Ciambella romagnola (Italian Rustic Breakfast Cake)

This is my mother’s Ciambella, which she always made for breakfast, to dunk in hot milk or coffee.  It’s rather dry, not meant for dessert.  It’s homey, rustic and tastes like my childhood in Portici.

300 gr flourpicture

100 gr sugar

pinch of salt

2 eggs + 1 egg yolk (save egg white)

about 1/3 cup milk, as needed

4 tbsp butter, melted

grated peel of 1 lemon

1 envelope of Italian vanilla-flavored baking powder (or 3 tsp baking powder + 1 tsp vanilla extract, not the same thing but acceptable)

Granella di zucchero (Pearl sugar), for decorating


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray or butter and flour a ring mold, approx. 10 inches in diameter (I use my Italian 7-cup mold).

Place all ingredients (minus pearl sugar) in a mixer bowl and beat together well.  Batter should be fairly stiff.  Spoon batter in prepared ring pan.  Brush top of cake with the reserved egg white, then sprinkle generously with pearl sugar.

Bake for about 35 minutes.  Cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes, then unmold on rack.

Perfect for breakfast with espresso o cappuccino.

PS sometimes I use grated orange instead of lemon – good too.