Italian orange rice cake

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

The Italian cuisine has a surprising number of similarities with the Chinese cuisine. The similarity of tortellini and wanton, ravioli and dumplings as well as risotto rice and Chinese round grain rice can not to be overlooked. You could argue about whether pasta was actually brought by Marco Polo from China to Italy (about this point, even the Italians do not have a common opinion) or whether risotto rice arrived in Italy via the Silk Road from China.

For me it does not really matter who owns the “copyright”, since I am quite well aware of how early in the human history the globalization has already taken place. Instead, the similarity between these two great cuisines is much more interesting for me.

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

When I first saw this orange rice cake of the Italian chef Gennaro, I knew immediately that I had to give it a try. In China we love to use rice flour for making cakes or pasta. But the complete rice grains are consumed in China rather as a side dish for a meal than as an ingredient for baking.

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

For this super simple recipe risotto rice is cooked like an ordinary risotto dish. However, instead of a stock, milk is used for cooking the rice. The result was a juicy cake with rice grains!

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

The rice grains give the cake a unique consistency, which is very pleasant and at the same time surprising. The citrus peel and orange liqueur distribute a subtle fruity note. This cake tastes wonderful when it is still warm. A huge plus is, if it comes with a great vanilla sauce.

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

A light and absolutely delicious recipe!


1700 ml low-fat milk
1 vanilla pod (cut and scratched)
180 g sugar
300g risotto rice
Peel of an organic lemon
5 egg yolks
3 screw caps of orange liqueur
5 egg whites
Grated rind of one organic orange
3 tablespoons raisins
Powdered sugar and grated orange peel for garnishing


  1. Boil milk in a large pot, add the vanilla pod. Stir constantly. Add the sugar first, then the rice and the lemon zest. Cook over medium heat for about 25 minutes. Keep stirring constantly. Chill the rice.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Remove the vanilla pod and lemon peel from the cooled rice. Mix the yolks with the orange liqueur. Whip egg whites stiff with a mixer.
  3. Add the finely grated orange peel and raisins to the rice and mix well. Pour the egg yolks onto the rice and mix well with a wooden spoon. Carefully fold egg whites under the rice mixture.
  4. Grease a 24 cm cake pan with butter, line with baking paper both the bottom and the sides of the cake pan (baking paper should be a bit higher than the rim). Pour the rice mixture into the mold. Bake the cake in the oven for about 1 hour. Serve warm.

7 thoughts on “Italian orange rice cake

    1. Qin Post author

      Hi Ema, I have never tried with honey. But I guess it should be no problem, as long as you don’t mix the honey with egg white directly. Let me know about your result. Good luck!

      Cheers, Qin

      1. Ema Jones

        Hey Qin, what’s up?
        Neva thought of combining honey with egg white, good idea!
        Moreover Italian orange rice cake is a unique treat.

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