This is a delicious spongy cake, popular around Carnival time in February but now found year-round, particularly in shops in downtown Florence.

  • Preparation time: 15 minutes.
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes.
  • 250g plain white flour.
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (or 50g lard).
  • One glass milk.
  • One orange.
  • Half a teaspoon powdered saffron.
  • 90g sugar.
  • 2 eggs.
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder.
  • Icing sugar.
  • Salt.

Put the sifted flour, baking powder, oil, milk, grated orange rind, saffron, sugar, eggs, and a pinch of salt into a mixing bowl and beat together thoroughly until all the lumps are eliminated and the batter is smooth and thick. Grease a shallow rectangular baking pan and pour in the mixture (the schiacciata should be about 2 cm high). Put into a preheated oven at 150°c for half an hour. Sprinkle plenty of icing sugar on top of the cake before sprinkling with icing sugar to make design.

If you are very sweet-toothed, you can cut the cake in two and fill it with whipped cream, chocolate icing, chocolate cream or any other sweet filling or spread you like.

This light sponge is traditionally made during Carneval time, in February. Originally lard was used, but ihave replaced it with oil as this makes a lighter cake. But if you are not worried about your cholesterol level, then why not try the flavour of the original recipe?

Article by Luca Tempestini