Le pinoccate


8 people
60 min.
Cook time
20 min.

Pinoccate are sweets linked to the traditional Christmas festivities in Umbria, the preparation of which, based on sugar and pine nuts and with a characteristic white or black diamond shape, has been known since the Middle Ages.

Although they were also produced in other localities such as Assisi, the pinoccate made in Perugia were particularly renowned, so much so that they are even mentioned in some documents in the historical archives of the Beata Colomba Monastery in Perugia, when in 1613 the nuns sent “pieces of pinocchiato to Father General Serafino Secchi” as gifts.

Very precious gifts, often reserved for very important figures belonging to the nobility. Today, they are wrapped in colourful wrappers; in the past, they were placed in special glazed majolica vases in the shape of pinecones.


Put the sugar in a saucepan, add the water and stir; bring to the boil, then add the pine nuts and lemon peel, mixing everything well. Remove from the heat while continuing to stir and immediately pour onto a marble or ceramic surface previously wet with a little water; use the blade of a knife to level the surface and allow to cool. Now all you have to do is cut the dough into classic diamond shapes, again using the wet blade of a knife.

Following this procedure, both types of pinoccate can be made. To make the black ones, simply add cocoa instead of lemon peel.