This is a lovely pound cake – you can use sour cream or yogurt in place of ricotta, as cheaper alternatives, or if you prefer a bit of tang in your sweets.
For the cake:
- 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup ricotta, at room temperature
- 2½ cups cake flour OR 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour and 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tbs orange zest
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice (1-2) oranges
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds, lightly roasted
- For the glaze:
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tbs orange zest
- 1 tsp vanilla
Heat the oven to 200 degrees and arrange slivered almonds on a baking sheet. Cook for 5 minutes or until lightly brown. Cool. Turn up the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan.
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla, ricotta, and orange juice. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, orange zest, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Finish stirring with a spatula to be sure the batter is well mixed.
Spoon the batter into the pan and spread it out with a knife. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Carefully transfer the cake. Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, milk, vanilla and orange zest together, adding a few drops of water, if necessary, to make the glaze thick but runny. Drizzle the glaze over the cake with a small spoon. Top with roasted almonds and powdered sugar. Serve at room temperature.
Notes: If you don’t have cake flour, you can substitute 2¼ cups all-purpose flour plus ¼ cup cornstarch.
If the eggs are cold, place the whole eggs in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes before cracking them.