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Apr 15, 2012 08:29 PM

(Southern?) Italian breakfast cake recipe?

Ever since I saw the movie "I'm Not Scared" a few years ago I've been obsessed with this breakfast cake one of the characters eats. I believe the movie is set in Southern Italy, if that makes any difference. If you watch this clip at around 1:00-1:50 a little boy eats some cake then offers some to a friend.

Do you recognize what it might be? It looks so good to me. The two recipes I found online for Italian breakfast cake are :

Any other ideas? In the film, it almost looks like there is maybe some kind of filling? Maybe almonds?

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  1. There are dozens of versions of Italian breakfast cakes. Got any idea what was in the one you're looking for? One version from southern Italy is called "Cuddura". You might want to Google that one and see if it answers your question.
    The one that you already have listed as:
    is a southern Italian cake (torta)

    1 Reply
    1. re: todao

      Todao, I don't think it's Cuddura, it looks quite different in the film. I don't know anything about the one I'm looking for other than what it looks like in the film. Thank you!

    2. The filling is cream (they say so).

      Start with a Torta Pan di Spagna con Crema recipe perhaps.

      Look -->

      Youtube link -->

      4 Replies
      1. re: Cheese Boy

        You're right they do mention cream. I don't know why I thought the cream was for drinking, people don't drink cream straight, I don't think. The recipe looks good, thank you.

        1. re: bythebay

          I haven't watched the clip, but Italian "crema" is not cream but custard, which can be confusing. Liquid dairy cream is "panna." Whipped cream is "panna montata," but in context "panna" alone is usually clear.

          1. re: mbfant

            Yes, it looks more thick and custardy! I watched it again and in the movie they say it's a torta with crema.

          2. re: bythebay

            You never knew my parents. Every New Year's Eve before heading out, my parents would each drink a glass of heavy cream to "coat their stomach", prevent a hangover. Gotta tell you, it didn't work.

        2. Ok, so sometimes things come up at the last minute and I don't have time to bake. I'm fortunate to live near the Ms Desserts bakery so I'll head over there to pick up a cake. If I'm lucky, they'll have filled an order for Olive Garden and there will be Italian Lemon Cream Cakes. It seems to be similar to what is in the film and it does taste good. Whenever I get one for my younger nephew, I'm the "greatest aunt in the world".

          5 Replies
          1. re: Vidute

            Thank you. I looked that one up. Looks like the filling is a lot more firm (cream cheese). The one in the film seems more runny and custardy. I found a lot of recipes when I looked up torta con crema after the discussion above. The trouble is they were all in Italian and Google Translate didn't do the best job translating some of the ingredients and directions. Maybe I'll post one later and see if anyone has any ideas on what some of the terms are. And, interesting idea, drinking cream as hangover prevention :)

            1. re: bythebay

              The ciambella recipe is pretty close to a standard, plain Italian cake that is amde in many regions and often served for breakfast and snacks. Some are denser and more rustic (often made with olive oil), others more like a simple pound cake. Neither is usually very sweet. BTW, the movie takes place in the region of Basilicata.

              1. re: bob96

                Thank you for telling me the region, I think it looks beautiful in the movie. Ciambella looks good!

              2. re: bythebay

                You're welcome. Just wanted to let you know, that Ms Desserts doesn't use cream cheese in their cake. The filling is quite light. I found the below recipe touting to be Olive Garden's.

                1 3/4 cups cake flour shopping list
                1 tablespoon baking powder shopping list
                1 teaspoon salt shopping list
                1/2 cup sugar shopping list
                1/2 cup vegetable oil shopping list
                6 egg yolks shopping list
                3/4 cup water shopping list
                1 tablespoon lemon zest shopping list
                6 egg whites shopping list
                1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar shopping list
                3/4 cup white sugar shopping list
                For Filling shopping list
                1 cup heavy whipping cream shopping list
                2 1/2 cups prepared lemon flavor instant pudding and pie filling shopping list

                1. For Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
                2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and 1/2 c sugar.
                3. Add oil, egg yolks, water and lemon rind and beat with electric mixer until smooth.
                4. In a small bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until peaks form.
                5. Gradually add 3/4 c sugar and beat until peaks are very stiff and shiny.
                6. Fold in 1/3 of egg whites to batter, then quickly fold in remaining whites until no streaks remain.
                7. Pour batter into ungreased 10" tube pan.
                8. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes or until tests done.
                9. Invert cake and cool completely in pan.
                10. Remove cake from pan.
                11. For filling: Beat whipping cream to stiff peaks and fold in lemon filling.
                12. Chill until stiff.
                13. Slice cake horizontally into 3 equal layers.
                14. Fill layers with 1/3 cup of filling.
                15. Spread rest of filling on top layer.
                16. Decorate with lemon slices

                For Italian translation, you could give babblefish a try.


                1. re: Vidute

                  Thank you. I'd found one that said it was Olive Garden's and it had cream cheese. Who knows though? I will definitely try babelfish. I don't often eat breakfast but for cake I can make an exception.