The mighty strawberry, back in season! Whos is as excited as me?! This easy ricotta cake with strawberries is a one-bowl cake that is basically a no-fail recipe you're gonna love. It is light, and reminiscent of a cheesecake recipe, but without all the fuss.
The ingredients for this are pretty straightforward and very simple.
- Ricotta cheese. If you know me at all, I don't like cheese hardly ever. And I absolutely do not think ricotta cheese belongs in anything savory (ie. it does not belong in authentic lasagna). But in cakes it is just sweet enough and adds a lovely creaminess that is not too heavy or wet. My lemon ricotta cake is another great use for ricotta in a cake, btw.
- Your cake dry ingredient cake basics...flour, sugar, salt, baking soda
- Vanilla bean paste. This cake has a good amount of vanilla in it because I think it is a great compliment to both the creamy sweetness of the ricotta and the bright strawberries. If you don't have past, use extract, but increase to 2 teaspoons. But I encourage you to get some vanilla bean paste, I use it all the time in recipes and in place of extract, it tastes better (I promise).
- Butter. I like oil in most cakes because I think it gives you a moister cake and better crumb. But the moisture in the ricotta gives you the almost cheesecake-like texture you want here. Plus, with the heavy scent of vanilla, I just think butter goes better.
- Strawberries. Good and ripe ones.
Can you make strawberry cake with frozen strawberries?
Absolutely. Furthermore, I recommend using frozen strawberries if you are making this ricotta cake when fresh ones aren't in peak season. Frozen strawberries are typically picked and frozen at the best times, so they are a great option.
how to prepare the strawberries for this cake
So I am sliced-strawberries-in-my-pie kinda baker. Some people quarter them, but I prefer a nice slice, I think they soften nicely and have a good texture when you bit into them.
To cut, simply remove the top green stem and cut some of the tough white part of the strawberry off the top along with the stem. Alternatively, you can hull strawberries before slicing them, this would be cutting a small cone-shaped core out of the stem end. Either way, the stem and tough top has got to go before slicing for this baked pie.
Can this cake be made ahead?
This is a great cake to make a bit ahead of time. It can be made up to two days ahead of time and will keep up to a week in the fridge.
Tips for success
You know I have a few...
- Use whole milk ricotta. You want the fat content and moisture that you get with a whole milk ricotta.
- Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. A tip within a tip: Unless specified to be cold or hot, ALL ingredients should be room temp when baking, every time.
- Don't overmix the batter. You want a tender crumb, mixing this like a spazz will activate the gluten in the flour and result in a tough cake, that, while still delicious, will not have the awesome texture you are really after in this strawberry ricotta cake.
Can strawberry cake be eaten for breakfast?
You bet your ass it can. This easy ricotta cake with strawberries is a great breakfast cake. With the lightness of strawberries and a cake that is not overly sweet, it is the ideal breakfast cake.
- wire whisk
- 8-inch cake pan
- 1½ cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1½ cups ricotta
- 2 teaspoon vanilla paste or use 2 ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted
- 1 ½ cups strawberries sliced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and make sure a rack is in the center of oven.
- Line an 8 inch-diameter cake pan with parchment paper and lightly coat with nonstick spray and flour.
- Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
- Whisk eggs, ricotta, and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth; fold into dry ingredients just until blended. Then fold in butter, followed by 1 cup strawberries, gently, you don’t want to crush the strawberries.
- Pour batter into the pan and sprinkle the remaining strawberries on top. Bake for around one hour and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool in pan for about 30-40 minutes before taking out. Dust it with powdered sugar before serving.