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These airy, cream-filled pastries are called maritozzi and a must-make for any dessert lover. The buns have a soft, tender texture that pairs perfectly with the luscious vanilla filling! Top them off with a dusting of powdered sugar for a sweet Italian treat that everyone will love.

For more cream-filled treats, try these clothespin cookies or homemade cannoli!

Hero image of maritozzi buns. One is cut in half so the filling inside can be seen.

What are Maritozzi?

Maritozzi (also known as maritozzo) are these amazing sweet buns that come all the way from Rome, Italy. They’ve been a favorite treat for ages, especially around Easter time. These babies are made from a dough that’s super rich and sweet, with sugar, eggs, and butter mixed in. Once they’re baked up all nice and golden, you’ll find they have this soft and fluffy texture that’s just heavenly. But here’s the best part: they’re usually sliced open and filled with whipped cream. Sounds absolutely delicious, right?

So, when you’re craving a sweet, buttery pastry, making maritozzi is the way to go. Trust me, it’s the best use of carbs and sugar. Once these rolls are filled with cream and dusted with powdered sugar, they go fast, so be sure to grab one for yourself! You don’t want to miss out on this amazing dessert! It’s so simple, but so satisfying.

Ingredients Needed

Each ingredient plays a special role in making maritozzi deliciously irresistible, giving them their softness, sweetness, and creamy goodness. I love how simple this ingredient list is! No grocery trip required. Note: find measurements in the recipe card below.

  • Milk (Lukewarm): Adds moisture and also helps activate the yeast for the dough to rise.
  • Instant Yeast: Makes the dough fluffy and light by causing it to rise.
  • All-Purpose Flour: Gives structure to the dough and makes it soft and tender.
  • Granulated Sugar: Adds sweetness to the dough and helps activate the yeast. Also gives a nice golden color when baked.
  • Salt: Enhances the flavor of the dough. Just a pinch is all you need!
  • Eggs (Large, Room Temperature): Makes the dough rich, moist, and holds it together.
  • Salted Butter (Room Temperature): Adds richness, flavor, and moisture to the dough. You can’t go wrong with buttery rolls!
  • Egg Yolk (in addition to the whole eggs): Makes the dough richer, more flavorful, and gives it a nice color.
  • Egg Wash: Brushing it on top gives the buns a shiny, golden appearance when baked.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream (Chilled): Whipped into a creamy filling that adds a luscious and decadent texture.
  • Powdered Sugar: Sweetens the cream filling and adds a nice touch when dusted on top.
  • Vanilla Paste: Enhances the flavor of the cream filling with a rich and aromatic vanilla taste.

How to Make Maritozzi

It’s a labor of love to make homemade maritozzi! It’s so fun to see the dough rise and then become nice and golden brown in the oven. Of course, the best part is filling them with whipped cream and enjoying them with your family!

  1. Activate Yeast: Combine the warm milk, yeast, and sugar in a small bowl and set aside for the yeast to bloom.
  2. Dough Mixture: In the bowl of a stand mixer, add 2 ¼ cup of flour, salt, yeast mixture, whole eggs, and egg yolk. Use the paddle attachment to mix until a shaggy dough forms.
  3. Add in Butter: Switch to the dough hook and mix on low while you add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time. If the dough is too sticky, add a tablespoon or two of flour to help it come together.
  4. Knead: Once the butter has been absorbed and you’ve added any additional flour needed, let the mixer knead the dough for 8-10 minutes, until a soft dough forms. Remove the dough from the mixer and form into a ball.
  5. Proof: Add a tablespoon of oil to a large bowl and add the dough ball, turning it until it’s completely covered in oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean dish towel and let it rise for 1 ½-2 hours.
  6. Shape into Buns, Proof Again: Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and divide into 10 equal portions. Form into balls and place on two parchment lined baking sheets. At this point you can spray some plastic wrap with pan spray, cover the dough, and leave it in the refrigerator overnight to proof or you can cover the dough with a clean towel and let it rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Baking

  1. Preheat Oven, Add Egg Wash: Once the dough balls have doubled in size, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Make an egg wash from 1 egg yolk whisked together with ¼ cup of water and gently brush the tops of the buns.
  2. Bake: Bake for 22-25 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool completely after removing from the oven.

Cream Filling

  • Whip: In a large bowl, whip together the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla paste until medium-stiff peaks form.
  • Fill: To assemble the maritozzi buns, slice down through the center of the top of the buns, cutting about ¾ of the way through. Open the buns and fill with the cream, using the flat end of a spatula to make the cream even with the cut edges of the buns.
  • Enjoy: Dust maritozzi with additional powdered sugar and enjoy.
5-photo collage of sweet buns being prepared step-by-step.

Tips for Making Maritozzi

Get ready to take your maritozzi to the next level with these insider tips. These tricks will help you troubleshoot sticky dough, speed up the proofing process, and add exciting flavor variations. Remember, a little adjustment and creativity can make a big difference in how your maritozzi turn out.

  • Adjust Dough Consistency: If the dough is very sticky and wet, add additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix until it has been absorbed and assess whether or not you need anymore flour. The dough should be very soft and a little bit tacky, but should not stick to your fingers. 
  • Proof Faster: Speed up the proofing process by heating your oven to the warm setting or the lowest temperature it goes. Carefully pour ½ cup of water in the bottom of the oven or in a sheet pan on the lowest rack. Place the bowl over covered dough on the rack above and let it proof for 30 minutes or so, until it has doubled in size. 
  • Use Vanilla Extract: Instead of vanilla paste you can use 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. 
  • Different Flavors: For a variation on flavor, spread a generous tablespoon of nutella, jam, or lemon curd on the inside of the cut bun before topping with the cream. You can even try adding some orange or lemon zest to the cream for a bright citrus flavor.
Top-down view of maritozzi, cream-filled buns.

Storing Leftovers

If you have leftover buns, here’s how to keep them tasting fresh and delicious:

  • In the Refrigerator: Store finished maritozzi buns in the fridge in an airtight container. They are best eaten the same day they are made, but will last for 2-3 days.
  • Make in Advance: You can make the buns up to 2 days in advance, but wait to make the cream and fill them until the day you plan to serve them.
  • Preparing the Dough Ahead of Time: You can prepare the dough up until shaping the buns the day before. Cover the buns with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with pan spray and set in the fridge overnight. Remove from the fridge and let the buns come to room temperature and proof until doubled in size before continuing with the instructions. 
A bun being picked up.

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Maritozzi

By: Alyssa Rivers
These airy, cream-filled pastries are called maritozzi and a must-make for any dessert lover. The buns have a soft, tender texture that pairs perfectly with the luscious vanilla filling! Top them off with a dusting of powdered sugar for a sweet Italian treat that everyone will love.
Prep Time: 4 hours
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 10 servings

Ingredients 

Cream Filling

Instructions 

  • Combine the warm milk, yeast, and sugar in a small bowl and set aside for the yeast to bloom.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, add 2 ¼ cup of flour, salt, yeast mixture, whole eggs, and egg yolk. Use the paddle attachment to mix until a shaggy dough forms.
  • Switch to the dough hook and mix on low while you add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time. If the dough is too sticky, add a tablespoon or two of flour to help it come together.
  • Once the butter has been absorbed and you’ve added any additional flour needed, let the mixer knead the dough for 8-10 minutes, until a soft dough forms. Remove the dough from the mixer and form into a ball.
  • Add a tablespoon of oil to a large bowl and add the dough ball, turning it until it’s completely covered in oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean dish towel and let it rise for 1 ½-2 hours.
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and divide into 10 equal portions. Form into balls and place on two parchment lined baking sheets. At this point you can spray some plastic wrap with pan spray, cover the dough, and leave it in the refrigerator overnight to proof or you can cover the dough with a clean towel and let it rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  • Once the dough balls have doubled in size, preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Make an egg wash from 1 egg yolk whisked together with ¼ cup of water and gently brush the tops of the buns.
  • Bake for 22-25 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool completely after removing from the oven.

Cream Filling

  • In a large bowl, whip together the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla paste until medium-stiff peaks form.
  • To assemble the buns, slice down through the center of the top of the buns, cutting about ¾ of the way through. Open the buns and fill with the cream, using the flat end of a spatula to make the cream even with the cut edges of the buns.
  • Dust with additional powdered sugar and enjoy.

Nutrition

Calories: 354kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 6gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 118mgSodium: 217mgPotassium: 105mgFiber: 1gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 895IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian, Italian American, roman
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About Alyssa Rivers

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Alyssa Rivers and the food blogger behind The Recipe Critic. The blog launched in 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family. Each recipe is tried and true, family-tested and approved.

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2 Comments

  1. I veganized and tripled this recipe for an event and had mixed results. Everyone seemed to love it—what’s not to love about maritozzi???—but the buns were not nearly as pretty as the blog photos and mixing the dough before the addition of the butter nearly broke my stand mixer. I added a smear of cherry jam, which was perfect. One recipe for the whipped cream seemed to fill all 28 (triple recipe) buns with a lot left over. I had trouble filling the buns with the whipped cream: They either split in half or snapped back together leaving only a fraction of the whipped cream stuffed in the middle. I wonder if cutting out a small wedge would have been more effective. I’m definitely trying this recipe again when my favorite plant-based egg substitute goes on sale again! This is the perfect valentine treat!