This Italian Mother-in-Law Cake also known as la Torta della Suocera is a quick and easy cake. Perfect for Breakfast or Snack and for serving unexpected guests, even your Mother-in-Law! Add a dusting of powdered sugar and it’s ready to serve.
If there’s one thing I learned from living in Italy all these years it’s that cake is a way to show off your baking ability. Everyone is proud of their creation. Whether you serve it as a Breakfast treat with a caffe latte or in the afternoon with an espresso.
How to make it
In a large bowl beat together the eggs, yolk and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cream and beat on low to combine.
Add the flour, baking powder and salt beat for about 1 minute. Pour into the prepared pan and bake.
Let the cake slightly cool in the pan then move to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
Why is it called Mother-in-Law Cake?
Apparently the reason it is called this is because it can be made very quickly, so when your Mother-in-law phones at the last minute to say she is on her way, you can bake her a quick delicious cake in no time!
How to Make Cake Flour
For every cup of all purpose flour, remove two tablespoons and replace with two tablespoons of corn starch. Be sure to sift the flour and cornstarch together a couple of times, this way it is sure to be properly combined and lump free. Cake flour in cakes will give you a very tender texture and fine crumb, it will also help the cake to rise.
Why use whole or heavy cream?
Whole, heavy or whipping cream all have a higher fat content (around 30%) then lower fat or half and half cream. The higher fat is needed since this recipes does not contain butter or oil. If you use a lower fat cream I cannot guarantee the results.
What makes a cake fall?
- There are a lot a reasons a cake may fall, but the most common ones are, your oven temperature is off, you can always check it with an oven thermometer to check this. You open the oven door too early.
- Once the batter is mixed it should be baked, letting a cake batter sit too long can cause it to fall. The baking powder or baking soda usually start acting immediately and will only last for a very short period of time, therefore if the cake batter is left to stand before baking then there is always a risk that the baking powder or soda will have expired by the time that the cake goes into the oven.
- Your baking powder or soda has expired and is no long active.
- The pan size might not be the correct size, sometimes using a bundt pan will help.
How to store a Homemade Cake
The cake should be stored in an airtight container or a covered cake dish. It will keep at room temperature for approximately 4-5 days. The cake can also be frozen. Wrap the cooled cake tightly in plastic and place in a freezer safe bag or container. It will keep for up to three months in the freezer.
More Delicious Italian Cakes
Italian Chocolate Chip Ricotta Cake
So if you are looking for an easy cake to make whether it’s for your mother-in-law or not, I hope you try this Italian Mother-in-Law Cake and let me know how it is. Enjoy!
Italian Mother-in-Law Cake
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- ½ cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (112 grams total)
- ¾ cup + 2 ½ tablespoons whole/heavy/whipping cream (200 grams total)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1¼ cups cake flour*
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
*To make homemade cake flour, for every cup of flour remove 2 tablespoons and replace with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, sift together.
- Pre-heat oven to 340F (170C). Grease and flour an 8 inch (20 cm) round cake pan.
- In a large bowl (or stand up mixer using the whisk attachment) beat together the eggs, yolk and sugar until light and fluffy. About 4-5 minutes. Add the cream and vanilla and beat on low to combine.
- Add the flour, baking powder and salt beat for 1 minute. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for approximately 40-45 minutes, check for doneness with a toothpick.
- Let the cake slightly cool (about 10 minutes) in the pan then move to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar before serving. Enjoy!
Hello, I would like to bake this cake but have only 24cm baking form. Would it be a problem?
Hi Adel, you could use it, but the cake won’t be as high. Let me know if you try it. Take care!
Thank you so much for the quick reply, batter is in the oven, so hope for the best as this is my fourth try with cakes – three failure before I found your page today, so fingers crossed🙂
Could you please confirm on the photo of the recipe is it the 1x measurement of the cake? My cake pan was bigger, 24cm but it came out with 3-4 cm high. Could it be an issue with any ingredients? The baked cake should look still a bit wet or should it be totally cooked? Thanks for the recipe, it smells wonderful, still waiting for cooling🙂
Hi Adel, yes the photo is of the exact measurements in the recipe and using an 8 inch pan, you used a bigger pan so the cake won’t come out as high. The cake should be baked right through and not wet, check it with a tooth pick to make sure it’s baked. The pan you used is about 9 1/2 inches so that’s pretty big. If you get the chance to get an 8 inch (20cm) pan it would work better. Most of my cakes I make with 8 inches. Let me know how it goes. Take care.
I almost walked away from this recipe because of its name ;P
Best tasting cake I’ve ever made. The best part is, it is made with very few ingredients. Mine came out a bit flat though. Probably because my cake pan was not the right size and I didn’t beat the cream well enough into the eggs and sugar. So that’s my bad. I will do it again. Thanks a lot.
Hi Cally thanks so much, so glad you enjoyed it. Have a great weekend.
I’m going to be making this cake this weekend and was wondering about the pan size. I have an 8 inch cake pan (2 inch depth). Would that work for this recipe or does it really need to be deeper and/or a springform?
Hi Addie, that would be the perfect size. Just be sure to either spray or grease and flour the pan first. Let me know how it turns out. 🙂
Hi Rosemary, the cake was so tasty! It was so beautiful when I took it out but did collapse a few minutes after it came out of the oven. Still tasted really good! I’m trying to figure out why that might be to prevent it next time. Might just try leaving it in the oven for a few extra minutes with the oven off and door slightly open so it doesn’t cool to quickly. Or maybe try it with the Bundt pan instead. 😊
Thanks so much for such a great recipe!
Hi Addie, there are a few reasons the cake may fall, your oven temperature could be off, the ingredients are too cold (not room temperature), you open the oven door too soon (not before 25-30 minutes), make sure the baking powder and or soda are active. The pan size is accurate, sometimes a bundt help will help with a cake falling. Hope this helps. Glad you enjoyed it though.
Family enjoyed. Tastes like an “Angel” food cake and very light.
Thanks Norma glad everyone enjoyed it. Have a wonderful Sunday.
Love this cake, so simple and delicious. I see there is a calorie amount list but for what size or oz etc.
Hi Clare, thanks so much, glad you enjoyed it. The calorie amount is per serving. So if you cut it in 8 servings each serving will be 223 calories. 🙂
Hi, love your blog. I would appreciate your help with a baking problem. I am not having any success since I moved to Italy. We’re at 650 meters altitude, lower than our former home on Calgary. The Italian baking powder is not leavening the way I’m used to in Canada. Everything I try comes out flat (so far cakes, pancakes, biscuits.) Do I need to make my own double-acting baking powder? Do your recipes use Canadian or Italian baking powder? Any suggestions? Off to try your stuffed zuccchini flowers today.
Hi Nancy, Welcome to Italy, when I first moved here I always used Italian baking powder, Paneangeli Lievito Pane degli Angeli, Vaniglinato per Dolci, Lievitazione Istantanea, 48g, its in a greenish/blue paper bag and there are 3 small envelopes inside. I always measured it as per recipe, if the recipe called for 1 teaspoon I would measure out 1 teaspoon from the envelope. And now I bring baking powder back with me, because 3 small envelopes always drove me crazy instead of a container, that would last longer than a few days. You can make your own, which I plan on trying out, combine half a teaspoon of cream of tartar and a quarter teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. This provides the equivalent of one teaspoon of baking powder. Hope this helps.
Should the eggs and cream be at room temperature like you would typically want with most baked goods? Or are they meant to be right out of the fridge since this was intended to be something you could throw together at the last minute? Thanks! Can’t wait to make this, it sounds great!
Hi Margot, I made this with right out of the fridge and so did my recipe tester. If you prefer room temperature that would definitely work also. Let me know how it goes.
Dolores ulc says
The receipt says 1 teaspoon vanilla but you don’t say when to add it.
Hi Dolores, sorry about that, add it with the cream. Thanks.
I made this cake today, the flavor turned out great but it fell once I took it out of the oven, so it was about an inch tall, what do you think happened?
Hi Elva, I had my cousin retest the recipe for me (she’s in Canada) and it turned out perfectly. It could be that your oven temperature is off, or you under or over beat the ingredients, your baking powder could be stale or did you open the oven door before 30 minutes? Let me know.
Very easy to make , but mine came out looking very pale and didn’t rise to same height, seemed flatter. While the showed a deep golden brown cake.
I did have to make my own cake flour using gluten free flour, could this be the reason?
Hi Jane, yes it definitely is the gluten free flour, gluten free flour apparently needs to be beaten longer and sometimes it is recommended to add an extra egg. I have never baked with gluten free so this is what I have read.
Thanks so much Vanessa. Take care.
Notes say that the wrong pan size can mess up the cake, but correct pan size is not specified?
Oops sorry never mind found it
Thanks, looking forward to trying this
Thanks AB let me know how it goes.