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Sicilian almond pastries

by Ada Parisi
5 min read
Paste di mandorla siciliane

The Sicilian almond pastries are one of the symbols of the island's pastry, spread in different shapes and textures all over the Island: each type is yummy, temptress like cherries, because one leads to another. They are the almond pastries, in Sicily we call them ' almond paste ': Messina are small and candid, S-shaped in Catania, in Bronte there is the fantastic pistachio variant, in the area of the Nebrodi and Etna that hazelnuts. All Sicilian almond paste can be left in their simple perfection or decorated with almonds, cherries and candied orange peel or even other types of dried fruit, as the pine nuts. The differences however are only outward, because the Interior is done always and only of ground almonds, that in Sicily are Avola almonds, granulated sugar and egg whites. Then a slight citrus hint given by lemon zest.

The video recipe of almond pastes

To make your job easier, I went to Corsino Pasticceria Palazzolo Acreide and I turned VIDEO RECIPE the production of Sicilian almond paste: a job done even by hand, from grinding almonds. And so I can give you the original recipe of Sicilian almond paste.

My tips for perfect almond pastes

With only three ingredients no difficulty, You'll say. But no. These almond pastes would have been born in Palermo, around 1100, from the work of the tireless nuns of the Convent of martorana (from which the colorful Martorana fruits). They look like easy treats but hide a pitfall: If you do not respect rest times melt in the oven like snow in the Sun. I, When should I bake a sweet can't wait to get it to eat it as soon as possible, I melted well 4 trays in various times. And I am telling you this: leave your almond paste cookies to rest in the refrigerator for a night or 12 hours, so you'll have a truly optimal.

These cupcakes will keep well for several days in an airtight Tin, or you can wrap them one by one in white tissue paper: so will also become a beautiful Christmas gift. I remind you that the almond cakes are also popular in Calabria, Salento and Sardinia. And I like all. If you love sweets of my Sicily bedda, have a look at all my SWEET SICILIAN RECIPES.

Paste di mandorla siciliane


Portions: 8 Preparation: cooking:
Nutrition facts: 250 calories 20 fat
Rating: 4.5/5
( 6 voted )


200 grams of peeled almonds of Avola

180 grams of caster sugar

20 grams of honey

60 grams of egg whites (2 medium egg whites)

grated rind of one lemon organic

powdered sugar for working the almond paste and decorate, to taste

whole or candied almonds of Avola, to taste


The Sicilian almond pastries

Before you prepare the almond pastes, look at the VIDEO RECIPE Corsino. To prepare the almond paste, put the almonds and sugar in a blender or in a food processor and blend until the almonds are not evenly chopped. When they're like a coarse flour, Add the egg whites, honey and lemon zest and whisk for another minute or two, until you have a smooth and firm.

At this point, If you are brave, you can put the mixture to the almond paste in a vent pastry bag or starry smooth and form your biscuits. Seen that, though, It is a very dense dough and therefore rather hard to squeeze with the piping bag, I would recommend that you form with your hands wet cords and then into balls of approximately 2 cm in diameter. Roll the balls in powdered sugar and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Slip on each cupcake an almond, a candied cherry or a candied orange peel.

Place plaque with almond pastes in the refrigerator and 'forget about it' throughout the night and up to 12-24 hours. After the interval of rest, preheat the oven to 220 degrees static and bake. Cook for a minute, then open the oven to lower the temperature and continue cooking to 160 degrees for about 5 minutes, or at least depending on the size of the almond pastes. Remove from the oven pastries with almonds, allow to cool completely and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Bon appétit!


RESPECT THE REST TIMES: do not rush, rest in the refrigerator is absolutely critical. I advise you to wait before cooking your treats that, Once cooked, They will be retained for a long time closed in an airtight box.

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Francesca December 23rd, 2020 - 20:21

Hi Ada,
Ho provato la tua ricetta senza farli riposare 24 h.
Quindi forno al massimo per il primo minuto, appena vediamo che la punta della mandorla si colora appena subito a 160 gradi per 5/6 minuti. Li ho solo messi in frigo qualche minuto giusto il tempo di far arrivare il forno a temperatura.

Ada Parisi December 28th, 2020 - 10:55

Bene, I'm glad! visto che devo farli al pistacchio tenterò con un paio come dici tu. A warm greeting, ADA

J. Syracuse 3 October 2020 - 22:50

Made these today and they came out amazing! My husband and I have been making your recipes weekly. We were not able to visit Sicily this summer as we do every year and your recipes have brought Sicily to us 🙂

If I wanted to make these with pistachios, would everything else stay the same, just replacing the almonds with pistachios?

J. Siracusa

Ada Parisi 5 October 2020 - 09:01

Hallo, thank you so so much! will try to make pistachio pastry next week to understand if it is possible to prepare it with pistachio only or by adding some almonds too. I wll let you know. Have a nice day, ADA

Enzo, New10 15 May 2020 - 15:08

To prevent the pastes from “dissolve”, I bake them without any rest at 230 degrees C for 1 minute and after lowering the temperature to 160 degrees by cooking them for others (about) 5 minutes.

Thermal shock immediately dryes the outer surface by firming the pastes that remain in the original form.

Given the different textures of the doughs and the operation of the oven, try 240 degrees or 220 degrees by slightly changing the cooking time.

Without rest, the pastas are ready in 15 minutes (Cooling).

Greetings from a fellow country-goer living in Bavaria.

Ada Parisi 17 May 2020 - 12:36

Hello Enzo, thank you for the valuable and precise advice.
The rest suggested to me a very good and well-known pastry chef of Palazzolo Acreide and since then I have been following this method.
I'll tell you that I tried to work the pastes in a way similar to what you suggest, and I wasn't completely satisfied. Maybe I'll try again at a higher temperature. A question: the doses and ingredients you use are the same ones that I use in this recipe?

Thank you again and soon

Vincenzo Pipitone 19 January 2020 - 08:44

Good morning
I make the dough with the eggs, sugar and grated lemon and I do it sit overnight in the fridge. The morning began to do and have never loose. They are crispy outside and soft inside. Some do it with a filling of preserved cedar (recipe handed down from my mom). Kind regards, Vincenzo

Ada Parisi 19 January 2020 - 15:20

Hello hello Vincenzo. Surely the almond paste there are many versions, I do not know made with egg yolk, but it is very dependent on the relevant zone Those with preserve the cedar we also do in Messina, always with just egg whites, and we model in the shape of X. A warm greeting, ADA

Franca 14 December 2019 - 20:00

This rest was missing. The we do always, even also a wood-fired oven, and there's never happened that were melting. Perhaps because the almond is a little’ grossest!

Ada Parisi 15 December 2019 - 11:11

Hello Franca me have melted all right. From Corsino in Palazzolo Acreide I explained that, with ground almonds too fine, often it happens, and I was advised to rest to dry the dough. Since doing so are perfect. Big envy for your wood stove. Kisses, ADA

Giuseppe Giuffrida 16 March 2018 - 16:34

You have to try these almond paste of Caffe Cali are the best ever try

Ada Parisi 19 March 2018 - 14:18

Hello Joseph, I take note. Thanks. ADA

Antonella November 18, 2016 - 09:49

ADA! Good morning!
An incomparable delicacy! Absolutely essential for me between the Christmas cakes, I'll try to prepare them with little extra touches that suggest!
A dear greeting!

Ada Parisi November 18, 2016 - 10:46

Antonella thanks! In Sicily never fail, actually never fail all year!!!! I embrace you strong! ADA


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