Torta Sbrisolona – huge polenta biscuit from Mantova

Polenta biscuit recipe

Torta Sbrisolona
I’d never seen a crumble cake in Italy until I walked by the souvenir shops in Mantova and saw the local torta sbrisolona displayed in varying sizes. The verb sbriciolare means to crumble, and that’s what you get: A huge, crumbly polenta biscuit with almonds and cornmeal, but without the fruit filling I’d normally expect to find in this kind of context. Still, the biscuit has a nice crunch and an appealing taste of almonds with a hint of lemon. And I will definitely make it again as an supplement or alternative to the stable chocolate chip cookies.


100 g butter
100 g flour
100 g polenta flour
100 g sugar
100 g blanched almonds
1 egg yolk
Zest of 1 lemon


Rub polenta, flour and sugar with butter till it resembles bread crumbs.
Chop the almonds coarsely, grate the lemon zest and add it to the crumble.
Use the egg yolk to bind the pastry together
Spread it out as a flat round disc on a sheet of baking paper
Bake at 160 C /320 F for 30 minutes
Torta sbrisolona should be broken with the hands and not cut with a knife

polenta biscuit

Other recipes based on polenta

Venice style liver paté

Bustrengo – Polenta and apple cake

Polenta and mushrooms


8 replies
  1. foodwanderings
    foodwanderings says:

    Wow. Love this local specialty in very few words you captured an entire world. Looks super delicious! I love learning something new. In Israel on out vacation I couldn’t stop eating polenta citrus cookies.

  2. Mary @ Fit and Fed
    Mary @ Fit and Fed says:

    Very nice! I’m familiar with a similar recipe from Jack Bishop’s Italian Vegetarian Cookbook for cornmeal biscotti. It also has the cornmeal, butter and lemon zest but does not have the blanched almonds that are in your recipe. I’d like to try it with the almonds, thanks for the idea!


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