12 Most Famous Italian Cakes and Pastries

Everyone loves Italian cuisine and it’s no surprise why: over thousands of years, Italian food has been a strong part of the country’s culture with some of the best chefs in the world maintaining these traditions today. But don’t just stick with the pasta and the different kinds of pizza native to the country, there are plenty of baked goods that the Italians have perfected over the years. Here are some of the best cakes and pastries from the Boot that you absolutely have to try.

1 – Tiramisu

This one is very obvious, so we’ll put it at the top of the list. For the uninitiated, tiramisu is a coffee-flavoured layered cake with pudding and pastry. It is typically made with egg yolk, savoiardi (like a lady finger biscuit), mascarpone (cream cheese), coffee, and cocoa, and it is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser every time.

2 – Cannoli

Whether cannolis are a regular part of your dessert time or you’ve only heard about it from the Godfather’s famous quote: “Leave the gun, take the cannoli”, it’s definitely a dessert that everyone should try at least once. Essentially, it’s a pastry shell encasing a ricotta-based cream filling. It’s simple, it’s sweet, and it’s delicious.

3 – Biscotti

If you’ve heard of this dessert before, it’s probably because it’s Italy’s most famous cookie. Biscotti is crunchy and has a very delicate taste. It can also be easily adapted to hold cranberries, mulberries, etc. It’s also a pretty basic recipe if you were interested in making it yourself. You really just need some eggs, flour, vanilla, almond extract, sugar, butter, brandy, baking powder and salt.

4 – Sfogliatella

Also known as the ‘lobster tail’, sfogliatella is a light-weight, fluffy pastry that has a lot of variations to it (you can virtually put anything inside!). It originated in Campania and became popular in Naples when a famous pastry chef acquired the original recipe in 1818. Since then, it has been an Italian favourite in many restaurants.

5 – Siena Panforte

The panforte is a dense Italian pastry that typically holds nuts, honey, fruits, sugar and different spices. While it has become a popular Italian treat, the recipe for Siena Panforte actually originated in Turkey.

6 – Semifreddo

Semifreddo covers a subclass of semi-frozen desserts, looking a lot like ice cream with whipped eggs, cream and other toppings. It is often made in layers with cake, melted chocolate and other confections. It is also known as an ice cream cake and has become very popular in North America through franchises like Dairy Queen. Nothing beats the authentic Italian dessert, though!

7 – Bomboloni

Do you like doughnuts? Then you will probably enjoy the bomboloni. The bomboloni is a powdered doughnut with a liquid filling. For the most part, these desserts have nutella filling, but they can also have apricot jam filling, marmalade, and custard. The bomboloni quickly became popular in New York when this pastry was introduced in the United States.

8 – Genoise

Many cultures have their own take on the sponge cake. In Italy, that take is called the “genoise”, a sponge cake that earned its name from the city of Genoa. It represents the intersection of Italian and French cuisine. It can come in a plain sponge cake or vanilla flavour or it can come in a chocolate variant. With the main ingredients consisting of flour, egg and sugar, it is a pretty basic dessert that goes a long way.

9 – Crostata

The crostata appears to be any regular pie, but the crust topping is very intricately latticed over the body of the pie. It is believed to have originated from Neapolitan baking back in the late 1400’s and now stands as a very popular Italian pastry. Sweet pies are generally made with a fruit jam while savory pies rely on ricotta. They can either come in a large pie form or small pastry.

10 – Struffoli

Another great Neapolitan dessert is the struffoli, a dish comprised of many deep-fried sweet dough balls, often topped with a powdered sugar. The traditional way of making these sweets is to mix the dough in a mix of honey, cinnamon and some orange rind bits. Ideally, the pastries should be crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

11 – Zeppole

Another decent deep-fried Italian treat is the Zeppole. This deep-fried ball of dough is often fixed up to take on a swirl design topped off with custard, fruit jam, chocolate etc. It can be presented as a light, fluffier pastry or its consistency can be as hard as bread.

12 – Zippuli

Continuing this streak of deep-fried pastries, we have the Zippuli as one of Italy’s most beloved desserts. Originating from Calabria, Italy, it is known savory dish often made with potatoes and sometimes anchovies with the dough being prepared with fresh parsley before being deep-fried.

You Might Also Like

No Comments

    Leave a Reply