Monday, May 5, 2014

the perfect cake for spring | lemon rhubarb ricotta pound cake

If I could have taken a picture of this whole cake, I would have. But I was too busy eating it to worry about pictures for a blog post. So, here you go:

Are the crumbs on the tablecloth the result of me eating the second-to-last piece two minutes before I took this? Yes, yes they are.

My mom recently made this unbelievably delicious lemon rhubarb ricotta pound cake for Phoebe's brit bat, and it is truly the perfect cake for this time of spring when rhubarb is plentiful and brunch opportunities abound. It's rich but not overly sweet or heavy - good for breakfast or dessert or 3pm when you just can't resist it anymore. You should definitely make this for your Mother's Day brunch this weekend - or demand that someone make it for you. Better yet, make two so you can keep one entirely for yourself, because you will want to eat the whole thing.

The original recipe is over at Heather Christo - my version is below.

Lemon Rhubarb Ricotta Pound Cake

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta (don't use part-skim - it will be too watery; you may want to consider draining/straining the ricotta a bit before use but it's not usually necessary)
3 eggs
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups diced rhubarb

Preheat the oven to 350. Butter a standard 8x5 loaf pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add the ricotta and beat until well-mixed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating each one well. Add in the lemon juice and mix.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add half a cup at a time to your other ingredients, stirring by hand (or, if you must, with your mixer).

Gently fold in the diced rhubarb and lemon zest. Pour your batter into the prepared pan and bake for approximately 45 minutes (Start checking your cake at 40, but it may take longer - my mom's oven needed a full hour for this to be ready! Don't overbake or you'll lose the lovely tenderness of this cake). Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from your pan and let cool fully.

Once the cake has cooled, ice your cake with the rhubarb glaze (see below). Then try not to eat the whole thing in one sitting.

Rhubarb Glaze

2 tsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup diced rhubarb
1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 tbsp whole milk or whipping cream

Using a small pan over medium heat, melt your butter, then add the rhubarb and cook, stirring often, until softened (but not browned). Add the butter-rhubarb mixture along with the other ingredients to a food processor or blender, and puree until smooth.


  1. So, I was going to make this. Until I realized I would have to convert all the units. I think I still will try - thank goodness for iphone apps

  2. I just picked up a jar of rhubarb compote on a whim. This recipe has inspired me to figure out a way to pair with something lemony!