This Italian Ricotta Lemon Cake is an excellent Italian dessert to prepare for your friends and family. You do not need a special occasion or holiday, either.
And if you are like me, you will find yourself craving it.
Unbeatable flavor and texture thanks to the combination of ricotta, lemon, and golden raisins soaked in rum. This is a step not to be skipped, as it gives this cake a flavor that is out of this world.
Sweet and slightly dense in texture. The perfect afternoon snack with a cup of tea or the perfect one at the end of a great dinner.
This wonderful Ricotta Lemon Cake can keep well at room temperature and in the fridge. The ricotta keeps it moist and rich tasting.
What is ricotta?
It is a by-product of whey, the watery part of cow milk. As well as from sheep, goat or Italian water buffalo. Soft and delicious, it has many uses in your culinary journey.
Used as a filling for many pasta preparations as well cakes and pastries. More of a Southern Italy specialty when it comes to desserts.
I recommend purchasing the whole milk kind. Richer in flavor, you will not regret it. A bit denser as well.
However, if the diet is not permitted, the fat-free ricotta works well with this recipe and any of the below suggested recipes.
What is dark rum?
Rum is an alcohol made from sugarcane by-products such as molasses or sugarcane syrup.
Dark rum has been barrel-aged more than all its counterparts, white or golden.
All rum stars are the same as clear spirit. However, instead of being filtered and bottled right after being distilled, dark rum is aged first in charred oak or wooden barrel for some time.
The longer the rum is aged, the dark it is.
Rum was first created in the Caribbean and has become popular worldwide.
French baking uses a lot of rum in their desserts.
Here are a few helpful tips for the ingredients needed
Whole milk ricotta: Do not substitute whole milk, which brings a richness in flavor to this ricotta cake recipe.
Granulated sugar: Not to worry about the amount, as it balances off the lemon tartiness and the bland flavor of the ricotta.
Candied pineapple rings: Most of all, the flavor that the pineapple rings bring to this dessert is fantastic. Most of all, your taste buds will love you once blended with the rum.
Lemon zest and juice: One of the stars of this dessert. Clean and scrub the lemons before using them to remove any wax deposited from the farmer. Dry well before zesting.
Golden raisins: they can be replaced with dark raisins. Make sure you soak them in the rum. Drain the rum but save it in a close lid jar for later use.
Dark rum: I strongly recommend using dark rum. The flavor it brings and adds to your baking is undeniably the best.
Eggs: Always use large eggs and bring them to room temperature before working with them.
All-purpose flour: Keeps all the wet ingredients together.
Confectioner’s sugar: To be sprinkled over your cake once it is cooled off.
Baking tips and step-by-step instructions to make this fantastic Ricotta Lemon Cake
First, ensure you have all your ingredients ready before baking. Your eggs need to be at room temperature.
Oven on. Eggs out of the refrigerator. Let’s start working on the cake.
Do let the golden raisins marinate on dark rum. I enjoy and use Myers’s Rum Original dark for all my cooking and baking. Not all retail stores may have it. I highly recommend it. Rich in flavor it gives the raisins a subtle flavor and does not interfere with the taste by tasting the alcohol.
Put the ricotta and sugar in a large bowl of a stand mixer (or use an electric hand mixer) and mix well until the sugar is all incorporated and the ricotta is smooth.
In another bowl combine the candied pineapple, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon dark rum, and the raisins with the egg yolks and mix well with a large baking wooden spoon. Add the ricotta and mix thoroughly. Fold in the flour and mix until smooth.
Fold in the egg whites thoroughly and pour the mixture into the buttered pan.
Bake until the top is golden brown and a thin knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.
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Originally published on March 25, 2021. Updated on November 19, 2022.