Peppina’s Cake

Serves 8

Bits of bittersweet chocolate and crushed amaretti cookies add a wonderful taste and texture as well as a touch of glamour to this simple cake. The recipe comes from my friend Raffaella Neviani, a wonderful baker who lives in Reggio Emilia in Italy.  


1 cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

½ cup sugar

4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

3/4 cup crushed amaretti cookies

Pinch of salt

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch cake pan. Line it with parchment paper and butter the paper. Set aside.

2. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder together onto wax paper.

3. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time. With a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate and crushed cookies.

4. In another bowl, with clean beaters, beat the egg whites with the salt until soft peaks form. With a rubber spatula, fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

5. Bake for 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 2–3 minutes, then invert it onto a cooling rack. Carefully remove the parchment paper; set another rack on top of the cake and turn right side up. Cool the cake completely.

6. Dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar and cut into wedges to serve.

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