Torta di Pane

  • Serves

    makes One 9" Cake

(Bread Cake)
Torta di Pane, the best known dessert in Tocino, Switzerland, is the favored way for locals to use leftover bread.


  • 18 cups (1") bread cubes cut from 1 to 2 loaves of 3-day-old crusty Italian country bread
  • 6 cups milk
  • 8 amaretti cookies, crushed
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 12 cups raisins
  • 2 oz. assorted pitted dried fruits such as apricots, dates, and prunes, chopped
  • 2 oz. assorted candied fruits, such as lemon, orange, and citron peel, chopped
  • 1 12 cups sugar
  • 5 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 6 tsp. grappa
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 Tbsp. pine nuts


Step 1

Put bread cubes into a large bowl and set aside. Scald milk in a large saucepan over medium heat, then pour over bread cubes. Let bread cubes soak at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until crusts soften, about 3 hours.

Step 2

Preheat oven to 300°. Using your hands, mash bread and tear up crusts. Add crushed cookies, eggs, raisins, dried and candied fruits, sugar, cocoa powder, lemon zest, and grappa. Stir until well combined.

Step 3

Grease a 3"-deep, 9" round cake pan with 1 tbsp. of the butter. Transfer bread and fruit mixture to prepared pan, gently smoothing top with back of spoon, scatter pine nuts on top and dot with remaining butter.

Step 4

Bake cake until pine nuts and top of cake are lightly browned and a wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out with some crumbs sticking to it. 2 hours to 2 hours and 15 minutes, tenting cake with foil if nuts and top brown too quickly. Let cake cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then invert onto a plate, remove pan, and invert back on to rack to let cool completely.

Step 5

Serve cake with Vanilla Lemon Custard, if you like.

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