Italian Rose Cake – Torta Della Rose

A leavened cake that resembles a bouquet of roses, the beauty and taste of this classic dessert from Mantova is undisputed. Rumor has it that this Italian Rose Cake (Torta Delle Rose or Cake of Roses) was created in 1490 during the Italian Renaissance for Isabella d’Este (a daughter of the King of Naples) as a tribute to her renowned beauty. 

There are many variations on the Italian Rose Cake but this version with almonds and strawberry will delight all of the senses. 

Italian Rose Cake
Italian Rose Cake (Torta Delle Rose)

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How to Make Italian Rose Cake

This cake might also be called Italian Buns as the process for making this leavened Italian Cake is very similar to making something like Cinnamon Rolls. Here are a few tips:

How to Remove Almond Skins

Have almonds with skins? To remove the skins, you can simply blanch the almonds.

Heat a pot of water to boiling, then add the whole almonds with skins. Remove the pot from the heat and let the almonds soak for exactly one minute.

Strain the almonds, rinsing them under cold water. The skins will pull away from the almond nut. Simply pinch the skin of each nut and the almond should pop right out!

Active Yeast Instead of Instant Yeast?

Instant yeast can be added directly to the flour, without first being proofed in water.

If you have active yeast, simply dissolve it in a bit of lukewarm water with a pinch of sugar. Let it rest till you see it start to foam, then add it to the bowl!

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Italian Rose Cake

Italian Rose Cake

A leavened cake that resembles a bouquet of roses, the beauty and taste of this classic dessert from Mantova is undisputed. There are many variations on the ‘Cake of Roses’ but this version with almonds and strawberry will delight all of the senses. 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Proofing Time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours 10 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 people
Calories 564 kcal


  • Round Cake Pan: 9”-10” (22 – 25 cm)



  • 18 oz flour all-purpose or bread
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 ¼ tsp dry instant yeast
  • 2 eggs whole
  • ½ cup whole milk + 5 tbsp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon zest from one lemon
  • 7 tbsp butter softened
  • ¾ tsp fine salt


  • 18 oz strawberry jam fruit-sweetened
  • 3 ½ oz almonds no skins, sliced
  • powdered sugar optional, for dusting top


Make the Dough

  • Combine the flour, sugar and yeast in a stand mixer bowl. In another bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla extract and lemon zest. 
  • Fit the stand mixer with a paddle attachment, and turn on low speed. Slowly add the milk and egg mix to the flour mix.
    When the dough looks shaggy, replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook.
  • Slowly add the softened butter to the dough a tablespoon at a time. Make sure each piece of butter is incorporated into the dough before adding the next.  
  • When all of the butter has been added, add the salt.
  • Knead the dough with the dough hook for another 2 minutes. The dough ball with be soft, but elastic. 
  • Cover and let the dough rise until doubled in size (2-3 hours)

Form the Dough

  • Roll the dough out on floured surface into a 14” x 20” (36 cm x 51 cm) rectangle.
  • Cover the surface of the rectangle with jam, leaving 1” (2 ½ cm) at the edge of the long side free of jam to help seal the roll. Then, sprinkle almonds on top of the jam. 
  • Roll the dough into a log (lengthwise).
  • Then, cut into 2.5” (6 cm) slices.
  • In 9”or 10” (23 cm – 25 cm) cake pan, position one roll in center (cut side up) and position rest of slices (cut sides up) around in a circle. 
  • Let the dough rise for another hour.

Bake the Cake

  • Bake at 325° F (165° C for at least 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the dough comes out clean.


Sodium: 276mgCalcium: 94mgVitamin C: 7mgVitamin A: 106IUSugar: 46gFiber: 4gPotassium: 259mgCholesterol: 44mgCalories: 564kcalTrans Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gFat: 9gProtein: 12gCarbohydrates: 109gIron: 4mg
Keyword homemade bread, sweet
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