Torta Nua, an Italian delicacy, is a timeless dessert that has captivated taste buds for generations. Its name, translating to “new cake,” hints at its simplicity and elegance. Yet, behind its unassuming appearance lies a rich, moist cake layered with creamy goodness.

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Torta Nua, sliced with cups of coffee around.

What is Torta Nua?

Torta Nua is a quintessentially Italian dessert known for its minimalistic appearance and decadent flavor. It embraces simplicity, allowing its natural beauty and taste to shine through. At its core, it comprises delicate cake interspersed with luscious fillings, creating a harmonious blend of textures and flavors. It’s a lot like Torta Della Nonna but with cake batter instead of shortcrust. Whether enjoyed on its own or adorned with fresh fruits or a dusting of powder, Torta Nua promises a delightful culinary experience that celebrates the essence of Italian baking tradition.

For more delicious Italian cakes, check out this Ciamballone, this Italian Hangover Cake, and this Torta Caprese.

Ingredients and Variations

The complete recipe, including measurements, can be found at the bottom of the post in the recipe card.

  • Sugar.
  • Unsalted butter at room temperature. I tested this cake with olive oil and butter, and unlike other Italian plain cakes, this cake is best when using butter solely.  
  • Large eggs at room temperature.
  • Vanilla bean paste.
  • Whole milk at room temperature.
  • Vanilla extract.
  • All-purpose flour.
  • ’00 pizza flour. If you don’t have any ’00 pizza flour, use all-purpose flour, but note that the cake will be shorter. To learn more about flour, check out my cookbook, Baking Science.
  • Baking powder.
  • Crema pasticcera, an Italian pastry cream. Nua cake is all about pastry cream, but you can also use other custards such as French Crema Pasticcera, Lemon Curd, or Blackberry Curd.
  • Powdered sugar for dusting the cake. Optional.

How to Make Torta Nua Recipe

Crafting the perfect Torta Nua is a labor of love, requiring attention to detail and a delicate touch. Follow these simple steps to embark on your journey to baking bliss:

  1. Sift the two types of flour and baking powder in a bowl. In a separate measuring cup, mix the milk and vanilla extract.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, butter, and vanilla bean paste until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Beat the eggs, one at a time, waiting for each egg to incorporate before taking the next step.
  4. Add 1/2 cup of flour, followed by the milk. Then, mix the rest of the sifted flour mixture into the flour-egg blend using the rubber spatula.
  5. Pour the cake batter into the pan, then dot the top with the custard cream. Bake.
steps to make italian custard cake batter.
Italian custard cake before and after baking.

Tips and Yields

  • For best results, ensure all ingredients are at room temperature, and always measure using a kitchen scale.
  • Combining the vanilla bean and the vanilla extract adds flavor to the cake, and I do not recommend skipping it.
  • For optimal freshness, store your Torta Nua in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped or covered, for up to 3-4 days.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely before inverting it and slicing.
  • This recipe yields one eight, or nine-inch pan. You can also use 8 cups bundt pan. The timing will change with the pans, so pay attention to the cake and not the timer; the cake is ready when the top is lightly golden brown and dry and a toothpick comes out from the center of the cake with a few moist crumbs.  

Storage and Making Ahead

Store the cake at room temperature, covered with aluminum foil, for up to four days. 

To freeze, gently wrap the cake with cling film, place it in a plastic bag, and freeze the wrapped cake for up to four weeks. When ready, unwrap the cake and allow it to get to room temperature over the counter.

a slice of torta nua on a plate with a fork.

More Recipes You Might Enjoy

Fresh Strawberry Tart, Italian Cream Puffs, Cannoncini.

Don’t forget to tag @OneSarcasticBaker on Instagram whenever you bake this recipe. I would love to see your creations!

Torta Nua Recipe

Soft cake topped and baked with Italian pastry cream.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Keyword torta nua
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 inch pan
Author Dikla

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup '00 pizza flour (120g)
  • 2/3 Cup All-purpose flour (80g)
  • 2 teaspoons Baking powder
  • 1/2 Cup Milk at room temperature (120ml)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar (150g)
  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted butter, soften (113g)
  • 1 teaspoons Vanilla bean paste
  • 2 Large Eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 Cup Crema Pasticcera

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C), and line an 8-inch pan with parchment paper.

  2. Sift the two types of flour into a bowl and mix in the baking powder.

  3. Mix the milk and vanilla extract in a saparate measuring cup and mix.

  4. In a bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla paste for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.

  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, waiting for the first egg to completely incorporate before adding the second. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.

  6. Reduce the speed to low, and add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the egg-butter mixture, followed by the milk mixture.

  7. Incorporate the rest of the flour into the mixture, using a rubber spatula.

  8. Spread the cake batter into the prepared pan, and dot the top with the pastry cream.

  9. Bake for 38-44 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs from the center of the cake.

Recipe Notes

  • For best results, ensure all ingredients are at room temperature, and always measure using a kitchen scale.
  • Store the cake in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped or covered, for up to 3-4 days.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely before inverting it and slicing.
  • This recipe yields one eight, or nine-inch pan. You can also use 8 cups bundt pan. The timing will change with the pans, so pay attention to the cake and not the timer; the cake is ready when the top is lightly golden brown and dry and a toothpick comes out from the center of the cake with a few moist crumbs.  

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