This pound cake is insanely good! I couldn’t be more happier how this turned out, considering I made it without a recipe. For few days now, I had been contemplating on what to do with my leftover ricotta cheese from when I made my Vegetarian Lasagna. If you’ve seen both my vegetarian and meaty lasagna version, you’ll notice that ricotta cheese is always present in both these lasagna version. The only thing is that I don’t use the entire tab of ricotta cheese whenever I buy it. So it made me thinking on what to use it for, so I came up with this ricotta pound cake recipe.
How this version is different traditional pound cake
Let’s see how my pound cake version is different from the traditional version. Traditional pound cake recipe has 1 pound of the main ingredients flour, butter,sugar and eggs. That is why it is called pound cake. I seriously cannot imagine myself making that traditional version, 1 pound of everything is insanely crazy plus I am not a huge fan of big batch much more something that uses that much butter, sugar and eggs. Also, traditional pound cake are heavier and dense which make sense with all those ingredients. Now, this pound cake version is maybe a little bit far from traditional in the sense that it doesn’t use 1 pound of main ingredients. This version is also lighter, at least not as dense the traditional. Then another important thing, this version is not only lighter and soft, it is also moist because it uses a combination of butter and oil. Using pure butter for pound cake can make the cake dryer especially when kept in a longer period of time because butter hardens. When butter and oil is combined, it gave the cake both the creamy taste from the butter and nice moisture from the oil. I’ve used this method before in my Orange Madeira Cake and it worked like magic. Last but not the least, ricotta cheese. The addition of ricotta cheese gave the cake extra moisture and nice texture.
Tips to making a light and moist pound cake
- Room temperature ingredients: It’s very important to have the ingredients at room temperature because A.) They cream better and B.) They mix well together better. Creaming the butter and sugar is one important step in this recipe because it is a step that will make the cake texture lighter. Creaming the butter and sugar creates air into the mixture, and air in the mixture means a lighter and fluffier cake texture.
- Combination of butter + oil: I am a huge fan of this combination and it never failed to gave my cakes a soft and moist texture. The butter will give the cake the creamy taste while the oil makes sure that the cake stays moist and not too crumbly. This also helps the cake stays softer longer when kept in the refrigerator because of the moisture coming from the oil.
- Sifted Flour: In step 5, I mentioned to sift the flour while alternating the addition of milk into the batter. Sifting the flour avoids lumps, helps produce a lighter cake and lessen the time to mix the batter. The longer the batter is mixed, the tougher the cake will be.
These are just 3 simple tips, simple enough to follow and will give you a higher success rate in making a lighter and soft pound cake. Let’s put them practice.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter – room temperature (soft but not melted)
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese – completely drained, excess water removed (– room temperature)
- 1 egg – room temperature
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup milk – room temperature (Warm in microwave for 15 seconds if coming form refrigerator)
- 3 tbsp flavorless oil
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting
For Orange or Lemon Flavor: Add zest of 2 large orange or lemon when mixing the dry ingredients in step 2.
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 4 tsp milk or water or lemon/orange juice
- Preheat oven to 350F and position a rack in the center. Grease a 9-inch loaf pan with nonstick and line with parchment paper. Make 1-inch allowance overhang for the parchment paper so that it is easier to out the cake. You can also use round pan but you need to adjust the baking time depending on the pan size.
- Mix Dry Ingredients: In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Mix Wet Ingredients: In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar on medium speed until smooth and light, about 5 minutes. The texture should look somewhat like a thick white whipped cream. Reduce speed to low and add ricotta cheese. Continue mixing for another 1 minute or until just combined. Beat in egg, it may curdle a little bit at this point, don’t worry about it, it will adjust once you add the dry ingredients. Add vanilla extract and mix until just distributed.
- Add dry ingredients and milk+oil mixture alternately: On low speed, sift 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients mixture. Mix for about 15 seconds then add 1/2 of the milk and oil mixture, continue mixing for another 15 seconds. Scrape down sides of the bowl, sift the remaining half of the dry ingredients, mix for another 15 seconds then add remaining milk and oil mixture and mix for another 15 seconds or just until everything is combined. Do not over mix as it could toughen the cake.
- Sifting the flour while adding it to the butter mixture will help the cake have a lighter texture and will also make the mixing easier thus avoiding over mixing. So don’t just dump the dry ingredients all at once.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and use a spatula to smooth the top.
- Bake cake for 50-55 minutes or until the cake springs back lightly when touched, the sides have begun to pull away from the pan, and a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Sometimes the baking time could extend to 60 minutes specially if the ricotta was very wet and not drained before adding to the batter.
- Cool: Allow cake to cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then carefully invert it onto the rack to cool completely or pull the extended parchment paper to take the cake out.
- Dust with confectioners sugar on top or drizzle/cover with sugar glaze
Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Add more liquid to thin it out, or add more sugar for thicker and sweet consistency. Adjust the consistency as desired.
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