Basil peach ricotta cake is a moist, lightly sweet, summer cake using fresh basil from the garden and my ripe yellow peaches. Inspired by Italian ricotta cake, I love incorporating accessible seasonal ingredients to enhance the classic flavor. This is a delicious single layer cake perfect for serving after brunch or a light summer dinner.
Italian Ricotta Cake
A delicate, moist crumb cake created by using fresh ricotta cheese and baked in a springform pan for easy removal. Often made with a light flavoring of lemon and vanilla.
Tips for Making this Cake:
- Use fresh sweet basil leaves. Chop them and then measure out the 2 tablespoons.
- Use fresh ripe yellow peaches. Remove the peeling and the pit before cutting into small ¼-1/2 inch chunks. The moisture from the ripe peaches adds to the texture of the cake.
- If you choose not to use the peaches, I would recommend adding another 2 tablespoons of ricotta cheese to the batter to maintain the final moisture level in the crumb.
- I did not strain my ricotta for this recipe, because the flour ratio works great with the moisture of the ricotta. If you find it to be too moist for your liking, simply strain the ricotta cheese in a cheese cloth before adding to the batter next time you bake the cake.
- I have baked this cake in a 9 inch cake pan with great results. Just be careful when flipping the cake from the pan so that you don’t cause it to tear.
How to Store Ricotta Cake
This cake can be kept at room temperature in an air tight container for 2 days. I prefer to slice the cake and store it in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days of freshness.
Basil Peach Ricotta Cake
- 1 ¾ cups (219 grams) all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves finely chopped
- 1 cup (200 grams( granulated sugar
- ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter softened
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest packed
- 1 ⅓ cups (300 grams) ricotta cheese room temperature
- 1 cup yellow peaches cut into small chunks, pit and skin removed
- ¼ cup confectioner's sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C) then prepare a 9 inch springform pan with non-stick baking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Using a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and fresh basil. Set aside.
- Using the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium high speed, beat together the sugar and butter until fluffy and pale. About 1-2 minutes.
- Add the lemon zest and vanilla bean paste and mix just to incorporate.
- Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Do this as needed throughout mixing to ensure nothing gets stuck to the bottom of the bowl.
- Add in each egg one at a time while continuing to mix on medium speed.
- Then, spoon in half of the flour mixture, allowing it to be completely incorporated into the batter.
- Next, mix in all of the ricotta cheese.
- Finally, add the remaining half of the flour mixture, and be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl one last time before a final mix.
- Add the chopped peaches and fold them into the batter gently with a rubber spatula.
- Transfer the batter to the prepare pan and level with an offset spatula.
- Bake the cake on the middle rack of the oven for 40-45 minutes until the top is set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs.
- Place springform pan on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Remove collar and carefully transfer cake to serving dish.
- Sift confectioner's sugar onto cooled cake, slice and serve.