Ticino bread cake – Torta di pane

Do you have some old bread left over and are looking for a delicious way to use it up? If you’re also a fan of succulent baked goods, then the Ticino bread cake is just the thing for you.

The torta di pane is also called torta della nonna, because grandmothers are not only the best bakers in Ticino. And this bread cake is a true southern Swiss delicacy!

The torta di pane is an invention of the “poor” cuisine of the south of the Alps, is used to make use of leftover bread and, in its original form, makes do exclusively with local ingredients. There are endless variations of the bread cake. Opinions on the best way to enjoy it vary accordingly. Some claim it tastes best fresh, others prefer to eat it after it has been allowed to rest for a day or two – è questione di gusto – a matter of taste!


Preparation time: 45 minutes
Baking time: 60 minutes
Resting time: at least 4 hours



500 g stale bread

1 l milk

2 eggs

100 g sugar

1 pkg vanilla sugar

1 pkg lemon zest

100 g pine nuts

100 g sultanas

100 g cranberries

3 cl grappa (I prefer Amaretto or 50 ml liquid butter)

100 g chocolate powder

2 pinches baking powder

1 pinch of salt

grappa or amaretto to soften the sultanas

chopped pistachios

icing sugar




  1. Cut the bread into small pieces and place in a bowl.
  2. Bring the milk to the boil with the chocolate powder and vanilla sugar and pour over the bread. Cover and leave to stand for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  3. Put the sultanas in the grappa or amaretto and leave to soak.
  4. Knead the bread well with your hands.
  5. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until they form a light, thick, creamy mixture.
  6. Mix the lemon zest, pine nuts and sultanas, cranberries, baking powder, 3 cl grappa with the bread mixture and the egg-sugar. Instead of grappa, you can also add 50 ml of melted butter to the dough.
  7. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff and glossy, then fold carefully into the cake mixture.
  8. butter and flour a 28-diameter springform pan or line it with baking parchment and pour in the mixture.
  9. If you like, you can top with toasted pine nuts or chopped pistachios. This adds an extra crunch to the meal.
  10. Preheat the oven to 180-200 degrees and bake for about 60 minutes. If you use smaller moulds, the baking time is reduced. In small muffin tins, the batter only needs 30 minutes.
  11. Before serving, sprinkle with icing sugar.




The Ticino bread cake allows many variations. Last time, I had a few biscuits left over. I used them in the dough as well and simply reduced the sugar a little. Amarettini, for example, are also suitable for adding to the dough.