Blood Orange Ricotta Cake


This recipe came out of two things: first, I had ricotta that needed to be used up, and blood oranges to do something with. Two, my dear son had taken the bit between his teeth and was raring to make a cooking video.

Without further ado, the recipe: 

Blood Orange Ricotta Cake

Preheat the oven to 325F

You will need a 9″ round cake pan, with parchment paper to line the bottom after it has been well greased. 

  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 2 blood oranges
  • 1 1/2 c ricotta
  • 1/4 c olive oil 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/12 c flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c sugar

First, zest one of the blood oranges, and set the zest aside. If you remember, which I did not in the video, mix this into the sugar. Then juice the zested blood orange into the brown sugar. Thinly slice your other blood orange with a sharp knife. 

Mix the brown sugar and juice to form a sludge, and then spread this out in the bottom of the pan more-or-less evenly. Press your slices of orange into this, and set the pan aside. 

In a mixing bowl (I used a stand mixer, you could do this by hand or better, a hand mixer) mix the ricotta so it loosens up a bit. Then add in the eggs, beating until light and creamy. Drizzle in the olive oil, the vanilla, and finally, your orange zested sugar. Beat well. 

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add this to the mixing bowl, beating until just fully incorporated. Don’t overmix! 

Pour slowly into the pan, over the orange slices and sugar. 

Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a wooden tester comes out clean. 

Cool for a few minutes. Loosen from the pan by running a thin knife around the edges, then carefully invert. 

Voila! Pretty, and very tasty. I wasn’t sure about leaving the peels on, but they cooked soft and were very eatable. The blood orange slices are tart, offsetting the rich sweetness of the ricotta cake. It was surprisingly fluffy – I was expecting it to come out a dense cake, but that’s not what I got, and I’m not sorry at all.

Fluffy moist cake, so yum.

As I mention in the video, I knew a lemon ricotta cake was a thing, but I’d never made one. I worked off a variant for that, to make this. If I do it again, I may try running the orange through the mandoline for thinner slices – mine were thicker than I wanted, plus it would be nice to have fully covered the top of the cake. The other thing I was toying with was the idea of doing this like I do pineapple upsidedown cakes – in a cast iron skillet, and getting that topping already hot before I put the batter in. 

Making the video with my son was fun, and yes, there are a lot of things we can improve on! We were learning. He tackled the project with enthusiasm, and although I’d been housecleaning all day and was tired – which probably shows on screen – I couldn’t bring myself to say no, next weekend. He’s been doing video editing for a buddy, so he knew what he was doing there. Audio? Well, we have a plan for that already, a separate audio feed. Using my phone to make the video meant I was standing too far from the microphone at times. But we will learn, and see how we do time after next – next video is already shot and ready to go! 


5 responses to “Blood Orange Ricotta Cake”

  1. John in Philly Avatar
    John in Philly

    Mandoline Step #1. Don anti-cut gloves. Not kidding. My accident total with Mandoline type slicers is zero, and I want it to stay that way. And I’ve renamed our Mandoline, Mando.
    We have those flexible cutting boards, and they are handy.
    The soft edge blade for the stand mixer does work much better than the blade the mixer came with.
    Well done and it looks tasty.

    1. I have a thingy you use to press the object you are slicing against the Mandoline blade. I’m sure there’s a technical name for it!

      I just got the soft edge blade. So far I like it!

      1. John in Philly Avatar
        John in Philly

        I don’t know the technical name either for the domed thingie with the projecting spikes that grabs the food when using the mandoline. Perhaps it’s the plastic equivalent of an Iron Maiden torture device.
        I added the gloves when I went off track and sliced part of the plastic thing away.
        Much like a chainsaw, the mandoline is the perfect tool for what you are needing, but I don’t see any way to make it safe. All I can do is practice risk management.

        1. This is why I bought a slicer shredder attachment for the stand mixer. Safer! Not as pretty slices, though.

          1. John in Philly Avatar
            John in Philly

            I didn’t know about that attachment.
            I stuck it on the Amazon wish list, and I will see what the kitchen commander wants to do.
            Thank you!