When I came across a photo of a recipe for Strawberry and Ricotta Cake on Elizabeth Minchilli's Instagram account, I knew I had to try it. She borrowed it from Ina Garten who made it with figs. And truly it's possible to use just about any fruit you love. I've altered only a couple of things: the lemon zest method, homemade ricotta cheese and yogurt, used a gluten-free 1:1 flour blend, and added blueberries ... and I call it Berry Ricotta Cake. (I think I'll try it with blackberries and peaches, too!)
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So, what is the lemon zest method?
First of all, I use a microplane to zest the lemon right into the sugar. Then I do what Dorie Greenspan taught me to do and I rub the lemon zest into the sugar. This releases the oils and really allows the flavor to permeate.
Berry Ricotta Cake starts out like most cakes by creaming the butter and sugar, then adding the eggs one at a time.
I love making this with homemade ricotta cheese and yogurt, but of course, you can using store bought with no ill effects!
Then add in the dry ingredients and mix carefully. The batter is a little stiff and you don't want to over beat it.
The blueberries only need a quick rinse and dry, but you'll need to stem the strawberries and cut them in half lengthwise. I love my strawberry huller because it allows me to take out the stem with very little wasted.
What kind of pan should I bake Berry Ricotta Cake in?
If you use a 9-inch spring-form pan, you can remove the ring before serving which really looks pretty. However, I used a quiche pan and successfully served it straight from the pan. You could also use a 9-inch square baking dish.
Arrange the fruit as you wish, then sprinkle some light brown sugar over the top.
Isn't Berry Ricotta Cake a beautiful summer dessert or tea time treat?
Other fruity desserts you might like:
- French Apple Pie (Tarte Aux Pommes)
- Wine Poached Pears
- Blueberry Cream Pie
- Nectarine Cream Tart in a Gingersnap Crust
Berry Ricotta Cake
- 1¼ sticks unsalted butter 140 grams
- 1 cup sugar
- grated zest of one lemon
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta See notes
- 2 Tablespoons whole plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1¼ cup all-purpose flour or 1:1 gluten-free blend
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 12-14 large strawberries stem removed and cut in half lengthwise
- 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Butter and flour a 9-inch spring form pan, a quiche dish, or a 9-inch square baking dish.
- In a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer), put the grated lemon zest in with the sugar and rub the zest into the granules.
- Add the butter, and cream it with the sugar till light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time.
- Add the ricotta, yogurt, and vanilla extract. Mix well.
- Mix the dry ingredients together and add them to the mixing bowl. Mix just till the dough comes together being careful not to over beat.
- Pour the dough into the baking dish and level it out. Place the strawberries on top of the batter, cut side up, pressing them in slightly. Sprinkle the cake with the sugar and bake for 40 minutes.
- Cool. If using a spring-form pan, remove the ring before serving. If using a baking dish, serve it straight from the dish.
- Serve with whipped cream, creme fraiche, or ice cream.
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