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Zuppa Inglese Recipe

Zuppa Inglese

We are huge fans of this Italian trifle-like dessert made from savoiardi cookies and delicious crema pasticcera in two variations. Zuppa Inglese is made by layering pastry cream and savoiardi soaked into Alchermes liqueur which gives interesting colour contrast. Alchermes is a spicy-sweet liqueur with lovely herb aroma and bright red colour. 

Zuppa Inglese is an ideal treat as an afternoon snack or as a sweet conclusion to the meal.

Zuppa Inglese

How to make Zuppa Inglese

Just follow our recipe and you will get a perfect creamy treat you will adore. First make crema pasticcera with milk, cream, sugar and eggs. Flavour one part of the cream with chocolate. Now pour the Alchermes into a bowl. Dip savoiardi, one by one, into the mixture and layer them in the base of serving cup. Cover with plain pastry cream then add another layer or savoiardi. Add a layer of chocolate custard, then add another layer of savoiardi. The final layer should be plain pastry cream. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving, then topped with shavings of dark chocolate or cocoa powder. 

Useful tips for making perfect zuppa Inglese

  • You can make Zuppa Inglese in a traditional trifle glass bowl to increase the vintage appeal of this dessert. Alternatively, you can prepare it in a square glass dish or single-serving cups or glasses.

  • In the case you can't find Alchermes liqueur, you may use some other liqueur to flavour savoiardi.

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Zuppa Inglese

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Zuppa Inglese

Zuppa Inglese

SERVES: 4 glasses
COOKS IN: 40 minutes plus chilling



  • 4 medium egg yolks
  • 60 g caster sugar
  • 30 g cornstarch
  • 400 ml milk
  • 200 ml whipping cream
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 50 g dark chocolate


  • 100 ml Alchermes liqueur
  • 20 savoiardi (lady fingers)


  1. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until the sugar has dissolved and you get a creamy texture. Stir in the cornstarch and mix until combined.

  2. Pour the milk, whipping cream and vanilla bean into a heavy-based pan and set over a low heat bringing to a gentle simmer.

  3. Remove from the heat and take out vanilla bean from the milk. Gently pour the milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the pan and whisk over a low heat until the cream thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.

  4. Divide the cream into two bowls. Add the chocolate to one and stir until melted and leave the remaining cream plain. Set creams aside to cool.

  5. Place Alchermes liqueur in a shallow bowl. Quickly dip one by one ladyfinger into the liqueur and place side by side at the bottom of your bowl or serving glasses. Top with a layer of chocolate cream. Add another layer of ladyfingers followed by plain cream. Repeat this one more time - your final layer should be plain cream.

  6. Zuppa Inglese should be cooled in the fridge for 2 - 3 hours before serving. The best would be to keep them refrigerated overnight.

  7. To make a special effect decorate dessert with the shaved chocolate or cocoa powder before serving. 

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