Best Sardinian Pardulas Recipe (Ricotta Cakes)

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Best Sardinian Pardulas Recipe (Ricotta Cakes)- The most traditional Sardinian Pardulas recipe you will find online! Pardulas are a delicious sweet ricotta, and saffron treat from Sardinia, Italy (my home!). Enjoy a taste of Sardegna with every bite.

Serve after enjoying Sardinian Pasta with Sausage.

Best Sardinian Pardulas Recipe (Ricotta Cakes)- close up of baked pardulas with powdered sugar.
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Pardulas, also known as casadinas or formaggelle, are typical Sardinian desserts that are prepared for the Easter holidays, but can be enjoyed year-round or on other festive occasions. Little pastry circles stuffed with soft ricotta cheese, flavored with lemon and orange peel and saffron, then decorated with colored sprinkles or simply with powdered sugar.

They are my all-time favorite Sardinian dessert from my childhood. Pardulas are a true embodiment of Sardinian gastronomy. These special treats make an appearance at all our family gatherings in Sardegna.

You’ll also love Savoiardi Cookies, Amaretti, Almond Cake, and Saffron Buns with Cream Filling.

Best Sardinian Pardulas Recipe (Ricotta Cakes)- bite taken out of one pardulas. soft interior. other pardulas in the background.

Simple Ingredients

Traditionally, we use sheep’s milk ricotta in Sardegna for the filling since it is common there. Since that is hard to find in other parts of the world, we use high-quality whole milk ricotta. For all the main ingredients use good quality for the best results.

ingredients for pastry crust.

Dough

ingredients for ricotta filling.

Filling

  • Fresh sheep’s milk ricotta cheese (if unavailable, cow’s milk fresh ricotta- whole milk), well-drained
  • Italian 00 flour, or all-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Sugar
  • Egg yolks, room temperature 
  • Lemon zest
  • Grated orange zest
  • Saffron threads (crushed and dissolved in 1 tablespoon warm water)

See the recipe card for quantities.

Traditional Sardinian Pardulas

These delectable ricotta cakes embody Sardinia’s rich cultural heritage, showcasing the finest ingredients and time-honored techniques passed down through generations.

They make the most delightful dessert with their golden hue, delicate saffron aroma, and luscious ricotta cream filling.

Best Sardinian Pardulas Recipe (Ricotta Cakes)- dust with podered sugar and serve.

How to Make the Best Sardinian Pardulas Recipe (Ricotta Cakes) Step-by-Step Photos

You will love this traditional dessert made in Sardinia. It is one of my favorite Sardinian sweets.

Pastry Dough

How to make Sardinian Pardulas Recipe- mix flours with butter and combine in bowl.

Combine the semolina flour, flour, salt, and softened butter in a large bowl. Mix with your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs and the butter chunks are covered in flour.

How to make Sardinian Pardulas Recipe- mix egg whites and water in a separate bowl.

Whisk together the egg whites and water in a separate bowl until well combined.

How to make Sardinian Pardulas Recipe- mix wet and dry ingredients and make a smooth dough ball. Let rest for 1 hour.

Add the egg white and water to the bowl with flour and butter. Mix everything until a forms. You can use a stand mixer or knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface.

How to make Sardinian Pardulas Recipe- after dough rises divide in half.

Once combined and smooth dough forms, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

How to make Sardinian Pardulas Recipe- start rolling out dough.

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
Take half of the soft dough and roll it out with a pasta roller or rolling pin it into thin sheets.

How to make Sardinian Pardulas Recipe- roll dough until thin.

If you use this pasta machine, it is a 4-5 setting until you reach a thin sheet of pastry.

How to make Sardinian Pardulas Recipe- cut dough out in circles with a round cookie cutter.

Cut into circles about 3- 3.5 inches in diameter using a round cookie cutter.

Ricotta Cream Mixture

How to make Sardinian Pardulas Recipe- Mix all the ricotta ingredient in a bowl until smooth.

In a separate bowl, prepare the filling by combining the ricotta cheese, saffron water, sugar, egg yolks, lemon zest, and orange zest. Using a hand mixer, or stand mixer with whisk attachment,  beat until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. 

How to make Sardinian Pardulas Recipe- mix wet and dry ingredients and make a smooth dough ball. Add the flour and mix again until combined.

Sift in the flour and mix until well combined. 

How to make Sardinian Pardulas Recipe- mix wet and dry ingredients and make a smooth dough ball. Add the flour and mix again until combined.

Ricotta filling is ready to use to fill the pastry dough.

Assemble and Bake

How to make Sardinian Pardulas Recipe- place pastry dough circles on a cookie sheet and fill with the ricotta filling.

Add 1 tablespoon of the ricotta saffron filling to the center of each disk. Pinch the edges of the dough in 6 places to make the traditional pardulas shape (resembles a star shape).

How to make Sardinian Pardulas Recipe- place pastry dough circles on a cookie sheet and fill with the ricotta filling. Bake on a cookie sheet.

Repeat with the rest of the pastry shell and filling. 
Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Lightly brush with egg wash and bake for 25-30 minutes in preheated oven or until lightly golden brown. Turn off the oven and let the pardulas rest in the oven for 10 more minutes before taking them out. This trick helps the pardulas keep their shape. Cool on a wire rack. 

How to make Sardinian Pardulas Recipe- baked pardulas on a cookie sheet.

Dust with powdered sugar (icing sugar) or brush with honey and decorate with colorful sprinkles. Enjoy a taste of Sardegna!

The tender, crumbly dough perfectly complements the creamy and sweet ricotta filling, creating a delightful textural contrast. With each bite, you’ll experience Sardinian cuisine’s rich and traditional flavors, leaving you craving more. Enjoy a taste of Sardinia!

Best Sardinian Pardulas Recipe (Ricotta Cakes)- after baking. on a wood cutting board.

Equipment

How to Store Pardulas

To store Sardinian Pardulas, cool them completely and place them in an airtight container or bag. Store them at room temperature in a cool, dry place for up to 2-3 days, or freeze them for up to a month by separating the layers with parchment paper. Thaw them at room temperature before enjoying or lightly warm them in the oven if desired.

Top tips

  1. Use high-quality ingredients: Opt for fresh sheep’s milk ricotta cheese if available, as it provides a rich and authentic flavor. Choose fine semolina flour and fresh saffron threads for the best results.
  2. Ensure the dough consistency: When mixing the dough ingredients, aim for a dough that holds together but is not overly sticky. Adjust the amount of flour or butter if needed to achieve the right consistency.
  3. Properly seal the filling: When forming the Pardulas, make sure to seal the dough tightly around the filling to prevent leakage during baking. This will help maintain their shape and preserve the creamy ricotta center.
  4. Let the dough rest before rolling and baking.
  5. Avoid overcrowding the baking pan: Give each Pardula enough space on the baking pan or muffin tin to expand and cook evenly. Overcrowding can result in uneven baking and affect the final texture.
  6. Monitor the baking time: Keep a close eye on the Pardulas while they bake to prevent over-browning. The goal is to achieve a golden color on the outside while maintaining a moist and tender interior.
  7. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving: Wait until the Pardulas have completely cooled before dusting them with powdered sugar. This ensures a clean and visually appealing presentation.
  8. Enjoy at their best: Sardinian Pardulas are typically enjoyed within a day or two of baking when they are at their freshest. Serve them at room temperature to fully appreciate their flavors and textures.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating delicious and authentic Sardinian Pardulas.

Best Pardulas Recipe

This top-rated traditional Pardulas recipe incorporates the vibrant flavors of saffron, lemon zest, and orange zest into the dough and filling, resulting in a delightful and authentic Sardinian dessert. Enjoy these golden treats that have garnered rave reviews from those who have tested them!

Best Sardinian Pardulas Recipe (Ricotta Cakes)- bite taken out of one pardulas. soft interior. other pardulas in the background.

FAQs

Origins of Pardulas

The exact origin of Pardulas is uncertain, but they are believed to have been created centuries ago by the ancient Nuragic civilization that inhabited Sardinia. They are common in the Nuoro area and popular all over Sardinia. Pardulas were traditionally prepared as a special dessert during religious festivals and celebrations, particularly during the Easter holidays.

Can I omit saffron from the recipe?

While saffron is a traditional ingredient in Pardulas and adds a unique flavor and color, you can omit it if desired. The resulting Pardulas will still be delicious, though they may lack the distinct saffron aroma and vibrant yellow color.

Can I make the dough and filling in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the dough and filling in advance and store them separately in the refrigerator. Just bring them to room temperature before assembling and baking the Pardulas.

How long do Pardulas stay fresh?

Pardulas can stay fresh for up to 2-3 days when stored at room temperature in an airtight container. If frozen, they can be stored for up to a month. If frozen, thaw them at room temperature before enjoying.

Looking for other recipes? Try these:

What to serve with Sardinian Pardulas Recipe

These are my favorite dishes to serve with Pardulas :

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Best Sardinian Pardulas Recipe (Ricotta Cakes)

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Best Sardinian Pardulas Recipe (Ricotta Cakes)- The most traditional Sardinian Pardulas recipe you will find online! Pardulas are a delicious sweet ricotta, and saffron treat from Sardinia, Italy (my home!). Enjoy a taste of Sardegna with every bite of these small cakes.

  • Total Time: 1 hr 10 minutes
  • Yield: 340 count 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale

For the dough

  • 2 cups Italian 00 flour, or all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups semolina flour
  • 2 egg whites , room temperature
  • 1/4 cup water, lukewarm, more if needed
  • 1/2 cup lard or unsalted butter, softened
  • pinch of salt

For the filling

  • 2 1/2 cups fresh sheep’s milk ricotta cheese (if unavailable, cow’s milk ricotta- whole milk), well-drained
  • 1 cup Italian 00 flour, or all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks, room temperature
  • Lemon zest, from one large lemon
  • Grated orange zest, from one large orange
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads (crushed and dissolved in 1 tablespoon warm water)
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder

Instructions

For the Dough

  1. Combine the semolina flour, flour, salt, and softened butter in a large bowl. Mix with your hands until the mixture resembles a rough crumble.
  2. Whisk together the egg whites and water in a separate bowl until well combined.
  3. Add the egg white and water to the bowl with flour and butter. Mix everything until a dough forms. If the dough seems too wet, add a bit of flour. If it seems too dry, add a bit of water. You can use a stand mixer or knead the dough on a lightly floured surface. The dough will be slightly sticky. Once combined and smooth dough forms, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30-60 minutes. 

For the Filling

  1. In a separate bowl, prepare the filling by combining the ricotta cheese, saffron water, sugar, egg yolks, lemon zest, and orange zest. Using a hand mixer, or stand mixer with whisk attachment,  beat until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. 
  2. Sift in the flour and baking powder and mix until well combined. 

Baking and Assembly

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Take half of the dough and roll it out with a pasta roller or rolling pin it into thin sheets. If you use this pasta machine, it is a 5-6 setting. If the sheets get too long when rolling, you can cut the dough sheet in half again so it is easier to handle. 
  3. Cut into dough circles about 3- 3.5 inches in diameter using a round cookie cutter. You can save the excess dough scraps, bake them separately, and sprinkle them with sugar before baking. 
  4. Add 1 heaping tablespoon of the ricotta saffron filling to the center of each disk. Pinch the edges of the dough in 6 places to make the traditional pardulas shape (star-shaped tartlets). Repeat with the rest of the dough and filling. 
  5. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Lightly brush the tops of the pardulas with egg wash (optional). Bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
  6. Turn off the oven and let the pardulas rest for 10 more minutes before taking them out. This trick helps the pardulas keep their shape. Cool on a wire rack. 
  7. Dust with powdered sugar (icing sugar) or brush with honey and decorate with colorful sprinkles. Enjoy a taste of Sardegna!

Notes

TOP TIPS

Use high-quality ingredients: Opt for fresh sheep’s milk ricotta cheese if available, as it provides a rich and authentic flavor. Choose fine semolina flour and fresh saffron threads for the best results.

Ensure the dough consistency: When mixing the dough ingredients, aim for a dough that holds together but is not overly sticky. Adjust the amount of flour or butter if needed to achieve the right consistency.

Properly seal the filling: When forming the Pardulas, make sure to seal the dough tightly around the filling to prevent leakage during baking. This will help maintain their shape and preserve the creamy ricotta center.

Let the dough rest before rolling and baking.

Avoid overcrowding the baking pan: Give each Pardula enough space on the baking pan or muffin tin to expand and cook evenly. Overcrowding can result in uneven baking and affect the final texture.

Monitor the baking time: Keep a close eye on the Pardulas while they bake to prevent over-browning. The goal is to achieve a golden color on the outside while maintaining a moist and tender interior.

Dust with powdered sugar just before serving: Wait until the Pardulas have completely cooled before dusting them with powdered sugar. This ensures a clean and visually appealing presentation.

 

Enjoy at their best: Sardinian Pardulas are typically enjoyed within a day or two of baking when they are at their freshest. Serve them at room temperature to fully appreciate their flavors and textures.

  • Author: Elena Davis
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Sweet
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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