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This cake is often encountered in Tuscany, where pine nuts are plentiful and not very costly. It is not a dish to end a meal, but rather one that is served for breakfast or brunch, or for merenda, a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. ~Lorenza de’ Medici

Pinolata (Pine Nut Cake)

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt

½ cup unsalted butter, softened plus 1 tablespoon for the pan

½ cup sugar

3 eggs

½ cup pine nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

In another bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Then add the flour mixture. The dough should be quite soft.

Butter a loaf pan and dust with flour. Pour the dough into the pan and sprinkle with the pine nuts. Bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out dry.

Remove from pan and cool completely on a rack before serving. Enjoy with coffee or tea.

Note: I prefer to add the nuts right into the batter rather than sprinkling them on top as I find the nuts tend to all fall off of the top when I slice and serve the loaf.


de’ Medici, L. (1992). The de’ Medici Kitchen. San Franscico: Collins Publisher.