Our Neapolitan cake is soft as a down pillow, creamy like custard, and lightly flavored with vanilla and cinnamon. Serve wedges at room temperature with an easy sauce of fresh strawberries.

Advertisement

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Bring milk to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in rice, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla bean. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until rice is very tender and has absorbed all liquid, about 30 minutes.

    Advertisement
  • Remove pan from heat. Stir in 3/4 cup granulated sugar. Cover; let cool, stirring occasionally. Discard vanilla bean.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch-round, 3-inch-deep springform pan. In a large bowl, combine the rice mixture, ricotta, whole eggs and egg yolks, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Pour into prepared pan. Bake until golden on top and almost set in the center, 65 to 70 minutes; cover with foil if starting to brown too much. Transfer pan to a cooling rack.

  • When cake has completely cooled, run a knife around edge to loosen. Gentlyremove ring; transfer cake to a serving platter. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar, and serve with sauce.

Reviews (13)

112 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 31
  • 4 star values: 38
  • 3 star values: 29
  • 2 star values: 9
  • 1 star values: 5
Rating: 5 stars
04/17/2019
I make this ricotta cake (Pastiera Napoletana) every Easter to rave reviews. It is light, not like heavy, dense cheesecake or the other version made with wheatberries. I invite my elderly neighbors to Easter dinner, and he says this one is even better than what his aunt made. He grew up in Brooklyn, so I take that as high praise. Keys to success: 1) use a 10" spring form pan; in my oven it takes 80 to 90 minutes to bake, 2) drain the ricotta overnight in the fridge - you will be amazed at how much liquid drains, and 3) follow the recipe as is, do not substitute ingredients. Yes, it has calories, but you only eat it once a year. So eat it in moderation and enjoy this traditional ricotta cake, like they do in Italy, that symbolizes the Resurrection, new life and spring's fertility. Buona Pasqua!
Rating: Unrated
04/21/2014
2014 Easter. Made this cake in a 9" springform. If you have a 10", use that because it makes A LOT of cake. Drained ricotta 4 hours ahead of baking and it turned out fine. Next time I'll drain overnight, if I have the refridgerator space, that is. Yes, 3 pounds of ricotta is the correct amount. I know, it sounds like a typo, but it's not. My bake time was 85 or 90 minutes. It definitely is better to serve completely cooled. In fact, I liked it better the next day right out of the refrigerator.
Rating: Unrated
04/07/2012
I have made this cake for the last 5 Easters and it is always a hit at desert. It is filling and fattening but truly worth every calorie!
Advertisement
Rating: Unrated
04/01/2010
This cake tastes OK, but I didn't like the texture which was firmer than rice pudding but chunky with rice bits that reminded me of tapioca. Also the cinnamon didn't mix well and formed into little crispy bits which were like biting into egg shells. I wouldn't make this again. As others have said, it overflows an 8" springform pan.
Rating: Unrated
03/30/2010
This cake is lovely but they omit the calorie content, a whopping 643 calories a slice without the strawberry sauce. Divide the dessert 12 ways instead of 8 and you have a more reasonable 429 before sauce, but not a lot of cake.
Rating: Unrated
04/23/2009
I made this and a red velvet cake for Easter this year. Everyone raved about the red velvet cake but hardly anyone said anything good about this cake. I liked it personally, but be careful of who you are cooking for with this one! The strawberry sauce went great on the side!
Advertisement
Rating: Unrated
04/10/2009
This looks delicious - a nice variation on the traditional recipe. I can't wait to try it!
Rating: Unrated
11/30/2008
It's total comfort food, like rice pudding in pie form. I used a spring form pan with the cheesecake trick of leaving it to cool in the oven with the door open to hopefully prevent a surface crack. , My vertical edge didn't brown as shown in the photo. I will make this again, but I think the photo and description oversell it a bit. It's more rustic than "down pillow" would suggest, but It's definitely tradition worthy.
Rating: Unrated
03/23/2008
Thanks for the insight. Mine came out beautifully and tastes wonderful, but I'm not sure the center is really done. I baked it for at least 85 minutes (in the 10" springform pan) and it was definitely brown on top. The use of an angel food pan is a good idea and I will try it next time. (There will be a 'next time'! !). Let me know how the angel food pan worked.
Rating: Unrated
03/23/2008
I tried this version as opposed to my traditional Easter pie with a crust. The other comment is correct, an 8" springform pan would be too small. I put mine in an angel food pan, because that's what I had, and I thought a springform might not cook all the way into the middle. I'm sure baking time will be slightly shortened. I'll post another comment when it's out of the oven. It does smell heavenly though :)
Rating: Unrated
03/22/2008
The batter would have overflowed the 8" springform pan. I put it in a 10" pan and it comes to within a 1/4" of the edge. I will post another comment when it comes out of the oven. Any suggestions??
Rating: Unrated
03/22/2008
My Italian Grandmother used to make a slightly different version of Pastiera. It had rice, eggs (since we lived on a farm she used fresh duck eggs), milk, sugar and lemon zest baked in a pie crust. This pie was only made at Easter time. She did pass this down to my mother and now my sisters and I are carring on the Easter tradition. It's wonderful to see that other Italian families also enjoy this spring treat. Katie
Rating: Unrated
03/18/2008
For Easter in Naples and now every where in Italy, we prepare n n n n n n Pastiera Napoletanan n n n n n . We do little pastiera for our frinds. Patriza(mother)