I use ricotta a lot in my baking – I love the creaminess and gentle tang it lends. With warming spices and rum, sweet dried fruit and textural almonds, this cake is a modern take on a traditional fruit cake. It’s quite dense, but beautifully moist.

Serves 12


For the cake

180g butter, softened

180g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

6 free range eggs, separated (keep the whites for another recipe)

300g ricotta 1⁄3 cup rum

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1⁄2 tsp nutmeg

1⁄2 tsp cardamom

200g ground almonds

100g all purpose white or spelt flour

3 tbsp candied orange peel, finely diced

70g flaked almonds, toasted

1⁄2 cup dried cranberries

1⁄2 cup Turkish dried apricots, diced

For the decorations

Drizzle of honey

Handful Turkish dried apricots, diced Handful cranberries

Handful almond flakes, toasted Fresh flowers (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 160°C on fan bake. Grease and line a 22cm cake tin with baking paper.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla together until pale, light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the ricotta, rum and spices and gently mix.
  3. Next, add the ground almonds and flour and mix until just combined. Take care not to overmix. Finally, fold through the orange peel and dried fruit.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin and spread out to the sides. Bake for approximately 50 minutes
  5. or springy to the touch, and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  6. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
  7. Once the cake is cool, decorate with a drizzle of honey and a scattering of dried apricots, cranberries, almond flakes and flowers, if using.
  8. Serve at room temperature. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to three days.