Pionono recipe from Santa Fe: learn how to make this classic of Granada pastry at home

The pionono de Santa Fe is a small cake that, since the end of the 19th century, has been made in the town of Santa Fe in Granada. Its name comes from Pope Pius IX, whom the confectioner Ceferino Isla González wanted to pay tribute to on the 50th anniversary of his death. To do this, he created a sweet that remembered his plump figure and bore his name.

The Santa Fe pionono is made with a sponge cake plate moistened in syrup, filled with a pastry yolk and cinnamon, rolled up on itself, and topped with a toasted yolk crown, which symbolizes the pope with which the Pope covers his crown. If you have never tried it, it is high time that you remedy the matter. This fine and delicate cake is to put a floor.


For 6 units
  • Egg (for the pastry yolk) 4
  • Sugar same weight as eggs (for the yolk)
  • Refined corn flour (for the pastry yolk) 15 g
  • Water (for the pastry yolk) 90 g
  • Sugar (for the syrup) 60 g
  • Water (for the syrup) 60 g
  • Eggs (for the cake) 2
  • Sugar (for the cake) 40 g
  • Wheat flour (for the cake) 15 g
  • Refined corn flour (for the sponge cake) 20 g
  • Milk (for the cake) 40 g
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • Pinch butter

How to pioneer Santa Fe

Difficulty: medium
  • Total time 1 hour
  • Elaboration 30 m
  • Cooking 30 m

For the preparation of the pionono we need three elements: sponge cake to fill, pastry yolk and syrup. All of them separately are easy to prepare, like the pionono, but that does not mean that it is a tad laborious and that we need to dedicate a little more time than usual.

Pastry yolk

Weigh the eggs, without shell, and prepare the same weight of sugar. We mix solid ingredients well, on the one hand, and liquids, on the other. We put everything together and beat well in the cold with some rods until the corn flour does not lump.

Heat the mixture in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally so that the egg does not form lumps. When the mixture begins to thicken, stir vigorously, let it boil and remove from the heat. Let cool before moving on to a pastry bag.


Mix the water with the sugar in a saucepan and heat until it boils. Cook over low heat for five minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool before using to soak the cake.


We line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread it with a pinch of butter. We sift the two flours (wheat and corn) in a large bowl. We separate the yolks from the whites and reserve the whites to mount them with the sugar. Add the yolks to the sifted flours along with the milk. Stir with rods until homogenized.

We mount the whites in another bowl and, when they are frothy, add the sugar to tablespoons, little by little. We beat until it makes hard peaks. Next we add the yolk mixture, mixing well with a spatula and smooth and enveloping movements from the bottom up so as not to lose the air incorporated with the smoothie.

Pour the mixture on the baking paper and spread it over the entire surface, trying to make it equal thickness. We cook the cake in a preheated oven at 180ºC for about 10 minutes or until it begins to brown. Remove from the oven, transfer to a rack and allow to warm for a few minutes before cutting the edges to equalize.


With a brush, we squirt the cake with the syrup, cover the entire surface with a layer of pastry yolk, leaving on one of the long sides a small margin without cream, and sprinkle with ground cinnamon (to taste). We roll the stuffed cake on the long side, helping us from the paper while we remove it.

We cut the roll into six equal portions with the help of a sharp knife or a metallic thread. We crown each pionono with a portion of pastry yolk, using the leftover that we have in the sleeve, sprinkle with sugar and toast with the help of a blowtorch or placing them under the grill for a couple of minutes. We serve immediately or keep in the fridge until serving time (preferably during the day).

With what to accompany the pionono of Santa Fe

The pionono de Santa Fe must be eaten in one bite, experts say, but you may not be able to or want to, so better serve it as an accompaniment to coffee or tea after dinner with its plate, spoon and fork. We will avoid unnecessary dicks.

Tags:  Fish Desserts Meats And Birds 

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