It tastes like a croissant, but looks like a cube. The global trend has now arrived in Florence, having started out in all likelihood in Japan (via Turin) with several bakeries embracing the newfangled pastry. Known internationally as the cube croissant, we spoke with Stefano Bellucci at his namesake pasticceria in viale Vittorio Emanuele II, not far from the Stibbert Museum, about his take on the square-shaped breakfast treat.
Calling ahead is a must because every day Bellucci only bakes a few cubotti, as his clients now call them. The scarcity isn’t due to a lack of demand, but because Stefano originally only bought a handful of the somewhat expensive moulds after Instagram piqued his curiosity about the cube croissant. “My reasoning was that what’s popular internationally isn’t always accepted in Florence.” A runaway success, he has since invested in more, without going wild.
As you cut into the cube, the pastry flakes open to reveal a core of scrumptious custard. Neither too vanilla-y, nor too eggy, the combination of softness and crunchiness is worthy of a bus/train/tram ride out to this mostly traditional Rifredi bakehouse. “Butter increases the richness and crunchiness,” confides Stefano.
Established in 1986 with his father and sister, Stefano’s other highlights include almond-laden biscotti di Prato cookies and schiacciata alla fiorentina during the Carnival season, while other international hits include honey butter toast and pain au suisse (brioche with pastry cream and chocolate drops).
Where to find cube croissants in Florence
Other bakeries where we have spotted cube croissants in Florence include Cesare (via Gabriele D’Annunzio), Ditta Artigianale (lungarno Benvenuto Cellini), Fancy Pasticceria (via Francesco Valori) and Caffè Lietta (piazza della Libertà).