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cassatelle on a plate with blue cups, spoons in background

Cassatelle with Chickpea and Chocolate Filling

Carnevale is typically associated with decadent sweets such as these Cassatelle with Chickpea and Chocolate Filling
Course Dessert
Cuisine Sicilian-Italian
Keyword cassatelle with chickpea and chocolate filling, cassatelle, Carnevale desserts
Prep Time 55 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 24 cassatelle
Calories 111kcal


For the dough

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp cold butter cubed
  • 1 orange (or lemon) zest of
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp Marsala wine (can be substituted with red Port)

For the filling

  • 1 1/2 cups canned chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp chocolate chips dark or semi-sweet
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • powdered sugar for dusting


Prepare the dough

  •  Place flour and sugar in the bowl of your food processor and pulse a few times to combine.
    Alternately, you can prepare the dough by hand as I did here for my cassatelle with ricotta filling.
  • Add cubed butter and orange zest. Pulse a few times until the butter has broken down and the mixture is crumbly.
  • Beat 2 eggs with Marsala in a small bowl.  With the food processor running on low, pour the egg mixture in through the top feeder. Process until a dough begins to take shape.
  • Dump the crumbly dough onto your work surface and knead for a minute or two until a dough is formed. Shape into a flat disk, cover in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for an hour.

Prepare the filling

  • Place canned chickpeas (which have been drained and rinsed) in the food processor or blender.  Blend until finely ground. Add cinnamon and powdered sugar and process until well combined.
  • Transfer to a bowl and stir in chocolate chips.

To assemble

  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut into 4 pieces.  Use a pasta machine (or rolling pin if you don't have one) to roll out each piece of dough. I pass the dough twice through each setting until the second to last setting. 
  • Cut into approximately 12 cm circles. I used an empanada cutter to cut the circles but a doughnut cutter or even a glass will work.
  • Place a teaspoon of chickpea filling in the bottom third of the circle of dough.  Fold over pinching the edges together and use a fork to crimp the edges in order to seal them well. Continue with the remaining dough.

For frying

  • Fill a wide, deep skillet with approximately 2 inches of vegetable oil. Heat the oil. Verify if the oil is hot enough for frying by placing the handle of a wooden spoon in the center of the skillet.  If the oil immediately begins to bubble vigorously around the handle, it is ready. 
  • Carefully lower a few cassatelle, without overcrowding your skillet, into the hot oil.  When they are golden and the dough has bubbled, flip them over to brown the opposite side.  This will take 2-3 minutes.  Lift them out with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel covered surface to absorb excess oil.  
  • Let cool. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Baking option

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Place the filled cassatelle on parchment paper covered sheet pan.  Brush the cassatelle with a beaten egg and bake for 20 minutes, until golden. Let cool and dust with powdered sugar before serving.



  • If you don't have any Marsala wine on hand to add to the dough, try substituting red Port wine.
  • If you have time, you can cook your own chickpeas for the filling instead of using canned ones.
  • Vary the flavor of the filling by adding some grated orange zest to the chickpea mixture.
  • If you are health conscious and concerned about the frying, you can still enjoy your cassatelle by baking them as described above.
  • Once you have used all up your filling, you may have a few leftover scraps of dough left. Don't throw it out! Roll it out, cut into strips and fry to make chiacchiere.  Dust with powdered sugar.
  • Please note that the nutritional information provided is for the fried version but can vary according to exact portion size


Calories: 111kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 46mg | Potassium: 35mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 62IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg