Migliaccio Napoletano

A rich semolina and ricotta cake, similar to a cheesecake, traditionally baked in Naples on Mardi Gras during Carnival. It has very old origins dating back to the Middle Age when it was baked by farmers using millet, in Italian “miglio” hence the name “migliaccio”, and pig blood during the pigs’ slaughter season. The recipe developed into the one used today in ‘700, when the pig blood was replaced by sugar and eggs and the millet with semolina.

To me migliaccio symbolises Carnival, together with “frappe” and “castagnole” two other sweets typical of this festive season. I have vivid images of my mum sieving the ricotta and semolina, the smell of sugar, oranges and lemon, and then the, always too long, wait for the cake to cool down before I could eat it sitting at the kitchen table with my mum. Migliaccio is the kitchen in our apartment in Rome, my family in Naples, my heritage!

So faithful to my roots, I make migliaccio every year!!

Prep TimeCook TimeServes
20 minutes40 minutes12


  • 180g semolina
  • 500g milk (I use almond milk)
  • 300g water
  • 250g sugar
  • 250g ricotta (I use goat ricotta)
  • 3 eggs
  • 30g butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 tsp candied orange and lemon peel (optional)
  • Icing sugar


1. Bring to boil the milk, water, butter, the peel of half a lemon and half an orange, one teaspoon of vanilla extract and 50g of butter in a pot.

2. Once it starts to boil, slightly lower the heat, pour in the semolina and let it simmer stirring continuously for a few minutes until the semolina thickens. Take it off the heat and let it cool.

3. Mix the eggs with the remaining sugar, the zest of the other half the lemon and the orange and one teaspoon of vanilla until the sugar is fully dissolved.

4. Sieve the ricotta in to the egg and sugar mixture and mix to combine.

5. Once the semolina is cool, remove the lemon and orange peels and add it to the egg and ricotta mixture. Mix to combine well.

6. Fold in the candied lemon and orange peels with a spatula, if using it.

7. Prepare a 22cm cake tin with butter and flour and pour in the semolina mixture. Level the top using the spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake it in a preheated oven at 180C Fan for about 40 minutes until it is brown on the top.

8. Let is cool for a couple of hours, take it out of the baking tin, dust it with icing sugar and serve it.

Similar to a cheesecake, migliaccio tastes better cold and the day after baking as the ingredients get a nice thick consistency.

You can store migliaccio in the fridge for 3-4 days and you can freeze any leftovers for up to 3 months.

Enjoy making it and let me know if you have any comments or questions!

If you want to make this recipe and share it on your social media please tag me using @prepandproperrecipes and the tag #prepandproperrecipes

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