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One of my favorite Italian dessert recipes

Well, I actually have a few Italian dessert recipes that are my favorites but this one is a dessert I always offer to make because it’s not commonly found in Rome.  Because of this, it’s always appreciated!

So what’s it? Well, those who know me well will for sure know it’s the Caprese.  When I say Caprese, most people in Rome will say, you mean the appetizer with mozzarella, tomatoes and basil?  Yes, that’s a Caprese too but the Caprese I am talking about is a dessert from Capri (I think…).

The reason I said “I think…” is that I first came across this Italian dessert in Positano. My sister-in-law got this recipe from a lady there and I am glad she shared it with me!  It’s a flourless chocolate cake and extremely moist.

I often make this cake when there’s a special occasion such as my nieces’ baptisms and birthdays.  Once I was told that the caprese I made was so good that it had to be made by someone from that area. And this was coming from a person who lives near Positano. Yes, I am bragging just a touch but it’s a huge compliment for me.

So enough talk! Let’s get to the recipe and the pictures.

Torta Caprese – Preparation time: 45 minutes / Baking time: 35-45 minutes

Ingredients for Italian recipe - CapreseIngredients
200grams butter
200grams sugar
300grams ground almonds
4 eggs
1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
lemon grind (from one lemon)
1/2 tablespoon of baking powder*
*Note: This is a rough estimate because I usually use 1/4 packet of what they call ‘lievito’ here in Italy. You can see this on the picture with all the ingredients used in this recipe.


1. Mix butter and sugar until creamy.

Italian recipe - Caprese Step 1 Mix Butter and SugarItalian recipe - Step 1 Mix Butter and Sugar until creamy

2. Separate the egg yolks and egg whites.  Then add egg yolks one at a time into the butter and sugar mixture.

Italian recipe - Caprese Step 2 Add eggyolks one at a timeItalian recipe - Caprese Step 2: Add eggyolks one at a time

3. Once all the egg yolks have been added and well mixed, then add cocoa.

Italian recipe - Caprese: Mixture of butter, sugar and egg yolksItalian recipe - Caprese Step 3: Add cocoa powder

4. Then add ground almonds and make sure that it’s all well mixed.

Italian recipe - Step 4: Add the ground almonds

5.  Grate the lemon grind.  I use this ceramic grater which makes it super easy and less messy!

Italian recipe - Caprese Step 5: Grate the lemon rind

6. Add the grated lemon grind and lievito (or baking powder) to the mixture. Mix well.

Italian Recipe - Caprese Step 6: Add the grated lemon grind and lievito

7.  Beat the egg whites until firm.

Italian recipe - Caprese Step 7: Beat egg whites until firmItalian recipe - Caprese Step 7: Egg whites are firm before adding to mixture

8.  Add egg whites to mixture and mix well. You will see that once the egg whites are added, the mixture has a lighter chocolate color.

Italian recipe - Caprese Step 8: Add egg whites to mixtureItalian dessert recipe - Caprese Step 8: Add egg whites and mix  well

9.  Flour and butter a cake pan.  Then pour mixture into the cake pan.  Spread the mixture evenly.

Italian dessert recipe - Caprese Step 9:  Butter and flour cake  panItalian dessert recipe - Caprese Step 9: Flour cake pan and pour mixtureItalian dessert recipe - Caprese Step 9: Spead mixture evenly in cake pan

10.   Bake at 180C (350F) for 35-45 minutes.  After 35 minutes, you need to keep a constant eye on the cake to make sure you don’t burn it. Use the toothpick test by sticking it into the middle of the cake and if it comes out clean it’s ready.  Let it cool below flipping it over onto a serving tray

Italian dessert recipe - Caprese Step 10: Bake at 180C (359F) Italian dessert recipe - Caprese Step 10: Keep an eye on it after 35 minutes

11.  Before serving, sprinkle powdered sugar on top using a sieve.  Buon Appetito!!

Italian dessert recipe - Caprese Step 11: Sprinkle powedered sugar

This Italian dessert recipe is not difficult to make and it’s super delicious.  You will definitely get compliments!

About Diana


  1. Hi Diana,

    We are going to celebrate Eshaya’s birthday with her school friends this Friday. I am going to try make this cake todady or tomorrow. It s great you put posd pictures step by step. Hopefully it will come out just like yours.

  2. wahhhh and i guess i should try ! give more receipe to your sister soo she can make some for me when she is back ! always say she knows how to make but never try ahhhhh!

  3. Thank you for this recipe! We’ve just returned from a month in Lucca, with day trips to many surrounding towns and villages. I got hooked on Ricciarelli, and was happy to find your recipe for those delightful cookies. But, now I can hardly wait to make a Torta Caprese. It sounds wonderful.

    • It’s a really easy recipe! My cousins in the UK and USA have been making torta caprese the past year and it’s been a hit with their friends.

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