Berries are one of my favorite parts of summer. When they're ripe and sweet, there's nothing nicer than eating them plain, ideally sprawled on the grass in the sunshine. I'm endlessly inspired by the flavors of summer, and always want to bake as much as possible. Yes, it is sometimes too hot to turn on your oven. But today's recipe is worth it!
I've long loved this Raspberry Ricotta cake recipe from an old summer issue of Bon Appétit. With a kitchen full of raspberries, I thought about making it again, but was looking for an easy-to-transport baked good to take to a party. Cake, while delicious, is tricky to take on the subway. Or on a bike. Or even in a car.
The cake is fantastically light and tender, thanks to a full cup and a half of ricotta cheese. The raspberries (fresh or frozen work well) streak the batter with gorgeous pink ribbons of fruit. If you want extra flavor, try using almond extract or lemon zest in the batter. I like to sprinkle the top with granulated sugar for some extra crunch before baking.
I wondered how it would hold up to simply bake the cake batter in muffin tins. It turns out that this is an excellent move, and merely requires you to adjust the baking time to match the smaller size. I call these muffins, when in fact they are really cake, and sweet enough to count as dessert. I'd recommend baking these and serving them after dinner with lightly sweetened whipped cream, as they make perfect individual serving sizes for a dessert. You could even make them ahead, then split and toast them, and serve them with ice cream.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) ricotta cheese
- 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 1 1/2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar + extra for sprinkling
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup raspberries (frozen or fresh)