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Food & Wine: Le Marche Specialities: Desserts

Top Sweet Treats

Le Marche boasts a range of delightful, sweet desserts that are highly popular among locals and visitors. Here are the topmost renowned sweet treats in the region. They epitomize the region's culinary heritage, representing a delightful blend of traditional flavours, cultural celebrations, and seasonal festivities.

1. Crescia Sfogliata

A beloved Easter cake, featuring a flaky, layered texture with hints of lemon zest, vanilla, or anise.

4. Calcioni

Fried pastries filled with a mixture of must (cooked grape juice), almonds, chocolate, and candied fruit, typically made during Christmas.

7. Tiramisu

Though not originally from Le Marche, this Italian classic dessert is popular and widely enjoyed across the region.

2. Frittelle di San Giuseppe

Fritters made for St. Joseph's Day, consisting of fried dough filled with custard or cream, sprinkled with powdered sugar.


5. Torta Brusca

rustic cake made with cornmeal, honey, and walnuts, offering a dense and nutty sweetness.

8. Sfrappole

Fried pastries resembling twisted ribbons, dusted with powdered sugar, and often served during carnival celebrations.

3. Fave dei Morti

Almond and sugar cookies prepared for All Saints' Day, with flavours reminiscent of marzipan.

6. Torta al Testo

A flatbread or cake made with flour and water, often enhanced with honey, nuts, or dried fruits for a touch of sweetness.

9. Bostrengo

A traditional Marchigian cake made with various grains, dried fruits, nuts, and spices, creating a rich and flavourful dessert often enjoyed during festive occasions.

10. Frustingo

Frustingo is a traditional sweet from the Le Marche region in Italy. It's a dense, hearty cake or loaf made with dried fruits, such as figs, raisins, nuts, and spices, bound together with honey or must (grape juice). Often enjoyed during the festive season, especially at Christmas, this sweet delight is rich in flavours and carries a deep sense of tradition and celebration in the region.

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Image courtesy of B&B Casa Malavolta, Montefiore dell'Aso (AP)

11. Chiacchiere

A traditional sweet found in Italy, particularly popular during Carnival season. It's a fried pastry made from thin strips of dough, deep-fried until crispy, and typically dusted with powdered sugar. This treat is light, crispy, and enjoyed for various celebrations, especially during the festive Carnival period throughout Italy.

12. Lonzino di fico

Lonzino di fico is a traditional sweet from Le Marche, Italy. It is a delicacy made with dried figs. The figs are often stuffed with a mixture of nuts (commonly almonds or walnuts), honey, and sometimes cocoa powder or spices. They are then shaped into small parcels or rolls, resembling small logs or tubes, before being baked or left to dry. Lonzino di fico carries a delightful blend of sweet and nutty flavours, offering a unique taste experience, especially during the holiday seasons.

13. Cicerchiata

A traditional sweet dessert from Le Marche that is particularly popular during festive occasions, such as Carnival or Christmas. It's a delightful treat made with fried dough balls combined with honey and arranged in a mound or wreath-like shape. The preparation involves rolling small pieces of dough, typically made from flour, eggs, and butter, into small balls. These dough balls are then deep-fried until they achieve a golden-brown colour. Once fried, they are coated in warm honey, which acts as a binding agent.

The honey-coated balls are then shaped into a round mound or a wreath and left to cool and solidify, creating a sweet, sticky, and delightful dessert. Sometimes, the cicerchiata is further embellished with sprinkles, confetti, or candied fruits, adding a touch of colour and a festive feel to the final presentation. Cicerchiata is cherished for its simple yet delightful taste, offering a wonderful combination of the crispy texture of the fried dough and the sweetness of the honey, making it a delightful and beloved treat during special celebrations in Le Marche.

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