February 14, 2014
I’m on a tear y’all. I did a big accounting of how much I spend on groceries every week and also on my food waste. I had once been so good, but somehow things have gotten out of control again. Throwing away leftovers instead of using them. Losing track of perishables in my fridge. Letting my freezer overflow with outdated food. And spending way too much to compensate for all of this. Sound familiar?
I’m cracking the whip and am working on some fun ways to help you crack the whip, too, if you want. In the meantime, I found myself with a whole lot of leftover homemade ricotta cheese this weekend. I had made a triple batch for a party that we hosted on Saturday night and needed to use the leftovers. So why not make a Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake, right?
I’m also on another tear: a simple baking tear. Inspired by my new favorite cookbook, One Bowl Baking by Yvonne Ruperti, I’ve been experimenting with, well, one-bowl baking. And let me tell you, it’s a revelation. Seriously, every parent who likes to bake and is short on time should check the book out.
This Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake is the beautiful result of my two current kitchen obsessions plus gorgeous winter citrus. So satisfying for me, so delicious for you. Well, it’s delicious for me, too. I’ve already made two loaves. Because, you know, I had to use the ricotta before it went bad!!
One-Bowl Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake
(can be shared with kids 12+ mos)*
Makes one 9×5″ loaf
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing the pan
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (I suggest the juice of Meyer lemons if they are available)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure lemon extract (you can substitute 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice in addition to the lemon juice called for above)
4 large eggs
2 cups flour, plus more for flouring the pan (I’ve tested with Cup4Cup gluten free flour, which performed as well as all-purpose)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 9×5″ loaf pan; set aside. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer set on the second to lowest speed to combine the sugar, salt, butter, ricotta, lemon juice, vanilla, and lemon extract until well combined.
2. Mix in eggs one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each egg before adding the next.
4. Add flour, baking powder, and baking soda to the same bowl. Use a wooden spoon or silicone spatulate to mix until just well incorporated. Pour batter into the prepped loaf pan and smooth out the top. Bake for about 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and allow the cake to finish cooling on a wire rack.
*Note: While there is nothing in this that is unsafe for younger eaters, I recommend it beginning at 12-months-old due to the relatively high sugar content. No matter how old your eaters, be sure to serve an age appropriate portion. A little of this sweet treat goes a long way with little ones.