Fizzy Mandarinata Sponge Cake Recipe

Servings: 8-10

Time: 40 minutes

Diet: Veg

Fizzy Mandarinata Sponge Cake Recipe

Whether you’re hosting a summer party, celebrating something a little more special, or simply looking for a decadent dessert to treat the family to this weekend, this summery mandarinata sponge cake is bound to surprise and satisfy. We bring you an out-of-this-world, delicate cake recipe that’s infused with wonderful citrus flavours of the Mediterranean - using authentic mandarinata! Keep reading to find the recipe and learn more about Italian desserts and what makes them special.

What is mandarinata?

Mandarinata is Italy’s answer to orangeade. It is sparkling and refreshing with a firm and fresh flavour of juicy mandarins and typically contains a touch of refreshing iris flower, making it the perfect drink to sip on a warm summer afternoon or experiment with in the kitchen.

Authentic Italian mandarinata

From breadsticks and drinks to cooking sauce and pasta, we work with local Italian suppliers to bring you authentic produce with no compromise straight to your doorstep, and this authentic mandarinata is no exception.

Mandarinata from Niasca Portofino (4 x 250ml)Buy Now

This delicious drink combines the sweet and juicy flavour of mandarins with a delicate note of iris flowers for a pleasant, slightly bitter taste and subtle fragrance. Made with home-grown mandarins that have been nurtured by the Mediterranean sun, this mandarinata drink will transport you straight to the impeccable Italian coast.

Niasca Portofino, the makers of this wonderful mandarinata, are the core of what makes this drink special. The family-run company is passionate about local Italian culture and top-quality, authentic products, making them experts in what they do.

Don’t miss out on our limited-time offer on Niasca Portofino Mandarinata! Get 20% off your order when you buy 2 or more 12-packs of Niasca Portofino drinks - that’s plenty for adding to your desserts, sipping on in the summer sun, and sharing with family and friends!

Italian mandarin cake

For this unique mandarinata cake recipe, we have taken inspiration from the traditional Italian madarin cake. Typically served for breakfast or as a snack, this popular sponge cake comes from Sicily (called “pan d’arancio” by the locals) and it’s wonderfully light, not overly sweet, and packed with a powerful mandarin scent and rich citrus flavours.

Fizzy Mandarinata Sponge Cake Recipe


For the sponge

4 eggs

100g granulated sugar

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp olive oil

75ml Niasca Portofino Mandarinata Drink

200g plain flour

1.5 tsp baking powder

For the topping

250ml double cream

150g icing sugar

250ml sour cream

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

100g tinned mandarins, drained and chopped

Candied mandarin peel, to serve (or orange peel, optional)

Cooking method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and use an electric or stand mixer to beat on a high speed for 1 minute. Slowly add the sugar to the eggs, followed by the vanilla extract, and continue beating for another couple of minutes until the eggs become foamy. Add the olive oil and mandarinata, and use a spatula or wooden spoon to gently combine.

  2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Carefully fold the flour into the eggs, making sure not to over-mix.

  3. Grease and line a round baking tray (roughly 22cm in diameter) with baking paper. Pour the cake batter into the tray and bake for 20-25 minutes until cooked through and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the centre. Once ready, remove and let the sponge cool for 10 minutes before transferring it onto a cooling rack.

  4. While the sponge cools, make your topping. Whip the cream in a bowl for around 20 seconds using an electric or stand mixer. Add the icing sugar and continue whipping until the cream forms stiff peaks. Gently fold in the sour cream, vanilla extract, and mandarin pieces, and spread it all evenly over the cooled sponge. Place the cake in the fridge for a couple of hours to let the topping set. Garnish the top with some candied mandarin or orange peel (if using) placed around the edge of the cake. Enjoy!

How to enjoy mandarinata cake

The rich and fruity flavours of this excellent dessert are best enjoyed on their own without any other overpowering flavours. In Italy, mandarin cakes are often enjoyed in small portions for breakfast with a cup of creamy coffee, or on their own as a treat on a summery afternoon. If you like, you can swap the whipped cream topping for a layer of simple icing and enjoy your mandarinata cake with a scoop of traditional Italian vanilla gelato.


This classic Italian dessert is the perfect treat to enjoy in the summer sun. If you’re hosting a get-together or treating the kids to a unique dessert, they’re bound to be impressed. The best thing is that the authentic Ligurian mandarinata makes achieving the fresh and unforgettable flavour of Italian mandarins completely effortless!

For more wonderful Italian goodies, visit the Real Italiano shop and don’t forget to browse our blog for more recipe inspiration.

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