Following true Italian traditions, pasta frolla in my kitchen is used for biscuits and, overall, a special Italian “open” jam filled pie called Crostata. You can use any type of jam (homemade jam would be the best, but a good quality grocery-brought jar is a valid alternative). I personally prefer blueberry or blackberry jam, my husband peach or strawberry. A kids favourite variation is of course with the ever popular Nutella!

Today I show you how to make an authentic Crostata with the kids using the pasta frolla dough. Quick and easy to make, the kids can be involved in making the dough, spreading the filling and decorating it.

An Italian jam cake: the Crostata

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy

A traditional Italian cake, quick and easy to make, perfect for breakfast or tea time!


  • 550 g pasta frolla dough (see recipe)
  • 200 g jam for the filling (today we used strawberry jam)


  • non-stick springform cake tin*
  • wooden pastry board
  • rolling pin
  • cookie cutters (optional)


  1. Flour the wooden board and place the pasta frolla ball on top.
  2. Divide the pasta frolla dough into 2 parts, 2/3 and 1/3.
  3. Take the bigger ball and roll it into a flat round, about 0.5 cm thick.
  4. Transfer it to a greased and floured cake pan.
  5. Fill the pastry shell with jam and spread it evenly.
  6. With the smaller ball of dough make rolls.
  7. Create a criss-cross pattern with the rolls. Alternatively, use pastry cutters to make your favourites shapes (7a).
  8. Bake in pre-heated oven at 180°C for 30-35 minutes. Let it cool, transfer to a plate and… Buon appetito!


*The recipe is perfect for a 30 cm (12 inches) round cake pan, or for two cake pans – one of 23 cm (9 inches) and one 18 cm (7 inches) – or for 7-8 tartlets tins 10 cm.
The old-fashioned criss-cross pattern is a classic. Over the years I experimented  different decorations with the kids: stars, geometric shapes, animal shapes, letters and numbers, using cookies cutters or creative modelling. Here are some crostata decorations of ours.

Maths Cookie image

CraftyMessyMom’s Maths Cookies

KIRFs: fractions, times
  1. What is 1/3 of the pasta frolla weight? And 2/3?
  2. If I put the cake in the oven at 4:47 pm and the cooking time is 35 minutes, what time the cake will be ready?

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Crostata recipe |