RECIPE: How to make foolproof ricotta cake three ways


Last summer I stumbled upon this Bon Appetit raspberry ricotta cake in my Twitter feed, and boy, am I grateful I did.  Not only was I trying to use up the Bellwether Farms ricotta in my fridge that was quickly reaching its expiration date, but I am always on the hunt for low-effort, high-reward desserts.  This one: jackpot. Minimal dishes, few steps, forgiving bake: what’s not to like?

Not having any raspberries on hand, I subbed in blackberries on the first go-around.  Then I remade it with cherries. Then blueberries. Then back to blackberries. Ironically, I’ve never made this with raspberries, as BA calls for, but I trust those would work marvelously, too.

This cake is great for: breakfast, weeknight dessert, bringing something to a potluck, a birthday cake, anytime snack.  Below I give you three fruit filling options of how to work with this cake batter:

  1. Figs with a honey drizzle and sprinkle of grated pistachios post-bake

  2. Fresh blackberries inside and atop the cake

  3. Blueberry jam (when you’re in a pinch or in the dead of winter)


RECIPE: Foolproof ricotta cake, three ways

By: Kathleen Hayes, adapted from Bon Appetit

Makes 1, 9" cake




Dry ingredients

  • 190 grams all-purpose flour

  • 200 grams organic sugar

  • 6 grams baking powder (2 teaspoons)

  • ¾ teaspoons kosher salt

Wet ingredients

  • 3 large eggs (155 - 170 grams, depending on size of eggs)

  • 305g grams ricotta

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 113 grams unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)

Fruit filling / topping (3 variations)

  • Variation 1: 6-7 figs, cut horizontally into circular slices; honey for drizzling; 2-3 pistachios, finely grated; flaky sea salt, to taste

  • Variation 2: 1 cup fresh blackberries, separated into ¾ cup and ¼ cup [you can also use blueberries, cherries, or raspberries as originally conceived]

  • Variation 3: ½ to ¾ cup jam of your liking, such as blueberry jam

Special equipment



  • Preheat your oven to 338 degrees F (or nearest interval), and spray and line a 9” round cake pan with parchment paper.

  • In a small saucepan, melt your butter and set aside to cool slightly.

  • Combine all of your dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and whisk together.

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine your remaining wet ingredients besides the butter (eggs, ricotta, vanilla extract), and whisk until mixture is homogeneous.

  • Put your dry ingredients into the large bowl with your egg mixture and, using a spatula, fold in your dry ingredients until just combined.

  • Whisk in your melted butter until just combined. No need to over-mix, as it’ll toughen up your final cake.

  • If doing Variation 2 or 3, mix in ¾ of your filling into the batter now.  If mixing in jam, don’t fully incorporate (you want some swirls).

  • Scrape your batter from the bowl into your sprayed and lined cake pan and ensure it’s evenly distributed throughout the pan.

  • For Variation 1: Place your fig slices across the top of the cake.

  • For Variation 2: Use the remaining ¼ of your fruit and arrange across the top of the cake.

  • For Variation 3: Swirl the last bit of your jam on the top of the cake.

  • Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes, until the cake is a light golden brown (your edges might be a bit darker than the rest of the cake), and the cake springs back when you press your finger on it.

  • Let cool in the pan for 3-5 minutes, and then remove from the pan to let cool completely.

  • If you keep this cake wrapped in plastic wrap (and have the patience not to eat it all immediately), it keeps for several days.

  • If doing Variation 1, right before serving: drizzle with honey and use a microplane to finely grate pistachio across the top of the cake.  Sprinkle flaky sea salt, to taste.

  • Enjoy!



  • While I’ve shared the variations I’ve done with this base recipe already, experiment with whatever fruit is in season.

  • Serve warm with fruity ice cream (like this blackberry ice cream I made using Stella Parks’ recipe)

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