Italian Easter Cake - Pastiera Napoletana, Gluten-free

Gluten-free Pastiera Napoletana Recipe

Gluten-free Italian Easter Cake

Recipe by Krumville Bake Shop

Easter is here, and that means It’s time for La Pastiera Napoletana!  

For those unfamiliar with this treat, it’s a classic Italian Easter cake.  It’s traditionally made with a “pasta frolla” crust and a hardy custard-like filling that’s made up of ricotta cheese, eggs, cooked wheat berries and orange blossom water.  

We are exited to share with you this delicious gluten-free version. Our recipe replaces the cooked wheat berries (which contain gluten) with buckwheat groats (naturally gluten-free) for a hearty, chewy texture. And uses Krumville's pastry flour mix, for a perfect gluten-free tart crust.

Let's get started, shall we?

What you'll need:

Large Bowl  -  Sauce pan  -  Food Processor  -  Spatula (Preferably Wooden)  -  9'' springform cake pan


Cooked buckwheat:

200 gr drained buckwheat groats soaked in water overnight. ( my favorite are from Birkett Mills)

200gr milk

30 gr butter

5 gr lemon zest ( 1 lemon)

pinch of salt.


Cooled cook buckwheat

450 gr Ricotta cheese ( I prefer a all natural one with out additives, from Maplebrook)

350 gr Pure cane sugar 

130 gr eggs

55 gr yolks

1 TSP Pure Vanilla extract (my favorites brands are Singing Dog & Madecasse)

1 TSP Cinnamon ground (I love the vietnamese cinnamon from Frontier)

1 TPS Orange Blossom Water ( cortas at

1 TBSP + 1 TSP Candied Lemon Zest ( I use Perfect Puree, you can replace with lemon zest or meyer lemon zest)

Tart Crust (pasta frolla): (30-40min prep)

1 lb Krumville's gluten-free pastry fl mix ( can substitute with Bob's Pie Crust mix)

1/2 TSP Salt

1/4 TSP Baking Soda

1 TBSP+2 TSP Pure Cane Sugar

300 gr of butter (cut 1/2 inc cubes - keep cold in fridge)

150 gr eggs ( 3 LG)

20 gr Egg yolk (1 LG yolk)

1 zest lemon


Bake crust and filling in a 9'' springform pan  - pre-greased with pan spray of butter and lined with parchment.

Powder sugar for dusting.


Cooked Buckwheat (Naturally Gluten-Free!):


In a small sauce pan add the milk-drained buckwheat, butter, lemon zest and salt.  Bring to a boil, cover and let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until buckwheat is cooked.  Add water if necessary.  


With a wooden spatula mix the cooked buckwheat, sugar, ricotta cheese, eggs, egg yolks, vanilla extract, cinnamon, orange blossom water and candied lemon zest until all ingredients are uniform.  The flavor will get even better if you do this step the night before and let it rest in the fridge overnight. 

Tart crust:

In a large bowl sift the flour mix, salt, baking soda and sugar.  Add the cubed butter and roughly mix them together.  

Add the butter and flour mix a little at a time in the food processor.  You want to have a nice equal balance of chunks of butter and flour while processing.  Fill the processor halfway.  Pulse until you get a coarse mix.  The butter should be the size of a half a pea. Transfer mix to a large bowl.  Repeat process until all the butter and flour is completely processed.  

Make a center well and add the eggs, yolk and lemon zest in the middle. 

Start mixing from the center with a spatula or your hand until you get a uniform dough.  Be careful not to knead too much.  Think: dense crust versus a nice flaky crust.

Wrap dough in plastic and let rest in the fridge for at least 40 mins. before rolling out the tart.

Roll out some  dough (about 1/4 inc. thick) onto a piece of pre-cut parchment paper the size of your pan. Place the dough and parchment paper circle in your buttered cake pan- dough facing up.

 Keep rolling out large strips of dough on top of parchment paper.  The long strips of parchment paper should be long enough to cover the perimeter/height of the pan.

Fill the bottom corners by hand with a long thin strip of dough.  Then fill the tart with the filling and fold down the edges of the dough to make the edge thicker.  That will prevent it from burning when it goes in the oven.  


Preheat oven to 390 degrees and bake for at least 1 hour, or until the filling has a nice golden crust.  

Take cake out and let it completely cool before removing it from the springform pan.  Dust with a little powdered sugar, and serve.

Save the leftovers!  Krumville’s gluten-free Pastiera Napoletana is even better enjoyed the next day!  

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