Pound cake is a rare treat for me, and given how easy it is to make, I’m not sure why I don’t have it more often. Its delicious, rich, crumbly, and buttery on its own but is also easily tweaked to highlight other flavors.
In this case, I chose to go with a more Italian inspired flavor profile: creamy and tangy ricotta with the bright flavor of lemon. The cake was delicious, and I topped it off with a simple, sweet, lemony glaze to further the lemon flavor. The final result was delicious with a sweet, crispy crust around the edges and a tender, crumbly, delicious cake inside. My only regret was using too small of a loaf pan (so I also had some free-form pound cakelet blobs to enjoy on the side, lol).
- 1.5 cups flour
- 2.5 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup/6 oz unsalted butter
- 1.5 cups fresh whole milk ricotta
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- Optional: dash of limoncello or lemon extract
- 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- milk (few tsp as necessary)
In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set this aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the room temperature butter and add in both the sugar and ricotta, beating until the mixture becomes fairly smooth.
Add the eggs one at a time to the butter/ricotta mixture, mixing until incorporated before proceeding. Add in the lemon zest and vanilla extract (and if you’re including the optional limoncello or lemon extract, add that as well).
Finally, add the dry ingredients into the wet, mixing slowly and only as much as is necessary to bring it all together.
Butter a (roughly 9 inch) bread pan well. Pour the batter in, give it a shake to free any air bubbles, and smooth it out with your spatula. Put this on a baking sheet and give it 15 minutes in a 350°F oven. Then, rotate the pan 180 degrees (for even browning), drop the heat to 325°F, and give it ~30 minutes more (and depending on how wet your ricotta is, you might find you need 15-30 minutes more). Keep an eye on the pound cake–its done when a tester comes out of the center cleanly.
Once time is up, let the cake cool down. You can top it with a simple dusting of confectioner’s sugar if you want a quick and simple finish. Or if you’re of the glaze persuasion (like myself), simply mix all of the glaze ingredients together in a bowl, adjusting the sugar/liquid until it takes on a viscous but still pour-able texture that you’re happy with. Once the cake is cool, simply pour on the glaze, cut a slice, and enjoy!