This cake is so extremely moist it isn’t funny. The ricotta adds an unbelievable texture that you just don’t find in pound cake. It is rich without being heavy and the orange and almond flavors are very delicate. You definitely need to use whole milk ricotta in this, the skim milk versions just won’t work. You may need to bake it a touch longer than 50 minutes, just keep an eye on it.
This cake will make a great base for almost any fruit. Try blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or a melange maybe macerated in an orange liqueur.
Don’t try to remove it from the pan before the ten minutes or you will have to make a trifle with it. It is very delicate anyway but when warm it is crumbly. If you want to give it a little crunch and flavor sprinkle the top with turbinado sugar before baking.
Orange Ricotta Pound Cake
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter at room temperature, plus more to grease the baking pan
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- Zest from one orange
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
- Strawberries or other fruit for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan with butter. Grease it thoroughly. This cake will stick if it isn’t.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Sift three times to combine.
Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, ricotta, and sugar until light and fluffy.
With the machine running, add the eggs 1 at a time, beating for a minute or so after each.
Add the vanilla, almond extract, orange juice, and orange zest until combined.
Add the dry ingredients by hand, a little at a time, until just incorporated. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake is beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 45 to 50 minutes.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with a knife and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.