Perfectly moist and delicately flavoured ricotta and rhubarb cakes with a big dollop of creamy vanilla bean mascarpone dolloped on top, sprinkled with tangy raspberries and crunchy crumbled meringues. These little cakes are beautiful to look at and even better to eat! Jump to Recipe!
This is without a doubt my favourite time of year. Autumn. I know, I should love summer with the gorgeous sunshine, trips to the beach, excuse for an ice cream every day, water play with the kids in the garden and camping. I do, but autumn is my favourite. I love the smells, the cooler nights, the changing colours, and, as my friend and I agreed to, the pure calmness of the season.
Yesterday the boys (one big and two little) went to the “jungle”. We weren’t going all Tarzan and swinging from vines, no, we went for a lovely bush walk just outside our city. The boys call it the ‘jungle’ because ‘that’s cool Mum’ so it’s stuck. My four-year-old was bounding up hills with limitless energy but my little twoyear-old is not that fond of physical exercise. Most of the time he will cut me off and demand I ‘cuddle him’. I love cuddling him but this is a ploy. What he is actually asking is for me to ‘carry him’ (might I remind you he is a hefty 18kg) but he uses the carefully selected words ‘cuddle me’ so that I can’t possibly refuse in case anyone walking by should see a mother refusing to ‘cuddle’ her child. Smart. There were a couple of ‘cuddle me’ requests yesterday and there was a lot of dragging his heels but the little guy managed to walk a whole 2km! That’s a lot for those little (chubby and deliciously gorgeous) little legs. We got home and you could have sworn he just competed in an Iron Man. He could barely move so I left him to watch the iPad for a little and when I came back to him he had drooled all over it and could barely move or talk. He did, however, sleep through the WHOLE night, that’s big news in our house!
The walk in the bush was especially lovely this time of year. It was slightly cool, the leaves were turning beautiful colours and the smells were delicious. I’m not sure it has much to do with Ricotta and Rhubarb Cakes but the Autumn makes me happy, the bush walk made me happy and these Ricotta and Rhubarb Cakes also make me happy!
These cakes are seriously good if you want to impress. They are super simple to make (can I get a high five for no need to cream butter and sugar together, my absolute pet hate). They ALWAYS turn out (also what you need when you want to entertain or impress). They are SO pretty and SO delicious (well anything with that amount of mascarpone loaded on top is going to be this good). The original recipe had raspberries in it which is also a delicious substitution, or you could try strawberries or any other fresh or frozen berry you like but I love rhubarb. I love the pretty pink colour and the delicious tang it gives to baking. I also love to add mascarpone to cakes, it’s a great easy substitute for the frosting that requires barely any work. I don’t like mine very sweet, partly because I don’t have much of a sweet tooth but also because you go ahead and crumble meringues on top which gives some delicious crunch and sweetness. However, if you like your frosting a little sweeter add a tablespoon of icing (confectioner’s) sugar or maple syrup to the frosting. I like to make my own meringues, they are simple to make, any meringue recipe will do just pipe them out a little smaller for mini ones but if you can’t be bothered (totally hear you right now) then just buy some from the store and place them on top or crumble them with some freeze dried raspberries.
Oh so pretty. Oh so yummy.
Ricotta and Rhubarb Cakes with Vanilla Mascarpone Frosting and Mini-Meringues
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 large free-range eggs
- 1½ cups ricotta
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 112 g/1 stick unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup rhubarb, chopped 1cm/1/2in pieces
- 200 g/7oz mascarpone cheese
- 1 Tbsp cream
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
- 1 cup store-bought mini meringues (alternately homemade)
- freeze dried or fresh raspberries, for decorating
Preheat oven to 180C/350F on fan bake. Grease a 6 hole cheesecake tin or Texas muffin pan with butter. Alternatively grease one 23cm/9in cake tin and line with baking (parchment paper).
Place flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
In a separate medium sized bowl whisk together eggs, ricotta and vanilla until smooth.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in the melted butter followed by the chopped rhubarb.
Divide batter between moulds (or in one large cake) and place in the oven to bake for 20-25 min (50-60 min for large cake) or until the cake is golden brown and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake. Allow to cool for 10 min in tin(s) before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cake is cooling make the frosting. Place mascarpone, cream and vanilla in a small bowl. Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 1cm/1/2in circular tip (or cut the corner off a ziplock bag). Alternatively, you can go for a rustic look and just dollop frosting on top of the cakes and skip the piping.
When the cakes are cool pipe on a big dollop of icing, sprinkle with freeze-dried raspberries and crumble over mini-meringues.
Best eaten on day of making but un-frosted cakes will keep for 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature. In hot weather, store in the refrigerator but only for up to 2 days otherwise they will dry out.
Cake recipe adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine.
- Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies
- 6 Minute Chocolate Cake
- Plum and Lime Layer Cake
- Luxury Dark Chocolate and Nut Cookies