Recipes // Desserts // Gubana, Fruit & Nut Filled Cake from Friuli

Gubana, Fruit & Nut Filled Cake from Friuli


Makes one 10-inch cake, about 12 generous Servings

Sponge Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup/112 grams whole milk, scalded and cooled
  • to lukewarm, about 100˚F
  • 21/4 teaspoons/7 grams fine granulated active
  • dry or instant yeast
  • 3/4 cup/100 grams unbleached bread flour
  • (spoon into a dry-measure cup and level off)

Dough Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup/110 grams sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Grated zest of 1 large lemon
  • All the sponge, above
  • 21/4 cups/300 grams unbleached bread flour (spoon
  • into a dry-measure cup and level off)
  • 1/2 teaspoon/3 grams fine sea salt
  • 8 tablespoons/115 grams unsalted butter, softened

Filling Ingredients:

  • 11/2 cups/150 grams golden raisins
  • 3/4 cup/75 grams candied orange peel, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 4 tablespoons/60 grams dark rum
  • 1/2 cup/100 grams dark brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons/60 grams unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup/60 grams dry breadcrumbs, page 36
  • 2 cups/170 grams walnut pieces, lightly toasted and finely chopped but not ground
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • One 9-inch-round, 3-inch-deep cake or springform pan, buttered and lined with a disk of parchment
  • paper


  1. For the sponge, whisk the milk and yeast together in a small bowl. Wait 30 seconds and whisk again. Use a small rubber spatula to stir in the flour. Cover with oiled or sprayed plastic wrap and let ferment until more than doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  2. 2. For the dough, whisk the eggs, yolks, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest by hand in the bowl of an electric mixer. Use a rubber spatula to stir in the sponge.
  3. Attach the dough hook and add the flour. Mix until smooth on lowest speed. Let rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle in the salt and mix on low/ medium speed until the dough comes away from the side of the bowl, then beat in the butter a little at a time. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  5. Flour a cookie sheet and place the dough on it. Flour the dough and press it out flat to about 8 x 12 inches. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  6. For the filling, place the raisins in a small pan, add water to cover, then bring to a boil. Drain and transfer to a large bowl with the orange peel and add the rum. Scatter the brown sugar on top.
  7. In a medium sauté pan, melt the butter and cook the breadcrumbs in it over low heat until they are golden, then add to the filling. Add the nuts and egg and fold the filling together until evenly sticky. Let cool.
  8. Invert the dough to a floured work surface and roll it to a rectangle about 12 x 18 inches. Spread the filling evenly over the dough, leaving a 1-inch margin. Beginning from a wide end, roll up the dough and filling. Form the dough into a loose spiral and drop into the pan, leaving room between the curves for the dough to grow while it’s rising. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the gubana proof until there are no longer any gaps in the dough, about 1 hour, but possibly longer.
  9. About 30 minutes into the proofing, set a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325˚F.
  10. Bake the gubana until well risen and deep golden, with an internal temperature of 200˚F, 65 to 75 minutes.
  11. Place the pan on a rack and cover the gubana with foil and a slightly damp towel so that it cools slowly. Unmold when cooled. Wrap and serve the day after it’s baked.
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