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Nonna’s BEST Sfogliatelle Recipe 🇮🇹

Sfogliatelle is a beloved Italian pastry filled with delicious citrus custard. You will want to eat the whole batch!

Pronounced like sfo-lee-ah-tell-eh, sfogliatelle are a Neapolitan pastry that are absolutely divine! They have a crispy layered exterior and are filled with an orangy-cinnamony custard. This recipe from Nonna Box is the closest I’ve come to making something taste like it came from an Italian bakery! This recipe makes 12. 


The dough:

  • 500 g ap flour
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 175 ml water + more if needed
  • 25 gr honey

The filling:

  • 450 ml whole milk
  • 100 gr white sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 150 gr semolina flour
  • 500 gr ricotta
  • 1 egg large
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 50 gr candied orange peel finely chopped


  • 150 gr unsalted butter or lard
  • Confectioner’s sugar


  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add water and honey, and then mix to create a stiff dough. Then gradually add water.
  2. Place the dough on the counter and knead until it’s smooth and supple. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. After 30 minutes, split the dough into 4 pieces. Get one piece, then roll through a pasta machine. Roll using the widest setting, then fold in half and roll again. Do the same on each dough. Repeat this process until you create smooth sheets by gradually decreasing the width on each roll.
  4. When the sheet is at 1mm thick, lay it on the surface and apply a thin layer of lard or butter. Create thin sheets of the other doughs as well and roll them into similar thin layers.
  5. Roll up the first thin sheet to create a tight sausage shape.
  6. Next, wrap the next thin dough sheet around the original sausage shape pastry dough, layering up to create one large cylinder. Cover with a saran wrap and chill for 1 to 2 hours for the pastry to firm up.
  7. Now, to make the filling. Place the milk, sugar, and salt in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add the semolina flour until it thickens and becomes smooth. After it has cooled down, transfer to a bowl. Then, add the remaining ingredients, stirring all the while to create a smooth, thick filling. Set aside, preferably inside the fridge.
  8. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  9. Bring out the pastry roll and cut them into 1 cm-thick pieces. Use your fingers, greased with lard or butter, to make an impression on the center to create a cone shape.
  10. Get the filling and scoop a spoonful into the hollow and press the edges of the pastry together to lock. Repeat these for the rest, and line up all pastries on the tray.
  11. When you’re done putting filling on all the dough pieces, bake the pastries for about 30 minutes.
  12. When done, allow to cool for only a couple of minutes before sprinkling them with confectioner’s sugar. Serve immediately.


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