Chombolini (Italian Anise Cake)
1 teaspoon shortening
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups white sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
softened to room temperature
⅓ cup orange juice
⅓ cup milk
2 tablespoons anise extract
1 drop lemon extract
1 cup chopped dates
½ cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a fluted tube pan (such as Bundt®) with shortening and dust with flour.
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.
Mix sugar and butter in a bowl with a spoon until creamy. Mix in eggs.
Combine orange juice and milk in a separate bowl; pour into the sugar mixture. Stir in the flour mixture, anise, and lemon extract until well combined. Fold in dates and walnuts. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven until the top of the cake springs back when touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Transfer cake to a rack for final cooling, 15 to 25 minutes.
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