Sfogliatelle vs Lobster Tail – What Are The Differences & Similarities?

Sfogliatelle vs lobster tail, what are the differences or similarities?

Some pastries look alike. Also, different cuisines have different names for their pastries. As for sfogliatelle vs lobster tail, there are many questions on whether they are the same or not. Some chefs think of them as cousins, and others say they are different from each other.

If you’re a lover of Italian food, seeing sfogliatelle and lobster tail as names under the same picture could confuse you. More so, you have probably thought that you could be working with the wrong recipe. So, it’s time you got things straight.

What is a sfogliatelle?

Sfogliatelle is a classic Italian pastry that has a lot of crisp and flaky layers with a thick, rich filling on the inside. The pastry is molded and baked into a shell-like shape and is best served warm.

The name sfogliatelle stems from the leaf-like structure and texture of the layers. The layers are thin and stacked on each other like leaves. There are two varieties of sfogliatelle – ricci and frolle. The former is a curly sfogliatelle, while the latter is a smooth sfogliatelle.

Furthermore, the dough which makes the layers is made from flour, salt, and water. The filling is a rich mixture of candied citrus and vanilla filling which is thickened with semolina and ricotta cheese. Sfogliatelle is served for dessert in many classic Italian restaurants.

What is a lobster tail?

A lobster tail pastry is an American version of sfogliatelle ricci. Lobster tail is a shell-like pastry with a rich, creamy filling. It is eaten as breakfast, dessert, or a midday meal. Lobster tail pastries are highly nutritious and satisfying.

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Sfogliatelle vs lobster tail

Starting with the origin of both, sfogliatelle originates from Campania, Italy, while the lobster tail is an Italian American pastry. American lobster is sometimes referred to as a cousin of sfogliatelle because it looks like just one of the sfogliatelle varieties, sfogliatelle ricci.

Both pastries contain different fillings. The filling in sfogliatelle is made of ricotta cheese, semolina and candied citrus. The American lobster tail pastry, on the other hand, has three layers; the crisp and flaky shell, a cream puff dough, and a filling made of whipped cream and ricotta cheese.

Are there any similarities between sfogliatelle vs lobster tail?

Sfogliatelle and lobster tail are the same pastries from two different cuisines and are eaten in two different parts of the world.

SEE: Can You Make Dough With Just Flour And Water?

How to make sfogliatelle or American lobster tail

This recipe makes 10 lobster tail pastries.


For the dough

  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ cup of unsalted butter
  • ½ cup of lard
  • Warm water

For choux paste

  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 3 teaspoons of sugar (you may modify this)
  • A pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup of water

The filling

  • 1 cup of skim milk
  • ¼ cup of semolina flour
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup of chopped candied orange peel
  • 1 cup of ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg (extract the yolk)
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon of powdered cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup of chopped dark chocolate
  • Salt to taste

SEE: Which Is the Better Option Between Heavy Cream vs Sour Cream?


To make the dough

  • Mix the flour with about ¾ cup of warm water
  • Knead the dough until it is smooth
  • Afterward, wrap it in plastic wrap and allow it to sit overnight or for up to five hours. The dough should be soft and very stretchy when you touch it
  • While you wait, beat the butter and lard until you have a soft mixture
  • When the dough is soft enough, grease it. Take a medium-sized ball of dough (you need to work with a little dough at a time) and roll it out into a thin, long rectangle
  • Then, grease the dough with the butter and lard mix
  • Stretch out the greased dough and roll it tightly into a long log of about 11-12 inches
  • Grease the outer part of the log and wrap it in plastic and refrigerate
  • Do this for the rest of the dough

For choux paste

  • Mix water, butter, salt, and sugar in a saucepan and bring it to a boil
  • Take the pan off the heat and stir in the flour
  • Then, put the pan on heat again while you stir the mixture
  • The dough should begin to look dry before you take it off the heat
  • When it cools, break and beat the eggs into the dough
  • Mix vigorously until you have a smooth paste
  • Whip any leftover choux paste with ricotta cheese. If you don’t have any choux paste leftover, make diplomat cream

The filling

  • Simmer sugar, water, and salt in a saucepan
  • Then, stir in sifted semolina into the liquid
  • Continue to stir until it thickens
  • Afterward, add egg yolk, lemon zest, ricotta cheese, chocolate, candied orange peel, and vanilla extract
  • Beat it until you have a smooth mixture
  • After, add the milk for a creamy filling

Making sfogliatelle or American lobster tail

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Bring out the chilled dough and trim the ends
  • Cut the dough into 1-inch slices
  • Carve the dough slices into cones with your fingers
  • Pour the choux paste into a piping bag. Pour the creamy filling into another piping bag
  • If you want to make American lobster tail, pipe the cones full with choux paste and pinch the edges
  • If you’re making sfogliatelle, pipe the cones with the ricotta and semolina filling and pinch the edges close
  • Bake until the pastries are golden brown and crisp
  • If you’re making American lobster tails, make a small hole at the end of the lobster tails to allow steam to escape
  • Allow the pastries to cool
  • Then, pipe in the whipped cream and ricotta or diplomat cream through the hole you made at the ends
  • Serve for breakfast or dessert
  • If you did not eat all the pastries, wrap the leftovers in plastic and refrigerate for two days or freeze for two weeks

SEE: How Long Can Dough Sit Out Before Going Bad?


Can you freeze sfogliatelle?

Yes, you can. You can store uncooked and cooked sfogliatelle leftovers in the freezer. Baked sfogliatelle can last up to two weeks in the freezer, while the rolled-out dough can last up to a month under proper storage.

Can you warm sfogliatelle?

Yes, you can. If you have stored sfogliatelle leftovers, you can reheat them in the oven before eating. Warm the pastries for about 10 minutes in a 359°F oven. Make sure you allow frozen sfogliatelle (cooked or uncooked) to thaw before you reheat it.

How long does sfogliatelle last?

Sfogliatelle can stay out for a few hours at room temperature. If you need to keep it up to a week, refrigerate it. Freezing the pastries will keep them up to two months.

Does sfogliatelle go bad?

Sfogliatelle will go bad if you have not stored it properly. These pastries are best eaten fresh, but you can store the leftovers for up to a few days.


Sfogliatelle and lobster tail are different names for the same pastry originating from two different cuisines. The Italians call their pastry sfogliatelle, while the lobster tail is an Italian American pastry.

Now that you know the difference and similarities, you should settle down with a recipe and make yourself and your family a good treat. In addition, sfogliatelle or lobster tail is a good idea for a family gathering or a get-together.

Thanks for reading.

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