Torta della Nonna

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Italian Grandma's Cake

The authentic Torta della Nonna recipe is made with a sweet shortcrust pastry case filled with pastry cream, topped with pine nuts and finally dusted with powdered sugar!

For the Pasta Frolla –  all purpose flour  – sugar –  butter – 1  egg – 1 egg yolk –  salt – baking powder – grated zest For the Pastry Cream – egg yolks – sugar – all purpose flour – milk – vanilla bean or lemon zest For Decoration – pine nuts – powered sugar

How to Make It


Place the flour on a work surface and make a hole in the center. Pour the sugar, lemon zest (optional), salt and eggs at room temperature.

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Make the Pasta Frolla


Mix then add the cold butter. Knead quickly until the dough is homogeneous and non-sticky.


Form a loaf and cover it with cling film.. 

Let it cool in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.


In a saucepan mix the egg yolks with the sugar, using a wooden spoon. Then add the sifted flour a little bit at a time.

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Make the Pastry Cream


Keep stirring for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is blended. Then set aside.


Bring the milk almost to a boil. Remove from the heat and pour it into the mixture of sugar, eggs and flour. Then put on low heat and cook for another 3-4 minutes.



When the cream is dense, pour it into a bowl. Cover the cream with plastic wrap and let it cool in the refrigerator.

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Flour a pastry board and roll out 2/3 of pasta frolla with a rolling pin until it's about 4 mm (1/6 inch) thick. Store the remaining dough wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator.

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Make Torta della Nonna


Arrange the shortcrust pastry on the cake pan. Remove the excess dough then prick the bottom with a fork so it does not puff up during baking.


Now take the pastry cream set aside and mix it to make it creamy all over again. Pour it into the pastry case. Finally level it with a spoon to spread it evenly.


Roll out the remaining shortcrust pastry. Then place it on top of the custard. 

Remove the excess pastry and use your fingers to seal the edges. Finally prick the surface with a fork.


Sprinkle the entire surface of the tart with the pine nuts. Bake in a static oven at 170°C (338°F) for about 45 minutes, until the pine nuts are well toasted.

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