Saturday, July 10, 2021

Torta Nua (Soft Italian Cake with Custard Cream)

Sweeten up your day with a slice of this Italian soft and moist, delicate and delicious cake filled with Italian crema pasticcera 

Italian Cake with custard cream

Today I'd like to share with you a recipe for this soft and moist, easy to make Italian cake stuffed with a delicate and rich custard cream. 

Perfect for breakfast, snack time or dessert!

Italian Cake with custard cream

I don't honestly know where the name "torta Nua" comes from. And in my opinion should be called something more interesting and dazzling ... and as delicious and drool-inducing as the cake itself. 
Maybe because I love any dessert with rich and velvety cream, but for sure the custard turns this soft cake into a sure breakfast favorite of mine! 

Italian Cake with custard cream
There are two main simple steps to make this cake. 

First you want to whip up the custard cream (or as we call it in Italian the crema pasticcera). As usual let's start by mixing the sugar with the egg yolks and flour (which you can also substitute with corn starch, or half of each). 

Whisk in a little bit of warm milk and once smooth, mix in the rest. Cook while whisking until the cream reached the desire density. 

You can flavor with vanilla extract or lemon peel (one piece that you can soak in the warm milk, and remove at the end). 

Once the cream is ready, cover with plastic wrap (so you won't get the hard/thick layer on top) and let cool at room temperature until ready to use. 

Note, you can also make the cream ahead of time and store in the refrigerator.

Italian Cake with custard cream
The second step is the cake batter which is even more simple. Beat the eggs with the sugar. I used a hand mixer to make the job quicker, but any old whisk will do. 

You will need some milk and vegetable oil which you can also substitute with equal amount of melted butter). 

I flavor the batter with finely grated lemon zest, but you can also change it up with orange zest or simple vanilla extract (1 teaspoon ). 

As always, to keep the cake soft and moist, do not overmix the batter once you add the dry ingredients. Keep it short and quick. 

Once combined pour into your pan. I used a round cake pan with removable bottom, lined with parchment paper and greased. Any pan of about the same dimensions works fine. Just remember to grease well. 

Top with spoonfuls of the custard cream and bake. My oven took exactly 40 minutes to perfectly bake it with a golden top and bottom, but still moist inside. 

Italian Cake with custard cream

Now... who's ready to try this recipe too?!?  

Other Italian dessert recipes you might like:



Yield: 1 9-inch cake, about 8 servings
Author: Manuela Mazzocco
Torta Nua (Soft Italian Cake with Custard Cream)

Torta Nua (Soft Italian Cake with Custard Cream)

Sweeten up your day with a slice of this Italian soft and moist, delicate and delicious cake filled with Italian crema pasticcera
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 45 MinTotal time: 1 Hour


To make the crema pasticcera (custard cream)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (25 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (235 ml) milk, warm
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the cake batter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup (200 gr) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (115 gr) vegetable oil (or melted butter)
  • 1/2 cup (115 ml ) milk
  • 1 lemon, finely grated zest
  • 2 1/4 cup (300 g) all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons (8 gr) baking powder
  • powdered sugar to sprinkle on top


To make the custard cream
  1. Warm up the milk until hot (not boiling).
  2. In a medium sized pan, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and flour, until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and milk some at a time while whisking, making sure there are no lumps.
  4. Place the pan over medium heat and stir continuously until it reaches a slow boil. The cream will thicken, so be careful not to let it stick to the bottom. Lower the flame and cook for a couple of more minutes, until you reach the desire thickness.
  5. Pour the cream in a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it cool down.
To make the cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
  2. In a large bowl, add the eggs and sugar and whisk well. You can use a hand or stand up mixer too.
  3. While mixing, add the oil and the milk.
  4. Add the lemon zest, the sifted flour, salt and baking powder. Mix until just combined.
  5. Line a 9-inch pan (with removable bottom if you have it) with parchment paper and/or grease.
  6. Pour the batter, and top with spoonful of custard cream.
  7. Bake at 350F for about 40 minutes, until lightly golden on top.
  8. Let cool, remove from the pan and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  9. Enjoy!


You can make and add more cream to the cake - maybe 1 and a half time what I my recipe asks for.

Did you make this recipe?
Tag @cookwithmanuela on instagram and hashtag it #cookwithmanuela

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