Torta Della Nonna | Grandmother’s Cake

For those of you who do not speak Italian, torta della nonna translates to grandmother’s cake. Dave and I had a version of this in Sicily which included fruit. I think the next time I make it I shall try it that way.

Torta Della Nonna
Torta Della Nonna
Head straight on to the recipe for Torta Della Nonna ♥

Dave left me …. for 48 hours. At home, alone, to eat whatever I wanted and to read. The Thursday before he left for Port Elizabeth the latest Lee Child novel landed on my desk. I make a concerted effort to read the books I am sent to review in the order I receive them. But I could not wait to get stuck into Night School. On the Friday morning I dropped Dave off at the airport and then went to do some shopping. This was followed by a training session at gym and drinks with a friend. I got home and watched television and at 8pm climbed into bed with Jack Reacher! 20 minutes later I turned the light off as I was exhausted. Saturday morning I followed our usual routine of coffee in bed and made breakfast for myself. I got the ingredients ready for my torta della nonna.

Today’s #daringkitchen inspiration ♥ Recipe For Torta Della Nonna ♥ can be found on Lavender and Lime Share on X

After binge watching MasterChef Australia I made my torta and then got stuck into reading. I had a 6pm date with my iPad to ‘watch’ the race taking place in Port Elizabeth. I kept one eye on the timing and the other on the rugby, which we won’t talk about. The race finished at 9pm with a great result of first place for our one friend and third for another. I then headed back to bed where I managed another 45 minutes of reading. Sunday morning after blogs and news and catching up on Facebook I took my book downstairs and finished reading it before I had to collect Dave from the airport at 10am. This is not an unusual feat for me to finish a book so quickly but it made me happy to have accomplished it. The only baking I accomplished all weekend was this torta!

Torta Della Nonna

Click on the links for conversions and notes.
Print Recipe
4.75 from 4 votes

Torta Della Nonna

This set custard tart goes perfectly with jam
Recipe Category: Baking, Italian
Makes enough for: 1 cake
All Rights Reserved: an original recipe from Lavender and Lime


for the Italian pastry cream

  • 1 l milk
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 150 g fructose
  • 150 g flour
  • 5 mls vanilla purée

for the pastry

  • 300 g flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 150 g fructose
  • 5 mls baking powder
  • 1 pinch fine salt
  • 120 g butter, cubed
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 15 mls water
  • 1 lemon, zest only, finely chopped

for the torta

  • 40 g pine nuts
  • icing sugar for dusting


for the Italian pastry cream

  • Place the milk and lemon zest into a saucepan and place on the stove on a medium temperature
  • Bring up to blood temperature and sieve into a jug
  • Place the egg yolks and fructose into a mixing bowl and whisk until at ribbon stage
  • Slowly whisk in the flour until completely incorporated
  • Temper the eggs with the sieved milk and whisk to combine
  • Add the vanilla essence and return the custard to the sauce pan
  • Stir over a medium temperature with a wooden spoon for 5 minutes
  • Pour back into the mixing bowl and cover with cling film
  • Place into the fridge to cool completely

for the pastry

  • Sieve together the flour, fructose, baking powder and salt into a large bowl
  • Add the butter and rub in using your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs
  • Add the zest and mix in
  • Whisk together the egg yolks and water and add to the flour
  • Mix in until the dough starts to form
  • Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, shape into a ball and flatten into a disc
  • Cover with cling film and place into the fridge for 30 minutes to chill

for the torta

  • Roll the pastry out to 3mm thick and place into a lined flan tin, setting aside the leftover pastry
  • Dock the bottom of the pastry before carefully filling with the Italian pastry cream
  • Roll out the leftover pastry into a 4mm thick disc
  • Cover the top of the pastry cream with the pastry, sealing the edges using a fork
  • Place into the fridge while you preheat the oven
  • Preheat the oven to 200° Celsius
  • Top the pastry with pine nuts and bake for 35 minutes
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool before removing from the tin
  • Dust with icing sugar before serving


I baked mine for 40 minutes which was too long. Had the torta not needed so many egg yolks I would have baked it again for 35 minutes as I have noted here in the recipe

This is my contribution to this month’s Daring Kitchen Challenge hosted by Ginger-Z

Inspiration published on Lavender and Lime November 28:

Lavender and Lime Signature
Top of Page

29 thoughts on “Torta Della Nonna | Grandmother’s Cake

  1. Yum, this torta looks like it would pair perfectly with a good book! But seriously… It sounds like you had my dream weekend 🙂

  2. 4 stars
    That looks so delicious Tandy! I can imagine curling up with a good book and having a slice of this with some whipped cream for a decadant treat xx

  3. 5 stars
    Looks delicious Tandy, wish I had a piece right now;)

    When my husband travels if I’m not working I do pretty much the same thing, very enjoyable.

  4. 5 stars
    What a lovely 48 hours and of course…what a delicious tart. I haven’t tried this one before but know of it. I will definitely be doing Sicily next time!

I would ♥ to hear from you (comments will be visible when I reply)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.