A Wedding Biscotti Cake: “Torta di Biscotto di Nozze”

Planning starts early for an Italian wedding with grandparents, aunts, cousins all allocated different jobs, including the preparation of the “Torta di Biscotto di Nozze”. This is by far one of the most important jobs of all. Italian weddings tend to be large and huge amounts of biscotti are made by all the members of the future bride’s family. Imagine what the kitchen looks like with everyone having a specific task to perform and making dozens of biscotti for weeks before the wedding!

The bride takes the “Torta di Biscotto di Nozze” and offers them to the wedding guests who fill their napkins and handbags. Everyone including each child gets their share of biscotti to take home. Then of course the critique begins as to which biscotti are the best. OURS are always the best as our family truly are experts in the preparation of this most enjoyable and important tradition.

“Torta di Biscotto di Nozze” is a biscotti wedding cake. It is layers of different biscotti arranged in a pyramid decorated with icing covered almonds called “Confetti” and ribbons. It takes center stage at Italian weddings. Members of the family bring the biscotti together the day before the wedding and arranged and wrape the torta with great fan fair, this is an event in itself. Of course, it is hard not to taste them as you are constructing the torta.

The layers can be placed such as described below, or you can randomly place them making sure that the bottom layers are sturdy cookies that can take the weight of the ones placed on top.

Placing doilies in between the layers helps to stabilize the cookies. If making larger trays another way of doing this is to dip the bottom of each biscotto into confectionary sugar frosting and attach it to your torta construction. This will keep the biscotti from moving or falling. In this case you would not use the doilies except to cover the bottom of the tray.

“Confetti”; candy covered almonds in colors symbolic of life’s events are randomly placed throughout the torta. Confetti arrangements placed on top of the “Torta di Biscotto di Nozze” are saved as mementoes. The nuns of Santa Chiara in the region of Abruzzi are famous for their confetti confections. The colors are traditional and represent the following:

Green- Engagement
Pink or blue-Children, girl or boy
Silver and Gold-Wedding and Anniversaries.

Bottom layer: 2 varieties of firm biscotti such as a sliced biscotti and sesame seed cookie.
Separator doilies
Middle layer: 1 variety placed on a dolly
Separator doilies
Top layer: 1 variety of lighter weight biscotti
And so on.

Biscotti can be frozen for up to 2 months. The cookies are prepared in advance; frosted and assembled the day before the wedding. Once the biscotti are baked and completely cooled they are placed in freezer bags or plastic containers and frozen. When you are ready to use them you must completely defrosted them before applying the frosting. Place the cookies in boxes in order to transport to the location where the torta will be constructed.

The tray is then placed on large sheets of cello wrap. It is important to place the cello wrap in both directions so that the cookies are completely covered with the wrap. The cello wrap is then brought up over the biscotti and tied with colorful ribbons.

Bomboniera or small decorative boxes or packets are often filled with the “Confetti” and given as gifts at Italian weddings. Today we often prepare Bomboniere filled with biscotti rather then passing them out.



~ by Patricia Turo on August 14, 2009.

5 Responses to “A Wedding Biscotti Cake: “Torta di Biscotto di Nozze””

  1. Wow these are truly amazing…so creative and a work of art!


    • Thank you pegasuslegend,

      I appreciate all your comments and have enjoyed looking at your blog as well.

      The Torta di Biscotto di Nozze has been made in 10lb.+ trays for weddings in our family as long as I can remember. We have a business ourside of Boston making biscotti (mostly family recipes) and I think are finally becomming as good as our mothers and gramdmothers. We are so excited about being able to pass our tradition on to others.



  2. the cookies look beautiful!


  3. You know what I like about traditional recipes posts? that it assures we don’t forget the great tastes of the past. I always appreciate your posts and thanks for your friendship, the most valuable thing to make sure doesn’t get lost.
    I’ve been thinking of doing the sicilian torrone post and I just noticed the recent post of your torrone recipe. This one I have to try, as it is different than mine, and looks like I’d love it.


    • I Sicilian,

      Thank you so much for your comments. I think you should post your torrone recipe. There are so many different and regional recipes in Italy that each one has a different take and people should have the choice as to which one they want to try.

      I agree that it is so important to keep family recipes alive. Anyone can get a recipe out of a cookbook but family recipes are sometime only versions of a family.

      I know you are in Miami, I buying a house in Boynton Beach, maybe we can meet up one day.



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