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Il Suonno Easter Cake

Il Suonno Italian Easter Cake

This rich yeasted cake is an Easter tradition in Southern Italy
Cook Time 50 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2 cakes


  • Round Bundt-type cake pan


  • 10 eggs
  • 600 grams sugar (3 cups)
  • 1000 grams flour (6 ½ cups) - 50% cake flour + 50% all purpose
  • 2 Tablespoons sourdough starter (or 1 package (7 grams) dry yeast)
  • 1 package Paneangeli Lievito Pane degli Angeli - (or 1 tbsp baking soda)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 125 grams softened butter (½ cup)
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup Sambuca
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1 orange, juiced and zested
  • 1 tsp anise seed


  • Day 1: Feed your sourdough starter. The mother starter is a natural leavening agent used in making sourdough bread, yeasted cakes, pizza, etc.
    If you don't want to use a starter, you can use a package of dry yeast. If you choose to use dry yeast, you can skip to Day 2.
  • Day 2.
    In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs and sugar and beat very well until a bit frothy. Use either a whisk or stand mixer. Feel free to mix by hand, but know it will be a good upper body workout. Add half the flour and whisk/mix it in. Add the dry yeast or sourdough starter, the baking soda or Lievito, a pinch of salt and mix well. Smash the butter with the back of a fork to soften and then add and mix well. Add the milk, the Sambuca, the white wine and stir to combine making sure the butter is fully incorporated. Add the rest of the flour and mix well. Now, the batter should be the consistency of thick pancake batter. Stir vigorously, making sure everything is very well incorporated. Add orange juice, lemon juice, zests and anise seed and stir vigorously. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, put it in a cool part of your kitchen and leave overnight.
  • Day 3:
    The next morning, the batter will be bubbly and just a bit larger in volume. Pour the cake batter into two Bundt (round tube) pans that have been greased and floured. Cook at 360 degrees F for 45- 50 minutes. When done, the top will be a nice light golden brown. Let the cakes cool for 30 minutes and then remove from pans, turning them over onto serving dishes.
    While the cakes are still warm, drizzle with sugar glaze and cover with pastel colored sprinkles.


This cake is not very sweet. Even though it calls for 3 cups of sugar, the yeast eats some of the sugar during the rising process. The liqueur, citrus and anise blend to create a very unique and wonderful flavor.
This is a recipe for two cakes, but it can easily be cut in half. 
The Paneangeli Lievito Pane degli Angeli is a popular Italian leavening agent. It is sort of like a super-powered baking soda. I love to keep it around the house if I get inspired to do some baking. It works like a charm.
Keyword cake, easter, Italian, liqueur, yeasted