Sweet Grape Focaccia

baked cake

This recipe is from the wonderful and delicious book Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo kitchen. This recipe was easy and is perfect for brunch or a sweet side dish. The only thing I modified was that I added some vanilla extract and citrus zest to the dough.

To start, gather your ingredients.

prepped ingredients

Then place 1/2cup warm water in the bowl of your stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast over it. Add a pinch of sugar and whisk briefly to dissolve the yeast. While the yeast proofs, place the milk in a saucepan and heat over low until it is just warm to the touch.

When the yeast has become bubbly, add the warm milk to the bowl. Whisk in 1.5cups  flour to make a thick paste. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set the sponge aside to rise in a draft-free spot until it has double in size, 30-35 minutes.

foamy yeast

When the sponge has risen, with the paddle attachment on medium speed, beat in the eggs, two at a time into the sponge, followed by the remaining 3/4cup sugar and 2tsp salt. Beat in the remaining 3.5cups flour, then beat the dough for an additional 1.5 minutes on medium speed. The dough will be stiff and rough. Beat in the 1.5cups butter, 1tbl at a time, until the dough becomes smooth and creamy, like a very thick batter. Scrape the dough into a large bowl that has been greased with 1tbl butter. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a draft-free place to rise until it has doubled in size, 1-1.5 hours.

Once it has risen preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease 2 half sheet trays* with butter or cooking spray.

Scrape half the dough into each pan and, using lightly floured fingers, gently press and spread it evenly across the surface and into the corners of the pan. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow the dough to proof for 15-20 minutes, until it is slightly puffed. Gently dimple the surface of the dough with your fingertips, then scatter the grapes and their juices evenly over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle the top with 2tbl sugar. (half of the grapes and sugar per sheet tray)

Bake the bread until it is golden in color, 18-20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time to ensure even browning. Allow the breakfast cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then gently slide it out of the pan and onto a cooling rack to prevent it from getting soggy.

It is best eaten the day it is made, but can be stored up to 2 days in an airtight container.

Cook Note:

* I used 2 half sheet pans to make the breakfast cake because I wanted to give some away. You can always use a full size sheet pan though. Cooking time should be the same.

** I added the vanilla extract and tangelo zest to the cracked eggs. Feel free to use orange or tangerine zest instead of tangelo.

*** I used seedless black grapes which are really big. I cut the grapes in half then slightly crushed them to release some juice.


1/2cup warm water

1 envelope (2tsp) active dry yeast

3/4cup sugar plus 2tbl (topping) and a pinch (for yeast)

1/2cup whole milk

5cups all-purpose flour

6 large eggs, cracked in a small bowl

1 tangelo, zested**

1tsp vanilla extract**

2tsp salt

1.5cups (3 sticks) butter, unsalted room temperature, plus more for greasing the pans

2 cups seedless grapes, slightly crushed

Categories: Bread, Breakfast/Brunch, Dessert, Sides | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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