Margarita's International Recipes



Semolina and Ricotta Cake


Migliaccio is a cheesecake made in Naples and surrounding areas typically for Carnival. At this time of year, Italians indulge in rich and delicious food before lent with it culinary deprivations start.

I had some difficulty making this cake - the problem was getting the semolina to become fully smooth. I added it gradually, I whisked it and then mixed it with a hand mixer to no avail. I probably should have used an electric stick mixer instead. This meant that the whole cake was lumpy, it didn't bother me too much, but I'd have felt bad if I'd served it to guests.

Flavor wise, it had an adult taste in that it wasn't very sweet (I also skimped on the powdered sugar), but it wasn't as rich and delicious as your regular New York cheesecake. It had a strong lemon flavor, which I liked. My husband and daughter - neither of whom are very fond of cheesecake in the first place - didn't agree. In all, I wouldn't bother making it again.




  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • peel of 1 lemon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 2/3 cups semolina flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 12 oz thick ricotta
  • 1 Tbsp limoncello (optional)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9" springform pan.

Heat milk, water, butter, lemon peel and salt together in a saucepan over medium heat. Once it's boiling, remove and discard the lemon peel. Gradually whisk in the semolina. Cook until the semolina hardens, whisking or stirring continuously. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat or whisk the eggs. Whisk in the sugar. Add the ricotta, the limoncello and the vanilla extract and whisk well. Gradually mix in the semolina flour.

Transfer the batter to the pan and bake in the oven for about an hour, until the top is golden brown. Dust with powdered sugar.

Adapted from Manu's recipe at Manu's Menu

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