Italian Crumb Cake with Pistachio Cream (Sbriciolata)

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Irresistible Italian Crumb Cake with Pistachio Cream. Two layers of buttery cake crumble with a velvety pistachio pastry cream filling!

Try this cake with Italian Chocolate Pastry Cream. Or, make the vanilla cream version Italian Cream Crumb Cake.

Easy and simple Italian cakes you will love: Soft Italian Chocolate Cake (torta al ciocolato)Simple Italian Apple Cake (one bowl) and my pear cake recipe.

Italian crumb cake on a parchment paper.
Beautiful Italian crumb cake with pistachio cream filling.
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For the Cake

  • All purpose Flour
  • Granulated sugar 
  • Butter
  • Egg
  • Baking powder 
  • Optional: crushed pistachios or sliced almonds for topping
Cake layer ingredients
Ingredients for crumb cake layer

For the Pistachio Cream

  • Egg yolks
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Pistachio Paste (blended, shelled, and blanched pistachios)
  • Milk
  • Vanilla extract

Step by Step instructions for Best Italian Pistachio Cream

Ingredients for pistachio pastry cream
Ingredients for the pistachio pastry cream

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.

Instructions for mixing dry ingredients.
Mixing dry ingredients for crumb cake

Photos 5-8. First, add in the beaten egg to the dry ingredients. Combine the egg and dry ingredients with your hands until roughly incorporated.

Add cold butter and start working together, with hands, to form crumble like texture.

After the cake crumble is an even mixture of pea sized crumbles place it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

While the cake mixture is resting in the fridge- make Italian Pistachio Cream

instructions on mixing wet and dry ingredients.
Adding the wet ingredients to the dry mixture

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: add crushed pistachios on top of the final crumb layer.

Then, bake the cake for approximately 30-35 minutes, or until lightly golden on top. Cool cake before serving.

Instructions on putting ingredients in a cake pan.
Final process of layering the cake before baking

Baking Pan

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.

Italian crumb cake in a black pan.
Cake in springform baking pan

Pistachio Pastry Cream

This dessert is beautiful, light, creamy, flavorful, and highly addictive!! Try the pistachio cream in this recipe Traditional Italian Cream Horns (Cannoncini), or add it as a filling to BEST Authentic Sicilian Cannoli Recipe.

Italian crumb cake with a slice taken out with a serving tool.
Soft cake crumb and delicious pistachio filling.

What is Italian Crumb Cake “Sbriciolata”?

I love the name sbriciolata (pronounced: sbree-cho-LAH-ta).

Let’s look at the composition of this cake. First, there is a layer of crumble cake. Second, add a layer of the Italian pistachio cream. Finally, add another layer of the crumble cake mixture!

The result is an airy and light crumb cake that sandwiches the sweet pistachio pastry cream.

It is a classic Italian dessert that you MUST TRY!

Italian crumb cake on a plate and on a platter.
Beautiful dessert for any occasion!


If you love this pistachio pastry cream try adding it to these simple desserts: Cinnamon Sugar Baked Donuts Cream Filling, Puff Pastry filled with Italian Chocolate Cream, and Italian Crostata Recipe (Jam filled Tart).

More Dessert Recipes for you:

Frozen Lemon Dessert (Creamy Lemony Treat)

Best Basic Italian Biscotti (Cantucci) Dough

Authentic Italian Wedding Cookies (Anginetti)

Poppy Seed Cake with Orange Almond Vanilla Glaze

Italian Custard Tart

Italian crumb cake on a plate and on a platter.

More Pistachio Recipes for you:

Roasted Rack of Lamb Pistachio Crust

Arugula, Apple, and Pistachio Salad in Parmigiano Cups

Italian crumb cake on a plate with a fork.
Delicious Italian crumb cake with pistachio cream on a plate.

Italian Crumb Cake with Pistachio Cream (Sbriciolata) is a simple dessert everyone will enjoy. Traditionally served for Easter, you will crave this Italian cake all year long.  

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Italian Crumb Cake with Pistachio Cream (Sbriciolata) the entire cake photo taken from above. Parchment paper surrounds the cake.

Italian Crumb Cake with Pistachio Cream (Sbriciolata)

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5 from 2 reviews

Irresistible Italian Crumb Cake with Pistachio Cream. Two layers of buttery cake crumble with a velvety pistachio pastry cream filling!

  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


Units Scale


  • 2 cups All purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons butter (very cold and cut into cubes)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • Optional: 1/2 cup crushed pistachios for topping

Pistachio Cream

  • 4 medium egg yolks, discard whites
  • 80 g (2/3 Cup) of granulated sugar
  • 45 g (1/3 Cup+ 1 tablespoon) of cornstarch
  • 3.5 oz (100 gr) blanched pistachios
  • 1/2 liter (2 Cups) of whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract




  1.  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).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Add the sugar. Stir to combine.
  3. Add in the beaten egg and begin to combine with hands until roughly incorporated.
  4. 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 pistachio cream.

Pistachio Cream 

For the Pistachios

  1. Bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil and add the shelled pistachios. Let them boil for 4 minutes then drain them and place them on a clean kitchen towel.
  2. Fold the towel over and rub the pistachios in the towel to loosen the skins. Separate the pistachios from the skins and discard the skins.
  3. Add the pistachios to a food processor (or high power blender) with only ¼ cup (60ml) of the milk. Keep pulsing on high on and off for 5 minutes until the pistachios turn into a smooth paste. Stop the food processor 3-4 times to scrape down the sides.
  4.  Leave pistachio mixture in the blender. Cover and set aside. Start making the cream.

For the Cream

    1. In a medium mixing bowl whip the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch with an electric mixer until light and foamy, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
    2.  Add the egg and cornstarch mixture to the blender with the pistachio cream. Mix until combined and smooth- this is your pistachio mixture. Set aside.
    3.  In a sauce pan heat the milk. Turn heat to medium and warm milk until a soft boil (little bubbles on the sides and steam starts to form).
    4. When the milk is hot, remove from heat. Using a whisk- start adding the pistachio mixture, a little at a time into the milk. It’s very important to stir constantly until you achieve a unified mixture.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Keep cooking on low medium heat until cream is thickened. When the cream is well thickened (it will stick to the back of a spoon and not drip off), remove from heat and add vanilla extract.
    8. Immediately pour it into a cold glass container. Important to remove the pistachio cream immediately from hot saucepan to prevent it from cooking longer.

Assemble cake and cream:

  1.  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 1/2″ inch on the sides of the pan.
  2. Add the prepared Italian cream on top of the crumb layer and spread evenly to make a uniform layer.
  3. 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.
  4. Bake 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes. Let cake cool before cutting and serving. Before serving dust with powdered sugar, Store leftovers in refrigerator.


See the detailed photo instructions for the pistachio pastry cream.

  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30-35 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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  1. I made this and it was very good . I had some leftover pistachio cream I made with your recipe as well which turned out fabulous .
    Thank you !! It’s a keeper

  2. I have store bought pistachio cream, I can’t see how much the recipe calls for just the ingredients in how to make it. Do you have a ml amount of pistachio cream that I should add?

    1. Store bought pistachio cream is much thicker and will result in a more dense layer in the middle. You can spread an even layer about 1/2 thick as directed before adding the crumble layer.

    1. Yes, you can! It will not affect the baking time. Some store-bought pistachio creams can be very thick. You can always dilute it a little bit with heavy cream to make it easier to spread. Enjoy!