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  • Writer's pictureSusie Csorsz Brown

Ricotta and Semolina Cake (Migliaccio)

We get a lot of opportunitites to get creative with soured milk. This particular creation came about in a desperate internet search what to make with 6 liters (yes, 6!) of soured milk. One can only make so much banana bread and macaroni and cheese! I made a few batches of ricotta and - voila! - the problem quickly became how to cool the pudding cake fast enough to eat it!

Absolutely, you can use store-bought ricotta, please don't think you have to make your own!

This pudding/cake is a creamy rich option that works as a dessert, sure, but also, it is a high-protein option made with a whole grain and not too much sugar ... your kids would love this for breakfast, too! (just don't spend too much time telling them about the whole grains and protein!)

Be sure to make this pudding cake well in advance to allow it plenty of time to chill and set in the fridge.

Ricotta and Semolina Cake (Migliaccio)

Servings: 8 - 10


3 1/2 Tbsp butter, cut into small cubes plus softened butter for the pan

2¼ cups whole milk

2¼ cups water

1½ cups/250 g. semolina flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp vanilla

5 large eggs

13 oz/400 g. ricotta cheese

2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)

1½ tablespoons grated orange zest

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

8 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped


Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 9-inch springform pan with softened butter; set aside.

Combine the milk, water, and butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, slowly add semolina, sugar and salt and whisk constantly the mixture thickens and begins pulling away from the sides of the pan. Take the pot off the heat; add the vanilla, stirring well.

Spread the mixture into a large pan and cover with plastic wrap until it becomes firm. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat eggs on medium-low speed until well-combined and frothy, starting to lighten in color. Add ricotta, zests, and cardamom and mix on medium speed until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed.

Add one-third of semolina mixture to ricotta mixture and mix on medium speed until incorporated. Add remaining semolina mixture in 2 additions, mixing after each addition until incorporated. Continue to mix, scraping down bowl as needed, until mostly smooth (it's OK if some small lumps remain), 3 to 5 minutes longer.

Set prepared pan in rimmed baking sheet and transfer 1/2 batter to pan. Sprinkle chopped chocolate over batter. Top with remaining semolina-ricotta mixture, smoothing top.

Bake until top is golden brown, edges are slightly puffed (some slight cracking is OK), and center is slightly jiggly, 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Transfer cake, still on sheet, to wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Run knife around edge of cake to loosen. Unlock pan ring, but leave ring in place. Let cool completely, 1½ to 2 hours. Refasten ring. Refrigerate cake until firm and thoroughly chilled, at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours.

To unmold cake, remove side of pan. Slide thin metal spatula between cake and pan bottom to loosen, then slide cake onto serving platter. Let cake stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle top with confectioners’ sugar. Slice with sharp knife, wiping knife clean between cuts. Enjoy!

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