RECIPE: Semolina Cake Marbled with Almond Mascarpone

Semolina is not just for pasta! One of my favorite desserts that my mom handed down to me is a semolina egg cake. Her cake was handed down by her mother, and that recipe used lard. The semolina creates a cake that has more of a flan-custard texture versus a flour cake, so be prepared with that texture if you make this cake. It also really isn't made until Easter, so I didn't want to make that specific recipe. 

This recipe I adapted from an online recipe that used ricotta cheese as a shortening with melted butter. I was intrigued with this shortening combo, and I had leftover mascarpone and thought it might accent the ricotta cheese and lemon flavors nicely. And it did! Hubby ate a piece practically every night. He dolloped a berry jam on a slice and claimed it worked wonderfully with the lemon flavors. Try it yourself and see what works? I froze leftover pieces to enjoy later in the winter. It makes a lot of cake!

Ricotta Lemon Semolina Cake Marbled with Almond Mascarpone


1 1/4 cups of semolina 
8 ounces of whole milk 
17 ounces of water 
1 cup of caster sugar 
1 1/4 cup of ricotta cheese 
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 
the zest of one lemon 
2 tablespoons of lemon juice or limoncello 
4 eggs 
1/4 cup of butter 
1/2 teaspoon of salt 

Mascarpone Cream
4 ounces of mascarpone 
1 teaspoon of almond extract 
3 tablespoons of caster sugar 


In a saucepan over medium heat, heat up the milk and the water and bring to a boil. Add the semolina and stir. Lower the flame and cook until thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the butter and continue cooking until the butter is incorporated and melted. Set aside.

In a separate bowl with a stand mixer, whisk together the ricotta, the vanilla, sugar, the lemon juice and zest and the eggs. Next add the salt. Gradually add the warm and slightly cooled semolina mixture to the egg mixture. Go gradually to temper the eggs as you add the eggs to the ricotta cheese mixture. Whip well until fluffy and creamy.

Preheat oven to 370˚. Pour the batter into a springform pan that’s been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

While the oven heats up,  whip the mascarpone with the almond extract and the sugar until smooth. 

Dollop the mascarpone into the semolina batter then with a skewer or dull knife, marble in the mascarpone into the semolina batter.

Bake for about 40 to 50 minutes. You want a lightly golden top and the cake is puffy. Let sit in the pan for 15 minutes while the cake sets. It will flatten out. The mascarpone will be bubbly and loose but as it sits and sets the mascarpone will set up as well into the cake.

After 15 minutes, run a dull knife around the sides. Then unclip the sides of the pan, let cool for another hour or so. Serve warm or you can keep it stored in the refrigerator and just slightly heat it up to serve. Freeze the leftovers so that you have a nice dessert treat over the next few months. Just warm it in the microwave after defrosting.



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