Guest Post: Figolli by Once Upon a Cake

We have all been affected by the coronavirus pandemic in one way or another. Many of us are spending an increasing amount of time at home. Precious time, spent with the family, working remotely, cooking amongst other things. 

In Malta and Gozo, Easter is one of the biggest events on our calendar and in the runup to Easter many take out their baking trays and metal shapes to bake the traditional Easter figolli. Today we have Maria from Once Upon a Cake who’s kindly offered us her recipe. 

Over to you, Maria!

As Easter is just around the corner, baking the traditional home-made figolli is a must for us at Once Upon a Cake.  This year was no exception!

There are many variations of the recipe for the traditional Maltese biscuit pastry filled with scrumptious almond filling.  While some use pure almond filling, others opt for crushed almonds, almond substitute or even pistachios for the more adventurous ones.  Some prefer to decorate with icing while others prefer to decorate with milk chocolate or dark chocolate. For the zesty twist, some prefer lemon while others use orange juice. 

Our version of the traditional figolla is made of a soft biscuit pastry with finger-licking almond filling.  The dark chocolate used for decorating compliments the sweet taste of the pastry and filling while balancing it out.  

Here is the recipe.

For the pastry

  • 800g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 200g margarine, softened
  • 1 rind of a lemon, grated
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla essence 

For the almond filling

  • 400g ground almonds
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp almond essence 

For decorating

  • Dark chocolate
  • Vermicelli 


Mix the sugar and the flour together in a large bowl.  Rub in the butter until the mixture becomes finely crumbed.  Add the grated lemon rind. Mix in the eggs and vanilla to make the dough.  Let it chill in the fridge for about 1 hour.

In a separate bowl mix all the ingredients for the almond filling together.  The filling should be soft and sticky.  

Preheat oven to 180 oC. Roll out your pastry and cut out the desired shapes.  You must have two pieces of each shape. On a lined baking tray, place one shape and spread the almond filling, leaving about 1cm from the edges uncovered.  With a brush, wet the outline of the pastry. This will help both sides of the sandwich to stick together after placing the second shape over the top. Press the edges softly to maintain original shape.  Brush the pastry with an egg wash before placing in the oven. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. Cool on a cooling rack,

Once cold, melt the dark chocolate and coat the pastry evenly with a brush.  Sprinkle some vermicelli while the chocolate is still melted.

Many thanks, Maria. There’s still a few days left for Easter. Time to experiment and add your unique touch. Remember to follow Maria’s Facebook page Once Upon a Cake for some delicious and eye-catching cakes.

For those who celebrate Easter, we wish you all a Happy Easter. Let’s all stay safe and follow the health authorities’ guidelines, in whichever part of the world you are. Better days are ahead, let’s soldier on!