ZUCCOTTO: you will love it, even without a translation!

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I love cooking and eating all kinds of food, but I can’t hide that my favorite foods are “cake, cookies, and beyond.” So even though I try to publish as many healthy and savory recipes as possible, I can’t help myself but to make a cake or a dessert and post it!

Zuccotto is an Italian dessert with origins in Florence. It is a semifreddo dessert (which means it is served semi-frozen), and usually made with brandy, cake and ice cream. Traditionally, it is made in a special pumpkin-shaped mold (Zuccotto means “little pumpkin” in Italian).

This week I’m sharing with you the Zuccotto recipe that my grandma made for us anytime she knew we were visiting.  Different from the typical recipe, she used rum instead of brandy, butter cookies instead of cake, and mascarpone cheese cream instead of ice cream. I know, it sounds like a completely different dessert (and it probably is), but we have called it by that name forever, so I will keep calling the recipe I’m sharing with you “Zuccotto.”

With all these decadent ingredients, it of course has a considerable amount of calories. You’ll probably want to go on a diet for the entire next week, because once you taste it, you will not be able to stop eating it!

So this time, enjoy your yummy dessert, and let the “swim suit challenge” wait for a day! 😉

INGREDIENTS for a “salad bowl size cake”

2 cups espresso coffee

15 oz. butter cookies (2 packets) or graham crackers

16 oz. mascarpone cheese  (2 containers)

3 tbs. Nutella

4 yolks and 3 egg whites

2/3 cup or 8 tbs. sugar

3 tbs. rum

heavy whipped cream to decorate


Add to the cooled coffee two tablespoons of rum.

Coat a salad bowl with abundant aluminum foil (you will need the extra to cover the top of the cake). Try to arrange the paper as smooth as possible.

Drench the butter cookies into the coffee and coat the inside of the bowl evenly.

Prepare the mascarpone cream following the recipe of tiramisu, but with the quantities as described above (here the pictures of the process, just in case).

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Divide the mascarpone cream you have created into two equal parts. Then remove 3 tablespoons from one dish and add it to the other.


In the more abundant dish, stir in 1 tablespoon of rum. In the other dish, stir in the Nutella.

Pour the Nutella cream inside the bowl, and then cover it with two layers of soaked biscuits.

Now pour the “rum cream” on top, and again cover it with two more layers of soaked biscuits.

Close the cake in the aluminum foil  and put in the freezer for at least three hours (be careful not to flip the cake: the bowl has to stay upside down!).


Half an hour before you wish to serve the cake, take it off the freezer and peel off the aluminum foil from the top.

Flip the cake onto a nice tray, and peel off the rest of the foil.

Whip the heavy whipping cream (don’t add any sugar, the Zuccotto is sugary enough!) and use the whipped cream to decorate it. If you prefer, you can decorate it with Nutella, or with half cream and half Nutella according to your creative liking.

It will taste like an ice-cream cake, super fresh and scrumptious!


Tips: – When you unwrap the cake from the aluminum foil, be careful not to break the foil or leave small pieces of it in the cake: eating aluminum foil is horrible! (The idea of an aluminum foil bite under my teeth makes me shiver!)

– Your kids will love this cake, and if you are afraid they could recognize the taste of the rum, just avoid using it; your zuccotto will be delicious anyway -just less alcoholic!

– The quantities I gave you are for a quite big cake, so if you don’t want to eat it all by yourself (which is absolutely easy to do since it is delicious), make it, freeze it, and take it out when there are at least 6-8 people present.

– If you want to make a different size of this cake, remember that for each egg yolks, you’ll need 2 tbs. of sugar.


I really hope you like this recipe, and please, if you do,

share it, like it, leave a comment, subscribe, and help support my blog!

Much thanks,




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