Sfogliatelle vs Lobster Tail

Sfogliatelle vs Lobster Tail: A Pastry Comparison

There are many different pastries, some resemble, and others don’t. These pastries may have different names, depending on where they originate. For instance, many people have wondered whether sfogliatelle and lobster tail are the same or different. Some chefs consider the two cousins, and others think they are different.

If you love Italian food, you may be confused seeing sfogliatelle and lobster tail as names for something that looks the same. This can make things even more challenging when cooking one of the two. You may be confused that you could be working on the wrong recipe. To clarify things, this article discusses sfogliatelle vs. lobster tail and everything there is to them.

Sfogliatelle vs Lobster Tail

Sfogliatelle vs. Lobster Tail

Sfogliatelle is an Italian pastry that consists of flaky and crispy layers filled with ricotta cheese and semolina flavored with candied orange. The pastry is made from phyllo-like dough and molded into a cylinder, sliced into coins, and then shaped into a cone.

On the other hand, the lobster tail is an American version of the sfogliatelle. This pastry is slightly larger and filled with choux paste before baking. The choux paste causes the pastry to puff up when baking, providing space to fill with diplomat cream, a blend of whipped and pastry cream.

About Sfogliatelle

Sfogliatelle consists of a pastry that’s filled with a custard-like mix. The word sfogliatelle comes from the Italian word that means leaves or layers. The layers are thin and packed on each other like leaves. There are two types of sfogliatelle, sfogliatelle Ricci (difficult to make but an angel to sample) and sfogliatelle frolle (smooth, shortcrust pastry that’s shaped like an oversized clam shell).

Sfogliatelle originated from Campania, Italy, where they were first made in a convent and then found their way to Naples. From there, they became popular across many countries, thanks to Italian immigrants who spread the cuisine wherever they went.

Sfogliatelle Ricci is made from pastry that tastes and looks like a hybrid between super-crisp puff and layered filo. The pastry is simple and rough, slightly sweetened pasta dough rolled to paper thin. Once rolled, the pastry is brushed with soft lard, rolled up and stretched, rolled up and pulled again into a tight scroll, and then placed in the refrigerator.

After some time, the scroll is sliced into small discs. The discs are then pressed, pushed, turned, and worked with dent fingers to fan the oiled layers in a cone shape. The cone-shaped pastry is then filled with a specific filling and then baked.

What’s Used To Fill Sfogliatelle

Sfogliatelle filling is prepared from cooked semolina and beaten until smooth with eggs and ricotta. The semolina is flavored with lemon, vanilla, orange, and cinnamon. The flavorings can be fused, or each may be used separately. The filling result is like frangipane cream that can be baked as a whole or stuffed into uncooked shells.

Once cooked, sfogliatelle is usually eaten as a dessert, and best served warm.

About Lobster Tail

A lobster tail is a layered American pastry similar to sfogliatelle Ricci. This pastry is shell-like and filled with a rich, creamy filling. The lobster tail can be eaten as breakfast, midday meal, or dessert. This pastry is very satisfying and highly nutritious.

Unlike sfogliatelle, the lobster tail is larger and filled with choux paste before baking. The choux paste makes the pastry puff in the oven, providing space to fill in the diplomat cream – a mixture of whipped and pastry cream.

Differences Between Sfogliatelle And Lobster Tail

Place Of Origin

Sfogliatelle originated from Campania, Italy. Lobster tail, on the other hand, came from America. American lobster tail is sometimes called sfogliatelle cousin as it looks like sfogliatelle Ricci.


Sofgliatelle is smaller compared to lobster tail. Lobster tail is prepared slightly larger than sfogliatelle.

Presence Of Choux Paste

Sfogliatelle is not prepared with choux paste. As for the lobster tail, this pastry is filled and baked with choux paste. The choux paste makes the pastry puff up, creating space to fill with diplomat cream.

Type Of Filling

Sfogliatelle and lobster tail contain different fillings. The filling in sfogliatelle comprises ricotta cheese, semolina, and candid citrus, mostly oranges. This filling is added before baking and, hence, is baked together with the pastry.

American lobster tail pastry contains three layers. One, a crisp and flaky outer shell similar to a sfogliatelle shell and a cream puff dough made of choux paste. The filling is made up of pastry and whipped cream. This filling is added after the pastry is baked. 

Serving Time

Sfogliatelle is often served warm as a dessert after meals. On the other hand, the lobster tail can be eaten as breakfast, midday meal, or dessert.

Nutrition Information

Both sfogliatelle and lobster tail are high in calories and should be eaten as an occasional treat rather than everyday meals. However, there’s a difference in their nutrient composition.

Sfogliatelle contains low calories and carbs than the lobster tail. This makes it ideal for those on a low-calorie diet or trying to lose weight. They are also low in fats and cholesterol, making them great for individuals struggling with heart issues. Moreover, sfogliatelle contains a small amount of calcium and iron, needed for strong bones and teeth and for building blood in the body.

Lobster tail is high in calories and carbs, making it great for people desiring to gain weight. It’s also high in protein and fats, needed for muscle growth, insulation, and transporting fat-soluble vitamins. Lobster tail is low in minerals, except for potassium which is excellent for nerve transmission and osmotic balance. This pastry contains high amounts of saturated fats and cholesterol than sfogliatelle, which can pose a huge risk to heart health.

Sfogliatelle vs Lobster Tail


Sfogliatelle is an Italian pastry of flaky and crispy layers made from phyllo-like dough. The pastry is filled with ricotta cheese and semolina flavored with candid citrus like orange. Sfogliatelle is eaten as a dessert and is best served warm.

Lobster tail is an American pastry made from pasta-like dough that is sweetened and filled with choux paste, making it puff up. The pastry is filled with diplomat cream and can be eaten any time of the day, breakfast, midday meal, or dessert.