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Atrani's traditional version has it filled with fragrant lemon cream and black cherries in syrup, but it is not difficult to find it also in chocolate variants or filled with jams of various flavors. Here you have the original recipe for the tastiest pasticciotto on the Coast.

by Vittoria Samaria

Also known as bucchinotto or bocconotto, news of this wonderful dessert can already be found in one of the oldest Neapolitan cooking texts, "Cucina teorico pratica" by Ippolito Cavalcanti of 1837, a milestone in Italian gastronomic literature, in which the Pasticciotto is filled only with black cherries.

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The Atranese pasticciotto of the Pansa pastry shop in Amalfi

The History of Pasticciotto atranese

The very curious name, later translated into pasticciotto instead, may derive from the term "bocconetto" that is, a sweet to be eaten "in a mouthful", so of small size. Its size makes us think of a humble origin, perhaps peasant, not accustomed to waste and glitz.

Certainly this sublime sweet, prepared throughout southern Italy and especially in Puglia, arrived on the Amalfi Coast thanks to the intuition of master ice cream maker Francesco Cretella who, together with his wife Alda De Pascale, decided to make a local version of this pastry,filled with delicate pastry cream, scented with sfusato amalfitano lemon and juicy sour cherries. It was meant to be served with espresso coffee, first in Cretella’s small place, Bar Lucia, and later at Bar Vittoria, in the square of Atrani.

Since that time, and after renaming it "Pasticciotto atranese," this delicacy has been proposed both in the traditional version and in countless new variations in all the pastry shops of the Coast, continuing to delight the palates of the many tourists who arrive every year in this earthly paradise.

Here is the original recipe for Pasticciotto atranese


  • 500 gr 00 flour

  • 200 gr of sugar

  • 300 gr of fresh soft butter

  • 3 egg yolks (about 60 gr)

  • 1 whole egg (about 50 gr)

  • 10 gr salt

  • vanilla bean (⅓)

  • Amalfi Coast lemon peel.


  • black cherries in syrup q.s.


  • 700 ml fresh whole milk

  • 12 egg yolks (about 240 gr)

  • 300 gr sugar

  • 80 gr of cornstarch

  • 4 gr of salt

  • vanilla bean (⅓)

  • 300 ml fresh liquid cream

  • 4 lemon peels Amalfi Coast


For the shortcrust pastry

  • In a planetary mixer, place the eggs, sugar, salt dissolved in a little water, softened butter and vanilla. Emulsify everything.
  • Add the flour and mix until the dough is smooth and firm.
  • Form the mix into a loaf, wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least half an hour.

For the custard

  • Boil the milk, cream, lemon peel salt and vanilla in a small saucepan.

  • Emulsify the yolks with the sugar, add the cornstarch, and then pour into the mix the still-boiling milk (removed the lemon peel and vanilla bean before pouring it).

  • Transfer the mix back to the heat and stir continuously until the cream has thickened.

  • Once the cream is the right consistency pour it into a container and cover it with clingfilm.

  • Let it cool.

How to compose the Pasticciotti

  • Roll out the shortcrust pastry to a thickness of about ½ cm and cover the single-portion steel molds of the shape you desire.

  • Stuff with black cherries on the bottom, custard up to ¾ of the mold and more black cherries with some juice.

  • Close with another layer of pastry making sure of sealing the edges properly and bake at 180°C until golden brown ( about 35 min.).

  • Once cooled, cover the Atranese pasticciotti with powdered sugar and consume it within 3 to 4 days.


If they are in season, black cherries in syrup can be made at home very easily with this recipe: 
500 gr pitted black cherries:

  • 500 gr pitted black cherries
  • 250 gr sugar
  • 30 gr of cornstarch
  • 6 gr pectin
  • Put everything together and simmer for about 5 minutes on low heat.

You can find the Atranese pasticciotto in all the pastry shops on the Amalfi coast.

We tasted it at
Pasticceria Pansa 
Piazza Duomo, 40
84011 Amalfi SA

  • In Penisola sorrentina almond paste is also added to the filling.

  • In Naples, the pasticciotto with cream and black cherries is widely consumed for breakfast.

  • The uncooked pasticciotti in their molds can be frozen and baked when needed, from frozen, at 180° for 40 minutes. 

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