Orange-Ricotta Pound Cake
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Flavored with orange zest and orange liqueur, this ricotta pound cake is incredibly tasty and moist. It is the perfect treat, particularly nice as an afternoon snack with a cup of tea, but it is equally good served for breakfast or brunch or even dessert — so versatile. Everyone raves!
As five of us celebrated a quiet Thanksgiving down here in Virginia, the rest of my family journeyed north to Vermont to the shores of Lake Champlain for a wild gathering with my aunt and uncle.
Upon returning, my mother gave me the full report: Of course, the turkey, which she had prepared, was over-cooked, gross and inedible but roasted Jerusalem artichokes saved the occasion as well as an orange-and-ricotta pound cake that her sister prepared twice during their five-day visit.
I had to make the cake immediately. My mother was right. Flavored with orange zest and orange (or almond) liqueur, this incredibly tasty and moist — thanks to a generous amount of ricotta cheese — pound cake is the perfect treat.
It’s particularly nice as an afternoon snack with a cup of tea, but great with breakfast or after-dinner coffee, too. It also makes a lovely gift, when baked in mini loaf pans (see recipe for notes.)
** Finally, if you love an olive oil cake, I’ve since adapted this recipe to use olive oil in place of butter. It’s also a one-bowl job: One-Bowl Orange-Ricotta Pound Cake **
5 Favorite Quick Breads
- Mrs. Myers’s Best Banana Bread (truly the best)
- Must-Try, Super-Moist Zucchini Bread
- My Mother’s Delicious Pumpkin Bread
- Lemon and Ricotta Pound Cake
- Yotam Ottolenghi’s Lemon-Semolina Cake
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
** UPDATE: If you love an olive oil cake, I’ve since adapted this recipe to use olive oil in place of butter. It’s also a one-bowl job: One-Bowl Orange-Ricotta Pound Cake **
- Important: You must use a 9×5-inch loaf pan or 10×5-inch loaf pan or something larger for this recipe, or, two 8×4-inch loaf pans, otherwise the batter may spill over into your oven, and the cake will not bake evenly. If you only have an 8×4-inch loaf pan, I would recommend not filling it higher than 3/4 or even halfway to be safe. You can bake off the remaining batter in smaller pans or you can wait till your first loaf is done; then bake off the remaining batter in your cooled and cleaned loaf pan.
- I often use three mini loaf pans, because this is a great one for gifting.
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more to grease the baking pan
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour or all-purpose
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 orange, zested
- 2 tablespoons amaretto (or Cointreau or Grand Marnier)
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9- or 10 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan (see notes above!) with butter (grease it very well). In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir to blend.
- Using a mixer, cream the butter, ricotta and 1.5 cups granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the machine running, add the eggs 1 at a time. Add the vanilla, zest and alcohol until combined. Add the dry ingredients, a small amount at a time, until just incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan (Note: Do not fill pan higher than 3/4 — save extra batter to bake off in a mini pan or muffin tin … if you fill the pan higher than 3/4 you risk the batter spilling over. See notes above.) and bake until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan, 45 to 60 minutes (about 35 minutes for mini pans). Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 60 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Italian/American
Keywords: orange, ricotta, pound, cake