Strawberry ricotta cake

The versatility of ricotta cheese and in-season strawberries combine for simple, lightly sweet cake.

The Runaway Spoon
A simple ricotta strawberry cake, lightly sweetened with honey, shines with fresh flavors.

It has taken me awhile to realize that ricotta cheese is an incredibly versatile ingredient. For most of my life, I only ever encountered it in lasagna. But years of cooking and research has shown me that it is good for so much more.

Now when I say this, I mean good, whole milk ricotta that is rich and creamy and moist, not the skim variety that can get a bit dry and leaden in that lasagna filling. You’ll find it at better grocery stores. I occasionally make my own ricotta, which is an incredibly easy project (search a recipe online) with great rewards. I tried some recently simply paired with fresh sliced strawberries and drizzled with honey and realized what a great combination it makes.

So I turned the idea into a very simple cake, lightly sweetened with honey so the berries really shine. This recipe is not complex or difficult, but it is one of those dishes that makes me feel like a really sophisticated cook. For a little added sweetness and color, slice some strawberries, sprinkle them with sugar and let them sit while the cake bakes and cools. They’ll produce a lovely syrup that is delicious drizzled over the sliced cake.

Strawberry ricotta cake
Serves 6

Butter for greasing the pan
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 eggs
1-1/2 cups whole milk ricotta
1/4 cup honey
Zest of 1 lemon
Seeds scraped from 1/2 of a vanilla bean
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
5 to 6 strawberries, sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat an 8-inch springform pan with butter. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar in the pan and shake and rotate it until the sugar evenly coats the sides and the bottom of the pan. Tap any excess sugar out of the pan.

2. Separate the eggs. Beat the whites in a small bowl until they hold stiff peaks. Put the yolks into a large bowl with the ricotta, honey, lemon zest, and vanilla seeds. Beat until smooth and creamy. Beat in the flour until the batter is completely combined.

3. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter a third at a time, making sure each addition is combined before adding the next. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Artfully arrange the sliced strawberries over the top of the batter, then sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly over the top of the cake.

4. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until the cake is firm and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan. Remove the sides of the pan and slice. If you’d like, you can serve with some sliced strawberries sprinkled with sugar.

Related post on The Runaway Spoon: Blueberry vanilla buttermilk cake

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.