italian-style savory cakeitalian-style savory cakeitalian-style savory cakeitalian-style savory cakeitalian-style savory cakeitalian-style savory cakeitalian-style savory cakeitalian-style savory cakeitalian-style savory cakeitalian-style savory cake

A savory cake that’s like a pre-assembled sandwich, made with cured meats and cold cuts, cheeses, some marinated vegetables, fresh aromatic herbs and some salad leaves too, all nestled comfortably in a baked aerated batter that is almost like a dough and simply sliced and eaten at room temperature or even toasted and warm ? A fine practical idea indeed !

I have the habit of making us sandwiches every day for lunch when we’re home and not working. That’s 14 sandwiches per week and that’s fine but preparing a savory cake that can be as nutritious and perhaps more delicious requires a brief one-time effort but will last at least half of the week. 

An average sandwich will weigh approximately 165 grams each. This cake is equal to 7 sandwiches yet richer because the dough is made with flour, eggs, buttermilk, olive oil and even the water that the mozzarella ball is packed in because all of the liquid ingredients will lighten this dense cake and the buttermilk (instead of milk) reacts with the baking powder (you can also substitute it with some baking soda) and create a lighter aerated cake with air bubbles !

In all, you’ll have 750 grams of dough (dry & liquid ingredients) for 500 grams of fillings of which I use equal amounts of meats, cheeses and marinated vegetables and I add lots of fresh salad leaves and aromatic herbs for a complete meal or snack.

Needless to say, you can replace the cured red meats with canned or smoked fish and use other marinated vegetables such as cured olives, roasted peppers, artichoke hearts, preserved lemon, etc. and prepare your own version depending on what you have around. Simply try to respect the ration between the dough ingredients and the fillings.

I’m not sure about the origins of savory cakes but it is a customary preparation in France, often made to accompany drinks, as an appetizer, when made in much smaller bite-sized formats or as a light meal or snack sometimes served with some soup or even more salad, but there’s already some salad greens in this one. 

A recipe that simplifies your daily midday lunch-making task by cleverly combining the whole idea of meats, cheeses, vegetables, salad leaves, herbs and bread and rolls it all up into one ready-made preparation … :)

italian-style savory cake


1,2 kg loaf


dry ingredients (approximately 335 grams or 2 ½ cups) :

  • 313 grams (2 ½ cups) white bread flour (or replace up to 100 grams with wholewheat flour)
  • 15 grams (3 ¾ tsp) baking powder
  • 7,5 grams (1 ½ tsp) fine sea salt
  • 1 gram (¼ tsp) ground pepper

liquid ingredients (1 ¾ cups or 415 grams) :

  • 120 grams (2 large or ½ cup) eggs, beaten
  • 180 ml (¾ cup) buttermilk
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) cup) olive oil
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) mozzarella water

fillings (approximately 500 grams or 4 ½ cups) :

  • 120 grams (1 cup) mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 30 grams (¼ cup) parmesan, coarsely grated
  • 50 grams (¼ cup) fried pancetta or bacon (initial raw weight of 100 grams)
  • 100 grams (½ cup) dried cured ham, shredded
  • 75 grams (½ cup) sun-dried tomatoes, whole
  • 75 grams (½ cup) roasted & marinated mushrooms, whole
  • 35 grams (1 ½ cups, loosely packed) roquette or lamb's lettuce leaves, whole
  • 5 grams (¼ cup, loosely packed) basil leaves, whole
  • 5 grams (¼ cup, loosely packed) parsley leaves, whole
  • 1,5 grams (1 tsp) dried oregano
  • 0,5 gram (½ tsp) dried thyme


  • use a 6 cup (or 1,5 liters) volume loaf pan (mine measures 30 cm in length x 11 cm in width x 5,5 cm in height), brush the bottom and insides with olive oil and dust with flour until well-coated, then shake out the excess flour and set aside
  • prepare all the fillings separately, fry up the pancetta and cut into smaller cubes, drain the oil and discard or use it to replace an equal amount of olive oil, drain the marinated sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms too, strain and shred the mozzarella ball by hand but save the mozzarella water, grate the parmesan block coarsely and prepare the roquette salad leaves and whole fresh herbs leaves and dried herb spices and set aside
  • preheat the oven to 180°C with the rack in the middle (in a large oven) or towards the bottom in a smaller oven
  • combine all liquid ingredients together and whisk after each addition (eggs first, then the olive oil, then the buttermilk and then the mozzarella water) and whisk until fully combined
  • combine the dry ingredients together in a very large bowl, then add all the fillings and toss until all pieces of the fillings are well coated, then add the whisked liquid ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until all fillings are well coated and the mixture is well combined
  • carefully transfer the mixture to the loaf pan and smooth out the top but leave it slightly higher toward the middle of its full length
  • bake for 50-60 minutes until golden brown on top, then remove from the oven and let cool down completely before carefully flipping out upside down on a baking dish and the flipping right side up again
  • serve at room temperature or if you prefer, cut slices that fit in a toaster and toast until warm (and keep the loaf wrapped in baking paper in the refrigerator until needed).