That’s a big name for a little cake! Let’s pretend that every word in the title of a recipe adds an extra kick of flavor to the finished product, because that’s certainly true for this cake. When I found a container of fresh ricotta in the refrigerator a few days before vacation, I started researching baked goods. I’ve been dreaming of the perfect ricotta cake for months and it just sounded like the best possible idea. I found this recipe for a pound cake flavored with orange and almond, but that’s not quite what I wanted. A few tweaks and a cup of blueberries later, I present my blueberry lavender ricotta pound cake. I left a loaf for our fabulous friend, who took great care of our pets while we were in Maine, and can now say that it also makes a wonderful gift!
Ricotta adds some beautiful moisture and texture to the cake without making it heavy. It is vaguely reminiscent of a cheesecake, but the pound cake title is much more appropriate. I was deliberately light-handed with the lavender, to prevent a soapy flavor, and I think it was a great choice, the perfect accent for sweet blueberries. Serve a slice of your cake with coffee or tea, with ice cream and extra berries for dessert, or lightly toasted for a decadent breakfast treat.
Blueberry Lavender Ricotta Pound Cake (makes 2 loaves)
- 12 T. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 c. whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 1/2 c. sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp. culinary lavender
- zest of one lemon
- 2 T. fresh lemon juice (about half a lemon)
- 1 1/4 c. + 3 T. flour
- 1 T. cornstarch
- 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 c. fresh blueberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter or spray two 8″ x 4″ loaf pans and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, ricotta and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Mix in the lavender, lemon zest and lemon juice.
Sift together the 1 1/4 c. flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on a very low speed, add the dry ingredients to the bowl in small amounts. Stop the mixer as soon as the dry ingredients are mixed in.
In a small bowl, toss the blueberries with the remaining 3 T. flour. Use a large wooden spoon or spatula to fold the blueberries and any loose flour into your batter. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake for 40-50 mins., rotating the pans after about 20 mins.; the cakes are done when they begin to pull away from the sides of the pans and a knife comes clean from the center. Cool on a rack for at least 20 mins. before attempting to remove from the pan.
The blueberry lavender ricotta pound cake will keep, tightly wrapped, at room temperature for up to three days and in the refrigerator for slightly longer. Bring to room temperature before serving, for best results. Although I haven’t tried freezing the cakes I imagine they would freeze well.