• 1 hour 30 mins

  • Medium difficulty

  • 15 serves


Ingredients for the doughnut (base) – option A:

300g room temperature UNSALTED BUTTER (=10,58oz=1 ⅓ cups)

400g SUGAR (=14,11oz=2 cups)

5 EGGS (3 yolks + 2 whole eggs)

40g WHOLE MILK (=1,41oz=2 ⅔ tbsp)

700g PLAIN FLOUR (=24,69oz=5 ⅔ cups)

1 envelope POWDERED VANILLA YEAST (=16g=0,56oz=4 tsp)

Ingredients for the doughnut (base) – option B:

200g room temperature UNSALTED BUTTER (=7,05oz=¾ cup)

300g SUGAR (=10,58oz=1 ½ cups)


25g WHOLE MILK (=0,88oz=1 ⅔ tbsp)

500g PLAIN FLOUR (=17,64oz=4 cups)

1 envelope POWDERED VANILLA YEAST (=16g=0,56oz=4 tsp)

Ingredients for the filling:

400g ALMONDS (=14,11oz=2 ¾ cups)

400g SUGAR (=14,11oz=2 cups)

4 EGGS (3 yolks + 1 whole egg)

100g BITTER COCOA POWDER (=3,53oz=1 ⅛ cups)

100g AMARETTO BISCUITS (=3,53oz)

50g RUM LIQUOR (=1,76oz)

50g COFFEE (=1,76oz)

1 envelope POWDERED VANILLA YEAST (=16g=0,56oz=4 tsp)


Make coffee (possibly with the mocha) and let it cool down.

Prepare a ø34 cm baking tray (the original recipe says ø36, but I do not have a baking tray of that size) with high edges (mine is 8 cm high), cutting out a round piece of baking paper to lay on the bottom. Cut some strips of baking paper about 15 cm high. Bathe them in water and squeeze them, then lay them on the sides of the pan to cover them and let them dry.

Prepare the doughnut (it is not a cake with a hole in the middle, but the recipe defines the dough base as “doughnut” and I wanted to keep this wording), according to Option A or Option B (traces of both possibilities have been found). The first one is slightly drier and in my opinion slightly less libidinous, but easier to roll out, while the second one is softer and delicious, but more difficult to lay in the pan since stickier. The picture shows option A, but I prefer option B. In both cases, proceed by whisking softened butter with sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, continuing to stir and adding the next one only when the previous one has been completely absorbed. Finally add milk, flour and baking powder and mix until a homogeneous dough is obtained.

Proceed with the filling, beating the eggs (3 yolks and 1 whole egg) with half sugar (200g=7,05oz=1 cup). Add the bitter cocoa powder and mix thoroughly. Chop the almonds with the remaining half sugar (200g=7,05oz=1 cup) and add to the mixture. Powder and add amaretto biscuits, then pour rum and cooled coffee in. Finally add the yeast (I usually prefer not to add the whole envelope: I use about ⅔ of it, since the full dose could make the filling boil during cooking).

Place the donut in the baking tray, making sure to cover the sides up to 3 fingers from the edge and keeping a little dough aside. Add the filling in the middle and spread it evenly. Finally, lay untidy pieces of doughnut dough on top of the filling (do not forget that in the local dialect “mazron” or Italianized “masera” describes an accumulation of stones collected and stacked in the fields). If you opt for Version B, rather than pieces you will have to pour about 4 or 5 tablespoons of dough that will blend more with the filling while baking.

Bake in preheated oven at 190°C (=374°F) for 45 minutes, then turn the oven off and leave the cake in for 10 minutes (obviously this cake was originally baked in a wood oven, who knows how wonderful it was!).

I cannot say this is Italina’s original recipe, since several changes have occurred when passing the recipe on. However, these were not fundamental. This is what I “made up” taking inspiration from the precious indications I received by local people (whom I thank from the heart for this journey into tradition). I am not ashamed to say that I made and remade Mazron cake countless times before I got to this version (some cakes were also quite good ones, but too different from the original). This was due to the fact that quantities were not always explicit (as you know, once all the recipes were like that) and method wasn’t even named, but also because I had never eaten (nor seen) this cake before. Since I first heard about it, almost by chance, curiosity overwhelmed me and I felt the need to dig into the memory of those who knew this cake rather well. I therefore need to thank Valentina for her precious help, but above all thanks to Italina for this invaluable legacy.

For those who want to know more about Mazron cake, here is the link to the article dedicated to this recipe and what it represents.