Coffee & Amaretto Cake

Today has been a sugar-filled day, starting with custard doughnuts and buttermilk pancakes at Maltby Street (more about that soon!) and finishing with a cake I baked for the Lavazza Coffee Set Match challenge.

Using this recipe (in Italian only), I have made a Coffee & Amaretto Cake which is perfect to have for breakfast with a good coffee!

I am a big fan of “amaretti”, almond flavoured macaroons traditional to Saronno in the north of Italy, and often use them as ingredient for desserts. They can be found in London in Italian shops or online at Nifeislife.

This recipe was very easy to make and can be adapted to your taste, replacing the amaretti with chocolate biscuits for example.


* 3 eggs
* 150g butter
* 150g white sugar
* 300g plain flour
* 180ml milk
* 3/4 lievito Pane degli Angeli (equals to 12gr baking powder)
* 100g amaretti
* 100ml coffee


In a bowl, mix the eggs and the sugar, beating them with an electric whisk. Melt the butter and keep it on the side to cool down.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour with the baking powder. Then add the milk, the egg/sugar mixture and the melted butter. Whisk until you have removed all the lumps.

Pre-heat the oven to 160 °C. Grease a cake pan and pour half of the cake batter. Dip the amaretti in the coffee and line them over the cake.

Pour the rest of the batter over the biscuits. Bake for 30 minutes. Tip: decorate the cake with icing sugar.

18 thoughts on “Coffee & Amaretto Cake

  1. Hello, is lievito baking powder or yeast? And if it’s baking powder, does baking powder usually come in packets (such as the one shown in your photo) in Italy? Thanks!

    • Pane degli Angeli is a powdered raising agent with a vanilla flavour and is very common in Italy to use for cakes. Here in UK I would replace it with baking powder (though that doesn’t have the vanilla fragrance).
      Fresh or dry yeast is a different product, used for bread and pizza.

      • Thank you! I should have given context: I recently came across this ingredient elsewhere and looked it up on where the definition was “leavening or yeast” and then listed “lievito di polvere” as baking powder. The other recipe called for a 1/2 bustina, and here in the U.S., it is yeast that comes in packets. I thought it weird that the other recipe (for a crostata) would call for yeast, but the “bustina” measurement through me off. Once I saw your blog post and the picture of the “Pane degli Angeli” I was pretty sure lievito was baking powder after all. Thanks for confirming. Also, is there another word(s) that is more commonly used for the yeast used for bread, or is it just context? Thank you again!

  2. You have no idea how long it took me to figure out that baking powder was found in those packets, and with vanilla flavoring mixed in. For the longest time I thought “do Italians just not use baking powder in their baking?” and I’d go to Castroni to buy it. ;-) Now I can buy it in boxes of 10 packets at the grocery store. Silly me. The amaretti look heavenly, I would have stopped right there, eaten them all and not had any left for the cake!

    • I had the opposite dilemma when I moved to UK, seeing baking powder pots in the supermarket and wondering what they were!! ;) I normally use baking powder for American recipes and Pane degli Angeli for Italian cakes. It reminds me of home and of baking with my mum when I was a kid! :)

      • That’s so cute. I used to bring some US supplies over with me when I’d come back here as well. For example non-metric measuring cups and spoons. ;-) Comforts of home. I love baking so much. I just have to continually find places to give away the baked goods to, because I can’t keep them here in the house, I’d eat them all! My kiddos love to bake though, especially Vincenzo, loves his cookies!

      • I’ve eaten a small piece of this cake for breakfast yesterday, the rest I’m giving it to Sandy to take to his office! ;) And to finish the tiramisu last week, I had to invite my friends over for dinner!

  3. I was so jealous when you tweeted a picture of those custard doughnuts yesterday, they looked SO good. But this looks equally delicious and I’d happily tuck into a slice for my breakfast right now :-)

  4. For all those who commented above but have not been able to taste this cake yet here is an insider tip. It is genuisly heavenly. It has a perfect texture as to dip it in coffee and the cake holds itself as against crumbling out. I do feel privileged and scared (to get too fat to soon) to be living with this Chef!

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