Recipe: Pan Speziale di Certosino

Pan speziale ready to cut

Pan Speziale di Certosino.  Basically a solid, rich Italian Christmas cake, reputedly originating from the monks of Certosino.  It’s full of delicious stuff and calorie dense with a mix of carbs, fat and protein.  A bonus is it keeps well(allegedly, it’s delicious and moreish) and survives battering in running/climbing/cycling bags. 

An easy bake, so long as the nut/dried fruit/choc are in the same ratio you can use whatever mix you like.  Though dates do not work very well, too mushy.  You could try switching out the water for fruit juice too.

You want the recipe? Oh, go on then. 


125g sugar

150g honey (or your preferred vegan alternative)

1 teaspoon baking powder

200ml warm water

100g currants (or other firm dried fruit in same size pieces)

100g chopped almonds (or other sweet nut)

100g pine nuts (or other chopped bitter nuts; I use hazelnut)

100g chopped mixed peel

100g dark chocolate pieces

1 tablespoon spice of choice; Anis, Ginger, Cardamon, Nutmeg all work well

250g wholemeal flour(spelt + wholemeal works well)

Preheat the oven to 190/200c; 375/400f; gas 4/6 

Line and grease a deep sided 20x20cm baking tray, ideally loose bottomed


Put all the ingredients in a bowl, mix well

Tip into the tin and smooth down

Bake for around 30-40 minutes

Let it cool a few minutes in the tin, then remove to finish cooling on a wire rack

Chop into matchbox size pieces & wrap in foil

Store in a cake tin

Eat; it’s very good with an espresso or a grand noir.

Pan speziale and espresso