Skip to main content

Pandolce genovese (pandoçe)

Pandolce genovese (pandoçe)

The pandolce is a dish of the Genoese tradition consumed typically during the Christmas holidays but available all year round in many pastry shops and bakeries in the city. Its origins probably date back to the foundation of the Republic of Genoa.
According to legend, the pandolce was born in the XVIth century, when the doge Andrea Doria launched a competition among the pastry chefs of Genoa for a cake representative of the city. A dessert that had to be nutritious and long-lasting to be able to carry it on long sea trips. A dessert that had to relieve the nostalgia of the sailors and witness the power of the "Superba" to the other populations. Thus born, between an official competition and the myth the Genoese pandolce: a leavened bread and embellished with raisins, pine nuts, candied fruit and fennel seeds.
At Christmas, tradition dictates that it is the youngest of the family to plant, on top of the pandolce, an olive or laurel branch as a sign of devotion, while the cut of the first slice is reserved for the oldest without forgetting to keep two portions: one for the poor man who comes to the door and another for the day of San Biagio, as a cure-all for the throat. 
The Genoese pandolce is a real icon of Ligurian pastry, perfect to enjoy during a walk through the streets of the historic center of Genoa. In addition, it could be an original idea for a gastronomic souvenir to take home with you, to share with friends and family.


Make a fountain in the flour for the first rising and pour the yeast dissolved in half a glass of warm water; knead carefully, until you get a firm and elastic mixture (if necessary add more water, but do not overdo it). Put the dough to rest overnight in a bowl, covered with a cloth and warm. The next day, soak the two grapes in warm water and cut the cedar into small pieces. With the second amount of flour create another mound and add the melted butter, orange blossom water, sugar, salt. Begin to work and then add the leavened dough of the previous day. Work with care, so as to get a smooth and smooth amalgam (add a little water if necessary). At this point, add the drained and squeezed raisins, cedar, pine nuts and fennel seeds, working hard for at least 15 minutes. Make two equal parts of the dough and place them on two baking trays, giving them a dome shape, drawing a triangle on the top and surrounding them with a clean cloth, so that they do not lose their shape during leavening. Cover with a cloth and keep warm for another 12 hours. After this second rising, you can place the dough in the oven at 180 ºC for about an hour and in any case until it has a brown - golden color.

La ricetta del pandolce è tratta dalla guida "Genova a Tavola", M&R Comunicazione


For the yeast:

  • 20 g brewer’s yeast
  • 300 g of flour

For the pandolce:

  • 500 g of flour
  • 100 g butter
  • 250 g of sugar
  • 200 ml water with orange blossom water
  • 100 g raisins
  • 100 g zibibbo
  • 100 g pine nuts
  • 100 g candied cedar
  • 50 g fennel seeds
  • a pinch of salt

*in bold type allergen ingredients