italian ciambellone
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Italian ciambellone recipe: the delicious Italian breakfast cake you’ll love

Italian ciambellone recipe: easy to follow recipe to create at home this delicious and wholesome Italian breakfast cake kids and adults love

Ciambellone is a wholesome, simple Italian sponge cake beloved by adults and kids.

You find it in all Italian bars (cafes), sometimes in its original form and some other times with chocolate or lemon dressing, but even more often you find it on Italian breakfast tables.

Ciambellone is the perfect cake to start your day and it goes well with whatever drink your family loves most waking up in the morning.

Coffee, cocoa milk, tea? Ciambellone goes with all of them both in the morning or for a sweet break mid-afternoon.

Ciambellone is super easy to make, with or without a food mixer.

You can make this recipe for your kids or even with them: they are guaranteed to love it!

Ciambellone is a staple of a traditional Italian breakfast: I hope you love it!

Italian Ciambellone recipe: ingredients and must have

To make Italian ciambellone, you will need:

  • 200 gr flour
  • 200 gr sugar
  • 100 gr butter
  • 3 eggs, separated yolks and whites
  • 7g instant yeast
  • A glass of milk ( or less, see step by step recipe below)
  • Icing sugar for dusting (optional)

You can make Italian ciambellone without a food mixer however, you will need to whisk your egg whites and this is much easier if you have some form of electric mixer at hand,

Lately, I have been using my KitchenAid Mixer to help with the task but for years I have used smaller appliances or even just good old elbow grease, so if you don’t have a mixer, don’t worry!

What you will need to make ciambellone is:

  • A large bowl for mixing
  • A kitchen scale
  • A second bowl for whisking the egg whites
  • A wooden spoon
  • A whisk (manual or electric)
  • A cake tin / bread tin / ciambellone tin for baking

My Italian ciambellone recipe: the original one!

I have been making ciambellone since I was a teenager and the proof is in this original recipe you see in the photo below!

That is my handwriting from that time and this recipe has been with me ever since. I believe it first came from an Italian magazine (no Italian mama or nonna story for this one, sorry, my Italian nonna did not cook!) and it is amazing.

Top tip! To turn this breakfast cake in a nice dessert, try adding homemade Italian pastry cream – they are perfect together!

my notebook with my authentic italian ciambellone recipe handwritten in it!
italian ciambellone

Italian ciambellone recipe

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Ciambellone is a wholesome Italian sponge cake very popular as a breakfast sweet or children snack. The name recalls that of 'ciambella' (Italian donut) and this is because in its most common form ciambellone is made in a specific cake tin that shapes it with a large round hole in the middle.

However, you do not need a special tin to make this cake and I so normally use just a bread tin: it comes out perfect and the taste is absolutely identical and actually, in many parts of Italy this is the traditional way to make it!

This Italian ciambellone recipe is the basic version of the cake but you can also mix things up adding chocolate (you can use this as a great base for marble cake), add lemon zest, chocolate drops or whatever icing you may like.

This Italian ciambellone recipe is easy to make and makes a perfect children snack for their lunchbox of afternoon with friends and can add a sweet moment and an Italian twist to your breakfast!


  • 200 gr sugar
  • 200 gr plain flour
  • 3 eggs (separated yolks and whites)
  • 100 gr butter
  • 7gr instant yeast
  • Milk (about one glass)


Put the butter in a large mixing bowl and use a wooden spoon (or an electric mixer) to work it into a cream

Slowly incorporate the sugar, then add the 3 egg yolks.

Mix well until you get a smooth cream.

Slowly add the flour, mixing well each time. For this passage, I used the Kitchenaid on speed 1, but you can easily do it manually too.

Add the yeast and, slowly, add also a little bit of the milk: you only need the milk to make the batter less dry so make sure you don't pour all the glass in!

Start slowly and stop as soon as the mixture is moist enough: if you pick it up with a spoon, you want it to fall heavily back in the bowl (aka: make sure it doesn't turn into a liquid)

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until firm and the fold them gently in with the rest of the mixture.

Take a bread tin or ciambellone tin, butter the base and sides and then pour your ciambellone into it.

Put it in the oven and cook for about 50mins mins at 180 degrees.

The ciambellone will rise while cooking: you can make sure it is ready probing it with a toothpick - if the toothpick comes out clean, the ciambellone is ready!

Let it cool, take it off the tin, slice and serve hot or cold. Ciambellone will last a few days covered so it will be perfect for your breakfast for a few days!

Photo of Italian ciambellone with text: Italian ciambellone recipe, the breakfast cake everyone loves

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Marta Correale is an Italian mama of two. Born and raised in Rome, Marta has a passion for travel and especially enjoys showing off Italy to her kids, who are growing up to love it as much as she does! A classics graduate, teacher of Italian as a second language and family travel blogger, Marta launched Mama Loves Italy as a way to inspire, support and help curious visitors to make the most of a trip to Italy and learn about Italian culture on the way.

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