Torta Mimosa and Festa della Donna

In Italy bright, yellow mimosa is the symbol of Festa della Donna, International Women’s Day, a day that celebrates the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.  Italian men buy bouquets of mimosa to give to the special women in their lives to show their support and appreciation for all they do.

Mimosa became the traditional flower for this early March celebration in 1946, to mark the first occasion of the holiday after the end of World War II. It was chosen because of its bright color and fragrant scent and because its blooms are a promise of spring. The tiny yellow flowers with fern-like leaves are bunched together in bright fluffy pompons and are the inspiration for a delicious Italian dessert known as torta mimosa .

This cake is somewhat difficult to make and involves several steps making a sponge, chantilly cream and a syrup.  The results are breathtakingly delicious but time-consuming. The  individual mimosa  flowers are created by dicing a part of the sponge in small pieces and placing them on top of the cake to simulate the look of a bouquet of mimosa.  The closest I’ll probably get to this cake on March 8th is on the web, eating a piece vicariously unless I can find a male friend who likes me enough to go through all the trouble of making it.  On second thought I’d be just as happy to get a sprig of mimosa.

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About Pamela Marasco

Pamela Marasco is the founder and owner of The Cositutti Group, a travel and lifestyle resource for the food, wine, art and design of Northern Italy, Tuscany and Umbria where she travels extensively with her Italian family and friends taste testing regional Italian food for, a unique on-line shopping experience that connects you to the authentic flavors of the Italy. With an undergraduate degree in the biological sciences and a graduate degree in education, Pam is committed to farming practices and educational programs that ensure the true flavors of Italy are preserved and protected. You can learn more about products available through Cositutti's on-line shop at and her travels in Italy at Her recent books Seeing and Savoring Italy - A Taste and Travel Journey through Northern Italy, Tuscany and Umbria and Pasta for a Princess are available at She is the managing partner of also at times teaches on-line classes for the IUPUI School of Informatics.

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