Adapted from Ina Garten’s Raspberry-Ricotta Cake
This simple not-too-sweet cake is the perfect backdrop for those plump spring strawberries. Don’t skip the whipped mascarpone which adds a slightly tangy note to the sweet fruit.
For the cake:
- 1 cup fresh whole-milk ricotta
- 1 ¼ sticks (140 grams/10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons whole-fat plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Zest from ½ lemon
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 large strawberries, stems removed, sliced
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (or granulated sugar if turbinado unavailable)
For the mascarpone cream:
- ½ cup (4 ounces) mascarpone
- ½ cup cold heavy cream or whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- If your ricotta is watery, place a cheesecloth-lined fine mesh strainer over a bowl. (No cheesecloth? Use paper towels or coffee filters.) Place the ricotta in the strainer and allow to drain until needed. Discard the liquid.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Butter the inside of a 9-inch springform pan and line it with a round of parchment paper at the bottom.
- Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl using either a hand mixer or a stand mixer. Beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add in the ricotta, yogurt, vanilla, and lemon zest. Mix until combined.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the batter, mixing just until combined.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth out the top.
- Arrange the strawberries on top of the batter, slightly pressing the strawberries into the batter.
- Sprinkle the top with the coarse sugar.
- Bake until the top of the cake is golden brown, about 55-65 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick, inserted in the center of the cake, comes out clean.
- While the cake is baking, make the mascarpone cream. In a medium bowl using a whisk or electric mixer, combine the mascarpone, cream, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whip until smooth and creamy. Cover and place in refrigerator until ready to use.
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for about 15-20 minutes in the pan, then remove from pan. Place on your serving platter and serve with the whipped mascarpone!
- This cake is the perfect backdrop for whatever fruit is in season. Substitute in your favorite. I have made this cake before with blueberries and raspberries.
- Both the cake and the mascarpone cream can be made up to 2 days in advance. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and store at room temperature. The mascarpone cream is stable enough to hold in the refrigerator for a few days.
- If you overwhip the mascarpone and it turns a bit grainy, just add in a little more cream to return it to a smooth consistency. If you cannot find mascarpone, substitue with crème fraîche or whipped cream.