Friday, March 08, 2013

lemon, olive oil & ricotta cake with lemon glaze




This lovely Italian cake obviously isn't the caramel loaf cake promised in my last post.  After our week filled with cloudy days and snow, {yes, we actually got our first snow of the entire winter on Wednesday!} I wanted to post something that exuded sunshine and spring!  ...and gosh, do I love lemon!  The caramel loaf cake is waiting patiently in the wings to show itself later this month.  Speaking of spring, a beautiful bouquet of tulips, one of my absolute favorite flowers flooding the entrances of all the local markets, found a way into my grocery cart and happily came home with me - begging to be aligned next to the delightful lemon, olive oil & ricotta cake.  I cheerfully obliged!






All I have to say is thank goodness I was meeting a girlfriend for dinner the day I created this divine cake.  Other than the slices I cut for photographing, I brought the remainder for my friend and her husband to enjoy.  I seriously couldn't have resisted it, had it been left in my house.

Fresh and light, with a slight lemon tartness, this cake is the ultimate accompaniment to the end of any meal.  It would be wonderful any time of the year, ideal for Easter, and just as nice for a warm evening out on the deck, with a glass of chilled white wine.  A hint of fruity extra virgin olive oil, extremely moist from the creamy ricotta cheese, and perfectly sweetened with lemon glaze, you'll want to serve this Italian charmer often!

Until next time...mangia!  xox

Carol






Lemon, Olive Oil & Ricotta Cake with Lemon Glaze

Ingredients:

for the cake:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup granulated sugar
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons whole milk
3/4 cup of ricotta cheese {I used part skim}
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
a small amount of butter, softened, for buttering the pan

for the glaze:
1 cup of confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice {or limoncello}
confectioner's sugar for dusting on top {optional}

Create the Lemon, Olive Oil & Ricotta Glazed Pound Cake:

1.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Line the bottom of a removable bottom quiche/tart pan with parchment paper, lightly butter the pan, and the paper.  I used a quiche/tart pan that measured 8" across the bottom, and 10" across top, with a 2 1/8" height, like this one here.  I loved the presentation it made.  You can also use an 8" - 9" round cake pan, or anything similar.  Just remember to adjust cooking times accordingly.

2.  In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

3.  In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine the egg yolks, granulated sugar, and lemon zest.  Beat on medium speed until the mixture thickens, is pale yellow, and forms ribbons when the whisk is lifted, 3 - 4 minutes.  Allow to sit.

4.  In a separate bowl, with an electric hand mixer, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.  Set aside.

5.  In another bowl, hand whisk together the evoo, milk, ricotta cheese, and lemon juice.  Slowly drizzle the oil mixture into the egg mixture in the electric stand mixer, while the mixer is running.  Reduce the speed to low, and now add the flour mixture, and mix just until combined.  Drizzle in the butter, and mix just until combined.

6.  Remove the mixing bowl from the stand mixer, and fold in the stiff egg whites.

7.  Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.  Bake, rotating the pan after 25 minutes.  Bake until the top of the cake is golden, the center bounces back when touched, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean - approximately 40 - 45 minutes.

8.  Remove from pan after about 10 minutes, and cool enough to touch.  Let it cool completely on a wire rack.

9.  While the cake is cooling, prepare the glaze.  Combine the lemon juice, or Limoncello, with the powdered sugar until completely smooth, and combined.  Adjust the consistency to how you like it...thinner, add more lemon juice...thicker, add more powdered sugar.  Place the cooled cake on a serving plate, and pour the glaze over the cake and let it set up {at least 30 minutes} prior to slicing.  I kept the glaze a little on the thicker side and spread it just to the edge of the scallops on the cake.  If desired, dust a small amount of powdered sugar over the top.

Adapted from  The Brooklyn Ragazza.






Don't forget - spring forward this weekend!!!

74 comments:

  1. LEMONS! I love them. And wow, I never knew you could make cake in a tart pan- and it's good looking too!

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    1. Thanks so much, Irene! Yes, you can use a tart pan, or better yet, a quiche pan, which has a higher side...on cakes that don't have a real high rise. It gives the cake such a pretty edge! :}

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  2. Everything about this post makes me happy. Thank you for the fresh, bright reminder that spring - with all her sunshine, lemons and tulips - is on it's way. :-)

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    1. Thanks, Val! It brightened my spirits too...even though we've had an easy winter in the DC area, weather wise...it's been a rough one on other fronts. I'll be glad to have it over! ;}

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  3. Yum, this cake exudes spring! I love everything about it :). Have a great weekend, Carol!

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    1. Thanks so much, Laura...and a beautiful weekend to you as well!!!

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  4. So pretty Carol-I love lemon and yellow ;-). Have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Thank you, Patty! A wonderful weekend coming your way, too!!!

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  5. Being an Italian girl at heart, everything about this cake speaks to me, Carol! I love incorporating ricotta and olive oil into baked goods. What a perfect dessert for Easter! And what gorgeous photos!
    - Lisa

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Lisa! I love ricotta and olive oil in baked goods as well. Funny, baked goods like this are so easy to create, but speak so much louder than a traditional dessert at times.

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  6. looks so beautiful carol! how awesome is the ricotta/olive oil combination? doesn't it make the cake so moist? i love it! :)

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    1. Hi Marissa! Thank you so much for your sweet comment. The combo is totally awesome!!! I can't wait to post my ricotta pancakes...they were equally as delicious!

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  7. I woke up to sunshine this morning and this cake looks like it's made for a day like this. I love those yellow tulips as well. :)

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    1. Thank you, Ronja! I'm so happy you have sunshine today...we are supposed to here too, can't wait! Along with lilies of the valley and lilacs...I adore tulips! They all make me smile! ;}

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  8. Hi Carol, again your post is just beautiful in every way. I love the cakes ingredients! I have never baked with ricotta or olive oil and now I am wondering why? I am really excited to bake with these ingredients! Funny that you should mention the tulips. Our WF had a special yesterday, 30 stems for $10 and they are beautiful. I think we are all in the same boat where the weather is concerned & excited to welcome spring into our homes... a bit early. Have a great weekend. I enjoyed waking up to your eye catching post!

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    1. Good morning, Fran! First of all, best of luck in your 5K today! I'm thinking of you, and cheering you on from Virginia! Thank you so much for your kind comment! I can't believe you have never baked with these ingredients either, with all that Italian blood in you! :} You'll have to give it a try. My Whole Foods had the special on tulips yesterday too! Love them...they just brighten up whatever location they are sitting in a home! xox

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  9. There´s something cheerful about lemon cake in winter that never fails to lift the spirits. We´re ending the summer and happy to start seeing signs of fall. This is the type of cake I love! Not only lemon but the ricotta and olive oil are absolute favorites of mine. It´s gorgeous Carol, and so are those tulips!

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    1. Good morning, Paula! Thank you so very much for your sweet words! I forget that you're in different seasons than we are here. That's one thing I love about blogging and all the wonderful people I've met...learning so much about other countries and cultures! Wishing you a beautiful weekend, Paula!

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  10. Carol, lemon is my favorite flavor, and I will be baking this soon! I always have ricotta cheese in my fridge and can't think of a better way to use it! I've never used olive oil in baking but I bet it does compliment the lemon beautifully. Love this recipe!

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    1. Thanks so much, Jeannie!!! Lemon is my favorite too! I have two more recipes ready for the blog now with lemon...can't get enough of it...all citrus for that matter! Make that all fruit...haha! Olive oil definitely gives the cake a distinct flavor; however, very subtle and welcomed! You will love it! Have a great Saturday!!! xox

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  11. Carol...this will be my Easter dessert this year! Practically perfect in every way :)

    I've baked with olive oil a few times now and love the hint of fruity flavor it gives to things, so paired with lemon will be amazing, I'm sure. And as always, your photography just leaps off the page. BEAUTIFUL!

    Have a wonderful weekend :)

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    1. Happy Saturday, Tracy! Thank you so very much, you are sooo sweet!!! I'm so thrilled that you will be making this for Easter! It's perfect! Wishing you a wonderful weekend too!!!

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  12. Hi Carol!
    This Italian lemon cake looks so tempting...It really exudes sunshine and spring! -- as you said above. I cannot stop staring at the pictures.

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    1. Hi Denise! Thank you so much for stopping by a cup of mascarpone, and taking the time to write your kind comment!!!

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  13. I absolutely love olive oil cakes. I have yet to make a lemon olive oil cake, but it won't be long before I do it because this cake of yours looks and sounds incredible!! I wish I could eat up your photos... they are beautiful!

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    1. LOL...that's funny you said that about eating the photos! I was looking at the cake a little while ago wishing I could take a bite, too! Crazy what we bloggers think about! You'll have to give the cake a try with the lemon, and also the ricotta...it's moist heaven! :} Thanks so much for stopping by, Kate!!!

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  14. Carol this looks so delicious! The photos are beautiful. And I love your pretty yellow plates too. Cheers!

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    1. Hi Kristen! Hope you're having a great weekend! Thank you so much for your kind words! Thanks for mentioning the plates...I love them too, especially when I place them on a larger white place as a charger. They were one of my finds at Homegoods, a while back! :}

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  15. What a gorgeous cake! And yes, bringing the leftovers to friends is so important - I have no self control! If it's there, I'll eat it all!

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    1. Thanks, Chung-Ah! Isn't that the truth about the leftovers! Can seriously be dangerous! Enjoy your Sunday!!!

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  16. Could this be made ahead of time (minus the glaze) and frozen until ready to use?

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    1. Hello Anon! I've never tried freezing this cake before, so don't want to promise how it would be. I would think so, but if you're making it for a special occasion, you may want to do a trial run. :} As you stated, glaze prior to serving. Enjoy!!!

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  17. Oh lemons...this is such a lovely spring dessert! We also had our fair dose of dreary weather, so I'm thrilled to see something that reminds me that spring is just around the corner. Thank you for sharing with me. So very happy I found your beautiful blog.

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    1. Good morning, Monet! Thank you so much for your sweet comment!! I'm thrilled you found my blog as well, and hope you will stop by again very soon. Have a great week!

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  18. Lovely photo and lovely cake! I love the lemon flavour's lately, a perfect spring cake!

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    1. Hi Natalie, nice to see you!!! Thanks for your sweet comment, and for stopping by! I love lemon too, and have other lemon recipes on their way! Have a great week!

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  19. Carol seriously this cake is stunning!!!!! The lemon almost made me faint. Gosh its seriously the most gorgeous thing ever!

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    1. Jocelyn, how sweet!!! Thank you so very much! You just made my evening...thank you!!!

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  20. Oh, this looks so darn tasty!!! I do the same thing with tempting desserts...give them away ASAP! And I love your white tulips, too :)

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    1. Hi Liz! Thanks so much! Seriously, I have to get rid of them immediately. I'll even call my daughter and ask when she's stopping by, and plan my baking around her, so I can make her take whatever it is. :} ...and thank you, I love tulips too, white being my favorites!

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  21. What a gorgeous tart Carol! It looks absolutely divine! I also love the beautiful tulips, they are my favourites too. Your photos are beautiful and have such a lovely springtime feel to them.

    Nazneen

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    1. Good morning, Nazneen! Thank you so much for your kind words! I'm so glad that spring came through in my post...that's what I was hoping for!

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  22. This is such a beautiful cake, Carol! I love citrus with sweets and I'm really enjoying these gorgeous photos filled with a sense of spring!

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    1. Good morning, Nami! I love citrus with sweets too! Love baking and eating! ;} Thank you so much for stopping by, and your sweet comment! So appreciated!

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  23. So many good recipes with lemon. I just love lemony bakes. Gorgeous photography and wonderful flavors. Tulips are such a lovely flowers. I have them on my table also-))

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    1. Good evening, Yelena! You are so right...I could bake and blog about nothing but lemon, love it! Thank you for your kind comment, very much appreciated!!! Enjoy your tulips...I need a new bunch to brighten up my table!

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  24. Carole - this is a delicious looking cake! I bet it did not last long in your house. Your photography is stunning!!!! Hope your week is going well.

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    1. Hi Lisa! My week is going great, thank you! Hope yours is, as well! I had to get this out of my house, since it was so good...kept my photographed slices, and gave the rest to a girlfriend and her husband. She's Italian, so loved me for it! :}

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  25. Carole your photography just BLOWS ME AWAY! The lightness, the crispness yet perfect bokeh, the soft and airy feeling. I want to have a bridal shower or baby shower just to make this. It would be perfect! And the dishes you have it plated on, also perfect! Pinning it!

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    1. Wow, Averie! I want you to come and write up descriptions for my baked goods...that makes my cake sound incredible! Thank you for such a sweet comment! ...and thank you for pinning!!!

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  26. What lovely photographs! And the tulips look lovely next to this lemon tart:D

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    1. Thank you so much, Lorraine!!! So happy you stopped by!!!

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  27. You've certainly succeeding in bringing sunshine with this cake! It is beyond lovely!

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    1. You are so sweet! Thank you for your kind comment!!!

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  28. I love the idea that when the sky doesn't offer sunshine, you can bake it. :) This pretty cake looks like sunshine and must make the kitchen smell wonderful while it bakes! Thank you for the recipe.

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    1. I love how you put that, Wendy - you can bake sunshine!...it's so true! Yes, this does have a wonderful scent during baking, and tastes just as lovely. Thank you so much for your sweet comment!

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  29. This is absolutely gorgeous! I love cakes with olive oil, it adds such a deep, rich, almost mysterious flavor!

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    1. Thank you so much, Chris! Olive oil does exactly that...perfectly described! Thanks for stopping by and wishing you congratulations on the arrival of your beautiful granddaughter!!!

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  30. What an absolutely great idea to bake the cake in the tart pan. I really thought it was a lemon tart at first. I love this idea. And the whole thing just looks so beautiful, refreshing, and inviting. I've yet to bake with olive oil. Someone was just asking me about it the other day and I would really like to try it out. Btw, white tulips are my favorite. : )

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    1. Hi Monica! Thanks so much for stopping by, and taking the time to write a sweet comment! That was the first time I baked a cake in a tart pan too...decided to give it a try for the scalloped edge, and it came out of the pan perfectly. White tulips are just the greatest, I agree...they always make me smile! Give an evoo cake a try, I think you'll like it! :)

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  31. I made a ricotta dessert today but it's nowhere near as pretty as yours carol! Stunning! Definitely looking forward to spring despite the cold snowy weather

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    1. Thank so much, Roxana...but somehow I can't even imagine one of your desserts not being beautiful!!! It was feeling like spring, now we're back to winter. Are you getting this unexpected snow today in Fredericksburg? Crazy! xox

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  32. OMG.. bookmarking this. I"m like stalking your blog. My mom would love this since there is no frosting. :-)

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    1. LOL Honey! You can stalk my blog all you want! You're so cute!!! Thanks so much - that's one thing I love about this cake too. ...and, you can just use a dusting of powdered sugar, and no glaze. It's that good on its own! Thanks so much for your sweet comment!

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  33. I made this cake yesterday for Easter and it was fabulous!! It was the perfect amount of lemon and not too heavy like you would expect of a pound cake. Thanks for the great Carol!! I have tried some of your other recipe and they were great as well!

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    1. Kim, I'm absolutely honored that you chose my cake for your Easter dinner! Thank you so much for your kind words, and taking the time to stop by and let me know! Have a great week!!! Carol

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  34. Carol, you certainly have an amazing blog - the recipes look absolutely fabulous and the photography takes my breath away - this is the first recipe from your blog that I will bake sometime this week. I love baking with olive oil and I even found an artisanal oil mill around here, they produce the best olive oil for baking and I just bought some fresh ricotta and somehow I cannot think of a better way to use the ricotta and the olive oil than to bake this fabulous looking cake of yours. I will let you know how it turns out! Thank you for sharing this recipe and have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Andrea, thank you, thank you! You just made my day with your lovely comment! So appreciated! If you like baking with olive oil, and ricotta...you will adore this cake! I can't wait to hear what you think... Thanks so much again...and you have a wonderful weekend as well!

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Hi! Thank you so much for stopping by a cup of mascarpone, and taking the time to leave a comment! I read, smile, and cherish each and every one of them! xox

Carol