Italian strawberry crumble cake Sbrisolona is fantastic. Follow this easy recipe to make the best crumb cake with fresh strawberry filling
Italian strawberry crumble cake smells like fresh strawberry and tastes like heaven. It’s so tender that it literally melts in your mouth! The recipe is surprisingly simple, quick, and easy. In fact, you can easily make this crostata from scratch.
This is probably the only fresh strawberry pie that I adore and bake very often in the berry season.
To be honest, I don’t really like strawberries baked into a pie, I prefer eating these fantastic berries fresh – in fruit salad, for example, and as a fresh strawberry filling for cakes and Swiss rolls. Or even better… to eat berries straight from the garden… But this strawberry crumble cake has a special place in my heart.
Why is this strawberry crumble cake recipe so special?
This Italian cake is a recipe of my husband’s grandmother. I was lucky to inherit her recipe book – a real culinary treasure!
This recipe book is like a delicious ocean, in which you dive and want to swim (well … read) again and again. This cookbook has its own unique inner world and history, it has survived two wars (I had to rewrite almost everything, because the time and scorching Italian sun “ate” the color of ink on many pages), and it is all permeated with flavors of oregano, basil, lemons, tomatoes and rosemary. That’s where I found my favorite Italian strawberry crumble cake recipe.
Sbrisolona attracted me by the ease of its preparation, and then it captivated me by its fabulous taste and flavor…
What is Sbrisolona
Italian crumble cake (Sbrisolata, Sbrisolona or Sbriciolata) is a classic respected by many generations. The name sbriciolata derives from the word “briciola“, which means “crumb“. In fact, this crostata consists of two layers of large shortcrust pastry crumbs and a delicious sweet pie filling.
The filling depends on your preferences: pastry cream, ricotta, jam, Nutella, fresh fruit. The fresh strawberry filling is my favorite option.
Not only is this the perfect summer dessert, but it’s also the easiest strawberry crumble cake I’ve ever made. And one of the most delicious that I have ever tasted! Being a big sweet tooth, believe me, I’ve tried a huge amount of pastries and desserts over the years!
Any Italian crostata or cake recipe (like all Italian cuisine after all), is basically ingenious. Most recipes are quick and easy, they will not make you spend half the day in the kitchen in front of the stove, preparing an extremely complex dish, which you will then eat in 5 minutes. On the contrary – preparation takes a minimum of effort and time, and then you can relax and enjoy a delicious meal in good company.
You don’t even need to knead the dough to make this strawberry crumble cake, you just have to mix the ingredients until crumbs form and that’s it! After that follow a simple scheme: spread a layer of crumbs in the cake pan, add fresh strawberry filling and top it with another layer of crumbs.
When I was reading this Sbrisolona recipe for the first time, I couldn’t imagine that after baking this crostata will turn into such an amazing delicacy, the flavor of which can drive you crazy …
I adore this Italian strawberry crumble cake for its filling. It’s the heart of Sbrisolona! It is thanks to the fresh strawberry filling that this dessert is so fragrant.
The filling is prepared from 4 ingredients:
- Fresh strawberries (they should be cut into small pieces)
- Lemon juice (it will add more freshness)
- Cornstarch (to make the filling thicker)
I know what is on your mind right now – can I make strawberry filling without cornstarch? I don’t recommend removing cornstarch from the list of ingredients. It will make the berry filling thicker and stabilize the consistency. A liquid strawberry filling will spoil not only the appearance of the pie, but also your mood…
The strawberry crumble cake recipe is an Italian classic. But feel free to improvise with this crostata filling.
Other filling ideas:
- diced apples for a delicious apple crumble pie;
- fresh apricots or peaches;
- raspberry Sbrisolona is amazing;
- cherry crumble pie is one of my favorites;
- other filling ideas – fresh juicy plums, rhubarb, ricotta, Nutella…
Gastronomic pleasure is guaranteed in any case!
Tips for the best result
- don’t mix too much or for too long. The dough should resemble coarse crumbs, not a solid mass
- baking powder also has an expiration date, so use fresh baking powder of good quality – thanks to it, the strawberry crumble cake will grow and will be perfect
- I use a round baking form that is 9 inches/23 cm in diameter. You can double the number of ingredients and bake a large Sbrisolona in a rectangular baking sheet. You can use a springform too.
- do not replace butter with margarine. The real buttery taste is important for this Italian cake
- if you like cinnamon, add ½ tsp to the strawberry filling. The cake will sparkle with new colors!
- sprinkle the finished dessert with powdered sugar if desired
Ingredients for Italian strawberry crumble cake
(my baking form is 9 inches/23cm in diameter):
If you are a happy digital kitchen scale owner, I highly recommend using it instead of cups and spoons. Especially when it comes to baking recipes. A scale gives you far more accurate results than volume measurements (everyone scoops ingredients differently). Trust me, using a kitchen scale to measure ingredients will take your baking to a new level.
For the dough:
- 300 g (2 ⅜ cups) flour
- 100 g butter (7 Tbsp) (cold from the fridge)
- 2 eggs
- 100 g (½ cup) sugar
- 8 g (1 ¾ tsp) baking powder
- vanilla extract
- grated peel of 1 lemon
- 400 g (2 ¼ cups) strawberries
- 50 g (¼ cup) sugar
- 1 Tbsp (rounded) potato starch
- 1 tsp lemon juice
How to make strawberry crumble cake
Prepare the dough: mix flour, sugar, grated zest, baking powder and vanilla
Add cold butter (cut in cubes) and mix everything with your hands to form the crumbs
Add eggs and mix with your hands again until large crumbs form (no need to knead) – just mix quickly with your hands before the butter has melted. Leave the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes
Cut the strawberries into medium pieces
Add sugar, starch and lemon juice. Saute them over low heat (stirring constantly) for 2 minutes. Then let the strawberries cool completely
Put 2/3 of the dough crumbs on the bottom of the cake dish
Put the strawberry filling on the dough crumbs
Sprinkle the top of the cake with the remaining dough crumbs
Bake for about 50 minutes at 180°C (350°F) until golden brown. Be sure to leave the finished strawberry crostata to cool completely (so that the filling cools and thickens). Bon appetit!
Place the strawberry shortcake in a pie dish with a lid or any airtight container and store it at room temperature for 2-3 days. If you want to keep the dessert longer, then put it in the fridge, where it can be stored for up to 5 days.
Yes. Thaw them completely and then drain the excess liquid. After that, you can prepare strawberry pie filling (the recipe and cooking steps are the same as for fresh strawberries).
There may be several reasons for this:
1) the cake is under-baked (during baking, the filling should be well cooked, until bubbles form – this will help the excess liquid evaporate)
2) the dessert is not cold enough. It’s very difficult to resist and not start eating this dessert right away, but 3-4 hours of cooling are extremely important for this crumb cake. The filling should cool completely and thicken
3) if you used frozen berries, you may not have completely thawed them or drained the excess liquid
Sprinkle the finished Italian strawberry crumble cake with powdered sugar. It goes well with a cup of coffee or tea at any time of the day.
Italian strawberry crumble cake recipe (Sbrisolona)
For the dough:
- 2 ⅜ cups (300g) flour
- 7 Tbsp (100 g) butter (cold from the fridge)
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup (100g) sugar
- 1 ¾ tsp (8 g) baking powder
- vanilla extract
- grated peel of 1 lemon
- 2 ¼ cups (400g) strawberries
- ¼ cup (50 g) sugar
- 1 tbsp (rounded) potato starch
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Prepare the dough: mix flour, sugar, grated zest, baking powder and vanilla
- Add cold butter (cut in cubes) and mix everything with your hands to form the crumbs
- Add eggs and mix with your hands again until large crumbs form (no need to knead) – just mix quickly with your hands before the butter has melted. Leave the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes
- Cut the strawberries into medium pieces
- Add sugar, starch and lemon juice. Saute over low heat (stirring constantly) for 2 minutes. Then let the strawberries cool completely
- Put 2/3 of the dough crumbs on the bottom of the cake dish
- Put the strawberry filling on the dough crumbs
- Sprinkle the top of the cake with the remaining dough crumbs
- Bake for about 50 minutes at 180 °C (350F) until golden brown. Be sure to leave the finished strawberry crumble pie to cool completely (so that the filling cools and thickens).