Orange, Ricotta and Almond cake.

If I knew you were coming I’d ‘ve baked a cake. Sometimes the strangest songs jump into my head for no particular reason. I like to think of them as song pop- ups. This cute but slightly annoying song, recorded by Eileen Barton in January 1950, must have been played often by my parents along the way, an earworm plant from childhood. There’s fat chance of any one coming here for at least another month if not longer. Despite isolation, or in spite of it perhaps, the cake baking continues once a week.

Ricotta, orange and almond cake. i cannot part with this lovely old chipped plate

Most of my cakes are flour free. After all those Hot Cross buns this Easter, I’m enjoying this subtle flavoured flourless cheese cake, with its evocative notes of orange, reminding me of Sicily. If you live in a two or three person household, small cakes of 18-20 cm in circumference are the best size to bake when no one is knocking at your door or dining at your table. This cake keeps well for a few days under a cake dome or lidded container in the cooler months, or in the fridge during summer. 

Torta Siciliana di Ricotta, Arancia e Mandorle.


  • 250 gr ricotta cheese, firm
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp + Cointreau or other orange liqueur
  • 175 gr caster sugar
  • 220 gr almond meal
  • finely zested rind of 1 orange
  • 1 Tbles orange juice
  • flaked almonds for the top
  • icing sugar to dust.


  1. Preheat oven to 160ºc. Grease and line a 20 cm springform cake tin.
  2. Beat together the ricotta, egg yolks, and sugar in a stand mixer, making sure the mixture is completely smooth. Add the liqueur and orange juice, stir through, then add the almond meal, mixing well by hand to incorporate.
  3. Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl till soft peaks form. Fold in a few tablespoons into the almond mixture to loosen it. Then gently fold in the remaining eggs whites.
  4. Spread into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top with almond flakes. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. 
  5. Cool then release onto a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar.

Those insane lyrics from that song.

Well, well, well, look who’s here.
I haven’t seen you in many a year.
If I knew you were comin’ I’d ‘ve baked a cake,
baked a cake, baked a cake.
If I knew you were comin’ I’d ‘ve baked a cake.
How-ja do. How-ja do, How-ja do.

Had you dropped me a letter I’d ‘ve hired a band,
grandest band in the land.
Had you dropped me a letter I’d ‘ve hired a band
and spread the welcome mat for you.

33 thoughts on “Orange, Ricotta and Almond cake.”

  1. Mmm mmm i cant wait to make thus. I dont have a ‘stand mixer’. Couls i use a stick mixer, or a wooden spoon or balloon whisk and elbow grease? Cheers, louise

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Louise, I think a food processor would be ideal for mixing the eggs and sugar in step one, or use a big spoon to get the mixture really smooth, then use a balloon whisk for egg whites. I might add this to the method. Next time I’m doing it with limes,,,,


  2. Oh, I have song pop-ups in my head all the time . . . being a typical Gemini I usually warble loudly along !! Well, you have baked and baked and baked . . . heavens above, I actually have all the ingredients at home . . . perhaps work could excuse me for an hour 🙂 !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We can always find excuses. I do enjoy baking more than many other tasks and the list of neglect is rather long. though the consequence involves doing the circuit of the nearby oval a few times to keep the weight off.


        1. Buongiorno Cristina, yum, agnolotti, such italian comfort food. If you buy ricotta in those big plastic mesh tubs of 1 kilo, there’s always a need for another recipe. This week weve had ricotta stuffed into everything, zucchini ripieni, melanzone, and some in a walnut cream pesto for pasta. Will you be blogging your agnolotti?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Our tubs are 600g but it is always too much -or not enough for cannoli. I probably won’t be blogging about the agnolotti because my next post (should have been today!) is corzetti. I made them again today to tweak the measurements and will have them for dinner with pesto. That way I can dream about being in Liguria! All we can do right now is dream-and eat food food. I’ll let you know how my cake works out! Ciao, Cristina

            Liked by 1 person

              1. Ciao Francesca
                I made the cake and it was delicious! I forgot to put the almonds on top when I put it in the oven, and had to put them on half way through, so it wasn’t as pretty as yours, but tasted good! Ciao, Cristina

                Liked by 1 person

    1. Most of my cakes resemble pudding. Sometimes I crave sweet things at night. These cakes are usually healthier than sweet biscuits, chocolate, and icecream. Stops me going to the pantry at night and raiding cooking chocolate which I always regret as chocolate makes me sick. Most of the cakes get halved and sent to kids ( i use that term loosely since the eldest kid is 50). I love the process of cake making too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. How ja-do, Francesca! I love your lemon ricotta and almond cake which I’ve made several times – and cake is on my current ‘make’ list particularly to stretch our pantry and fridge items and help to make staying at home less of something we must do and more of something that is really enjoyable. Cake is also something nice to give to neighbours who are probably a bit wary of my ‘lobbed’ loaves! One of our neighbours has an abundance of avocados and we receive bags full – I’ve now found out they can be cut or mashed and frozen with some lemon juice. I think they, and we, will enjoy your latest cake. I have invented hallway- jogging for myself – jogging around the garden presents to many opportunities for me to face-plant myself).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A belated reply Jan. How-Ja do too. haha, hallway jogging sounds amusing, – the garden not only is a trip hazard but totally distracting, with all those little jobs presenting themselves. I am extremely envious of those avos……


  4. Hi Francesca, I made this cake yesterday in the food processor – wow! Fabulous taste and texture and I will be making it often from now on. I also wanted to let you know that I am really enjoying your posts, especially in these strange and uncertain times.. Keep it up and thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sue for your encouraging words. I’m so pleased the cake worked well. We’ve just finished eating ours, it lasted well. Now in search of another one for the week. In these strange times, we look forward to morning tea with a little cake.


  5. Had a lovely time making the cake .
    A teaspoon of Cointreau for the cake and a small nip for me.
    Ended up being a beautiful looking cake with a taste to match.

    Thanks Francesca 💕

    Liked by 1 person

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