Panini Girl

My obsessions-Italy and Cooking

November 14, 2011


Sbrisolona-Italian Crumb Cake

Another rainy day and the perfect opportunity to get in the kitchen and bake a little something. I’m the type that breakfast means a cappuccino and a cookie. Only thing, the cookie jar has been empty for a while and I was even forced to go out and buy some grocery store cookies. And yet, there was still that urge to have something home baked sitting on the kitchen counter.

Off I went to the book shelf in search of Dolce Italiano, my “go to” book for Italian desserts. I browsed the cookie recipes, but I’ve made most of them before and I was in the mood to try something new. I kept turning back to the Italian Crumbly Cake, known in Italian as Sbrisolona. I’ve looked at this recipe before and have even considered making one in another favorite book-Sunday Suppers at Lucques. I knew I had all the ingredients on hand and figured it was now or never for the sbrisolona.

This cake is a classic from the region of Lombardy. It’s not a cake that rises high in the pan. It’s barely an inch high and yet it’s packed with flavor and if you like nuts, you’re in luck. This recipe called for blanched sliced almonds and not having enough I added whole chopped almonds to the mix. First bite in and I was won over-lots of toasted nuts and just the right amount of cinnamon laced cake.



1-1/4 cups “00” flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 large egg
4 large egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled


1-1/2 cups sliced almonds
1 large egg white
3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and position a rack in the middle of the oven. Lightly grease a 10″ springform and dust it with flour. Tap to knock out the excess flour.

In a medium bowl whisk together the “00” flour, the almond flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and set aside.

In an electric mixer (with paddle attachment), beat the egg, egg yolks and sugar on medium speed until they are thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes. On low speed add the dry ingredients and beat well, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla extract, followed by the melted butter. Switch speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds.

Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and smooth the top.

To make the topping: put the almonds in a medium bowl. Lightly beat the egg white with a fork until it is foamy and light, then pour half of it over the almonds, string to coat them evenly. Discard rest of the egg white. Sprinkle the almonds with the sugar and toss to coat them. Spread the almonds over the batter.

Bake the cake for 25 to 30 minutes or until it is springy to the touch and golden brown on top and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then then remove the sides and allow the cake to cool completely on a wire rack.

I love this cake and have decided to try the recipe in Sunday Suppers at Lucques. Stay tuned for what happens!

Spring In Tuscany-Cook With Panini Girl In Lucca (don’t miss out-lots of incredible food to be had!)


14 thoughts on “Sbrisolona-Italian Crumb Cake

  1. This looks very delicious. I would like a slice right now. I met with Heather yesterday and we went to see Marzia making her cheese- what fun. Then we went into the mountains to see the chestnut festival in Luminaia. I love these local festivals and feel so lucky top be able to go along.

  2. I have a feeling this tastes much better than my favorite Entemann’s crumb cake that I loved growing up in NY!

  3. This looks totally scrumptious. I am also a big fan of Lucques. We don’t get there as often as we’d like, but I do have the Sunday Suppers cookbook, and yet again, don’t cook from it as often as I’d like… but this may just inspire me to do so!

  4. This is a wonderful; hit the spot cake, perfect accompaniment with a cafe.
    Yes, a perfect marriage or nuts and cinnamon. Thank you Panini Girl for the delicious sample you left for me Saturday. What a treat. This recipe is a keeper.

  5. Looks delicious. I haven’t tried this one…yet, but I’m convinced.

  6. I love almonds and will definitely try this recipe once I am done prepping for Thanksgiving lunch 🙂 The hint of cinnamon is always comforting for me during winter. It feels like a perfect match with tea on a rainy day like the one today here in Rome.

  7. Our Italian friends prepared this for us. They insisted it wsaperfect with a drizzle of grappa – very good. Have also heard it’s traditional to have a drizzle of vin santo or other dessert wine. I am making this today for Christmas. fingers crossed. RosaB

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