Orange Ricotta Pound Cake

Only if there was smell-a-vision!

Orange ricotta pound cake spiked with amaretto– doesn’t the title itself make your lips pucker? I found this delightful recipe from the lovely Giada. Her Italian background explains the unique ingredient list and in fact, orange and ricotta is a common Italian combination for sweets.

The ricotta provides the incredible moistness while the orange zest and amaretto perfume the cake with hints of citrus with an almond background- it’s heavenly.  It goes very well with sliced strawberries and if you must a dollop of whipped cream.

I brought it to a tea party and all I heard for the first few minutes after serving was, mmmm.   Nodding their heads in great approval, everybody asked for a second slice.  Even friends on diets couldn’t resist.

Amaretto is a sweet almond flavor liqueur from Northern Italy.  The formula is based on apricots and sometimes almonds.  Italians generally serve it on the rocks with an orange slice after dinner as a digestive drink. It’s perfect because it’s subtle yet highly fragrant.  Many brands exist but I highly recommend to purchase Disaronno Originale. The recipe dates back to the early 16th century and consumers consider it the godfather of amaretto.  There is no substitue.  The decorative container reminds me of perfume bottles and I feel regal every time I hold it in my palm.  It costs about 28 USD and is a great investment. You can use it in baking or you could enjoy it as treat.  It’s an excellent way to top off any meal. In my experience, amaretto and friends have magical properties that keep good conversation flowing.

*To keep your loaf pan from scratches and easy clean up line pan with parchment paper.  Cut a piece of parchment paper big enough to wrap all sides of pan, cut diagonal slits at each corner and fold into pan.

  • 190g (1.5 cups) cake flour
  • 2.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 170g (3/4 cups, 1.5 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 340 (1.5 cups) whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 340 (1.5 cups + 1 tablespoon) sugar
  •  3 large eggs
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Amaretto
  • Preheat oven to 350F/175C.  Grease 9×5 loaf pan with butter or line with parchment paper
  • In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt – stir with whisk and set aside
  • Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, ricotta and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes
  • With machine running, add eggs one at a time
  • Add orange zest, vanilla and amaretto
  • With a sturdy spatula add dry ingredients in 3 parts until well incorporated into batter
  • Bake for 45~50 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean


  1. Natalia says:

    This sounds amazing! I don’t have an oven either but I’m tempted to ask the sisters who run my local cake shop to see if they’re willing to give this one a try! :)

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