Delicious Certosino Recipe

Discover pepper and spice and all things nice with this Italian Christmas cake, packed with nuts, fruit and dark chocolate.
Prep Time : 0:40 | Cook Time : 1:10 | Total Time : 1:50 | Serving : 16 person.


  • 375g (2 1/2 cups) plain flour

  • 125g (1 1/4 cups) Dutch cocoa (see top tips)

  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 250g assorted glace fruit (peaches, apricots, pears, figs, cherries – see top tips), finely chopped

  • 75g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped

  • 1 lemon, zested

  • 1 orange, zested

  • 220g (1 1/3 cups) blanched almonds, roasted, roughly chopped

  • 50g (1/3 cup) pine nuts, roasted

  • 80ml (1/3 cup) red wine

  • 110g (1/2 cup) caster sugar

  • 60g unsalted butter, chopped

  • 530g (1 1/2 cups) honey

Glace fruit topping

  • 350g assorted glace fruit (peaches, apricots, pears, figs, cherries, clementines – see top tips)

  • Candied cedro (citron – see top tips), thinly shaved lengthwise (optional), to serve


  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 160°C. Lightly grease a 24cm springform pan, then line the base and side with baking paper. Sift flour with cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and spices into a large bowl. Add glace fruit, chocolate, citrus zests and nuts, then, using your hands, rub chopped ingredients through the dry ingredients to distribute evenly.

  • Step 2

    Place wine, sugar, butter and 440g (1 1/4 cups) honey, in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring, over low–medium heat for 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves and butter melts. Remove from heat, then cool mixture for 10 minutes.

  • Step 3

    Make a well in the flour mixture, add honey mixture and stir until well combined. Spoon mixture into pan, and, using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon, smooth the top evenly. To make topping, cut assorted glace fruit into large pieces and arrange over cake.

  • Step 4

    Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out almost clean (it will still be a little sticky in the middle). Cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

  • Step 5

    Place remaining 90g (1/4 cup) honey in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Drizzle honey over cake in the pan, then leave to cool completely in the pan.

  • Step 6

    Remove from pan and serve decorated with cedro, if using.

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