Traditional Recipe: Torta Paradiso (Heaven Cake)


This is a traditional dessert from Genoa, a very delicate, light and soft sponge cake that everybody loves! It reminds me of my childhood: at the time, my mother used to buy this cake from Panarello, one of the best and most famous posh bakeries in town. Panarello’s Torta Paradiso is truly amazing! If you ever come to visit Genoa, I strongly recommend that you try this cake in one of their shops.


This recipe was inspired by Panarello’s Torta Paradiso (and I assure you, it also gets very close to the real thing), which is slightly more elaborated and delicious than the old Genoese recipe. In the traditional recipe (and by traditional I mean the really old one), you would only use potato starch, the juice of a lemon, eggs, baking powder, sugar and finally, butter, but, only to grease the tin.


Torta Paradiso.


for a 28 cm in diameter cake

Preparation: 20 minutes

Cooking: 50 minutes

Medium/ Difficult

200 g (7.05 oz) butter, softened

200 g (7.05 oz) icing sugar (and a little more icing sugar to garnish the cake)

100 g (3.5 oz) manitoba flour

100 g (3.5 oz) potato starch

4 egg yolks

3 whole eggs

2 drops of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

a pinch of salt

a few drops of almond flavouring


1. Separate the egg whites from the yolks and put everything aside.


2. Sift together the flour, the potato starch and the baking powder.

3. Stir the softened butter with the sugar, the almond flavouring and the vanilla extract, until you get a creamy mixture. Then gradually add all the egg yolks into the mixture.


4. Also add the flour and the starch (but still very gradually). Mix everything well.


5. Beat all the egg whites with a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of lemon juice, until stiff. Combine the egg whites into the mixture, stirring gently.



6. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 ° C (356 °F) for at least 50 minutes, using a greased baking dish (with 28 cm in diameter).



7. When the cake is completely cooled, garnish with plenty of icing sugar.








Torta Paradiso.

Media difficoltà

Preparazione: 20 minuti

Cottura: 50 minuti


200 g di burro

200 g di zucchero a velo (e dello zucchero a velo in più per decorare)

100 g di farina manitoba

100 g di fecola di patate

4 tuorli d’uovo

3 uova intere

2 gocce di estratto di vaniglia

un cucchiaio di succo di limone

1 busta di lievito per dolci

un pizzico di sale

qualche goccia di aroma di mandorla


1. Separate gli albumi dai tuorli e mettete tutto da parte.

2. Setacciate e unite la farina alla fecola di patate con il lievito.

3. Amalgamate il burro con lo zucchero, l’aroma di mandorla e l’estratto di vaniglia, fino ad ottenere una crema omogenea. Poi, incorporate gradualmente tutti i tuorli d’uova all’impasto.

4. Aggiungete anche la farina e la fecola (sempre gradualmente). Amalgamate bene tutto.

5. A parte, montate tutti gli albumi a neve con un pizzico di sale e un cucchiaio di succo di limone. Unite gli albumi montati al composto, mescolando delicatamente dal basso verso l’alto.

6. Infornate a forno preriscaldato a 180° C per almeno 50 minuti, utilizzando una teglia imburrata (di 28 cm di diametro).

7. Quando la torta sarà completamente raffreddata, guarnite con abbondante zucchero a velo.


36 thoughts on “Traditional Recipe: Torta Paradiso (Heaven Cake)

  1. Beautiful cake Serena. I had to look up manitoba flour, never heard of it before! I imagine this cake is so moist and light. Lovely photographs of the beaten egg whites!

    1. Thank you Seana for the nice compliment! 🙂 You can use plain flour, if you don’t find Manitoba. Manitoba flour is stronger. It is a lovely cake, all the children love it, because is very delicate and soft.

    1. Thank you Elizabeth! But you can make it 🙂 This is why I share these traditional recipes, I hope that people can enjoy them, wherever they are :-))) Have a great weekend ! 🙂

    1. Hi! Thank you for stopping by! You probably already have, but you don’t know it. 🙂 Pesto and focaccia, for examples, are Genovese recipes. 😉 I am so glad I can share more, on this blog 🙂

  2. Gorgeous cake. It seems so simple but then the best recipes don’t need a lot of elaborate decorations to make them stand out. I live in Ontario, Canada and had never heard of Manitoba flour so it was kind of funny to see it mentioned by a blogger from Genoa, Italy. I on the other hand, have been wondering if i should try tipo 00 flour the next time I make home made pasta. 🙂

    1. Hi! Your pasta looks fine! 🙂 We usually use flour 00 because is very fine and work well when you make thin layers. We also use a lot of eggs, therefore the result is quite yellow and elastic when you roll it. You can see one of the recipe here for fresh pasta:
      We use Manitoba flour for many things in Italy, you might call it with a different name. It’s Canadian type 0 flour, quite rich in proteins and works really well for long sourdough preparation and some sweet recipes.Try the Torta Paradiso, it is a plain cake but is really delicious, very soft and light. Kids love it over here!

      1. I used to get eggs from my parents who raised their own chickens which were fed from their garden but the commercially available eggs have much paler yolks even if you use more of them. I’ll give the cake a try one day. 🙂

      2. Ok, I see. Your parents’ eggs must be delicious! I usually buy organic eggs, but they probably feed the chicken with something to to make the egg yolks more yellow, anyway.

      3. My parents’ chickens roamed around eating insects, dark green veggies and even tomatoes from their garden. That affects the colour of the yolks.

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