Ricotta Pound Cake with Grapes
A rich, buttery pound cake made with creamy ricotta and sweet, plump red California Grapes.
During the busy holiday season, giving the gift of food is easier than shopping for the perfect present. I love preparing homemade goodies to gift to family and friends.
Gift someone a cake, and even in his or her darkest moments of sorrow, you’ll see a flicker of light shine through. Where words fail, food can compensate.
This ricotta pound cake with grapes is the perfect way to fall in love with grapes during the holidays. Grapes from California are in season May through January and are perfect for healthy snacking! While I love to grab a handful of grapes out of the fridge for munching, I decided to shake things up a bit with my grapes and combine them with butter, sugar, and ricotta to create a delicious cake. It’s still filled with nutrition from the grapes, only we’re indulging a bit. Hey, it’s the holiday season!
California Grapes come in three varieties: green, red, and black–though there are actually over 80 different varieties. I chose crunchy red grapes for this recipe. They add a burst of sweetness and plump bits of color throughout the cake.
Since grapes and cheese are a winning combination, I added a generous amount of ricotta to the pound cake batter. If you want a rich pound cake, ricotta is the way to go–it creates a delightfully moist cake with a dense crumb.
Grapes are fully ripe when they arrive at your local grocery store or market. When you get them home, store your unwashed grapes in the refrigerator. Wash your grapes right before you’re ready to serve–this method will prolong the life of your grapes and keep them fresh.
This pound cake is delicious as is, but I wanted to take it from delicious to outstanding, so I drizzled the entire loaf with a simple and sweet lemon glaze.
The lemon glaze comes together in just a few minutes with a few simple ingredients: powdered sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and milk. Mix it all together in a small bowl until smooth.
Drizzle a little or drizzle a lot!
I used 1 ½ cups of sliced red California grapes in the batter. To prevent your grapes from sinking to the bottom of your cake, dust them with 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour before folding them into the batter.
I like to serve thick slices of this pound cake with an extra drizzle of the lemon glaze. If you pair it with coffee or tea, you can consider this pound cake breakfast.
If you’re unable to finish the entire pound cake–as if–it freezes extremely well. Cut the remaining pound cake into thick slices. Place the individual slices in freezer bags and store in the freezer until you’re ready to serve.
Falling in love with grapes never tasted better!
Ricotta Pound Cake with Grapes
A buttery, rich pound cake loaded with sweet, plump California Red Grapes.
Yield: 1 (10-by-5-inch) loaf
Total Time: 70 minutes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
1 and 1/2 sticks (or 3/4 cup) unsalted butter, at room-temperature
1 and 1/2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 and 1/2 cups red California Grapes, sliced in half
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch-by-5-inch loaf pan.
- In a small bowl, whisk together 1 and 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer attached with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, ricotta cheese, and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl. On low speed, add the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- On low speed, add the dry ingredients in three batches, scraping the sides of the bowl in between additions, until the flour is incorporated.
- Add the grapes to a small bowl and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons of flour. Fold to coat.
- Fold the flour-coated grapes into the pound cake batter. Transfer the batter to your prepared loaf pan.
- Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Begin checking your cake at the 55 minute mark to prevent over baking.
- Cool the cake in the pan for 30 minutes. Run a butter knife or cake spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake. If the cake seems resistant, allow it cool for a few extra minutes in the loaf pan before removing. Remove the cake from the pan and allow to cool on a wire rack completely.
- Slowly drizzle the warm cake with the lemon glaze, allowing it to soak in with each addition.
- Add powdered sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and milk to a bowl. Whisk vigorously until the glaze is smooth. If the glaze is too thick, add a touch more milk.
- Drizzle the glaze over the warm cake.
Disclosure: I was compensated for my time to develop this recipe and to participate in the Twitter party. All opinions are my own.