Torta di rose

Today on the blog I’m going to show you a dessert I made last weekend. It’s about a cake typical from Mantua and its origins date back to 1400: it was made for a special occasion, the wedding between Isabella D’Este and Francesco di Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua; the shape of roses was a gift to Isabella’s beauty.

Portrait of Isabella d’Este by Leonardo da Vinci.

It’s a very simple and attractive cake, also easy to serve because you just have to detach a single “rose” for every portion you need.


  • 500 gr flour
  • 2 whole eggs
  • fresh yeast (about 25 gr.) or dry yeast (about 7 gr.)
  • 1 glass of lukewarm milk
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • a pinch of salt


  1. Mix all the ingredients well, by hand or with a mixer, and leave the dough to rest in a bowl for one and a half hour, covered with a clean kitchen cloth and away from draught.
  2. Roll out the dough with the rolling pin on a surface that you have first dusted with flour to avoid sticking. The sheet has to be not too thin neither too thick, and rectangular in shape.
  3. Mix butter and sugar and spread this cream evenly on the rolled out dough.
  4. Roll up the dough like a cigar and cut it in thick slices.torta 1
  5. Lay the dough cylinders next to each other in a high, round oven dish (about 26/28 cm diameter) leaving some space between them because they’ll rise and become larger, filling all the gaps. Leave to rise again protecting from draught until the dough has doubled its volume.
    If you used a spring-release tin lay it on top of a flat oven dish because the butter will melt and leak a bit.
  6. Put in the pre-heated oven (170°C) for about 45 minutes (30°C with a ventilated oven) or until nice and golden (I usually don’t stricly follow the time indicated in recipes because all ovens are different, so be sure to check from time to time how things are going!).
  7. Remove from the tin after it’s cooled off a bit and serve dusted with icing sugar.
Photo Credit:

Do you know the saying “There’s always a first time?”

torta 3

Even though I made this cake for the first time and It doesn’t look as good as the previous one, I was pretty happy with the result!


This is the original recipe but you can always customise it to your preferences. For example, you can fill it with rainsins and cream or you can use custard, jam or chocolate spread.

What are you waiting for? You should try it too, I’m sure you can do better than me! You can always tag me with @theitalianguest on social media such as Instagram and Facebook.

See you next time!





4 Comments Add yours

  1. Such a pretty presentation too ❤
    Beautiful, thank you for sharing with us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome!! 😀


  2. Claire says:

    That looks great. I will give it a go at the weekend 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I’m sure it will be yummy 😋


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