Testa di Turco (Castelbuono’s Dessert)

Testa di Turco (Castelbuono's Dessert)
Testa di Turco is a spoon dessert of Castelbuono,

an ancient medieval village a few kilometers from Cefalù, in the province of Palermo.

cefalutesta di turco

Testa di Turco is a dessert consisting of layers of thin fried sheets of pasta dough which are interspersed with milk cream (very similar to Biancomangiare) and an abundant sprinkle of cinnamon.

Testa di Turco (Castelbuono's Dessert)
Testa di Turco (Castelbuono’s Dessert)

TesIt is customary to consume it during the Christmas period and, above all, at the Carnival period.

A popular legend tells that this dessert was developed centuries ago on the occasion of the defeat of the Arabs by the Normans and that the citizens celebrated the liberation with the preparation of this typical dessert.

Testa di Turco (Castelbuono's Dessert)
Testa di Turco (Castelbuono’s Dessert)

Testa di Turco (Castelbuono’s Dessert)

Prep Time1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Resting Time2 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: biancomangiare, carnival, christmas dessert
Servings: 4


Sheets of pasta dough:

  • 100 g 00 flour 3/4 cup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 spoon of sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • frying oil


  • 500 ml milk 2 cups
  • 100 g sugar 1/2 cup
  • 50 g corn starch 4 tbsp
  • 1 grated lemon peel

To garnish:

  • cinnamon powder
  • chocolate chips


Sheets of pasta dough

  • In a bowl add the egg, the spoonful of sugar, the salt, and the flour, mix until a smooth and homogeneous mixture is obtained. Then flatten the dough very thinly on a pastry board and prepare strips as large as lasagna. Fry the sheets in hot frying oil until they turn golden and the bubbles emerge and let them drain for a while on absorbent paper.


  • In a saucepan, put the milk (keep ½ cup aside), the lemon zest, the sugar, and the cinnamon powder, cook over low heat. While the milk is heating up, pour the starch into a bowl and dissolve it with the remaining cold milk. Then add the latter to the milk in the saucepan and mix continuously with a whisk. Once the mixture starts to thicken, remove it from the heat.


  • Put a layer of fried dough sheets on the bottom of a serving dish, pour part of the cream evenly and sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Then repeat the operation alternating layers of fried sheets, cream, and cinnamon until it ends with cinnamon. Keep the dessert in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours, then garnish with chocolate chips.


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