Orange Ricotta Cake

This cake is perfect to have on hand for unexpected guests. You can make it in advance, and it will last for three days on the counter if kept in an air-tight container.

Serves: 12Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 1 hour 25 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 12


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. orange zest
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1⁄2 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 1⁄4 cup buttermilk
  • 1⁄4 cup plus 3 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 10-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until everything is thoroughly combined. Set aside.
  • In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, combine sugar, 1⁄2 cup butter, and orange zest. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating for 2 minutes after each addition. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and stir to combine.
  • In a small bowl, combine ricotta, buttermilk, and 1⁄4 cup orange juice and stir well. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the ricotta mixture in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and use a spatula to be sure the batter is evenly spread.
  • Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan 10 minutes, and then turn the cake out onto a wire rack over parchment paper to cool.
  • While the cake cools, prepare the glaze. Combine remaining butter, orange juice, and vanilla with confectioners’ sugar and whisk to combine. Pour glaze over warm cake and allow the excess to drip down the sides. Let the cake cool to room temperature before transferring to an air-tight container.