Go Back Email Link
+ servings
Torta della Nonna with a Sprinkling of Powdered Sugar

Torta della Nonna with a Sprinkling of Powdered Sugar

Torta della Nonna is a traditional Italian cake that is popular all across the country.
4.58 from 7 votes
Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Additional Time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs 25 mins
Course Cakes and Pies
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 servings


  • pine nuts
  • powdered sugar

French Shortcrust Pastry (Pate Sable)

  • 175 g flour 00 6.2 oz
  • 75 g powdered sugar 2.6 oz
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 100 g cold butter 3.5 oz
  • a pinch of salt

Pastry Cream

  • 3 egg yolk
  • 70 g sugar 2.46 oz
  • 30 g corn starch 2.5 tbsp
  • 250 ml whole milk 1 cup
  • 1 scraped vanilla bean
  • 1 grated lemon peel


French Shortcrust Pastry (Pate Sable)

  • Put the flour, sugar, and butter, cut in small pieces, in a food processor until they become a sandy mixture.
  • Put the mixture over on a pastry board; dig a hole in the center of the mixture and add the egg yolks, and salt.
  • Using a fork, beat together the eggs and begin to incorporate the mixture of flour, starting with the inner rim of the hole.
  • Knead everything until you get a smooth and homogeneous dough.
  • Wrap the dough in transparent paper and put it in the fridge for 1 hr.

Pastry Cream

  • Put the milk with the scraped vanilla pod in a small saucepan, and bring it to a boil.
  • Remove the pan from the stove and filter the milk.
  • Separately, in a bowl pour the egg yolks, the vanilla caviar, sugar, and the grated zest.
  • Whisk vigorously until completely combined.
  • When the mixture is blended, add the cornstarch sieved in, stir well to incorporate it.
  • Pour the milk into the mixture of egg yolks, sugar, and rice starch.
  • Put on the stove and stir constantly with a whisk (the egg begins to coagulate at 52 °C (125.6°F) temperature; the cooking should stop when it reaches just 67°C (152.6°F).
  • Remove the cream from the stove as soon as it starts to thicken.
  • Cool it quickly by pouring it into a cold pan and continue to stir with a whisk bringing it to a temperature below 50°C (122°F), this allows it to maintain the consistency of the cream intact.
  • Cover with plastic wrap in contact with the surface of the cream, let it finish cooling at room temperature.


  • Remove the pastry from the fridge, divide it in two, work one piece with a rolling pin to form a 1/2 cm (0.2 inch) thick disk to line the greased and floured baking pan (6 inches).
  • Cut the excess of shortcrust with a knife.
  • Prick the dough with the tines of a fork without piercing it all the way.
  • Pour in it the cream pastry and level it with the help of a spoon.
  • Roll out the remaining pastry disk to an 0.2-inch-thick circle and set it over the leveled cream.
  • Seal the edges by pressing them lightly with the tines of a fork.
  • Brush the surface with beaten egg.
  • Sprinkle with pine nuts and bake it in the preheated oven at 168°C (335°F) for 45-50 minutes.
  • After letting it cool completely, serve it by sprinkling it with powdered sugar.


Keyword baking, Italian cake, torta della nonna
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!