Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Cocoa, honey and spice bread
( Pan speziato al cacao )

Our original home cooking

Cocoa, honey and spice cake is very, very good but like all good dishes we cook on holidays when dried and candied fruits are in season it is high-calorie. In other words we can't do it often. The goodness does not always go hand in hand with healthy eating :-( A dessert wine should be your perfect choice.

difficulty: medium

time: 1 hour and 40 minutes

calories: 410 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 12

  • 400g (14 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 50g (1 3/4 ounce) cocoa powder
  • 500ml (1 pint- 2 cups) honey
  • 1 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 80g (2.8 ounces) peeled almonds, quartered
  • 80g (2.8 ounces) candied orange
  • 80 g (2.8 ounces) peeled hazelnuts, halved
  • Half a glass orange-flavored liqueur
  • 7.5 g (1/4 ounce) cake yeast
  • Pinch of salt
  • Unsalted butter
  • For garnishing
  • 80g (2.8 ounces) marzipan
  • Icing sugar
  • Candied cherries
  • Natural dyes
medium difficulty
preparation: 40 minutes
plus resting time for the dough
cooking: 60 minutes
total: 1 hour and 40 minutes
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 410 (kcal) 21 % - 1714 (kJ)
Protein: 7.4 (g) 15 % GDA
Total fat: 10.4 (g) 15 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 71.6 (g) 27 % GDA
Sugars: 45.4 (g) 51 % GDA

Download free PDF version (182 download).

Recipe for cocoa, honey and spice bread

Preparation and cooking

  • - Pour honey into a little saucepan and add 50ml (2 fl oz - 1/4 C) water.
    Bring to a boil and then remove from heat.
  • - Meanwhile put all other ingredients in a bowl: sifted flour, cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, almonds, hazelnuts and candied orange peel.
  • - Melt yeast in orange-flavored liqueur then add to other ingredients.
  • - Pour in boiling honey, stir accurately with a wooden spoon and let the mixture rest for about an hour.
    Don't worry if your mixture is hard: it must be so.
  • - Preheat oven to 170°C (340°F).
  • - Butter a deep cake tin.
  • - Pour in your mixture and bake, about an hour.
    You can control cooking with a toothpick. Insert a toothpick in the cake; if you see no dough remainder on it, the cake is cooked.
  • - Let the cake cool in the tin.

Just before serving

  • - Remove your cake from baking tin and prepare decorations.
  • - Knead marzipan with icing sugar, following directions on the package and color it.
  • - You can make all the decorations you want.
    I made a branch with red berries.
    See more details on the photo.



  • - If you want you can make marzipan by hand but I think it isn't necessary when you need a little marzipan only for garnishing.
  • - Keep your cocoa, honey and spice cake at room temperature up to 3 days.
    Therefore you can make it in advance.

Menu planning

  • - Cocoa, honey and spice bread is a cake typical of winter and particularly of Christmastime.
  • - Prepare it for your special occasions, you'll be able to astonish your guests!
  • - You can complete both a fish or meat menu.

Healthy eating

  • - Have you read nutrition facts of cocoa, honey and spice bread? well, icing sugar for marzipan and candied fruit for decorations aren't included.
  • - However, I consider quite superfluous this clarification because you can well understand this cake is to be done rarely, only for very special occasions, not only for its high calories but especially for its sugar.
  • - Fiber per serving: 3 grams.


What's the right wine for " Cocoa, honey and spice bread "?

Moscato di Pantelleria (dessert wine of Sicily - Italy) or a dessert wine you like but another choice could be orange-flavored liqueur you can serve after eating this cake.