Little Flower's Tomato Ricotta Cake

By • August 22, 2016 7 Comments

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Author Notes: Barely adapted from Little Flower Baking. It was the winner at a tomato cook-off in Tujunga, outside of LA, and its creator—Michelle Valigura—shared the recipe with Little Flower's Christine Moore.Sarah Jampel

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Serves 10 to 12

For the tomato marmalade and the tomato cream cheese frosting:

  • 6 pounds tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded, and quartered
  • 2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 tablespoons (113 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (125 grams) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  1. Place tomatoes, sugar cinnamon stick, and vanilla, in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir together and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.
  2. Simmer until the tomatoes break down and the mixture has the consistency of a thick jam or marmalade, stirring occasionally to prevent tomatoes from burning. Little Flower Baking instructs that this will take about 1 hour, but we found that even vigorous simmering can take closer to 2 hours. Watch closely. You can do a gel test: Dab a bit of marmalade, on a cool plate and run a finger through it; if the streak remains, your jam is set and ready to go.
  3. Cool thoroughly before transferring to a covered container and storing in the fridge.
  4. For the frosting, combine the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream on medium-low until smooth and fluffy. Add vanilla, confectioners' sugar, tomato paste, and salt and mix on medium speed until fully incorporated.

For the ricotta cake and assembly:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (340 grams) whole-milk ricotta
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (340 grams) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (114 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup (215 grams) plain Greek yogurt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch-round, 3-inch-tall cake pan with parchment and lightly grease the sides.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, ricotta, and vanilla together until smooth. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and fold until just incorporated. Fold in melted butter until just combined.
  3. Pour batter into pan and bake, rotating halfway through, until toothpick comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool for 2 hours before unmolding.
  4. When the cake is completely cool, you're ready to assemble (I even recommend freezing it for about 1 hour, so that it's very firm and easy to work with!) Cut the layer in half, like a hamburger bun. Spread both sides with a generous amount of yogurt, then top the bottom half with tomato jam (Little Flower Baking suggests 2 cups, but I used less) and put the hat of the cake back on. Press gently to make sure things are secure, then use an offset spatula to spread the tomato cream cheese frosting over the top (and the side, too, if you'd like!).

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Topics: Cake, Baking, Dessert, Tomatoes