Cassata or Cassata siciliana is a traditional sweet from the
area of Palermo, Sicily (Italy). It has a characteristic
striped green-and-white form. Cassata may also refer to a Neapolitan ice
cream containing candied or dried fruit and nuts.
The cassata siciliana consists of round sponge cake moistened
with fruit juices or liqueur and layered with
ricotta cheese, candied peel, and
a chocolate or vanilla filling similar to
cannoli cream. It is covered with a
shell of marzipan, pink and green pastel colored icing, and decorative designs.
The cassata is finally topped with candied fruit depicting cherries and slices
of citrus fruit characteristic of Sicily.
When making a cassata, layers of gelato (Italian ice cream)
can be substituted for the layers of cheese, producing a dessert similar to an
ice cream cake.
As with Sicilian
cannoli, Sicilian cassata probably date back
to the time of Arab domination.