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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