Bolognese Easter Cake

Bolognese-Easter-cake Easter-cake-Bologna-style-lemon-Gluten-free

Bolognese Easter Rice Cake

This recipe is a miracle. Quite fitting for Easter. In Bologna in Italy this cake is only made at this time and is an occasion for lively rivalry as to who has the most authentic and delicious recipe. This recipe comes from the Similli sisters, famous bakers of that city and collected in Marcella Hazan’s classic The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking where she herself vouches, “It is a fact that I have never had a better-tasting rice cake.” What’s wonderful about this cake is that it’s naturally gluten free courtesy of its ingredients.  


  • 1ltr Milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2/3 Strips of lemon peel (no pith)
  • 285g Caster sugar
  • 85g Arborio Rice
  • 4 Eggs + 1 yolk
  • 75g Almonds, toasted & chopped
  • 45g Candied Lemon peel
  • 1.5 ltr square/rectangle tin
  • Butter
  • 2 tbsps rum


  1. Put milk, salt, lemon, peel and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a moderate boil. When milk beings to boil, add rice stirring quickly with wooden spoon. Adjust heat to cook at slowest of simmers . Cook for 2.5 hrs stirring from time to time.  When done milk will have become a dense, pale-brown mush.
  2. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Beat the 4 eggs + yolk until blended. Add rice mush spoonfuls at a time and beat into eggs. Add chopped toasted almonds, add candied, chopped lemon peel. mix them in.
  3. Smear the tin in butter or place buttered greaseproof paper in tin. Pour the mixture in to tin and level it off. Place in the middle of preheated oven and bake for about an hour.
  4. As soon as you take the cake from oven, pierce the cake while still hot in several places and pour rum over it. Serve cake no sooner than 24hrs after making it. If you let it mature for a day or 2 its flavours will mature and deepen. This is traditioanlly served cut diagonally into diamond shaped pieces. But slice anyway you like.
  5. Really recommend serving this with Sauternes, Beaumes de Venise or similar dessert wines but great coffee is an alternative that is just as good as it is different.