This crostata alla Nutella (Italian Nutella tart) has a tender, buttery crust and a rich, chocolate hazelnut filling. The shortcrust pastry dough, pasta frolla, comes together easily and the creamy chocolate filling has only 3 ingredients. It's perfect for a coffee treat, an after school snack (like in Italy!) or a special dessert.
Crostata alla nutella is a variation on the classic rustic crostata di marmellata, or Italian jam tart. It's a dessert made throughout Italy, with that ubiquitous chocolate hazelnut spread, Nutella. The shortcrust pastry (pasta frolla in Italian) is a sweet and buttery dough that is a staple in Italian baking. It includes baking powder for a light and tender texture.
I've used the dough in this pasta frola, an Argentine tart made with quince paste, and also to create these rich, filled Nutella biscuits. It's a wonderfully easy dough to mix up, and handles beautifully.
This nutella tart has a creamy, rich center filled with an easy (and generous) portion of Nutella. Adding a bit of heavy cream and butter ensures that the filling remains soft and smooth. Without this addition, Nutella can harden and dry out - or become grainy - when baked. This recipe has a lush, gooey Nutella center that complements the tender, buttery crust.
In Italy, this chocolate hazelnut tart is often served as a homemade snack for children, as a birthday cake, and also at cafes and restaurants. Whether for children or a chocolate lover of any age, this indulgent recipe is sure to please.
- Unsalted butter - Using unsalted butter allows you to control the total quantity of salt in the recipe. Salt content in salted butter varies from brand to brand. Butter should be at room temperature. The majority of the butter is used in the pasta frolla dough, with 2 Tablespoons reserved for the tart filling, for extra richness and shine.
- Granulated sugar - For sweetness, and to help the crust brown.
- All purpose flour - Flour binds the dough together.
- Kosher salt - For added flavor.
- Baking powder - For leavening, giving the dough a softer, lighter texture.
- Eggs - One whole egg plus an egg yolk serve as a binder and add fat and flavor to the dough.
- Nutella - Nutella is the star of this recipe! While there are other brands of chocolate hazelnut spread available, I encourage you to use Nutella brand, as the recipe and consistency of each product is different. I tested this recipe using Nutella spread.
- Heavy cream - Cream adds moisture to the Nutella, keeping it from drying out while baking.
See recipe card for quantities.
Learn how to make homemade crostata alla Nutella with Italian shortcrust pastry (pasta frolla) and just a few ingredients for the filling. These photos will walk you through the process. See the recipe card for detailed instructions.
To make the dough, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until well combined. Scrape down sides of the bowl.
Add flour, salt and baking powder. Mix on medium low speed until mixture resembles fine sand.
Add egg and egg yolk. Mix on low speed just until mixture comes together.
Gather dough into a rectangle. Separate dough into two uneven portions - one should be ⅔ of the dough, and the other should be ⅓. Flatten each dough piece into a round disc.
Roll out the larger piece of dough between two pieces of parchment paper to ⅛ inch (3 millimeters) thick.
Flip dough upside down onto tart pan. Press dough into pan.
Trim excess dough from edge of tart pan. Place tart pan in refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.
Combine scraps with remaining dough. Roll dough to ⅛" (3 millimeters) thick between two sheets of parchment. Place on sheet pan and chill briefly in refrigerator to firm. Cut dough into long 1 inch wide (2.5 centimeter) strips. Place back on sheet pan into refrigerator to chill.
In a small sauce pot (or a microwave safe bowl), heat the cream and melt the butter. Cream should just begin to bubble at the edges. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for a bit.
In a medium bowl, measure out Nutella. Add warm cream and butter mixture. Whisk together.
Spoon Nutella mixture into the chilled tart shell and smooth the filling.
Place half of the lattice strips on the tart in one direction, spacing them 1 inch apart (the same width as the lattice). Press down gently on the edges to seal them.
Place the top layer of lattice strips at an angle to the bottom layer of strips to create an X shape. The holes between lattice strips should resemble squares.
Use a knife to trim the ends. Place tart in fridge to chill for 30-60 minutes.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until lattice and crust are lightly golden brown. Place on a baking rack to fully cool.
Refrigerate tart for at least one hour prior to serving in order to slice cleanly. Sprinkle the edges with cocoa powder immediately before serving.
Hints: When working with dough for lattice, make sure you chill the dough well first. Cut the lattice strips after you chill the rolled out dough, and then place back into the refrigerator again until cool.
If the lattice strips become too pliable as you are placing them on the crostata, pop them back in the fridge again for a few minutes.
Chill the fully assembled crostata alla nutella for at least 30 minutes before baking to ensure the butter in the dough is cold.
Give these variations a try:
- Hazelnut topping - Sprinkle chopped hazelnuts over the top of the tart before baking.
- Citrus zest - Pasta frolla dough often includes the zest of a lemon or orange (or both!). I omitted it here to focus on the chocolate hazelnut flavors, but you are welcome to add it back in.
- Espresso - For a boost of coffee flavor and to temper the sweetness of the Nutella, add up to 1 Tablespoon of instant espresso powder (affiliate link) to the cream and butter mixture.
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For my tart recipes, I use this nonstick carbon steel tart pan with a removable base.
A half sheet baking pan (18 x 13 inches) keeps the base of the tart from browning too quickly and catches any drips or spills. Sometimes butter leaks from the bottom of the tart pan, or the filling bubbles over a bit. Save yourself the work of cleaning the oven and use a foil lined baking sheet underneath!
Parchment paper is great for lining the baking pan. The cookies won't stick at all if you use parchment underneath. One roll of this 15 inch x 164 foot (38 centimeter x 50 meter) non-stick paper lasts a LONG time! If you have access to a Costco store, the price is often a bit better.
A pastry wheel makes cutting lattice strips easy. It has two wheels with both a plain side and a fluted side. The fluted side makes the pretty scalloped edge you see on the lattice in this recipe.
This Nutella tart is easiest to slice when chilled. Chill in the refrigerator until serving.
Store this tart (well wrapped) in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To freeze leftovers, wrap with plastic wrap and place in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw, unwrap to avoid condensation making the crust soggy. Defrost in the refrigerator prior to serving.
Crostata alla Nutella (Italian Nutella Tart)Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Pasta Frola Dough
- 170 grams (6 ounces; 12 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 100 grams (½ cup) granulated sugar
- 300 grams (2½ cups) all purpose flour
- 2 grams (½ teaspoon) Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 450 grams (16 ounces) Nutella brand chocolate hazelnut spread
- 125 mL (½ cup) heavy cream
- 28 grams (2 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 10 grams (2 Tablespoons) cocoa powder, for dusting on border of baked crostata
Pasta Frola Dough
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add lemon zest and mix again.170 grams (6 ounces; 12 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature, 100 grams (½ cup) granulated sugar
- Add flour, salt and baking powder. Mix on medium low speed until mixture resembles fine sand. Scrape down the bowl several times to ensure no large pieces of butter remain.300 grams (2½ cups) all purpose flour, 2 grams (½ teaspoon) Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Add egg and egg yolk. Mix on low speed just until mixture comes together. Do not over mix.1 large egg, 1 large egg yolk
- Gather dough into a rectangle. Separate the dough into two uneven portions - one should be ⅔ of the dough, and the other should be ⅓. Flatten each dough piece into a round disc.
- Roll out the larger piece of dough between two pieces of parchment paper (or a lightly floured surface, if you don't have parchment). It should be about ⅛" thick and the circle should be an inch wider than your tart pan on each side. Peel the parchment off of the top, and then replace. Flip the dough over while still sandwiched between parchment layers. Peel off the second parchment layer and discard.
- Carefully flip the dough upside down onto the tart pan. If any cracks or tears occur, patch with extra dough scraps. Press dough to ensure no air pockets remain between dough and pan.
- Trim excess dough from the edge of the tart pan with a knife held parallel to your work surface. Place tart pan in refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes. Combine leftover tart scraps with remaining ⅓ of dough.
- Roll out the remaining dough to a similar size between two sheets of parchment. Place on a sheet pan and chill in the refrigerator as well.
- In a small sauce pot (or a microwave safe bowl), heat the cream and melt the butter. Cream should just begin to bubble at the edges. Do not boil. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for a bit.125 mL (½ cup) heavy cream, 28 grams (2 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
- In a medium bowl, measure out Nutella. Add (warm, not hot) cream and butter mixture. Whisk slowly (and patiently!) until cream fully incorporates into the chocolate mixture. It will take time, but eventually it will come together in a smooth mixture and thicken somewhat.450 grams (16 ounces) Nutella brand chocolate hazelnut spread
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 Celsius, Gas mark 4).
- Remove the remaining sheet of dough from the refrigerator. Loosen both layers of parchment paper, but keep the dough on a parchment base. Using a ruler and a sharp knife, cut the dough into long ¾ inch wide strips. Place back on sheet pan into refrigerator to chill.
- Spoon the chocolate mixture into the chilled tart shell and use a mini offset spatula or the back of a spoon to level and smooth the filling.
- Place half of the lattice strips on the tart in one direction, spacing them ¾ inch apart (the same width as the lattice). Press down gently on the edges to seal them. Place the top layer of lattice strips at an angle to the bottom layer of strips to create an X shape. The holes between the lattice strips should resemble diamonds. Use a knife to trim the ends that overhang.
- Place tart (make sure it's level!) in fridge to chill for 30-60 minutes. This will ensure the dough is cold before baking.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until lattice and crust are very lightly golden brown. Place on a baking rack to fully cool.
- Once cool, refrigerate tart for one hour prior to serving in order to slice cleanly. Sprinkle with cocoa powder directly before serving.10 grams (2 Tablespoons) cocoa powder, for dusting on border of baked crostata
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