The Romans in Britain site main banner

The Romans in Britain site mobile banner

Check out some great books and help the site! I have chosen these books as among the best to illustrate this subject.

Recipe for Aliter Dulcia
(Rich Sweet Cakes)

Aliter Dulcia - cake

by Apicius, VII, XI, 5

Yeah, go ahead and click here to buy this book!
The Roman Cookery of Apicius
AFAIK, this recipe comes from Edwards and was inserted by original site author (I will say again to PLEASE buy these author's books! By doing so, you will help support them — even for books that are older and might not sell as well anymore... These authors do not do this for money, they do it for love. Please support them!

The recipe can be used as an dessert at mealtimes or a snack. Aliter dulcia is a traditional dish made in the Roman Empire (and before), and as research has revealed, there are a few variations to the recipe. This is a sweet dish that was either baked as a dense, nutty cake or shaped into balls and steamed or boiled before being drenched in honey and sprinkled with nuts and black pepper.

The original recipe calls for the use of rue, a herb that grows around the Mediterranean and southwest Asia. Rue isn’t commonly available at most local markets, but... I have a rue plant growing in my Roman Herb Garden courtesy of Marcvs Equitvs Lentvlvs. If rue is not availible, you can use ground rosemary, a herb which is not all that difficult to find.

Original recipe: Piper, nucleos, mel, rutam et passum teres, cum lacte [et] tracta coques. Coagulum coque cum modicis ouis. Perfusum melle, piper aspersum inferes.

Translation: Pound pepper, pine nuts, honey, rue, and passum. Cook with milk and tracta (this was a thin pastry that the ancient Romans sometimes crumbled into dishes for starch). Cook the thickened mixture with a little egg. Serve drenched in honey and sprinkled with pepper.

Aliter Dulcia -- balls


  • Cinnamon
  • Chopped almonds
  • Ground rosemary (or rue)
  • Pastry flour
  • Baking powder
  • Sweet raisin wine
  • 1 egg
  • Honey or brown sugar
  • Filbert nuts or pecans


  • In a bowl, put the cinnamon, chopped almonds, and rosemary (or rue).
  • Add flour, baking powder, and mix.
  • Next combine sweet wine, well beaten egg, honey and milk.
  • Blend and stir into the dry ingredients.
  • Bake in hot oven for 30 minutes.
  • Pour a little honey on top of finished cake and garnish with nuts.
Visit our friends at:
Romans in Britain


Romans in Britain testudo footer art
Please just ASK before using anything on this site — like we'd say "no"...

This page last updated:
Layout and Design:
Sturmkatze Produktions AG banner