Torta paradiso: a piece of heaven

Torta Paradiso is the most classic of Italian dessert

It is the symbol of Pavia, located in Lombardy region, and it is a cake made of eggs, butter, flour and topped with lots of powdered sugar. Its fluffy texture makes it perfect for any occasion, especially for breakfast or as dessert. The golden rules for a fabulous paradise cake? Work all ingredients at the same temperature and alternate pours between dry and liquid to get a perfect dough after baking, neither too soft nor too compact.


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A little bit of history

The origin of torta paradiso date back at the beginning of the 19th century, when a noblewoman shouted  “This cake is a piece of heaven”, tasting this cake by the pastry chef Enrico Vigoni. It became so successful that shortly after he won the gold medal at Milan International Exhibition in 1906.


If you want your paradise cake to be even more heavenly, many variations can enrich the filling: for example, with custard or pastry cream, nutella, almond or peanut butter, whipped cream, or jam.


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The classic recipe


  • 170g soft butter
  • 170g powdered sugar
  • 40g sugar
  • 2,5g salt
  • 70g potato starch
  • 3g baking powder
  • 100g flour 00
  • 1/2 Bourbon vanilla pod
  • 80 g yolks
  • 100 g eggs
  • 1/2 Lemon zest
  • 1/2 orange peel

To prepare the “Paradise cake”, start by pouring and mix flour, potato starch and baking powder in a bowl. In another bowl, place the butter into chunks, pour the pulp of half a vanilla bean  and grate half a lemon peel  and an orange peel. Whip the vanilla flavoured, adding the powdered sugar. When the mixture has taken on a soft consistency, add the 80 g of egg yolks and pour the salt, continuing to work the mixture with the electric whisk until you get a creamy consistency. In another bowl pour two eggs and add sugar, mixing everything with an electric mixer. Then add this mix with the bowl of butter, sugar and egg yolks.

Now take a cake tin of 24 cm in diameter, butter it, flour it and pour the mixture of the paradise cake. Bake the cake in preheated oven to 170 ° for about 45-50 minutes. Once ready, take it out and let it cool completely for about 1 hour. Once cold, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Your paradise cake is ready to be enjoyed!

Cover photo from Youtube