Ok, I found what is causing the issue: I've added the @Cache annotation to my model, and that enables the use of second-level cache. Without it, everything works fine, but without cache. Is this an intended behaviour? As a more complex test, I've excluded the module appfuse-hibernate from my pom, and imported all dependency and sources in my project. I've updated the properties in the applicationContext-dao.xml, adding the hibernate.cache.region.factory_class properties and the error disappears (there are other issues with cache, but that's another story).