A ricotta cake is the definition of rich and flavorful. This is a twist on the Italian dessert that uses the zest and juice of blood oranges. Pair this with some coffee or tea and it makes a perfect treat to start off of your morning or at the end of a meal.
A ricotta cake is such a beautifully tender cake that is is rich and is so easy to make. One of the reasons that I love making this cake is that it only takes a few minutes and then I can pop it in the oven. While this dessert is normally made with lemon zest and topped with powdered sugar I have found that the orange version is wonderful with a glaze. I promise you this cake will disappear quickly when you serve this wonderful cake.
In this recipe
There are not a lot of ingredients in this recipe and most of them will already be in you pantry. However the rest can be easily obtained.
Blood oranges: these oranges are seasonal so if they are out of season or no longer available a regular orange will work.
Ricotta: this is what gives the cake its signature texture and flavor. This will also add fat and liquid without making the batter too runny and keeps the crumb nice and tender.
Buttermilk: the acidity of the buttermilk enhances the ricotta cheese and also helps keep the tender.
Everything at room temperature
This is one of those cakes where it is important that everything is at room temperature. The reason for this is if they are not all at room temperature they will not mix well. Considering this recipe uses melted butter you don’t want the butter to seize and cause the batter to break. This can cause your cake to fall, not rise at all or become very dense. Another reason is you may run into chunks of ricotta in the cake leaving an uneven texture throughout the cake.
Intensify the orange flavor
One of the things that I like to do when I use zest is to place it in the sugar an hour before I start making the cake. This will allow the sugar to draw out all of the oils from the zest that will increase the orange flavor. If you want to increase the orange flavor even more then use orange juice instead of vanilla or with the vanilla.
Glaze it up
If you want to make sure that your glaze stays on top of the cake the first thing you need to do is let it cool completely. If you don’t the cake will absorb the glaze and it will look thin on top. It can also make the glaze more runny and it’ll pool around the bottom of the cake. The next thing you want to do is to make sure you add the orange juice a tablespoon at a time. This allows you to control the thickness. The glaze should slide down the spoon and create a pretty thick ribbon. This will allow it to drip slowly and cover most of the cake.
Looking for other orange recipes?
Ricotta Cake with Blood Orange Glaze
- Stand mixer with paddle attachment
- Mixing Bowl
- 10 -12 cup bundt pan
- Cooling rack
- 2½ cups flour spooned and leveled
- 13 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup butter unsalted, melted and cooled
- ¼ cup buttermilk room temperature
- 2 eggs large, room temperature
- 1 egg yolk large, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons orange zest about 1 blood orange
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon salt
Blood Orange Glaze
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup blood orange juice
- Pre-heat oven to 350°F, 177°C or gas mark 4. Grease the bundt pan and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt until evenly combined.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, on medium high speed, beat the eggs, egg yolk, and sugar until smooth and has lightened in color. Add melted butter, ricotta, milk and vanilla waiting a minute between each addition.
- Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients mixing to just combine.
- Pour the batter into the bundt pan and bake until golden brown or about 50-55 minutes. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes before turning over onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely.
- While the cake is cooling mix the powder sugar and orange juice adding one tablespoon at a time to the sugar to make the glaze and spoon or pour over the cooled cake.