Memorial Day Weekend is upon us, the official start of summer for many despite the calendar’s suggestion that we must wait 3 plus weeks for it to be official-official. With the soaring temperatures, and the insane thunder and lightening we experienced just last night, it certainly feels like summer has landed in our laps.
The timing seems to be right, with Massachusetts lifting all Covid restrictions for vaccinated people starting May 29th. I have to say that while I am completely excited at the prospect of returning to some form of normalcy, the fact that a day can be picked for us to flip a switch is a tad unnerving. One day, I’m walking around with my mask on, stopped at the entrance to a store and asked to bathe my hands in liquid sanitizer and the next day….I’m not? Hopefully, really smart people have thought this all through and we will all.be.fine.just.fine.
So, let’s celebrate and what’s better to celebrate with than a cake?
This recipe comes from my friend, Francine who you have met here on the blog a few times when I taught her how to make Armenian Rice Pilaf and when she shared her expert advice on wellness in this post. Francine and I have been friends for a long time and we share a love of so many things, travel, food, books, to name a few. Francine is a fabulous cook, inspired by her Jewish heritage and a huge curiosity about other cultures, seeking out the best ingredients she can find to make mouth watering food for her family and friends to enjoy. During quarantine, we have shared several hours around her fire pit, enjoying coffee which is never served without a little treat alongside that she just whipped up. I am so grateful to have Francine in my life and we have shared so many recipes over the year, I almost need a Francine folder just to keep them all organized!
So I was especially grateful when she answered my call here on TKS to submit recipes and she gave me not one, but 7 recipes to try! So far, I’ve made 2 with excellent results. But since I haven’t posted anything sweet on the blog for awhile, I decided to share this quick and easy recipe for Berry Ricotta Cake. Now, the original title is Raspberry Ricotta Cake because it calls for a cup of frozen raspberries. But, we are living in the land of “use what you have” these days and I happened to have some fresh strawberries so decided to use them instead.
Francine refers to this recipe as her family’s “house cake” that both her adult children love. She goes on to say, “It’s a classic and easy to whip up because it uses frozen berries and I keep Calabro whole milk ricotta on-hand, which is perfect for this cake and has a relatively long shelf-life. Also, be sure not to overbake since, oddly, it will get dry despite the all the butter and cheese.”
The recipe calls for ricotta which I happened to have in my fridge, but was 1/2 cup short of the amount called for in the recipe. Thankfully, I had plenty of whipped cream cheese on hand so I used a combination and the results were amazing. I also added some lemon zest which I think is always nice, but it’s completely optional. Moist and delicious, just sweet enough and perfect with a cup of coffee or as a little after dinner snack. I shared most of the cake with two friends since it’s just me and the hubs at home these days! It’s very transportable and does last for a few days, but I would put it in the fridge to get the longest shelf life.
And as I said, the original recipe called for frozen raspberries or blackberries – a little tart to offset the sweetness of the cake. But the strawberries worked really well too. Yum.
So, what do you think? Maybe you can whip up Berry Ricotta Cake this weekend?
Happy Memorial Day Weekend to all. And thank you to Francine for sharing this recipe! Until next time…
One Year Ago: Friday, May 22, 2020
Two Years Ago: Farro and Broccolini Gratin
Three Years Ago: Travel Post – Croatia & Montenegro
Four Years Ago: Chopped Salad with Crunchy Tofu & Brown Rice
Five Years Ago: Israeli Couscous Primavera
Six Years Ago: Grilled Asparagus & Beet Salad
Seven Years Ago: Salmon with Orange-Avocado Salsa
This recipe has been adapted ever so slightly from Bon Appetit and was sent to me by my friend, Francine. I used 1 cup ricotta and 1/2 cup whipped cream cheese. Recipe makes one 9-inch cake to serve 8-10 people. Enjoy!
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups ricotta (or a mix of ricotta and whipped cream cheese)
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries, raspberries or blackberries, divided. Frozen berries can also be used
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in the middle. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Lightly coat the paper and the sides of the pan with a nonstick spray. You can also just butter and flour your pan as Francine does which works well too!
- Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
- Whisk eggs, ricotta (or ricotta and whipped cream cheese), lemon zest and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth; fold into dry ingredients until just blended.
- Fold in butter, followed by 3/4 cup of the berries, taking care not to crush them (especially raspberries). Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and scatter remaining 1/4 cup berries over top.
- Bake cake until golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 50-60 minutes. Mine took 50 minutes and Francine cautions against overcooking as the cake may become dry.
- Let cool at least 20 minutes before unmolding.
- Cake can be made 2 days ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.
Hi Val ,
Looks great will make it as well !
Hope to see you this summer 🙂
Thanks for your kind words Valerie! I’m so glad you enjoyed the cake and hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!
You make this sound so easy! I am a totally intimidated baker. This may be my maiden voyage into beautiful desserts. Thank you.
This looks SO simple and so delicious! It’s going on my Memorial Day weekend menu!!!! Thanks, Val and Francine!