Giada De Laurentiis’ Sunny Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake Is the Perfect Afternoon Pick-Me-Up

Sometimes all you need for an afternoon snack is something just sweet enough to accent that cup of coffee or tea. Food Network host Giada De Laurentiis‘ Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake combines the smooth, delicate flavor of ricotta cheese with lemon’s citrusy brightness for a flavorful snack that hits the spot.

Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis
Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis | Robin Marchant/Getty Images

You may already have the ingredients for this unbeatable snack

De Laurentiis’ lemon ricotta pound cake showcases one of her favorite flavor combinations: bright citrus with creamy ricotta, as she noted on her lifestyle and food blog Giadzy.

“If you all know me, you know that ‘lemon ricotta’ is a popular phrase in my dessert vocabulary!,” the Food Network personality wrote. “It’s an especially lovely combination in this pound cake. The ricotta gives the cake a moist, tender crumb, and the lemon glaze on top ties it all together. I love having a small slice of this cake with afternoon tea or coffee.”

For this delicious treat, you’ll need butter, sugar, ricotta cheese, eggs, lemon zest and juice, vanilla extract, flour, baking powder, and kosher salt. For the glaze, you’ll need powdered sugar, salt, and more lemon juice.

De Laurentiis’ snack cake is incredibly easy to make

The butter, sugar, and ricotta cheese are beaten until smooth in a handheld mixer. De Laurentiis notes the butter should be at room temperature or even softer to ensure a fluffy batter when it’s all mixed together. The eggs are added one at a time followed by the zest, juice, and vanilla.

Now the dry ingredients are added with a rubber spatula. Slowly stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt, being careful, the chef says, to “not overmix.” The batter is spooned into a greased 9 x 5 loaf pan and placed into a preheated 350-degree F oven.

While it’s baking is a great time to assemble the cake’s glaze. The powdered sugar, salt, and juice are whisked until the mixture is smooth. After the cake has cooled for an hour, De Laurentiis says it’s safe to “poke a few holes” in the top of the cake using “a small skewer.” The glaze can now be sprinkled onto the cake.

Although it will be a great temptation not to have a slice right away, the Everyday Italian host suggests allowing the glaze to set for about 15 minutes.

If you’d prefer to try this recipe in a gluten-free version, De Laurentiis calls for substituting one cup of all-purpose gluten-free flour blend and a half-cup of almond flour for the regular flour in the original recipe.

De Laurentiis offers a variation the citrus-ricotta flavor combination, her Orange Ricotta Pound Cake

Home cooks weighed in on De Laurentiis’ Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake recipe

One of De Laurentiis’ fans loved the cake so much, they made it twice.

“I made this recipe exactly as shown and it is delicious. I only wish I had a beautiful pan like the one shown! I made it again today and just took it out of the oven, can’t wait to have it later,” the home cook said.

Another fan put their own spin on De Laurentiis’ creation: “Just took it out of the oven. It looks and smells wonderful. I doubled the recipe and added fresh blueberries. Baked in a Bundt pan and I can’t wait to try it as soon as it is cool.”

Finally, a home cook who made the treat sang its not-overly-sweet praises: “I made this today and had a piece for tea to hold me over to dinner, it was a perfect snack, so lovely, moist, not too sweet, love the lemon glaze on top.”

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