Ridiculous Ricotta Pound Cake

Why do I say this cake is "ridiculous"?

Because it falls under the SO ridiculously good category.

I know you don't need another luxurious cake to bake during the hoildays, and right before we set ourselves up for New Year's resolution failure, but some of you may be skinny or looking to gain some extra weight this holiday season.

Maybe you have some teenage boys who need to pack on some pounds for the cold winter months ahead; could be you have a lot of leftover ricotta cheese from your Christmas lasagne; or maybe you just LOVE a ricotta cake, like me.

I adore this cake. It's worth every calorie.
So just have one slice.

I'm doing a rare Saturday post, just in case you need another dessert for your menu.

You have 10 days till Jan. 2, diet day.

Please do not skip the raisins in this recipe, they do something wonderful to this simple cake.

Ricotta Pound Cake (try not to read the word "Pound"), adapted from Gina DePalma's Dolce Italiano

1 1/2 cup flour (the author uses cake flour, I use All Purpose flour)
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups fresh whole-milk ricotta
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cups raisins
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp orange zest
confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350F degrees 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 flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, ricotta, and sugar on medium speed until smooth and light, about 2 minutes.

Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract, lemon zest and raisins. On low speed, beat in dry ingredients to combine them, scrape down sides of the bowl, and beat batter for 30 seconds on medium speed.

Pour batter into 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 cake for 15 minutes at 350F, then turn the pan 180 degrees to ensure even browning. Lower the temperature to 325F degrees and continue baking until the cake springs back lightly when touched, the sides have begun to pull away from the pan, and a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes more. (Mine took 1 hour).

Allow cake to cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then carefully invert it onto the rack to cool completely. Dust cake lightly with confectioners sugar before serving. Best served the day after baking.

I have a lot of favorites, but this is truly the one.

Merry Christmas and Happy Cooking!

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Susan said…
Hi Stacey,
I'm assuming you do use cake flour? It's in your directions but in your ingredient list you have just flour? Thanks!
Hope you have a wonderful Holiday!
Stacey Snacks said…
No, I don't use cake flour, I use regular King Arthur All Purpose flour for all my recipes, even the ones that call for cake flour.
Merry Happy!
Ciao Chow Linda said…
Will you bake this cake for me? I have tried it two times, meticulously measuring everything and even draining the ricotta the second time. It never turns out right for me, yet yours looks perfect. What am I doing wrong?
I make this all the time, absolutely love this recipe, good to know about ap flour I have a box of cake flour always in my pantry just for this, so next time I run out I want panic.
Eileen said…
Amazingly, I have all the ingredients for this in my kitchen! Looks like I'll be doing a little more baking this weekend ;P

Merry Christmas, Stacey!
Joanne said…
I love infusing ricotta into cakes. Definitely calorie-worthy.
bigpilot said…
The description of the recipe calls for splitting the vanilla bean and scraping out the seeds but the list of ingredients does not have vanilla beans listed, only the extract. Dooh!
Stacey Snacks said…
You are right, the original recipe calls for a vanilla bean, which I don't use, I just used vanilla extract, I have updated the recipe.

Basically, just mix everything together in a bowl then pour in the loaf pan and bake it. I never use a mixer or do all this fancy baking science stuff......I just throw in the dry with the wet ingredients!

The cake is great!
OK, so here's another recipe I now just have to try, I mean, if you say it is 'The One', how could I just pass by without a taste.

Thank you for all the wonderful recipes you shown us Stacey, especially knowing you have to bake them and photo them and eat them! True devotion to the cause!

Getting to know you this year has been a real joy, I so hope that 2013 will give us another chance to meet up
wishing you both a very happy christmas
Catherine said…
This looks very lush. Do you think it could be made in a square or rectangular pan, coffee cake style? I have made cakes with sour cream and yogurt before but not with ricotta.
bigpilot said…
After posting about the vanilla bean I made the cake using one vanilla bean plus the vanilla extract. We put in a bit more raisins of various colors. Great cake. Delicious as all your recipes I have made are.
Claudia said…
I love everything in this recipe but when I made it - it didn't work (although I could spoon-feed myself the tasty mess). Must try again! I mean - it has ricotta! Merry! Merry!
Going to make today along with one of the cranberry cakes. Happy Birthday Stacey!
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Maria M Triana said…
Hi Stacey. Thanks for all those wonderful recipes that you bring to us. This one is completely amazing. I love it. I really wish a Merry Christmas for you and your family.
Lori Lynn said…
It does sound ridiculously good. I believe you. Like how you photographed it with whole berries.

Wishing you a dazzling Christmas and a fabulous 2013 Stace!
Christine said…
Just stopping by to wish you a very Merry Christmas! Hope your day was festive and delicious!
This "pound" cake looks deliciously deadly! I can see the pounds adding up just from looking at the photo. LOL!
Oui Chef said…
This does sound fabulous. I'll have to make it once we've snarfed our way through all the sugared goodies we have clogging our counters now. Happy Holidays to you and hubby!
Val said…
This looks absolutely divine!