Torta Paradiso Cake Recipe

Have you heard of torta Paradiso cake? It’s a classic Italian cake you’ll find grandmas baking for their grandkids. It’s soft, like I would imagine a cloud to be, fluffy, sweet and fragrant; at the same time, it’s simple enough to enjoy with a cup of tea or enrich with some cream in the middle.

 

Where did Paradiso Cake come from?

Paradiso cake has ancient Lombard origins, and legend has it that it was invented by a herbalist friar from the Certosa di Pavia. The friar initially presented it to his fellow friars, who were impressed by the deliciousness of the cake and named it the “Torta del paradiso” or “Cake of Paradise.”

However, it was only in 1878 that the Pavia pastry chef Enrico Vigoni, the owner and founder of “Pasticceria Vigoni,” which still exists in the center of Pavia today, managed to recreate the recipe for paradiso cake upon request of Marquis Cusani Visconti. After that, the cake gained popularity.

In summary, paradiso cake has religious origins from Pavia, but it was popularized thanks to Enrico Vigoni.

 

flour mixture for torta paradiso

 

Paradiso Cake Ingredients

The ingredients for Torta Paradiso come together to create a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. Soft butter and powdered sugar provide the cake with a rich and tender crumb. A touch of granulated sugar adds a hint of sweetness, while a pinch of fine salt balances the flavors. The cake’s delicate and airy texture is achieved with the addition of potato starch, baking powder for cakes, and all-purpose flour. To infuse a delightful aroma, half a Bourbon vanilla pod is used, alongside egg yolks, whole eggs, and the zest of half a lemon and half an orange, or one of either those. This combination of ingredients forms the foundation of a Torta Paradiso, a cake that embodies a perfect balance of flavors and textures.

 

orange rind for cake

 

Paradiso Cake Recipe

Now that you know the story of paradiso cake and the necessary ingredients to make it, you are all set to start making it. Below you’ll find the detailed ingredients and steps I followed to make mine. Happy baking.

 

dusting torta paradiso with powdered sugar

Torta Paradiso Cake Recipe

Alessia
Perfect with a cup of tea but also great split and with a chantilly cream in the middle, this Torta Paradiso cake is an Italian classic to try.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8
Calories 375 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 medium bowl
  • 1 large bowl
  • 1 electric hand held mixer
  • 1 grater
  • 1 kitchen scales
  • 1 silicone spatula
  • 3 tablespoons
  • 1 round baking dish I used a 21 cm one, but a smaller one would have been fine

Ingredients
  

  • 4 small eggs
  • 100 gr powdered sugar plus more for dusting at the end
  • 100 ml Belmorso or Novello EVOO
  • 180 gr flour oo
  • 100 gr potato starch
  • 1 medium orange for the rind
  • 1 sachet Paneangeli baking mix with vanilla or replace it with 2 teaspoons baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon baking soda + vanilla (how much depends on the type you use)
  • 150 gr Greek yogurt
  • 1 bar semi-dark chocolate milk chocolate is also fine
  • powder sugar for dusting

Instructions
 

  • Add the flour, potato starch, and baking powder mix to your medium sized bowl. Mix well to incorporate everything together; set aside.
    adding baking mix to flour
  • Crack all your eggs in your largest bowl.
    cracking 4 eggs for torta paradiso
  • Grate the skin of your washed and dried orange.
    grating the rind of an orange
  • Beat with your electric mixer.
  • Then measure the oil and add that too. You can beat again.
    adding EVOO to cake batter
  • Add the yogurt and beat some more.
    adding Greek yogurt to cake batter
  • Finally, add the sugar and beat again.
  • It's time to add the dry ingredients, that is the flours you previously prepared in your other bowl. Add 1/3 of that mixture to the wet mixture, and beat.
    adding flour to wet ingredients for cake
  • Repeat with the second and third part of the flour mixture.
    PS: I have this habit of covering the batter while I mix it, so that it doesn't splash. I simply use a clean cloth that's large enough to cover the entire bowl and all the sides plus it's easy to wash.
    beating cake mixture with a cloth to prevent spillage
  • Once you have added all the flour, your cake batter is ready.
    torta paradiso cake batter
  • Add some oil to your baking dish and grease it using a napkin or your clean hands. Don't leave too much oil though.
  • Pre-heat your oven at 160 degrees Celsius.
  • Pour the batter into your oiled baking dish.
  • Take your chocolate bar and break it into two halves. Add one half to the centre of your cake, and then stack the other half on top. Make sure your cake batter covers the chocolate.
    This will create a melted chocolate heart in the centre, but only when the cake is warm. I always warm up my slice in the microwave, anyway.
    Otherwise, you can cut the chocolate into squares and spread them evenly across the batter.
    adding dark chocolate to cake batter
  • Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until your toothpick comes out clean. I suggest checking it after 25 minutes.
  • Once your tootpick comes out clean, take it out of the oven, sprinkle it with icing sugar and leave it to cool for 10 minutes.
    baked torta paradiso cake
  • Then transfer to a serving plate or a cake stand, and serve. Enjoy a slice hot so you can get some melted chocolate goodness.
    dusting torta paradiso with powdered sugar

Notes

If you choose to cut the cake into 10 slices, the calories will be 300 per slice.
Keyword torta paradiso

enjoying a slice of torta paradiso cake with a cappuccino

 

Don’t make these mistakes

My first attempt at this cake was delicious but tasted more so like my plumcake than like Paradiso cake. You see, the difference between the two is that Torta Paradiso is much lighter and fluffier. It breaks and melts into your mouth as you are eating it. That I can remember for sure since my grandma would make it for me so often. It was my favourite.

Here are the reasons for that result:

  1. I used potato flour instead of potato starch, as I couldn’t find the ingredient
  2. I used coconut sugar instead of powdered sugar for the batter, as I wanted the cake to be healthier

It’s incredible how those two changes made the cake texture completely different. That’s exactly why I am sharing my mistakes, so you can have yours come out perfect.

The above recipe ingredients are correct so your cake shall come out as fluffy as a cloud.

 

Alessia
Author: Alessia

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