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Dolce di San Martino, Saint Martin’s cake, Traditional Italian Cookie Recipe

traditional italian cookie recipe

San Martino cake

The feast of St. Martin is one of the most original Venetian traditions. On November 11, all Venetian children, armed with pots and pans, go from calle (Venetian little alleyways) to calle, from campo ( Venetian squares) to campo asking some for some spare change or candy to shopkeepers or passersby, singing a nice Veneto nursery rhyme.

With the money earned in this way they can buy the traditional sweet of St. Martin, which exists in two versions: a sweet pastry in the shape of the saint on horseback with sword and cape, garnished with colorful sugar icing, chocolates, candies and chocolates or (older version) a sweet quince. Typical of the festivals are the cakes of quince (persegada) of various shapes.

Nowadays many parents buy the cake for their children from the numerous bakeries and patisseries of the city.

At Cook In Venice we prefer to make it ourselves – there is something special about making a Traditional Italian cookie recipe yourself! We would be happy to teach you how to preapre it during our Pastry Cooking Classes in Venice.

Dolce di San Martino, Traditional Italian cookie recipe

Ingredients (this will make 1 big cake)

For the pastry:

250 gr. plain flour,

100 gr. unsalted butter,

150 gr. caster sugar,

1 egg,

a pinch of salt

For the topping: any type of chocolate (plain, milk or white), little sweets, icing


  • Pour the flour into a large bowl and rub the butter in it using your fingers until the flour and butter have mixed and the mix looks like fine breadcrumbs.

    traditional italian cookie recipe

    First stages San Martino by Cook In Venice

  • Add the sugar, the egg, a pinch of salt. Mix well until you have a nice compact dough.
  • Cover and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
traditional italian cookie recipe

Stages of San Martino by Cook In Venice

  • Take the dough, using your rolling pin, lay 2 circles of pastry.
  • Cut out from some baking paper the shape of the knight and the horse as in the photo.
  • Cut your pastry following the shape of San Martino and his horse. You will have two San Martino on horse. Use the leftover to make some biscuits.
  • Cook in a preheated oven at 180 degree static for 15 minutes or until golden.
  • Once the cakes are cooled, cover with melted chocolate sprinkles with sweets and icing.


Traditional Italian cookie recipe

White chocolate San Martino