Torta delle Rose Mantovana, the Italian style rose cake


Last Updated on December 1, 2023 by Laura Teso

La torta delle rose, rose cake, is a traditional recipe of Mantua, a beautiful little city in Lombardy, well known for its delicious and rich traditional cuisine.

In 1490 Isabella d’Este from Ferrara moved to the court of Mantua in order to marry Francesco II Gonzaga. She took her cook with her and he invented this cake for the occasion.

La torta delle rose is a yeast cake, filled with butter and with a lovely shape. In fact, the final effect is that of an inviting bouquet of roses. I think it’s a cake that can really surprise and please your guests for a winter tea time.

Torta delle rose Ingredients

For the dough

Flour 500g
Eggs 2
Sugar 3 tablespoons
Lukeworm Butter 50g
1 pinch of salt
Zests of 1 lemon (optional)
Milk 120ml
Dry yeast 7g

For the filling

Butter 100g
Sugar 100g

Torta delle Rose
Torta delle Rose

Torta delle rose preparation

  • Sift the flour and then add the dry yeast. Add sugar, lemon zest, eggs and the lukewarm butter. Mix everything, adding the milk little by little and then the pinch of salt.
  • If you have a food processor, use it! Otherwise, you have to knead the dough for 10 minutes , spreading it, rolling it back and slamming it on the table until the liquid is absorbed.
  • Now cover the dough and let it rise for 1 hour and a half.
  • Prepare the filling mixing butter and sugar (add it little by little).
  • Spread the dough with a rolling pin and form a rectangle (about 35×50 cm). And then spread the filling on the rectangle.
  • Now roll the dough to obtain a long cylinder.
  • Cut the roll in 12 smaller cylinders (3 or 4cm long). Yes, I made more. I was afraid not to fill the pan so I made shorter cylinders.
  • Prepare a buttered and floured springform cake pan. Place the little roses-to-be in the pan (Ø 26 cm), so that the spirals are visible. They must not be too close one another, since they will grow. They must therefore be a little spaced.
  • Let them rise for about 30 minutes.
  • Bake at 190-200° for 20-30 minutes.
  • Beware! Check the cake after 10 minutes. If the roses start to darken too much, cover with aluminium foil to prevent them from burning.

The result is not only beautiful but scrumptious too. Buon appetito!


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