Offbeat Bites: Raspberry Ricotta Cake

Chef’s note: Spongey and lightly sweet, this cake showcases fresh berries. Blueberries, blackberries, or strawberries could be used in place of raspberries, just as long they’re fresh and juicy. Such a light recipe as this makes a nice contrast with the abundant heavy dishes and pies of winter time.

Ricotta cheese is an under-utilized ingredient in many kitchens. It’s useful in baking and makes good fillings for many different types of dishes. (For another ricotta cake recipe, click here. For other ricotta-based recipes, click here and here.)

Basic cake ingredients make for a simple cake, but the ricotta keeps the cake extra moist and the berries add a springy element.

Ingredients:

  • generous ¾ cup of ricotta cheese

  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder

  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

  • 3 large eggs

  • juice of ½ a lime

  • scant 2 cups all purpose flour

  • ¾ cups white sugar

  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract

  • ⅓ cup of whole milk

  • 1 cup of fresh raspberries washed and drained

  • 1 teaspoon of all purpose flour

 

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 9 inch round cake pan.

Toss the raspberries with the teaspoon of all-purpose flour, coating the berries as evenly as possible.

These dry ingredients will be added later.

Whisk together the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl. Set aside.

After combining the sugar with the ricotta, the cheese will be dry. Don’t fret; the eggs will loosen the mixture up.

Whisk together the ricotta and sugar thoroughly. Whisk in vegetable oil, then the eggs, one by one.

If the batter seems too much like a  liquid, remember that you’re adding the flour next.

Thoroughly whisk in milk, almond and vanilla extracts, and lime juice.

The batter will be lumpy.

Slowly whisk the flour into the ricotta mixture, stirring until just combined.

Spatulas are best for this job.

Pour the mixture evenly into the prepared cake pan.

Spread the berries as evenly as possible, otherwise the cake will become overly moist in some parts and will not cook properly.

Sprinkle the batter with the floured berries.

Leaving the cake to cool after baking allows the cake to finish cooking, and set properly.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until lightly browned and any toothpicks inserted in the center come out clean. Cool completely on a rack.

Dust with confectioner’s sugar, slice, and serve.

All photos by Lauren Quinn
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