Italian Hangover Cake Recipe: Indulge in Tradition

Welcome to a delightful journey through taste, tradition, and culture with the Italian Hangover Cake. This isn’t just a dessert; it’s a comforting embrace of Italian culinary heritage, perfect for those slow mornings or as a delightful treat for any time of day. Let’s embark on this delicious adventure together.

The Heritage of Italian Baking

The story of Italian Hangover Cake begins in the rustic kitchens of Italy, where baking is not just a task but an art form passed down through generations. Italian bakers, with their flour-dusted aprons and time-honored techniques, have long been crafting cakes that are rich in flavor and history. The Hangover Cake, with its dense, moist texture and subtle sweetness, is a testament to this tradition. It brings together simple yet high-quality ingredients to create a cake that’s both satisfying and reminiscent of Italy’s culinary excellence.

Recipe and How-To Guide


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup espresso or strong coffee
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Powdered sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in orange zest.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, alternating with milk and espresso, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  6. Pour batter into a greased 9-inch cake pan.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Let cool, then dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cooking Time: 35 minutes | Total Time: 50 minutes

Kcal: 320 kcal/serving | Servings: 8

Italian Hangover Cake on a glass serving plate

This classic Italian Hangover Cake recipe offers a taste of Italy’s rich baking culture, perfect for any skill level in the kitchen.

Nutritional Profile

This cake, like many traditional Italian desserts, balances indulgence with simplicity. While it’s a treat, it’s not overly heavy or too sweet, making it a suitable option for a variety of diets. For those mindful of their intake, a small slice can fit into a balanced diet, offering a taste of Italian luxury without overindulgence.

Cultural Spotlight

In Italy, food is more than sustenance; it’s a celebration of life and a cornerstone of cultural identity. The Italian Hangover Cake holds its own in this vibrant culinary landscape. Often enjoyed as a morning treat or a simple dessert, it’s a symbol of comfort and familial warmth. In cafes and homes across Italy, this cake is served with pride, telling stories of regional variations and family secrets, making it much more than just a recipe – it’s a piece of cultural heritage. Just like the Italian Hangover Cake, another comforting Italian classic is the Italian Penicillin Soup, which blends wellness with flavor in every spoonful.

Serving and Pairing Ideas

This cake shines when paired with a robust Italian espresso or a sweet dessert wine. Its subtle sweetness and dense texture make it a perfect companion to these beverages, enhancing the overall experience. For a brunch twist, serve it alongside a mimosa for a light, refreshing contrast. If you’re exploring other indulgent desserts, the Salted Caramel Kentucky Butter Cake Recipe pairs wonderfully with the same beverages as the Italian Hangover Cake.

Variations and Personal Touches

While the traditional recipe is simple, it’s also a canvas for personalization. Add a dash of vanilla extract or a spoonful of cocoa powder to the batter for a different twist. Some bakers even like to incorporate chopped nuts or dried fruits for added texture and flavor. For those who love experimenting with different cake recipes, the Kentucky Butter Cake Delight is a must-try after mastering the Italian Hangover Cake

FAQs Section 

What is Italian Hangover Cake?

The Italian Hangover Cake, known in Italy as Torta Sbornia, is a traditional Italian cake. Unlike its name suggests, it’s not just for hangovers. This cake is a staple in Italian baking, appreciated for its moist, dense texture and subtle sweetness. It is typically made with simple ingredients like flour, sugar, eggs, and butter, and often flavored with lemon zest, embodying the essence of Italian comfort food. It’s enjoyed across Italy, often in the mornings with coffee or as a light dessert.

How to Make Italian Hangover Cake?

Making an Italian Hangover Cake is a delightful experience that brings a piece of Italy into your kitchen. Here’s a more detailed guide:

  1. Ingredients: Gather fresh ingredients including all-purpose flour, sugar, eggs, whole milk, unsalted butter, baking powder, lemon zest, and a pinch of salt.
  2. Preparation: Begin by preheating your oven and preparing your cake pan. Mix your wet ingredients (eggs, milk, melted butter) with sugar, then gradually incorporate the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt), finally adding the lemon zest for a refreshing twist.
  3. Baking: Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake until golden and cooked through. This typically takes about 40-45 minutes in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C).
  4. Serving: Once cooled, dust with powdered sugar for a classic finish. The cake can be served as is, or with accompaniments like espresso or dessert wine.

What Makes the Italian Hangover Cake a Cultural Staple?

Italian Hangover Cake’s place as a cultural staple comes from its history and versatility. It’s a symbol of Italian family traditions and home baking. In Italian culture, food is an expression of love and heritage, and this cake is often made for family gatherings, festive occasions, or simply as a comforting treat. The simplicity of its ingredients and the versatility of the recipe, allowing for regional variations and personal touches, make it a beloved dish across different parts of Italy.

Dave Portnoy’s Views on Italian Hangover Cake: What Did He Say?

Dave Portnoy, known for his media presence and candid reviews, brought attention to the Italian Hangover Cake on Barstool Sports. He praised its unique flavor profile, highlighting its comforting, homey taste that distinguishes it from other desserts. His review not only appreciated the cake’s taste but also brought it into the spotlight for a wider audience, showcasing the appeal of traditional Italian baking in modern media.

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