Danubio is a salty cake originally from Campania, a region in the South of Italy. My parents went to college in Naples, which is where my mom learned this delicious dish. She used to make it for me and my sister as an afternoon snack and during parties with our classmates, I remember it fondly.

A few weeks ago it was my roommate’s birthday so I decided to have my expat friends try this Italian traditional cake. It seems my memories served me right, as everyone loved it just like people did during my childhood.

Today I’m going to post this recipe for you: it’s simple and cheap!


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter (softened and cut into cubes)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 small potato
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • Instant yeast
  • 1/2 tsp of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of salt

For the filling: 100 gr provola cheese (or gouta cheese) and 100 g cooked ham.

Boil the potato. Once cooked mash it with a fork till it gets creamy. In a bowl mix together flour, potato (still warm), salt, 1 egg, sugar, parmesan, butter, yeast and slowly pour in the milk.


Mix all the ingredients with your hands until the dough is smooth. The reason why i reccomend using your hands and not an eletric blender is because the natural warm temperature of your body will help the ingredients (especially the butter) to well mix together.


Cut ham and cheese into pieces


Divide the though into small balls


With each ball spread the dough out and place ham and cheese in the middle.


Close each ball and place them into a tall tray not too close to each other


Place the tray in a warm place and turn the oven to 180 c. After about 30 min, beat one egg in a bowl and put a light coding of egg on the outside of the balls.


Bake the Danubio for 30-40 min or until golden brown.


Let’s see how much Danubio is going to cost if you want to make it here in China.

As always for the basic ingredients ike flour, eggs, butter, milk, yeast, sugar and salt just buy them at any Chinese grocery shop. You wont end up spending more than 20 rmb max.

For the cooked ham, I used the American brand “Hormel” at 15 RMB for a 250g package, but since we are just going to use 100g it will cost around 6 RMB.

For the parmesan cheese I bought the “Kraft 100%grated parmesan cheese” 20 rmb for 85 g package. Here we just need 1/4 cup (33g) therefore around 8 RMB.

Because provola cheese is difficult to find I used Gouta as a substitute, a cheese I olso used to make the Pizza Muffin (30 RMB for the 100g we need).

In total for a 8 portion Danubio cake you are just going to spend around 65 RMB.

From a nutritional standpoint, this recipe is not what you are looking for if you are on a diet since it’s high in calories and in sodium but still has a good amount of protein.

Each serving provides:

  • Calories: 254 (from fat 108)
  • Total fat: 11.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 76 mg
  • Sodium: 1086 mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 25.8g (Fiber: 1.3 g, Sugar 1.0 g)
  • Protein: 10.4g

About the author:

An Italian living in China with a strong passion for cooking! Browse my 'left-overs' session for many tasty grub!. Follow her on Twitter / Facebook.