Ricotta cake with candied citrus

A simple cake that retains its moist crumb for several days and sparkles with a festive topping of candied citrus.

The Kitchen Paper
This ricotta pound cake is decorated with beautiful candied citrus slices.

I've had a few recipes ideas swirling around in my head, but I’ve really been hankering for a dense, moist, citrusy cake. Enter: Candied Citrus Ricotta Cake!

This cake is relatively simple to whip up, even with the candied citrus. Sure, they take a little time, but the actual effort is minimal. I used a combination of Meyer lemons, tangerines, and blood oranges. I put lemon and tangerine juice/zest in the cake, and left the blood oranges to shine on top! YUM! I’ve been eating this with my lunch (or for my lunch?) all week and loving it.

I’m actually kind of blown away by the moisture in this loaf – it’s so moist, without being soggy or underbaked, I’m super impressed.

Candied Citrus Ricotta Cake
Adapted from Bon Appetit

For the cake:
1-1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons fresh citrus zest (I used a lemon/tangerine combo)
1-1/2 cups ricotta
3 eggs
2 teaspoons fresh citrus juice (again, I used a lemon/tangerine combo)

For the candied citrus:
1-1/2 cups water
2 cups sugar + extra for sprinkling
1 Meyer lemon, sliced to 1/8-inch thick discs
1 tangerine, sliced to 1/8-inch thick discs
1 blood orange, sliced to 1/8-inch thick discs

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F., and butter a 9-inch loaf pan.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

3. Cream the butter, sugar, and citrus zests together with a mixer. When smooth, add the ricotta and again mix until smooth.

4. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until homogenous.

5. Mix in the citrus juice, then the flour mixture. Stir until combined, taking care not to over-mix.

6. Pour into the prepared pan (you can line it with parchment, if desired), and bake for 50-60 minutes. I tented mine with foil at 45 minutes, and baked until 60 minutes (when the cake-tester came out clean). When it's done, let cool completely.

7. While the cake is baking, you can make the candied citrus!

8. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, combine the water and sugar. Stir until combined, then add as many discs of citrus as you can in a single layer. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let cook for 30-45 minutes. The rinds should become more transparent with time.

9. At 45 minutes, or when the rinds are transparent, transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Let them cool completely before proceeding, save the syrup leftover from the candying process.

10. When the cake and the candied citrus have cooled, use a toothpick to poke holes all over the top of the cake. Brush the leftover syrup along the top of the cake, letting it sink in as much as possible. Layer the citrus over the top of the loaf, using extra syrup as glue.

11. Serve at room temperature!

Related post on The Kitchen Paper: Grapefruit Ricotta Cookies

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