Vegan Figolli Recipe – Traditional Maltese Easter Treats

In Malta, we love Easter, especially because we love to eat ‘Figolli’ – our traditional almond cakes made with love by the thousands around Malta and Gozo, especially for this time of year. They’re sweet, delicious and come in all kinds of shapes and decorations so they’re a great way for everyone to have some fun in the kitchen.

Unfortunately the traditional recipe includes butter and eggs but they’re relatively easy to veganise. For our recipe, we’ve appropriated Manuel’s figolli recipe which can be found here:

Pictures By our lovey followers; Donna, Violeta & Lexi 🙂


Ok, so here we go with the recipe for 3 vegan figolli…

Pastry Ingredients

  • 1080g Plain Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 325g Demerara Sugar
  • 485g Unsalted Vegan Butter / Margarine
  • Zest of 2 Lemons and 2 Oranges
  • Juice of 2 Oranges
  • Egg replacer equivalent to 6 egg yolks (read the instructions on the packet)
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Essence

Filling Ingredients

  • 870g Pure Ground Almonds
  • 690g Demerara Sugar
  • Zest of 2 Lemons and 1 Orange
  • Egg replacer equivalent to 6 egg whites (read the instructions on the packet)
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Essence

Pastry Method

To make the pastry, sift together the flour, baking powder and demerara sugar in a large bowl. Add the vegan butter or margarine and rub with your fingers till the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg replacer and the lemon and orange zest. Mix together, then gradually start adding the fresh orange juice, until you get the right consistency (you don’t need to use all of it unless required). Continue mixing until you have a smooth soft pastry. Wrap up the pastry in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Filling Method

Place all the filling ingredients together in a large bowl and bind together with your hands to form a soft marzipan. Make sure the mixture is not sticky.

Forming Pastry & Filling into Figolli

Once the pasty has chilled, and you have prepared the almond filling, you can start preparing the figolli. Roll out the pastry on a floured work surface, to a thickness of about 3/4cm. Using shaped figolli cutters, cut figolli shapes out of the pastry. You will need 2 pastry shapes for each figolla. (We thought they would look cuter if we baked them as muffins instead, but the shapes and sizes are entirely up to you. Just have fun with it J)

Carefully place the figolli pastry shapes on baking trays covered with greaseproof paper. Next, you need to roll out the almond filling, the same as the pastry, cutting out one shape per figolla. Brush ½ of the pastry shapes lightly with water, and cover each piece with the almond filling. Brush the almond filling lightly with water and cover with the remaining pastry shapes. Each figolla will end up with a pastry top and bottom, with the layer of almond in the middle. Bake the figolli in the oven at 180°C, for 35-40 minutes, depending on their size. When the figolli are cooked, remove the baking trays from the oven and allow the figolli to cool down completely before removing them of the baking trays.

For best results, decorate the figolli the following day, using vegan chocolate, marzipan, or any other vegan topping of your choice. When the figolli are ready, wrap them up in cling film to keep them fresh.

Good luck and enjoy 🙂

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