Ricotta Pound Cake


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*Revised to note cooking time in original recipe appears to be off. I bake mine at 325F for about an hour and 5 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.

** Note: others have noticed a discrepancy with the ricotta. I prefer Prescious brand because it's drier. If your ricotta is watery, drain it first.

Ricotta Pound Cake

Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen

By Gina DePalma

Sometimes I like to eat fresh ricotta by the bowlful, so I can fully savor its creamy goodness. One Saturday morning, I was sneaking around Babbo with a little bowl of ricotta for an impromptu breakfast snack, and as I indulged myself, the thought of pound cake jumped in my head. I may have been delusional or inspired—either way, I was driven enough to go straight into the kitchen and create this cake. Two hours later, we were all standing around eating it, marveling at the rich flavor and moist texture. Ricotta in a pound cake—who knew?

Traca’s Note: Whoa! This is THE BEST pound cake I have ever had!!! Super moist, great flavor.

Makes one 9-inch cake. Approximately 10 servings

1 ½ cups cake flour

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¾ cup (1 ½ sticks/6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened

1 ½ cups fresh whole-milk ricotta (I used skim & it was fantastic!)

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

3 large eggs

½ vanilla bean

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position a rack in the center. Grease a 9-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray or butter, dust it with flour, and tap to knock out the excess.

In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, ricotta, and sugar on medium speed until smooth and light, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with the blunt side of a small knife, then beat them into the batter along with the vanilla extract. On low speed, beat in the dry ingredients to combine them, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and beat the batter for 30 seconds on medium speed.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula to smooth the top. Give the pan a few gentle whacks on the counter to remove any air pockets. Bake the cake for 15 minutes, then turn the pan 180 degrees to ensure even browning. Lower the temperature to 325 degrees F and continue baking until the cake springs back lightly when touched, the sides have begun to pull away from the pan, and a cake inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes more. (Traca’s note, I baked it about 25 minutes even more to get a knife to come out clean.) Allow the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then carefully invert on the rack to cool completely.

Dust the cake lightly with confectioners’ sugar before serving it; the flavor is best on the next day. Any leftover cake may be wrapped in plastic and kept at room temperature for up to 3 days.
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