crumbly cake from Mantua in the region of Lombardy. At Christmas time, there is a sbrisolona on every table bringing good luck to the entire family. The name comes from the word "sbriciolare" which means to crumble. The cake has the texture of a large crumbly cookie and should be gently broken with the hands and not cut with a knife. It is delicious served plain but it can also be served with some sweetened whipped cream or ice cream. Sbrisolona is also sometimes referred to as the cake of 3 cups since its main ingredients are flour, cornmeal, and sugar.
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