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Italian Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella Cake (Plus 2 Bonus Recipes)

Penelope lived in Tuscany among the olive groves and farms for years, learning from local people about their culture, land, and food.

Sliced Tomato Cake

Sliced Tomato Cake

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

20 min

50 min

1 hour 10 min

8 slices of cake


  • 150 grams all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 16 grams powdered yeast
  • 125 ml milk, tepid
  • 100 grams Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 200 grams mozzarella, fresh
  • 2 very large or 4 smaller tomatoes
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 large leaves basil, chopped largely
  • 100 grams peas, blanched from frozen
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan, grated


  1. Peel the tomatoes by dropping them in a bowl of boiling water for 1 minute. Cut them in half and remove the seeds and liquid. Cut the pulp into cubes.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to a pan. Add the tomatoes, salt, and white pepper to taste and cook them till they are softened. Let them cool and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  4. Blanch the frozen peas in boiling water for about 2 minutes; then strain and set aside.
  5. Squeeze the mozzarella of excess liquid, then cut it into cubes and add it to the tomatoes in the pan with strips of basil leaves. Set aside.
  6. Beat the eggs in a bowl
  7. Add the flour and the powdered yeast. Beat together.
  8. Slowly pour in the remaining olive oil and the tepid milk.
  9. Add salt and white pepper to taste.
  10. Add the grated Gruyere and grated Parmesan cheese.
  11. Add the tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil mixture (cold) and the peas. Mix together with a light hand.
  12. Pour into a 26cm-long cake pan
  13. Cook in the center of a 180°C oven.
  14. Slice while hot on a bread board and serve on a serving platter.
Caprese dish

Caprese dish

Caprese Recipe for Summer and Christmas

The flavors of ripe tomatoes and mozzarella mixed with olive oil and basil are so harmonious and wonderful together that Italians make two other dishes using the same three principal ingredients: caprese and pasta alla checca.

During the summer in Italy, the fields of tomato crops ripen. The markets are laden with them. We buy them by the pound or we grow them or have friends who grow them (and need to palm some off). We conserve them, we take them on picnics to the beach, we make simple salads with them, we cook with them every day and do not tire of them—but our favorite dish is la caprese.

Over Christmas it's a special treat, which breaks with the heavier foods the wintry season has to offer.


  • 4 big red ripe tomatoes (but not too ripe)
  • 2 fresh mozzarella (buffalo mozzarella is the best if you can find it)
  • 1 or 2 handfuls of basil leaves
  • 4-5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste


  1. On a lovely serving platter arrange the following alternately: slices of large ripe tomatoes, mozzarella, basil leaves (chopped or not).
  2. Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil over the top.
  3. Sprinkle with salt.
  4. Eat straight away because it is so much better fresh. It's deliciously simple served slices of crusty bread. Over the Christmas period, why not serve it with hot bread served straight from the oven?
Extra virgin olive oil for all recipes

Extra virgin olive oil for all recipes

Pasta Alla Checca

With the same ingredients as in the principal ingredients of the two recipes above, you can make a pasta dish. It's practical, it's good for you (it's good for children, too), it's fresh-tasting and summery. It's called pasta alla checca.


  • 1 packet of pasta cannolichie (very small tube shape)
  • 4 skinned, de-seeded small-chopped ripe tomatoes
  • 1 small mozzarella, chopped
  • 6-8 leaves chopped basil
  • 4/5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste.


  1. While you bring your pasta water to a boil and cook the pasta, put all your ingredients in a large pasta serving bowl. Begin with chopped tomatoes and olive oil. Stir together. It could not be easier!
  2. Cook the pasta until it is al dente; then strain the pasta and add it to the serving bowl.
  3. Mix and serve. You may eat this straight away, or tepid, or even cool.
  4. It's the perfect meal to eat and serve during a football game or for a buffet lunch during the summer. Or any time you want to remember the summer.

Buon appetito!

More About Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • When To Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    Extra virgin olive oils vs olive oils - extra virgin olive oil is much better for your health due to the cold process during extraction. 'Raw' it maintains all its health properties. 'Cooked', or 'frying' stimulates the digestive apparatus. Recipes.

© 2012 Penelope Hart


Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on November 07, 2012:

Buon appetito! Thanks so much for dropping in and commenting.

It makes a super lunch and really, it's very easy to make.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on November 06, 2012:

This looks so good. I love Italian food. Tomato cake. Interesting. Thanks so much, I will give this a try! For lunch, with a salad! Yum!

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on November 06, 2012:

A London friend of mine tried it out in the summer, liked it so much she's made it several times since then, including at a retro Tony Curtis party the other night. She said all her friends loved it and took the recipe and said that it was crawling round S W London now. Your husband should love it over Christmas!. Thanks for commenting.

Greatly appreciated.

Judi Brown from UK on November 06, 2012:

Pinnned it! Could be a winner at Christmas with my veggie husband :)

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on November 06, 2012:

Hyphenbird. Glad you like it. How nice of you to comment even though you can't eat it!!! Thanks. So appreciated.

Glimmer. Hi! It will be delicious over Christmas and I hope you LOVE it. Thanks so much for dropping by and for pinning. I love pinterest!

Claudia Mitchell on November 06, 2012:

This looks absolutely delicious. Pinned for making as soon as I can. Voted up too! The loaf would be great at Christmas with the wonderful colors. Thanks.

Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on November 06, 2012:

This looks really delicious. Your photos are beautiful and make the Hub perfect. I am vegan so I won't be making this dish but I can virtually eat all I want!

Greensleeves Hubs from Essex, UK on July 01, 2012:

My pleasure Penelope. There was never any question of leaving this one out of my review! The photos, the clear instructions, and the additional caprese recipes all combine and add to the strength of the hub.

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on July 01, 2012:

Thanks so much. What a great honor. I'm writing another hub at the moment, for pasta al pesto! Hope you will enjoy that one too.

Looking forward to reading your review!

Best wishes, Penelope

Greensleeves Hubs from Essex, UK on July 01, 2012:

What a well written, visually appealing and informative hub, Goodlady! This is one of the best in the HubPages 'Italian Cuisine' category - I know, because I've just completed the task of looking at every single one of them for a review hub I've written and published. Your's is included in my review as one of the ten best. Voted up. Best wishes. Alun.

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on June 23, 2012:

Thank you so much. Yes, it really is a great cake! And easy to make,

Esther Shamsunder from Bangalore,India on June 23, 2012:

GoodLady, the photos are enticing. I am sure your finished product is too! Congrats on a well deserved win!

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on June 18, 2012:

kellyward5 So appreciate your bookmarking and pin, thanks so much

Sharyn, thanks. I don't know what I've won yet, but nice to see you here and thanks for sharing too.

Sharon Smith from Northeast Ohio USA on June 18, 2012:

Congrats on your win this week Penelope, well deserved. This hub is awesome and I look forward to sharing it.

kelleyward on June 18, 2012:

This looks so good! I'm bookmarking and pinning this! Congrats on winning! Take care, Kelley

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on June 15, 2012:

Thanks lots Purple Perl! Hope you really enjoy your tomato cake!

Esther Shamsunder from Bangalore,India on June 15, 2012:

Looks divine. will have to try out this recipe. Thanks for sharing. & Congrats!

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on June 14, 2012:

rags, hi! grateful for your votes and popping in. Hope you make and like the toms cake. We like it a lot.

Bev G from Wales, UK on June 14, 2012:

GoodLady, this looks like a fantastic recipe and your Hub is, as usual, beautiful. Voting up in all the right places!

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on June 14, 2012:

Clauda Tello. I do love making good looking Hubs and also great food, so it's nice of you to comment.

Natashalh. Those fresh ingredients will make a superb cake. Buon appetito! Hope you enjoy the cake you'll make.

Natasha from Hawaii on June 14, 2012:

This sounds awesome, particularly because I have several ingredients growing in my garden right now! I'd never heard of this dish - thank you for sharing the recipe.

Claudia Tello from Mexico on June 14, 2012:

This Italian Tomato Cake sounds and looks very nice. It is a pleasure to encounter such rich and beautifully formatted / edited recipe Hubs, I can see you put a lot of attention and work in them, and that´s also my style. Very good job!

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on June 13, 2012:

It's really good! Thanks so much for your vote.

Movie Master from United Kingdom on June 13, 2012:

Congratulations! this recipe is certainly a winner, fabulous hub!

Looking forward to trying this, voted up

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on June 11, 2012:

So exciting to win and thank you so much Susan for stopping by to share.

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on June 11, 2012:

Congrats!!! I knew this recipe would be a winner.

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on June 11, 2012:

jimmythejock. Hope you enjoy it when you try it and thanks for commenting.

novascotiamiss. Looking forward to exchanging more recipes too, and many thanks for liking my Hub. Watermelon soup is certainly very very special and I'll make it in the summer. So happy to have a won a prize!

Novascotiamiss from Nova Scotia, Canada on June 11, 2012:

Congratulations for winning the daily price in the hub recipe contest. I'm so thrilled for you, this beautiful hub definitely deserved it. Also glad that you liked my tomato watermelon soup recipe. I'm sure we will exchange quite a few more interesting tomato recipes this summer!

Jimmy the jock from Scotland on June 11, 2012:

I have never heard of Tomato cake but it looks so tempting, I need to try it some day.....jimmy

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on June 11, 2012:

Hi Karen,

Thanks for dropping in and for your comments Are you going to make it?

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on June 11, 2012:

How great, you're making it tomorrow. Many thanks for your rating and votes. I do appreciate them all.

LaThing from From a World Within, USA on June 11, 2012:

Beautiful bread, I can just see it on my counter top, Mmmmmm! I will be making it tomorrow, few ingredients missing. Thanks for sharing it with us. Five stars, useful, awesome, and everything.....

Karen Creftor from Kent, UK on June 11, 2012:

Oh my mouth is watering now!!

Wonderful hub xx

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on June 11, 2012:

Greatly appreciate your comments and votes! Yea!!! Glad you like the layout too.

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on June 11, 2012:

Looks yummy! and the layout of this hub is so attractive. Well done! Many votes!

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on June 11, 2012:

Susan Thanks for votes and pinning and sharing. You're swell! I hope you do visit Italy. Come and have a light meal with us!

Hyphenbird Hope you really love it. Thanks.

Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on June 11, 2012:

What a beautiful dish. It looks scrumptious and I will try it soon. Thank you!

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on June 11, 2012:

All these recipes look so good. I think if I ever visited Italy I would come back a lot heavier :)

Rated, voted, pinned and shared.

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on June 10, 2012:

Superb with home grown tomatoes! So pleased you liked this cake, thank you.

Janis Goad on June 10, 2012:

I love this recipe. I will have many tomatoes in August, and will come back and try out this amazing food.!!

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on June 10, 2012:

wilderness I suppose hot house grown tomatoes are better as salad toms. Maybe you can find some other sort to make the cake? Thanks so much for commenting.

novascotiamiss. Hope it turns out beautifully! So glad you liked the cake. Thanks

Novascotiamiss from Nova Scotia, Canada on June 10, 2012:

Mmmmmmmmh. The tomato cake looks delicious and I will definitely have to try out this recipe this summer when I've got plenty of tomato & basil growing in my garden.

Dan Harmon from Boise, Idaho on June 10, 2012:

Looks yummy, and I love fresh tomatoes when they come in season. Not so much hot house grown, though.

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on June 10, 2012:

It's very tasty, so hope you'll enjoy it. Thanks for comment.

Liam Hallam from Nottingham UK on June 10, 2012:

Nice hub. I think i'll give this a whirl at some point in the not too distant future as it looks delightful.

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