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classic cassata – upgraded with a cheesecake layer!

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The classic cassata just got better – Layers of cake, loads of ice cream, cheesecake and a generous sprinkling of nuts! With my detailed step-by-step guide, this 2.0 version of the Italian dessert will be your new favourite sweet obsession!

Cassata Siciliana. Apparently that’s what this lavish cake with Sicilian origins was called before it got super popular and became known simply as the Cassata! Let me clarify, the OG cassata is very different from the Cassata ice cream we are served in ice cream parlors here in India. The original one was made with a layer of green-tinted marzipan in which sponge cake was soaked in sugar syrup and topped with ricotta cheese and candied fruit. We are used to the simpler version – scoops of nuts, vanilla and strawberry ice cream piled on top of sponge cake.

We’ve been tinkering with the idea of upgrading the Indian cassata to make it our own! You know how we love experimenting with flavours! So this Indian Cassata Version 2.0 has layers of sponge cake, scoops of ice cream (our favourite flavours), cheesecake and nuts. I just wanna lay down the facts… Making Cassata is not a piece of cake (haha, see what I did there?). You’ll have to dedicate some time to this, probably buy some ingredients which may not be part of your pantry staples. There are 3-4 components that go into it, but it’s worth all the effort! And soooo much fun!

So here’s how to make cassata!

In every bite of this cassata, you will taste these following layers:

  • Vanilla Sponge – the foundation which balances all the other layers
  • Ice cream – Different flavours of ice cream 
  • Vanilla Cheesecake – Rich, creamy with a smooth mouthfeel 
  • And lots of dry fruit topping

the vanilla sponge

In the cassata cake, the vanilla sponge layer is the one that acts as a base for all the other flavours. It soaks up the sugar syrup and ice cream, and it’s also pretty simple to make. This recipe makes a moist, soft sponge with comforting vanilla extract notes.

  • We aren’t following too many rules with this cake because it’s going to be the bottom layer of our cassata. The method is simple, and you just have to mix all the ingredients together
  • Make sure to grease the baking tray and line it with parchment so that the sponge does not stick or crumble
  • Preheat the oven at 180C, this will ensure the sponge cooks evenly
  • Use a skewer or a knife to poke into the sponge, if it comes out clean that means the sponge is done.
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