This easy Vegan Panforte is a festive and delicious Christmas recipe that you can make ahead of time and then serve for Christmas dessert or at cookie exchange.
One of my favorite things about the winter holidays is that I get to make all the delicious Christmas desserts.
Unlike regular sweet treats, most Christmas treats usually feature lots of nuts, dried, fruits and marzipan. Those are literally my favorite ingredients.
On top of that, I get to try Christmas recipes from around the world and experience different cultures through the recipes.
Panforte is a classic Italian dessert that mostly consists of nuts and dried fruits. What’s not to love?
It’s sweet, crunchy, uniquely flavorful and so delicious. One of the best things about this traditional dessert from Siena is that you can make it 1 month ahead of time.
Since this vegan Panforte keeps well, you can bake it for Christmas cookie exchange or give as an edible Christmas gift.
- nuts – you can use any nuts that you like. In my opinion, Panforte comes out the most delicious when made with hazelnuts, almonds and pistachios
- dried and candied fruits – figs, dried apricots, candied pineapple and mango are some of my favorite options
- spices – I used pumpkin pie spice, however you can use other spices. See the recipe notes for the details
- all-purpose flour
- sweeteners – Maple syrup, coconut sugar, powdered sugar
- cacao powder
- lime zest
💭 Storing tips
Tightly wrap Panforte in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 1 month. If you wish, you can also freeze it for up to 3 months.
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Vegan Panforte Recipe
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Place hazelnuts on rimmed baking dish and toast for 5-7 minutes. Let them cool. Using kitchen towel, rub hazelnuts between the towel to easily remove most of the skin. Some skin will stay and that's okay.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 320 F and line the bottom and the sides of the 8-inch springform pan with a parchment paper.
- If you're using dried figs, cut them in 4 equal pieces. In a large bowl combine nuts, dried fruits and lime zest.
- In a small bowl whisk flour, cacao powder and pumpkin pie spice and add this to a bowl with nuts. Mix until nuts and dried fruits are equally coated in flour.
- In a small saucepan combine coconut sugar and Maple syrup. Bring the mixture to a low boil, then cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add to nuts and dried fruits making sure to coat evenly.
- Pour the mixture into a cake pan pressing very firmly on top. (If you don't do this, the cake will not be holding very well together. It'll still be delicious though). Bake for 35-40 minutes until firm.
- Remove Panforte from the oven, let it cool for 10 minutes and then gently remove from the cake pan. Generously dust Panforte with the powdered sugar, the top and the sides.
- Cut into thin slices and enjoy!