Pellegrino Artusi’s Walnut Cake

Pellegrino Artusi is the author of the book Science in the kitchen and the art of eating well, published at the end of the 1800s, which became very famous at the beginning of the last century, so much so that it became one of the most read books by Italians, together with I promessi sposi (The Betrothed) and Pinocchio.

This book, also known as ‘The Artusi’, contains many regional traditions, and gives life to a true national gastronomic tradition: it features 790 recipes, each of which is accompanied by the author’s reflections and anecdotes.

Below is recipe n. 637: the walnut cake.


  • Shelled walnuts, 140 grams
  • Powdered sugar, 140 grams
  • Chocolate powder or grated, 140 grams
  • Candied citron, 20 grams
  • Eggs, 4
  • Vanilla flavour

Finely pound the walnuts together with the sugar in a mortar, then pour them into a jar to add the chocolate, the vanilla flavour, the eggs, placing first the yolks and then the whipped whites, and lastly the candied citron minced very finely.

Take a pan where the cake would end up no higher than two fingers, butter it and sprinkle it with breadcrumbs to bake it in the oven or in the country oven at moderate heat.

My diners found this to be an exquisite dessert.

Taken from