Ciambella, Traditional Italian Ring Cake

  • 300g unsalted butter
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 6 extra large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbsp grated organic orange zest
  • 300g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 200g good quality dark chocolate, melted and cooled
  • small quantity of icing sugar for dusting the top of the cake

Preheat the oven to 170ºC.  Grease a 28cm ring and dust with flour. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs gradually until well mixed. (If you notice the mixture begins to curdle, quickly add a couple of tablespoons of the flour.) Beat in the sifted flour and blend well. Do not overbeat. Stir in half the orange zest.
Divide the mixture, pouring half into another bowl. In one bowl, fold the melted chocolate gently into the flour mixture. Pour the melted chocolate mixture into the ring tin and pour the plain mixture on top. Bake in a preheated oven for about 45 minutes. Test with a skewer—if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little. Decorate with orange zest and dust with icing sugar. Serve with fresh berries.

Enjoy this recipe with one of South Africa’s best wines, go to


Recipe by Diane Heierli • Photography by C&D Heierli