Budino di ricotta (Ricotta Pudding)

Budino di ricotta

This elegant but easy dessert is a kind of dressed up version of Angelina’s humble pizza dolce. The basic recipe for this ‘pudding’ calls for just ricotta, eggs and sugar, and it’s perfectly delicious at its simplest. But, if you like,  you can add various the fillings and toppings according to the season and your whim. Let your creativity run wild!


Enough to make 6 individual servings or one large pudding

  • 500g (1 lb.) ricotta cheese
  • 100g (3-1/2 oz.) caster sugar
  • 3 whole eggs plus one egg yolk
  • 1 heaping spoonful of flour (optional)

Optional fillings and flavorings:

  • A drizzle of rum, sambuca or other liqueur
  • Candied fruit
  • Chocolate chips
  • Almonds, peeled and crushed in mortar

Optional toppings:

  • Powdered sugar
  • Chocolate shavings
  • Ciliegie sciroppate (Cherries in brandy)
  • Strawberry coulis (see below)


If your ricotta is a bit lumpy or runny, let it drain for a good 20 minutes in a sieve and then press it through the sieve.

Separate the 3 eggs, adding the yolks to the ricotta and reserving the whites. Add the extra yolk to the ricotta along with the sugar and (if using) flour. Mix all these ingredients together until well amalgamated. If using, add one or more of the optional fillings and flavorings to the ricotta mixture, incorporating them very well.

Ricotta Mixture (Step 1)

Whip the egg whites until they are quite fluffy and stiff. The whites should retain its shape and stand up by themselves like this:

Whipped Egg Whites

Now add the whipped whites to the ricotta mixture. Fold the whites very gently into the mixture with a spatula, scooping the mixture from the bottom in a circular motion like so:

Ricotta Mixture (Step 2)

until you have a homogenous, fluffy mass like this:

Ricotta Mixture (Step 3)

Now grease the inside of a large mold (or individual molds—see Notes below) with butter and add cover them in breadcrumbs, shaking the mold around so that the breadcrumbs adhere and cover the inside surface completely. Turn the mold over and shake out any excess breadcrumbs.

Breaded Muffin Tray

Now add the ricotta mixtures to the mold, making sure not to overfill it, as the mixture will expand considerably as it cooks.

Filled Muffin Tray

Bake the mold in a moderate oven (180C/350F) until the mixture is set and browned at the edges, about 30 minutes for individual molds, 45-60 minutes for a single large mold.

Budini (fresh from the oven)

Let the pudding cool completely. Unmold it by flipping it over onto a baking tray, like so:


Serve your budino, if you like, with one of the suggested toppings.


A lovely spring topping for this budino would be a strawberry purée, also known as a coulis. To make this purée, simply simmer together trimmed strawberries, sugar to taste and the juice of one lemon for about five minutes, until the berries are very soft.

Strawberry Coulis

Blend the strawberries until you have a perfectly smooth ‘sauce’.

Like many popular recipes, there are multiple variations you can try. The number of eggs varies enormously among recipes; Ada Boni, calls for only one egg and one extra yolk for this amount of ricotta, for example. Not all recipes call for whipping the eggs whites, which gives the pudding a firmer consistency. Not all recipes call for flour—Boni calls for a few spoonfuls of semolina flour, cooked with water into a thick paste. And, of course, the amount of sugar can vary according to your taste.

There are also different sizes and shapes of molds you can use for this recipe: A medium sized charlotte mold works well for a single budino, although you can use a loaf pan or bundt mold as well. For individual budini, you can use little ramekins; a muffin tray is quite convenient if you’re making a batch. Even easier, you can bake the budino in a pie plate or ceramic ramekins and serve it without unmolding.



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36 Responses to “Budino di ricotta (Ricotta Pudding)”

  1. 17 September 2013 at 08:43 #

    Hola, soy de la Republica Argentina. Estas y todas las recetas son mmaravillosas !!!
    Por favor, ¿podrian mandar la traduccion al español ? Gracias, Irma

  2. 20 May 2013 at 05:48 #

    I wonder if this is what I see in stores as “ricotta al forno”. It is usually served in slices and I always wondered how it is made.

    • 23 May 2013 at 10:02 #

      Probably similar, but I had thought that ricotta al forno is basically pure ricotta. Never tried to make it myself, however…

  3. 18 May 2013 at 19:07 #

    beautiful Frank, makes our southern egg custard look like plain jane …. and as always, your presentation is flawless. so like the strawberry coulis – perfect timing for spring

    • 23 May 2013 at 10:03 #

      Thanks, Drick! I’ve never had Southern egg custard but I’m sure it’s delicious, too…

  4. 11 May 2013 at 19:54 #

    This sounds awesome!!! Thank you so much for sharing.

  5. 9 May 2013 at 07:48 #

    Che buono, Frank! I make something similar based on a recipe from my mom, but I don’t whip the egg whites. Whipping those whites seems to me a key step for creating a nice light texture. Going to try it for sure. I’d love to try this with sheep’s milk ricotta, but it’s so hard to find around here! In the past I’ve found it at La Fromagerie, in Old Town, and at Cheesetique, in Delray, flown in from Italy. But it would be great to have a local source, wouldn’t it…

  6. 8 May 2013 at 10:25 #

    WOW! This must be delicious!

  7. 7 May 2013 at 20:08 #

    Hey Frank, I have also been making lots of ricotta-based goodies this month… it all started with an article I was writing and then I went overboard. I just couldn’t stop! Love it.

    • 8 May 2013 at 07:36 #

      I’ll have to check out your article—where does/will it appear?

      • 19 May 2013 at 08:24 #

        My article on ricotta will be in the next issue of Joy of Kosher magazine. History of ricotta, making your own, plus several recipes.

  8. Oh my gosh. That looks absolutely delicious. It’s like a cheesecake, right? I’m hooked.

    • Bonnie N
      7 May 2013 at 18:35 #

      Oh, but it’s so much more smooth and elegant than cheesecake. Feels like silk going into your mouth.

    • 8 May 2013 at 07:35 #

      Definitely worth a try… thanks for stopping by!

  9. 7 May 2013 at 08:13 #

    This sounds like a wonderful recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  10. 6 May 2013 at 19:37 #

    Ricotta desserts make me weak at the knees. Yes. I will be doing this.

  11. 6 May 2013 at 13:04 #

    This looks great Frank – kind of like an Italian cheesecake.

    • 8 May 2013 at 07:33 #

      Yes, basically the same idea, but the addition of whipped egg whites gives it a lighter texture.

  12. 6 May 2013 at 10:24 #

    Cher meraviglia! What a simple, yet elegant dessert. We are going to enjoy this one, and I do mean soon. The ricotta is in my refrigerator, and raspberry coulis is in my freezer.

  13. Bonnie N
    6 May 2013 at 06:40 #

    This is just soooo elegant. I made Angelina’s Pizza Dolce just last week. So will be making this budino as soon as I get some more ricotta. I think I will be using a raspberry topping or a poppy seed sauce. Or both. This is such a marvelous idea. Thank you for posting.

  14. 6 May 2013 at 03:25 #

    per me da sempre ricotta-dipendente è un invito a nozze assolutamente irresistibile ! Buona settimana Frank, un abbraccio !

  15. 6 May 2013 at 02:26 #

    Buono e semplice, in questo periodo in Italia la ricotta è molto buona. Sono curioso il ricotta cheese in cosa è diverso dalla ricotta? Gli ingredienti della ricotta sono solo: siero di latte e forse sale. Grazie buona settimana.

    • 8 May 2013 at 07:31 #

      Che io sappia sono uguali, solo che in America si fa unicamente del siero di latte vaccino.

      • 10 May 2013 at 11:37 #

        Da un po’ di tempo in Italia hanno cominciato a vendere come ricotta dei prodotti in cui oltre al siero c’è panna o crema di latte. Per questo chiedevo per capire da dove viene questa nuova moda, che mi piace molto poco.

        • 19 May 2013 at 09:35 #

          In Italia ci sono molti tipi di ricotta tradizionale e in alcune aree si aggiunge della panna per renderla super-cremosa. Il siero che resta dalla produzione del formaggio, da solo formerebbe una ricotta molto asciutta. Nella maggior parte dei casi si aggiunge solo poco latte oltre all’enzima o aceto. In alcune regioni anche del sale. L’aggiunta di panna la rende ancora più cremosa e nel caso della ricotta di mucca, che è decisamente poco saporita rispetto a quella di pecora o mista, intensifica il gusto. Ce n’è per tutti….

      • 19 May 2013 at 09:35 #

        Oddio ma parli l’italiano?!??

        • 23 May 2013 at 10:00 #

          Insomma, il mio italiano è un po’ arrugginito, anzi *molto*! Ma una volta lo parlavo abbastanza bene. Non dimenticare che sono vissuto a Roma per dieci anni…

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