Gluten-free Panforte Christmas recipe

This chewy cake, chock-full of fruit and nuts, is a decadent Christmas treat. The team from Dovedale Bread share this easy recipe that you can make in advance, then parcel up into gifts for family, friends and neighbours. Panforte means ‘strong bread’ in Italian – it’s deliciously rich, so slice thinly as a little goes a long way!

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100 g     almonds
100 g     walnuts
120 g     chopped figs
90 g       mixed peel
40 g       brown rice flour
40 g       tapioca starch
20 g       cocoa
15 g       mixed spice
180 g     honey
90 g       dark chocolate, chopped
Icing sugar to dust


  1. Preheat oven to 170°C fan bake.
  2. Roast nuts in an ovenproof dish for 12 minutes.
  3. Combine roasted nuts, dried fruit, cocoa, brown rice flour, tapioca starch and mixed spice in a bowl and mix well to combine.
  4. Heat honey in a small saucepan over medium heat until boiling. Remove from heat add chocolate and stir until melted and mixture is smooth.
  5. Pour honey and chocolate mixture over dry ingredients and mix well with a strong wooden spoon, until combined.
  6. Grease and line the bottom of a 20 cm round cake tin. Press mixture firmly and evenly into the tin. Use the back of the spoon to smooth out the top. Bake for 25 minutes.
  7. Cool completely before removing from the tin. Dust with icing sugar to serve.
This cake will keep for weeks in an airtight container. You can change it up with different varieties of fruit and nuts to suit your taste.

Dovedale Bread

Dean and Sarah Richardson are the new owners of Dovedale Bread, which was founded in Nelson in 1996. Their breads are made with a sourdough leaven and they specialise in baking gluten-free, paleo, kato, wheat-free, dairy-free and no added yeast products.

The Dovedale range includes a selection of breads, buns, pizza bases, pitas, biscuits, crackers and cakes – including this panforte. See more on their website: dovedale.nz

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