Migliaccio Recipe: semolina and ricotta cake recipe from Naples

Author: Veruska Anconitano, Award-Winning Food Travel Journalist, Sommelier & Outdoor LoverAuthor information
About the author
Veruska Anconitano
Veruska is a a food travel journalist with awards to her credit, such as World Best Food Travel Journalist. She holds a certification as a sommelier and she is also an ardent lover of the outdoors. Aside from this, Veruska is a Multilingual SEO and Localization Consultant and co-owns multiple websites that cater to a global audience.
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I bet you’ve never heard of a migliaccio cake, don’t you?

Every single Country has its own typical holidays meal and Naples is, in Italy, one of the most prolific in this sense. For Carnival, for example, a real Neapolitan will always eat a piece of migliaccio, this semolina cake which is a reminder of the old times when food was just a matter of easy to find ingredients.

The world migliaccio means pudding and that’s what you get when you eat a piece of migliaccio: some people add a touch of cream to make it smooth but the real migliaccio is just a cake, particularly yellow and good.

Original is a fancy word when it comes to Italian food since each family has its own version of every single recipe and we can only assume this is the one that is near to the very traditional one.

The Neapolitan migliaccio can also be prepared in a gluten-free version using polenta flour for a more or less similar result; for an even lighter result you can avoid the ricotta and add about 100 grams of candied citron.

The migliaccio is kept very well and for a long time; just place it inside a cake holder or on a covered plate so that it does not lose compactness.

Here is my recipe for preparing the Neapolitan migliaccio at home, with the original and very simple recipe.

Ingredients for a migliaccio baked in a 27/28 cm tin

  • 250 grams of semolina flour
  • 250 grams of ricotta cheese
  • 250 ml of milk
  • 750 ml of water
  • 50 grams of butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 300 grams of sugar
  • The whole zest of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp of limoncello
  • Powdered sugar

How to make the perfect Traditional Italian migliaccio

  1. Boil the milk with water, butter and the whole lemon zest. Once the mix has arrived to the boiling point remove the lemon zest and pour in the semolina then, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook for about 10-11 minutes or until the mixture has become quite dense (almost hard to mix);
  2. Sift the ricotta in and mix everything together with the eggs, the sugar, the grated zest of lemon, the vanilla extract and the limoncello;
  3. Combine the two compounds forming a creamy mixture (if necessary blend it so that no lumps will remain);
  4. Butter the baking dish and sprinkle the surface with flour then pour all the mixture in and bake in a preheated oven at 200° for about 40-45 minutes until the surface appears dark (like a pudding).
  5. Allow to cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

Preparation time: 1 hour

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