It’s pizza time!
gennaio 20, 2011
I like cooking and I like Jamie Oliver
gennaio 23, 2011
Show all

“Biancomangiare”, the Sicilian white pudding

Do you know how to cook Biancomangiare, the Sicilian white pudding? And why is it called that way? The origin of this delicious dessert is told by the expert journalist and writer from Palermo Gaetano Basile. The recipe dates back to the middle age period and the word “Biancomangiare” (literally white food) comes from the French expression ‘bland manger’, which meant mild simple dishes, something that patients in hospital or people with stomachache could eat: like rice and chicken.

owever, when the recipe was imported here people started to call it blanc manger because of the assonance between bland (simple) and blanc (white) thinking that the name blanc manger was actually referred to the color of the dish. So in Italian the expression in one word became: “Biancomangiare” and started to spread as a sweet pudding done with all white ingredients: milk, cornstarch and sugar… and we still prepare it this way!

Ingredients & Preparation: 1lt milk – 6 tbs cornstarch – 4 tbs sugar – cinnamon (both powder and bark) – grated orange zest – Use pistaches and almonds or orange leaves for garnish
In a saucepan mix the cornstarch with the sugar. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly better if using a whisk to eliminate possible lumps, then add a tea spoon of cinnamon powder and 3 or 4 pieces of crumbled bark. 
Place the saucepan on a medium heat, add the orange zest and keep stirring until the mixture becomes creamy and smooth and starts to boil. 

Then remove from heat and place it in a silicon baking tray or in small individual bowls. Let them chill half an hour (one hour if you pour the pudding into one big tray) and put them in the fridge. 
Once they are cold and firm you can transfer them in plates for dessert and garnish however you like: using chopped pistaches and almonds, just with some more cinnamon and orange zest on top or simply with orange leaves. In any case it will be absolutely yummy. Enjoy!
PS – It’s good to know that there are some people who do a richer version of this recipe adding fish-glue or almond flour, but also cookies or sponge at the bottom, but we never did it in my family. Actually what I love the most about this pudding it’s the fact that is light and simple, but still extremely tasty and easy to prepare. Hope you like it too! 😉


  1. PinkAcorn ha detto:

    Interesting, I've never heard of fish glue or almond flour!

  2. Georgia C. ha detto:

    And this is why doing this blog is so worth it! 😉

  3. Anonymous ha detto:

    My mother still makes this pudding and it's such a favorite! She lines her 7 x 11 glass pyrex with vanilla wafers and then fixes her pudding as you described…she pours half of the pudding in the pyrex and tops with cinnamon, shaved chocolate, candied citron and toasted pecans. Then layer the other half of the pudding and top with chocolate and pecans….AMAZING!!

  4. Georgia C. ha detto:

    Thank you so much dear friend for your contribution to this recipe. I am sure your mum's version is also delicious! A big hug 🙂

  5. Anonymous ha detto:

    i made that tonight but my mom taught me to put a hard cookie at the bottom of the dish and pour the mixture over it. i use chocalte biscotti its awesome

  6. Georgia C. ha detto:

    Hi there, thanks for your comment. A cookie at the bottom? Sounds good but if I were you I would have put a cinnamon cookie, just to keep that kind of delicate flavor. Anyway I am very glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  7. Anonymous ha detto:

    We used to eat this warm, my grandmother would set our bowls on top of the radiator and sprinkle cinnamon and grated chocolate on them. I've been trying to figure this recipe out forever.

  8. Anonymous ha detto:

    Does it matter if you use 2 percent milk? 2 percent milk wasn't around when my grandma made it.

  9. Anonymous ha detto:

    Does whole milk vs 2 % make a difference. And I think my grandma added vanilla extract to it.

  10. Georgia C. ha detto:

    Dear Anonymous, I am really glad you finally found the recipe you were looking for. Of course you can use whole milk, it will be just richer.

  11. Anonymous ha detto:

    Wonderful blog!!!
    Just made this for a family gathering we're having tonight! Yes, my grandmother used vanilla wafers on the bottom, too. She used to shave cinnamon bark on top and sometimes sprinkle chopped candied fruit over it. Instead of shaving chocolate, she'd sprinkle M&Ms while the pudding was still warm.

  12. Georgia C. ha detto:

    Thank you so much. Excellent version with the M&Ms. I like it! 😉

  13. harrie maish ha detto:

    I just made it 12 hours ago but i just tilted your version a little of which i used double cream 250ml, 1ltr of milk, 1 tblspn vanilla extract, 1 tspn almond and 1.5tbspn of gelatine. before putting it in individual ramekins, put caramelized sugar and the result is just perfect i have served it with end stripped poached pears in red wine, cinnamon, sugar and cloves. add the remained wine source and some mint leaves if you like.

  14. Georgia C. ha detto:

    Well, I guess you create a new dessert then, great! I hope it was good 🙂 On the other hand though, I love this recipe because of its simplicity.

  15. JanaStarlite ha detto:

    I am reading a Serafina Florio mystery… 1880s Sicily. Biancomangiare was mentioned a few times so I finally had to Google it. What a great blog I just found! I have a bachelor's degree in Italian and lived in Florence for several months when I was a junior in college.

    I think this must be divinely delish. I'm going to try the simple, authentic version. No extra flavors, just the milk, cornstarch, sugar and cinnamon.

  16. Georgia C. ha detto:

    Hi JanaStarlite, thank you so much for commenting on my blog and for your compliments. I am quite curious about the mistery you were actually talking about… anyway… I am totally with you on the authentic version. Let me know 😉

  17. Anonymous ha detto:

    Enjoyed all the comments. My mother and grandmother also made this pudding. They also added a dough, which they rolled into long, half inch round strips, cut into half inch lengths and fried.
    We unfortunately no longer have the dough recipe. Has anyone heard of this?

  18. Georgia C. ha detto:

    Hi there, unfortunately I have never heard of this dough, we usually make it plain and simple. Thanks anyway for your 'testimony' 🙂

  19. Anonymous ha detto:

    i love this pudding i had it many times while growing up in sicily for my summer vacations gonna make it this weekend thank you so much for the recipe

  20. Georgia C. ha detto:

    No problem, I am happy to share 🙂

  21. Rose ha detto:

    My grandama Nina and Aunt Bessie made this for Italian cakes and put in between the layers. We have also used it as a filling for Cannoli's. I have never attempted but I am definatley going to use this recipe for Christmas this year. I believe it exactly how they did it.
    Thank you

  22. Kristine Zerilli ha detto:

    I'm so thrilled i found your site! I thought it was my family secret lol, guess not. I make this way to much but I LOVE IT! We put pound cake at bottom and choc sprinkles on top…always extra cinnamon for me 🙂

  23. Georgia C. ha detto:

    Hi Rose, thanks a lot for you comment. I hope your Christmas was sweet and exquisite just like this recipe 😉

    Hi Kristine, great you have found my blog! If you want you can also follow me on Facebook to get the updates!

    A big hug

  24. Anonymous ha detto:

    My mom made it all the time, but she had me stir it while she did other things. She also mixed some sugar with egg yolks, slowly adding, 1 or 2 depending on how much she would make.She also would take an orange peel from the orange, or lemon peel, peeled off lemon and throw that in.She is 86 and was was born in Messina. She of course used all the other ingredients like vanilla cinnamon on the top. Sometimes, she used used lady fingers or vanilla wafers at bottom. She also used this cream for rice pudding in a big glass pan. When she made that she just used a bit more milk. I am so glad to find this recipe cause I thought how am i going to use the organic milk I purchased before Easter and is expiring in 2 days! Thx, Connie (Concetta) PS My brothers and I always had a ball with pan and spoon left overs!

  25. Georgia C. ha detto:

    Hi connie, thank you so much for your comment. I am really happy you found the recipe on my blog, so now you can pass it to your children as well together with the whole story. A big hug

  26. Anonymous ha detto:

    My grandmother use to make this when I was a child minus the orange zest and garnish. We use to pronounce it "bromengottie" (g sounds like J). I always thought it was an old world family recipe since my great grand parents were from Sicily. Since she passed away, I have searched all over for this recipe to make for my family but never knew how to spell it correctly. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.

    The only thing my grandmother did differently was she would separate a little bit of the pudding and add powdered cocoa to it. She would add the chocolate to the top of the regular white pudding and then sprinkle cinnamon on top.

    LOVE THIS and thank you so much. Making this for my children tonight! 🙂

  27. Georgia C. ha detto:

    Dear friend,
    thank you so much for this wonderful and touching comment who almost brought tears to my eyes!!! I am so happy you found the recipe after so many years, I am sure your children are gonna love it too, especially for the additional ingredient you will add: LOVE!

    Let me know how it goes and a big hug 🙂

  28. Anonymous ha detto:

    My mom has been making this for the family get togethers for 50 years. Last night I watched her make simultaneous batches of white and cocoa flavored dark. She typically adds alternate layers to her molds. It pained me to see her struggle to stir two pans so I jumped up to take over, but I know she'll be doing this on her own when no one is around. I started looking for an automatic stirrer for her pot but I know she hates gadgets and wouldn't use it. Any suggestions?

  29. Concerned Catholic ha detto:

    I am so glad to find this recipe! My mom and dad emigrated from Sicily and made this ALL THE TIME! We used as cannoli filler, most of my childhood cakes were layered pound cake and this custurd/pudding. Thank you so much for posting the recipe. I am making this tonight.

  30. Anonymous ha detto:

    OH MY GOD, my mom made this pudding all time. She also put a cookie at the bottom(usually a Stella d'oro Marghareta cookie). It was so delicious. Great tradition for my grandchildren.

  31. Georgia C. ha detto:

    Hello to all of you! 🙂
    thank you so much for your comments on my recipe page.
    I am really glad you all found it and enjoy it. It's always great to find something that reminds us of our childhood.
    Soon I will post the other version, made with almonds and very popular in south/east Sicily.

  32. Unknown ha detto:

    I just made this using almond milk. My girlfriend loved it. I personally was wanting the pudding to be pure white as I have seen elsewhere. So I wasnt sure why cinnamon is mixed in as it taints the color. I added shaved coconut and orange extract. I topped with 3 marichino cherries and a spoon of cherry juice.
    My next batch will use heavy whipping cream, another table spoon sugar, no cinnamon but rather shaved chocolate over the top. And the cherries amd juice.
    Thanks for the blog.

  33. Georgia C. ha detto:

    Hello Dan,
    thank you so much for your comment. Well done! If you wanna keep it white but without renouncing at the flavor of cinnamon, you can just sprinkle on top with cinnamon powder.
    I am not a fan of chocolate on top, just because I prefer the delicate taste of milk, orange, almond, but if you like it, why not?

  34. Anonymous ha detto:

    I just made this family loved Biancomangiare using coconut milk instead of whole milk. I made three layers using vanilla wafers as the base, then topped with mixture, shaved chocolate and lightly sprinkled cinnamon. Will top with whipping cream and may use some toasted coconut. We will plate it up for family who have not had it in years!!

  35. Sicialian girl ha detto:

    My grandmother made this all the time, except with German sweet chocolate scraped with a knife. She put one layer on the bottom and another layer on the top. She made it in a big glass dish and we’d all eat it together out of the same dish as soon as it was cool enough to eat. Not very sanitary I suppose 🙂

Lascia un commento

Il tuo indirizzo email non sarà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *