Pionono – Cooking with Valentina

Pionono is a sponge cake filled with delicious ingredients and rolled into a cylinder shape.

Over time, Pionono has spread from Spain across the ocean to find popularity in many Latin American countries, each culture adding their own unique flair and flavor to it.

How would you like to have a dessert named after you? Pope Pius IX (Pio Nono in Italian) served as pope in Spain from 1846 to 1878. The story goes that the people of Andalusia, Spain wanted to honor the visit of this special pope with the invention of a special dessert. Discontent with a normal cake, the rolled sponge cake into a cylinder shape and filled it with cream, topped it with cinnamon and sugar, and presented it to the pope as “Pionono.” Thus, a new delicious pastry was introduced to the world. 

Over time, Pionono has spread from Spain across the ocean to find popularity in many Latin American countries, each culture adding their own unique flair and flavor to it. Dulce de leche, whipped cream, chocolate, fruit preserves, jelly, cream cheese, and even Nutella are modern fillings to this dessert. In Venezuela, Pionono is a special dessert enjoyed where people come together to bake and eat on Christmas eve as a tradition to welcome in the holiday. You can start your own family tradition and bake Pionono together now. 


Utensils (English and Spanish)

  • Blender (Batidora)
  • Scale (Gramera)
  • Wax paper (Papel mantequilla)
  • Oven (Horno)
  • Baking sheet (Bandeja de horno)
  • Bowls (Bowls)
  • Spatula (Espátula)
  • Knife (Cuchillo)
  • Strainer (Colador)


Ingredients (English and Spanish)

  • Sugar (azúcar) – 5.29 ounces 
  • Eggs (huevos) – 5 
  • Vanilla (esencia de vainilla) – 1 teaspoon
  • Flour (harina) – 5.29 ounces
  • Strawberries (fresas)
  • Heavy cream (crema de leche) – 3.57 ounces
  • Sugar (azúcar) – 2 ounces


Instructions – Watch Video HERE



  1. To begin, beat the eggs with the sugar and honey until smooth. Then, you add the salt and vanilla essence.
  2. Pass the flour through the strainer and add to the batter, inside the mixer running at low speed.
  3. Then, you place the dough on the tray. It should be evenly papered and greased and stored in the refrigerator.
  4. You put it in the oven at a temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and immediately turn out onto a rack or the counter to cool. If you bake several Piononos, stack them to maintain moisture.
  6. Put a layer of whipped cream, and cut strawberries on top of the cream and roll it up.
  7. Enjoy!



  1. Para empezar, bate los huevos con el azúcar y la miel hasta que quede suave. Luego, agregas la sal y la esencia de vainilla.
  2. Pasar la harina por el colador y agregar a la masa, dentro de la batidora funcionando a velocidad baja.
  3. Luego, colocas la masa en la bandeja. Debe empapelarse y engrasarse uniformemente y guardarse en el frigorífico.
  4. Lo metes al horno a una temperatura de 350 grados Fahrenheit durante 8 a 10 minutos.
  5. Retirar del horno e inmediatamente colocar sobre una rejilla o encimera para que se enfríe. Si horneas varios pionosos, apílalos para mantener la humedad.
  6. Pones una capa de nata montada, cortas fresas encima de la nata y la enrollas.
  7. ¡Disfrutar!


Did you enjoy making the Pionono dessert? The best way for your child to learn about traditions in Latin American countries is to sign them up for Cultural Bytes’ ViLaCa (Virtual Language Camp). They will be immersed in the Spanish language and culture as they participate in activities, crafts, games, and recipes from all of the 21 Spanish speaking countries. 




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