Any-Berry Lemon Ricotta Cake

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When it comes to ricotta, think beyond fillings and pastas. Ricotta’s mild flavor and high fat content makes it an ideal addition to cakes, creating a perfectly moist and tender crumb. Full-fat supermarket ricotta is your friend here—fancier brands may not have the moisture content you want for this recipe, and using a creamy ricotta is key.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for pan
  • 1⅓ cups blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, or halved or quartered hulled strawberries (about 8 oz.)
  • 2 Tbsp. plus 1 cup (225 g) sugar
  • 1½ cups (188 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 (heaping) Tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 8 oz. whole-milk fresh ricotta

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Brush a 9″-diameter cake pan with extra-virgin olive oil. Line bottom with a parchment paper round. Combine 1⅓ cups blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, or halved or quartered hulled strawberries and 2 Tbsp. (25 g) sugar in a medium bowl. Using a fork, mash together until sugar is hydrated and no dry spots remain. There will be some totally smashed berries, but some should still be intact. Set berry mixture aside.
  2. Whisk 1½ cups (188 g) all-purpose flour, 1½ tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt, and ½ tsp. baking soda in a medium bowl to combine. Set aside.
  3. Place 1 Tbsp. (heaping) finely grated lemon zest and remaining 1 cup (200 g) sugar in a large bowl. Using your fingers, work lemon zest into sugar until sugar starts to clump and mixture is very fragrant. Add 3 large eggs, 2 tsp. vanilla extract, and remaining ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil and whisk vigorously until mixture is pale and smooth. Add juice of 1 large lemon and 8 oz. whole-milk fresh ricotta and mix just until combined. Add reserved dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula until incorporated and batter is mostly smooth.
  4. Scrape batter into prepared pan and spoon reserved (now syrupy) berries on top. Bake cake until golden brown on top and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 45–50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool in pan. Invert cake onto a large plate; peel away parchment and discard. Turn cake right side up.


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