The other day my dad watched Giada De Laurentiis make a scrumptious pound cake. Moments after she took the cake from the oven he was on the phone begging me to make it. Never one to disappoint daddio, I made it over the weekend. The recipe is super easy and the cake is absolutely divine.
Ricotta cheese adds a smooth, creamy texture and orange zest gives the cake a delicious, holiday flavor. It would also make a marvelous hostess gift when wrapped up in decorative paper and ribbon. I served it with orange wedges for garnish and a simple Amaretto whipped cream. For the recipe,
1 1/2 cups cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature, plus more to grease the baking pan
1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 orange, zested
2 tablespoons Amaretto
Powdered sugar, for dusting
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon Amaretto
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-x-5-x-3-inch loaf pan with butter.
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine.
- Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, ricotta, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the machine running, add the eggs one at a time.
- Add the vanilla, orange zest, and Amaretto until combined. Add the dry ingredients, a small amount at a time, until just incorporated.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake is beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 45 to 50 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Using a mesh sieve, dust the cooled cake with powdered sugar.
- Meanwhile, beat the heavy cream in a clean bowl until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, Amaretto, and vanilla if using. Beat until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a decorative serving bowl.
- To serve, slice the cake and serve with the whipped cream.