Appetizers and Snacks

“Cacio e Pepe” Mini Muffins

Nicoletta June 12, 2017

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“Cacio e Pepe” Mini Muffins, all the rich and tasty flavours of the famous “cacio e pepe” pasta, encased in a tiny muffin that bursts with character. Great eaten as is, or perfect appetizer bites that can be filled to taste.

Song of the day: Faded – SoulDecision.

Cacio e Pepe mini muffins

If you’re from Rome, like me, you know that there are only two other renowned pasta dishes that can be compared to Cacio e Pepe. And they are the Carbonara and the Amatriciana. I hope many of you had the chance to taste the real deal in one of the Roman trattorie, osterie, restaurants that proudly have them on their menu. If you did, you were up for a real treat.



They are Roman icons and if you did taste those dishes in Rome, you would know that everything you had elsewhere with the same name, was -for the most part- just a faded copy of a masterpiece. Once in a while, we do happen upon a real jewel where the restaurateur holds true and authentic to the classic tradition. And although I have nothing against creativity and fusion dishes, I am kind of a “purist” when it comes to traditional dishes. Because those are the dishes that define our culture and Regional individuality, and if you know anything about Italians, pride is a fuel for confidence.

These Cacio e Pepe mini muffins have the main ingredients of the pasta dish but in a tiny muffin form:

  • e.v.o. oil (or butter)
  • Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Pecorino Romano
  • freshly ground black pepper

plus milk, eggs, flour and baking powder, to turn it into a muffin. Easy to make, all you need are two bowls, one for the dry, one for the wet ingredients, a whisk, a spatula, measuring spoons and cups, and a mini muffin tin lined with muffin liners.

Cacio e Pepe mini muffinsCacio e Pepe mini muffinsCacio e Pepe mini muffins

After about 20 minutes in the oven and a little resting time, so not to burn your fingers and tongue, you can taste these adorable and oh so flavorful mini muffins. Light and crumbly, almost biscuit like, they have a nice kick from the pepper and the pungent nature of the cheese. They are lovely eaten like that, as a one-bite treat, or if you are planning a party, imagine serving the Cacio e Pepe mini muffins as the vehicle for any filling of your choice. We tried them with goat cheese and jam, and we enjoyed them for breakfast. Other options can be prosciutto and arugula, cream cheese and salmon, melted cheese, or wherever your creativity takes you.

Cacio e Pepe mini muffins

It’s summer and a great time for that backyard party and these Cacio e Pepe mini muffins would be a great addition to the arrays of food that you may want to serve.

Cacio e Pepe mini muffins


Song of the day: Faded – SoulDecision.

Cacio e Pepe mini muffins

“Cacio e Pepe” Mini Muffins

  • Author: Nicoletta
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 24 mini muffins 1x
  • Category: Appetizers and Snacks
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian


“Cacio e Pepe” Mini Muffins, all the rich and tasty flavours of the famous “cacio e pepe” pasta, encased in a tiny muffin that bursts with character. Great eaten as is, or perfect appetizer bites that can be filled to taste.

Recipe adapted from Chiarapassion


  • 130 g (3/4 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour (or type 00)
  • 8 g (1 Tbsp) baking powder
  • 80 g (1 cup) Pecorino Romano, grated
  • 20 g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (or less if you like a less pronounced flavor)
  • 1 large egg, organic, free range, lightly beaten
  • 130 ml (1/2 cup) milk
  • 30 ml (3 Tbsp) e.v.o. oil (or butter, melted)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F (190° C) and line a mini muffin tray with muffins liners.
  2. In one large bowl mix the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, grated Parmigiano and Pecorino, pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. In another bowl add the wet ingredients: the lightly beaten egg, milk, and oil (or melted butter).
  4. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and mix briefly with a spatula. Do not overwork, the dough must be lumpy.
  5. Fill muffin liners with a tsp of batter and cook in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350° F (180° C) and cook for about 10 more minutes or until nice and golden and a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out dry.
  6. Take out of the oven and set on a wire rack to cool.
  7. Serve as is, or cut in the middle and filled with your favorite fillings.


They are best eaten the same day, but keep for a couple of days in an airtight container. They also freeze well for about a month. When you want to use them, take them out of the freezer, let them thaw then warm up in the oven (at 325° F (160° C) for a few seconds. A party appetizers idea: fill them with cream cheese or goat cheese, add smoked salmon, dill and a caper. Or let your creativity run free!

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Cacio e Pepe mini muffins

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  • Avatar
    Reply Stephanie June 12, 2017 at 8:36 am

    These mini muffins look so fabulous and easy to prepare! I know they’re just bursting with flavor with Romano and Parmesan cheese. I’ve never been to Rome but would love to visit. Can’t wait to try these muffins though 🙂

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta June 12, 2017 at 8:55 am

      They are very easy and very flavorful, I’m sure you’ll love them. You can have a taste of Rome with these muffins 🙂 . Thank you for your comment, Stephanie!

  • Avatar
    Reply Milena | Craft Beering June 12, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    These cheesy beauties must be so fluffy when made with 00 flour. I love them, I would drizzle them with hot honey and eat to my heart’s desire. Beautiful! And how cool that you add an amount of black pepper that is definitely to be felt. Win! Pinning this!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta June 12, 2017 at 2:55 pm

      Thank you, Milena!! I mostly use 00 flour, for everything. That’s what I used in Italy and here I find it at the Italian store. Even for pasta or pizza, it is the best 🙂 . Yes, the pepper is the main ingredient, together with the cheese 🙂 .

  • Avatar
    Reply Dawn - Girl Heart Food June 13, 2017 at 5:23 am

    I was looking forward to seeing these as soon as I saw a post you had on social media that they were coming. Love cacio e pepe in pasta form so I know that I’m going to love these equally as much. What’s even better is that there’s just a handful of ingredients – so simple, but the end result is something so comforting. Perfect for breakfast, appetizer or a snack. Pinned! Cheers to a great week 🙂

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta June 13, 2017 at 7:56 am

      Thank you Dawn! They are really tasty, and you can bake them also in a regular muffin tin. Have a great week!

  • Avatar
    Reply Elaine @ Dishes Delish June 19, 2017 at 10:29 am

    These looks so tasty. I’ve never heard of these muffins. I can’t wait to try them, because I know I’m going to love them with the cheese and pepper!!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta June 20, 2017 at 7:49 am

      Hi Elaine, thanks! They are really tasty, with the cheese and black pepper. In Italy, they are starting to become popular because they own their flavour to the famous cacio e pepe pasta dish 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen June 28, 2017 at 7:10 am

    What a fun way to enjoy the flavors of a classic pasta dish! These look great!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta June 28, 2017 at 9:55 am

      You’re so right, they are fun to eat! Especially when stuffed and eaten in a mouthful 🙂 . Thank so much for stopping by!

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