Cooking & Spirituality: Spumoni Cake

By Lucia Ferarra

Today I want to share a recipe with you that is one of my kids’ favorites. Spumoni Cake. It’s chilled, whipped cream topping, cherries and nuts, and vibrant colors make it a perfect summertime recipe!

Best of all, you can taste this recipe without having to bake it if you visit us at the Renewal Center on July 6, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for our annual Summer Celebration! We’ll have a cookout with all the picnic fixings and lawn games and lots of fun. It’s a time to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. Everyone is invited. Register here, so we know how many burgers to grill!

Now back to the cake.

Spumoni is a traditional Italian dessert made with layers of gelato (usually pistachio, chocolate and cherry or strawberry), candied fruits, nuts and whipped cream. Spumoni cake mimics that classic dessert. And it is just as delicious!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans.


Spumoni Cake

  • 1 box of white cake mix (follow directions on the box)
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ cup chopped pistachios
  • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips (or regular chips chopped up)
  • ¼ cup chopped maraschino cherries
  • Red and green food coloring
  • Whole Maraschino cherries and sliced almonds for garnish.

Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the cake comes out clean.

Whipped Cream Topping

In a large bowl, mix together

  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 packet of instant pistachio pudding
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream.

In a separate bowl, whip two cups of heavy whipping cream until you have stiff peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the pudding mixture. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 10 minutes so it sets up.

Make sure the cake is cooled before applying the topping. Refrigerate the decorated cake for at least an hour before serving.

Cooking as Spiritual Practice

A reading from the Book of Deuteronomy

For the Lord, your God, is bringing you into a good country, a land with streams of water, with springs and fountains welling up in the hills and valleys,

a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, of olive trees and of honey,

a land where you will always have bread and where you will lack nothing, a land whose stones contain iron and in whose hills you can mine copper.

But when you have eaten and are satisfied, you must bless the Lord, your God, for the good land he has given you.

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[Lucia Ferrara, the Director of Hospitality at Precious Blood Renewal Center. Share your thoughts with Lucia or ask her questions using the form below or by sending an email to]

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