Irresistible Italian Crumb Cake. Two layers of buttery cake crumble with a velvety pastry cream filling! Try this cake with Italian Chocolate Pastry Cream (Crema Pasticcera) or Best Italian Pistachio Cream fillings.
Italian crumb cake filled with Italian cream filling topped with a layer of cake crumbs creates the perfect elegant dessert for any occasion! Try the pistachio version!
A simple dessert everyone will enjoy. Traditionally served for Easter, you will crave this Italian cake all year long.
This dessert is beautiful, light, creamy, flavorful, and highly addictive!! Try the same recipe with jam filling.
You will also love these easy and simple Italian cakes Soft Italian Chocolate Cake (torta al ciocolato) , Simple Italian Apple Cake (one bowl), Italian Crostata Recipe (Jam filled Tart).
For the Cake
- All-purpose Flour
- Granulated sugar
- Baking powder
- Optional: Sliced almonds for topping
- Powdered sugar for decoration
For the Italian Cream (Crema Pasticcera)
- Egg yolks
- Granulated sugar
- Whole milk
- Vanilla bean (scrape the inside of a vanilla bean pod)
- Zest of half lemon
Step by Step Instructions with Photos
Photos 1-4. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Add the sugar. Stir to combine.
Photos 5-8. Add in the beaten egg and begin to combine with hands until roughly incorporated.
Add cold butter and start working together, with hands, to form crumble like texture.
Once the cake crumble is an even mixture of pea sized crumbles place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make Italian cream.
Photos 9-13. Place a part of the crumbly mixture into the cake pan, lightly pat down.
Spread the prepared cream* filling on top and top with the remaining crumb mixture. Optional: top with sliced almonds.
Bake cake for approximately 30-40 minutes or until lightly golden on top. Let cool before serving.
Note: this photos shows the crumb cake with the Best Italian Pistachio Cream filling.
I like to use a springform pan for cakes like these. If you don't have one you can line a cake pan or a deep dish pie dish with parchment paper and use that.
What is Italian Crumb Cake "Sbriciolata"?
I love the name sbriciolata (pronounced: sbree-cho-LAH-ta). In Italy this cake is called "sbriciolata alla crema pasticcera" this means "Italian crumble cake with custard cream".
The crumble refers to the cake layers that are actually more of a rough pastry dough than cake.
There is a layer of crumble cake, layer of the Italian cream, then topped with another layer of the crumble cake!
The result is an airy and light crumb cake that sandwiches the sweet Italian pastry cream.
It is a classic Italian dessert that you MUST TRY!
What is Italian Pastry Cream (crema pasticcera)?
Crema pasticcera, pastry cream, is one of the basic ingredients used in many Italian pastries and cakes. It's the creamy, custardy filling in tarts, layer cakes, or pastries such as puff pastries; it's also the cream filling you find in morning pastries such as these Cinnamon Sugar Baked Donuts Cream Filling!
Pro Tips for Pastry Cream:
- Room temperature eggs
- High-quality eggs and only use the egg yolk
- Whip egg yolks and sugar until thick and creamy using an electric mixer
- WHOLE MILK
- Corn starch instead of flour (makes it even lighter!)
- Stir the cream constantly while it is cooking
- Follow the recipe instructions exactly and you will achieve a great cream!
When making Italian cream in a sauce pan I recommend using a FLAT WHISK.
Use a flat whisk for whisking sauces, like roux or gravy. It's also good for custards and dishes that require frequent stirring.
The result must be a smooth, shiny cream, with a balanced firmness and the flavor must not recall the cooked egg. Italian
Pastry Cream is flavored with vanilla, often with lemon or orange zest, depending on your taste or the dessert recipe you want to make.
- Try adding a thick layer of hazelnut chocolate cream (Nutella), jam, or Italian Chocolate Pastry Cream (Crema Pasticcera) as the middle layer to this cake!
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This easy Italian Cream Crumb Cake, makes the perfect Dessert or Snack Cake. A buttery cookie crumbly base filled with a creamy pastry cream filling then topped with more crumb topping and baked to perfection!Print
Italian Cream Crumb Cake (sbriciolata)
Italian crumb cake filled with Italian cream filling topped with a layer of cake crumbs creates the perfect elegant dessert for any occasion! A simple dessert everyone will enjoy. Traditionally served for Easter, you will crave this Italian cake all year long.
- Total Time: 70 minutes
- Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
- 2 cups All purpose Flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup + 3 tablespoons butter (very cold and cut into cubes)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3 teaspoon baking powder
- Optional: ½ cup sliced almonds for topping
- powdered sugar for decoration
Italian Cream (Crema Pasticcera)
- 4 medium egg yolks
- 80 g (⅔ cup) of granulated sugar
- 40 g (⅓ cup) of cornstarch
- ½ liter (2 cups) of whole milk
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla bean (scrape the inside of a vanilla bean pod)
- zest of half lemon
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a round spring form pan (22 cm) or deep dish pie pan with parchment paper. Press parchment to fit sides of the dish (the cake will weigh it down when you put it in the dish).
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Add the sugar. Stir to combine.
- Add in the beaten egg and begin to combine with hands until roughly incorporated.
- Add cold butter and start working together, with hands, to form crumble like texture. Once the cake crumble is an even mixture of pea sized crumbles place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make Italian Cream.
Italian Cream (Crema Pasticcera)
- In a medium mixing bowl whip the egg yolks and sugar with an electric mixer until light and foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the corn starch and mix again for 1-2 minutes until smooth and combined.
- In a sauce pan heat the milk on low heat. Add lemon zest and vanilla bean. Stir to combine. Now, turn heat to medium and heat milk until a soft boil (little bubbles on the sides and steam starts to form).
- When the milk is hot, remove from heat. Using a whisk- start adding the beaten egg, sugar, and cornstarch mixture, a little at a time into the milk. It’s very important to stir constantly until you achieve a unified mixture.
- Put the saucepan back on low heat and continue whisking. Simmer for about 3-4 minutes until the cream begins to thicken. It’s very important that the cream NEVER BOILS. In this way you have a smooth cream without lumps and without chunks of cooked egg.
- If you have a cooking thermometer you can check that the temperature never exceeds 85°C (185 F). Otherwise, as soon as you see that bubbles begin to form in the cream, lower the heat. You can even remove it from the heat for a few seconds and put it back. This step is the only difficult step in the Pastry Cream recipe.
- When the cream is well thickened, immediately pour it into a cold glass container. Important to remove the cream immediately from hot saucepan to prevent it from cooking longer.
- While cooling, cover the cream with plastic wrap. Keep it in contact with the cream. This step is to avoid forming a skin on the cream surface.
Assemble cake and cream:
- Take cake crumble out of the refrigerator. Layer half of the mixture in the prepared cake pan. gently press to form an even layer on the bottom and about ½" inch on the sides of the pan.
- Add the prepared Italian cream on top of the crumb layer and spread evenly to make a uniform layer.
- Add the rest of the cake crumb on top of the cream layer. Gently form a uniform layer with hands. Do not press down. Optional: sprinkle with almonds.
- Bake 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes. Let cake cool before cutting and serving. Before serving dust with powdered sugar, Store leftovers in refrigerator.
- Prep Time: 30 min
- Cook Time: 30-40 min
- Category: Sweet/ Dessert
- Method: Italian
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Italian dessert, pastry cream, crema pasticcera, Italian crumble cake, Italian cream cake, Coffee cake, Italian cake,
John O says
Totally love your site and all the amazing recipes! I made the Italian Cream Crumble for Easter and it was just perfect! I made two so I could test it before hand and let’s just say it was 6 am and I was thrilled! It was chilled overnight and left to warm before sampling. The cream was perfect. The crumble was perfect. Thank you!!
Yes! So happy you loved it as much as we do. It is a favorite and loved by all.
I made this today for my Italian in-laws and everyone loved it! I was glad I made extra pastry cream filling because I ate half of it with a spoon before assembling this dessert 🙂
Ha! Yes, that is often the case with that sweet and luscious pastry cream. I just made the pistachio version- yumm!
We make this cake often and love it. It reminds me of home!
Jesse Overton says
I was intimidated going into this one, but your step by step instruction helped me make a beautiful dish! My family and I loved it.
So happy you loved it. We also love to do the jam filling version!