Colourful Christmas Cassata

An Italian Christmas Treat!

Create this colourful Cassata using Gilbert’s Fresh range of house-made ice creams and seasonal fruit.

I have such fond memories, from my sepia tone childhood, of the retro Cassata Mum used to make each festive season. She’d separate the three flavours from a large Neapolitana ice cream tub, and mix with nuts, lollies, and candied cherries. While it tickled my taste buds as a kid, I’ve since moved on to slightly more sophisticated sweet treats.

Cassata is an absolute winner for Christmas Day. It’s simple, colourful, cold and can be made way in advance, so you’re ahead of the game. There are no rules to this dessert. Simply choose your favourite flavour combinations, find a cake tin or bowl, add some summer fruit and get layering.

Here is a recipe for the Mango Cassata pictured, however, feel free to adapt it to suit the tastes of your household.

Don’t forget… if you are feeling like making life even easier for yourself, Gilbert’s Fresh, Hilton offers a range of house-made Ice Cream Cakes, which I will happily vouch for! They are even available to order now online.

Stay chilled,


Mango Cassata

2 fresh passionfruit or 60ml passionfruit pulp
1 mango, both cheeks sliced thinly
Gran and Pops Passionfruit Butter
400g Gilbert’s Vanilla Ice Cream
400g Gilbert’s Strawberry Ice Cream
400g Gilbert’s Mango Sorbet
1 punnet fresh blueberries
100g Balocco Savoiardi sponge fingers (sold at Gilbert’s)
¼ cup of Cointreau, or liquor of choice (optional)
¼ cup coconut flakes


  1. Line a loaf tin with baking paper and two layers of glad wrap, leaving enough hanging out the sides to pull out the Cassata when frozen.
  2. Spread the passionfruit pulp over the base of the tin.
  3. Follow by laying out strips of mango cheek, trimmed to fit the width of the tin, and slightly overlapping.
  4. Gently top the mango evenly with the passionfruit butter.
  5. Pre-soften the Vanilla Ice Cream, and spread gently and evenly over the mango and passionfruit butter and place in the freezer until the ice cream is solid again. (30 minutes)
  6. Meanwhile pre-soften the Strawberry Ice Cream and spread evenly across the top of the vanilla, and place in the freezer until the ice cream is solid again. (30 minutes)
  7. Soften the Mango Sorbet, stir through the blueberries and spread evenly across the top of the Strawberry Ice Cream.
  8. Finish the layering by topping with the sponge fingers, drizzled evenly with liquor then wrap and place in the freezer until the ice cream is solid again or you’re ready to serve.
  9. Allow the Cassata to sit on the bench for ten minutes before removing from the loaf tin and turning out onto a plate.
  10. Optional – Garnish with coconut flakes.
  11. Bask in the glow of everyone’s praise and delight!

Cooks Note:
Replace liquor with a fruit syrup if feeding the kids.

Image: Nick Thake. Styling – Recipe: Kate Flower.

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