Lobster Tail Pastry Sfogliatella

Every once in a while, a recipe comes along that just begs to be tried, if only because of its unique and wonderful connection by name to seafood. Did you know you can get lobster tails at Italian bakeries in Boston? Well, not real lobster tails, but a sweet and delicious dessert treat that in certain variations resembles a lobster tail.

Today’s special recipe is a Lobster Tail Pastry Sfogliatella, which is a shell-shaped, cream-filled Italian pastry originally from the southern Italian region of Campania.

From our friends at Just a Pinch recipes, give this sweet delight a try for a change of taste!

Lobster Tail Pastry Sfogliatella Lobster Tail Pastry Sfogliatella recipe courtesy of Just a Pinch Recipes

Prep: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Pastry Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semolina flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup butter
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup butter


Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 cup skim milk
  • ¼ cup semolina flour
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon



  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine both flours, sugar and salt. Mix well, then cut in butter until dough is well blended. Slowly add the water.
  2. Knead until dough is firm. Form into a ball, cover with saran wrap and chill for 2 hours in refrigerator.
  3. In a medium saucepan, add milk and bring to boil. Slowly stir in the semolina. Whisk constantly until smooth. Simmer 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a large bowl and cool.
  4. When mixture is cool, add ricotta (passed through a sieve), egg, sugar, lemon zest, and sugar. Beat will then set aside.
  5. Remove dough and divide into 2 equal parts. Place on pastry board (dusted) and roll into an 18 inch square. Dough will be very thin, brush with butter.
  6. Roll like jelly roll and cut roll into 3-4 inch pieces. Place on piece in hand, press thumb into middle of pastry and push it down to form a hole like a sugar cone shape. Fill center with filling. Fold the “cone” until the open edges touch. Gently press to seal. Place dough down onto pastry board and gently pull out the sides of the front to form a shell. Brush the tops with beaten egg yolk. Repeat with other tails until filling is gone.
  7. Preheat oven to 425º. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and place the shells on the parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes or until brown. Let the pastry cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then place on rack. Serve when cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Sfogliatella, which means “small, then leaf/layer” refers to the pastry’s resemblance to stacked leaves. The lobster tail variation of the pastry only exists in the U.S., and doesn’t refer to the look of the pastry as it’s made in Italy. Either way, it looks like a dessert that’s as every bit unique as its name!