Torta Paradiso, Heaven Cake, is a simple soft cake made with a few everyday ingredients, great as any-time sweet snack and for breakfast. You will be looking forward to scoffing this delight.

It is typical of the city of Pavia, Lombardy region, Northern Italy.


Serves 7-8, 22cm diameter tin, Prep 30 mins, Bake approx 40 mins

  • 100 g Italian 00 plain flour or an all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 100 g potato starch, sifted
  • 16 g baking powder, approx 1 level tablespoon, sifted
  • 6 medium eggs at room temperature
  • 200 g of unsalted softened butter, diced
  • 200 g Caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod or a teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Grated zest of a lemon
  • A dusting of icing sugar


Cut the butter into smaller chunks, crush in a large bowl until creamy, then add the sugar, keep stirring until you get a smooth mix.

Separate the egg whites from the yolks, storing the whites in a bowl. Incorporate the egg yolks one at a time into the butter and sugar mixture, stirring to obtain an even batter. Add the sifted flour a little at a time, the sifted baking powder and the sifted potato starch, all a little at a time, stirring gently from the bottom up. Add vanilla extract or the seeds of the pod.

Whip the whites to stiff peaks, they should be firm. Gently incorporate them into the other ingredients, always from the bottom up to preserve as much air as possible in the whipped egg whites. Add the grated lemon zest.

Grease and lightly flour the baking tin, pour in the mixture, level it with a spatula and bake to 180°C / 350F / Gas 4.

Test the cake by inserting a wooden toothpick. It’s done when the toothpick comes out dry. 

Let it cool while still in the mould, once cooled remove it from the cake tin, sprinkle with icing sugar, cut into slice and serve.


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