This moist, tender ricotta cake is loaded with dark chocolate chunks and topped with pistachio-oatmeal-brown sugar crumbles. It’s perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dessert!
I know I just posted s’mores bars on Monday, and now I’m back with another dessert–also with chocolate, no less. It’s a well-established fact that I have a crazy sweet tooth, but I swear I didn’t plan it. This cake just sort of happened.
Last Sunday Alex went to a baseball game with some friends, so Owen and I were on our own. It was kind of overcast and damp out, so we headed to an indoor playground so he could run around and burn off some energy. From there we went to a pizza place for lunch and then to CVS, which is Owen’s favorite store after Home Depot (seriously, he goes crazy for the car carts!).
Whenever I am at CVS I check to see if they have pistachios on sale. I know it sounds weird, but pistachios are really expensive! CVS has relatively cheap ones that are frequently buy-one-get-one-free. I picked up a few bags, and then later at home I discovered 1/2 carton of leftover ricotta in the fridge…
So while Owen was watching “Frozen” for the millionth time, I baked this cake.
I seriously can’t remember the last time I enjoyed myself so much in the kitchen. I felt like I was getting back to my roots! I love to bake, and I also love to improvise. Unfortunately, those two things don’t usually go hand in hand, because baking is a pretty exact science. But in this case, I took a simple ricotta pound cake recipe, stripped it down, and then reimagined it with whatever I saw that inspired me: an orange in the fruit bowl, a bar of Hershey’s dark chocolate in the cabinet, and those CVS pistachios.
Sometimes cakes are called “everyday cakes” meaning they aren’t fancy or fussy. I’d like to classify this as an “all day everyday cake.” It’s perfect for breakfast with a cup of coffee, for brunch with mimosas, or as a dinner party dessert dressed up with some lightly sweetened whipped cream. But my absolute favorite way to eat it? Sliced straight from the pan and eaten as a snack out of hand.
Fluffy, impossibly tender ricotta cake, creamy dark chocolate chunks, and salty, nutty pistachio-brown-sugar-oatmeal crumbles. What’s not to love?
- 1/2 cup roasted salted pistachios
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon orange zest plus 2 tablespoons juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dark chocolate chunks
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch round springform pan with nonstick spray and line the bottom with a round of parchment.
- To make the topping, combine the pistachios, flour, oats, and brown sugar in a food processor and pulse just until the nuts are broken up a bit. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture begins to come together in moist clumps, about 15 to 20 pulses. Set aside.
- To make the cake, in a stand mixer (or a large bowl with a handheld mixer) beat the butter, light brown sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the ricotta. Sprinkle the flour, baking powder, and salt over the surface of the bowl and beat just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chunks.
- Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the crumb topping. Bake until golden brown and cake springs back lightly when pressed in the center, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes, then remove the sides of the pan and transfer the cake to a serving plate.