Ciambellone allo Yogurt con  Semi di Finocchio e Fichi Secchi / Yogurt Bundt Cake with Fennel Seeds, Dry Figs and Lemon Icing

July 3, 2021

Ciambella is a soft, spongy cake, a staple that you will find in most coffee or pastry shops in Italy or  Italian households.

Flavouring my ciambellone with fennel seeds and dry figs comes as an inspiration from the wonderful taste of a  bread that I buy very often in Florence, near Mercato di Sant’ Ambrogio. There are raisins inside actually, but I find figs equally pleasing.

I love having it for breakfast or an afternoon tea or coffee. But with this kind of cake, any time of the day seems suitable to enjoy it.

Yogurt and olive oil help the ciambella to stay moist and soft for about three days and the lemon icing gives it a wonderful hint freshness.

You will need:

  • 300 g of plain flour, sifted
  • 140-150 g of caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 180 g of plain yogurt, full fat
  • 120 ml of olive oil
  • seeds from 1/2 of a vanilla pod or little bit of vanilla extract (optional)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1.5 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1.5-2 teaspoons of fennel seeds
  • 60 g of dry figs, chopped

For the lemon icing:

  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • about 60 g of icing sugar, or more if needed

Before you start make sure that all ingredients are at room temperature.

Put the eggs and the sugar into a bowl of an electric mixer and whisk all together vigorously on a fairly high speed until obtaining a frothy, airy and pale consistency.

This step might take a couple of minutes but it is an integral part of this recipe and shouldn’t be rushed.

Lower down the speed of your mixer and gradually mix in the yogurt and olive oil.

Next mix the flour, baking powder along with the pinch of salt and gently stir them into the batter.

And lastly fold in the fennel seeds and the chopped figs.

Pour the batter into a throughly butter greased and flour dusted from the inside bundt tin (22 cm).

Bake in the preheated oven to 180 C (conventional oven) for about 35-40 minutes.

The cake should be lightly golden with the first cracks appearing on it’s top. You can always insert a skewer into the middle of the cake, which should come out clean.

Leave the ciambellone to cool down in the tin for a few minutes and then turn it out leaving on a wire rack to cool down completely. 

Prepare the icing:

Mix the lemon juice with icing sugar. 

Add more juice or sugar to obtain desired consistency. The icing shouldn’t be too runny.

Decorate the ciambella by pouring or drizzling the icing on top.