Italian cream pastries - pasticciotti gluten free

Italian cream pastries: Pasticciotti


As we all know, since I am a millennial and I have been in lockdown for the past month, there’s only one thing I can do: baking. Knead old style sourdough bread or bake highly complicated Italian cream pastries.

I did both, obviously, but the bread is a story for another time. This weekend I decided I was going to wake up and have breakfast with a warm Pasticciotto, these Italian cream pastries from the Southern part of Apulia. I remember eating these mini cakes during my childhood’s summers in Italy. Funny thing, the best memories of my childhood are often things I love to eat. These cream pastries have an extra flaky pastry shell that contains a lemon and vanilla custard cream. Eaten warm are a little door to heaven.

The recipe takes a little time, but it’s so worthy. You will need a scale, because pastry is science you know.

Italian cream pastries: Pasticciotti

5 from 2 votes
Course: BreakfastCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Medium


Prep time




Cooking time


Total time






  • For the shell crust
  • 220 gr rice flour

  • 80 gr tapioca starch

  • 40 gr quinoa flour

  • 160 gr of butter (the original recipe calls for pig lard, but we’re not that brave)

  • 160 gr sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • one organic lemon zest

  • For the custard cream
  • 200 ml almond/rice milk or regular milk

  • 70 gr sugar

  • 1 egg yolk + 1 egg (save the white for the final egg wash)

  • 60 gr corn or potato starch

  • lemon zest

  • vanilla bean

How to

  • In a large bowl whisk together all the flours, sugar and lemon zest, make a well in the centre and add eggs and butter (warm, almost melted), mix together until it becomes a soft smooth dough, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • For the cream, heat the milk with the lemon zest. In another bowl, beat the eggs with sugar, when they are light yellow, add the starch and mix well. Add the warm milk little by little and then pour everything again in the pot. Heat again and whisk continuously until thickened. Add the vanilla and set aside to cool.
  • When ready, remove dough from fridge and roll to 3/4 mm thickness, then cut out circles that could fit to your muffin pan. Press the bottom and the sides of the tart with your finger to to make it stick well. Then fill the tarts to the top with the lemon custard cream.
  • Top each tart with another cut out circle, cut with a knife to remove excess dough on the sides and press with fingers to seal. In a small bowl mix together the leftover egg white, 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon or milk and brush the top of each pasticciotto.
  • Bake in pre-heated oven for 12 minutes at 220°.
  • Enjoy these Italian cream pastries warm, along with an espresso coffee.

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If you are into recipes from this region of Italy, check out also my recipe for a vegan main dish made of mashed fava beans and wild chicory. Click here to get the recipe!


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