Like many of today’s kids, I ate my share of chocolate bunnies and chocolate Easter eggs when I was younger—and lord knows I’m a chocoholic to this day. Having said that, when I think about what desserts to make for Easter, strange as it may seem, chocolate is not on the list.
To me, Easter isn’t the same unless there’s an Italian ricotta pie or cake and a big plate of Italian cookies giving off an aroma of anise, with almond as a close second flavor favorite. One of my all-time favorite Italian cookies is the little round, anise-flavored biscotti with a confectioners’ glaze and covered with colored sprinkles. As a kid, had I been offered one of these delicious biscotti or a chocolate chip cookie, I wouldn’t have had to think twice—it would be the biscotti every time!
Imagine my delight, when on a visit to my dear Aunt Gen over 40 years ago, she served my favorite biscotti in cake form. Aunt Gen’s biscotti cake is one of her signature recipes, appearing at family get-togethers and reunions for the whole extended family to enjoy. I, of course, got the recipe from her years ago and have made it many times.
Biscotti cake is a tender yellow cake, fragrant with anise and covered with the same confectioners’ glaze as its cookie counterpart. Sprinkles are optional!
One year ago: Vanilla Bean Malt Bundt Cake
Two years ago: Santa Fe Pizza
Ingredients for Cake
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tbl. anise extract
- 3 cups sifted flour
- 3 tsp. baking powder
- 1 cup milk
Ingredients for Glaze
- 1 tbl. softened butter
- 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 to 3 tbl. warm milk
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- Colored nonpareil sprinkles, optional
Grease and flour two 13 x 4 loaf pans.*
*13 x 4 loaf pans are the long skinny pans traditionally used to bake date nut bread. You can substitute 9 x 5 pans, but you will need to adjust the baking time. Use the toothpick test to determine when cake is done. You should have a few tender crumbs clinging to the toothpick. If the toothpick is bone dry, the cake will be overdone.
Cream together eggs, sugar, oil & anise. Add sifted flour and baking powder alternately with milk. Beat well for 3 minutes.
Pour batter into prepared pans and bake at 350o for approx. 35 to 40 minutes.
Mix glaze ingredients together. Add more sugar and/or milk to get desired consistency. Spread glaze on cooled cake.
Source: From my Aunt Gen