Cranberry Ricotta Cake Recipe

As recipe developer Jessica Morone tells us, "I feel like cranberries are such a fall fruit," and she notes that cranberry sauce is typically associated with the Thanksgiving holiday. In her opinion, though, this fruit is capable of doing so much more. As she says, "There are so many other things you can put cranberries in that a lot of people don't think of." You can use them to infuse vodka, make a refreshing rosemary mocktail, or stir them into meatballs, but they're also good in desserts such as Morone's cranberry ricotta cake.

Morone describes this cake as "fluffy [and] moist" and raves about the "delicious flavors of cranberries and oranges." This cake is really quite easy to make, too, as it bakes up in a single layer and doesn't need frosting. While it isn't the fanciest of desserts, its rustic simplicity helps make it the perfect finisher for a rich and heavy cold-weather meal.

Collect the ingredients for the cranberry ricotta cake

As the name of the recipe tells us, both cranberries and ricotta are required to bake this cake. The other necessary ingredients are flour, baking powder, salt, butter, sugar, eggs, grand marnier, and orange zest.

Step 1: Prepare the pan and heat up the oven

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.

Step 2: Combine the dry ingredients

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Step 3: Beat the butter, sugar, and ricotta

Add the butter, sugar, and ricotta to a large bowl. Use a hand mixer or a stand mixer to beat them together until smooth.

Step 4: Stir in the eggs and orange flavorings

Add the eggs, grand marnier, and orange zest to the bowl with the wet ingredients and mix until combined.

Step 5: Mix up the cake batter

Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients and mix until just evenly combined.

Step 6: Add the cranberries

Fold the fresh cranberries into the batter.

Step 7: Bake the cake

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Step 8: Cool the cake

Let the cake cool before releasing it from the pan. If desired sprinkle powdered sugar on top, then serve.

What are some possible ingredient swaps for this cranberry ricotta cake?

While Morone likes to make this cake with grand marnier, she notes that "you can use any orange liqueur" if you don't want to drop big bucks on top-shelf booze. If you prefer to avoid alcohol altogether, that's okay, too. "You could swap in some orange juice," she suggests.

As for the cranberries, Morone says that frozen ones will work just fine, which means that you can make this cake at any time of year rather than having to wait for fall when the fresh ones are available in stores. As she says of the frozen cranberries, "You don't even have to thaw them before putting them in the recipe." Another easy ingredient swap is using salted butter in place of the unsalted kind. "You can always substitute salted butter for unsalted in a recipe, and then reduce the amount of salt in the recipe," Morone advises.

How should I serve this cranberry ricotta cake?

Morone says of this cake, "I would serve this as a dessert [because] it is more like a regular cake than like a breakfast bread or anything like that." Don't let that stop you if it looks breakfasty to you, though, since if a doughnut can be a breakfast item, why shouldn't cake be, as well? Morone also prefers to eat this cake relatively plain with just a sprinkling of powdered sugar in place of frosting or glaze, but she does say that whipped cream would also work, or you can go a la mode with a scoop of ice cream in a coordinating flavor such as vanilla or butter pecan.

If you will be keeping the cake at room temperature, you'll need to eat it all up in three days, but if you're refrigerating it, Morone says it'll last up to a week before it starts to go stale. If you need even more time, though, you can always freeze it.

Cranberry Ricotta Cake Recipe
5 from 70 ratings
This cranberry ricotta cake is sweet, moist, and perfectly fall-themed.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
50
minutes
Servings
10
pieces
cranberry cake on white plate
Total time: 1 hour
Ingredients
  • 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon grand marnier
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
Optional Ingredients
  • powdered sugar, for garnish
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Add the butter, sugar, and ricotta to a large bowl. Use a hand mixer or a stand mixer to beat them together until smooth.
  4. Add the eggs, grand marnier, and orange zest to the bowl with the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients and mix until just evenly combined.
  6. Fold the fresh cranberries into the batter.
  7. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Let the cake cool before releasing it from the pan. If desired sprinkle powdered sugar on top, then serve.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 268
Total Fat 11.0 g
Saturated Fat 6.6 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 61.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 37.1 g
Dietary Fiber 0.8 g
Total Sugars 21.9 g
Sodium 159.8 mg
Protein 5.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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