Grapefruit Ricotta Cake
Ricotta cheese makes this pound cake extra moist, and the sweet grapefruit cream cheese frosting is the perfect balance to the tart cake. You will love the bright citrus flavor in this Grapefruit Ricotta Cake.
I made this recipe for my recent birthday. I had trouble deciding between this and my lemon ricotta cake both are so delicious. While I enjoy half a grapefruit with breakfast occasionally, we have recently started getting a produce box delivery of fresh fruits and vegetables each week, and our box has included the juiciest, most delicious grapefruits. I think I might be getting hooked on grapefruit! It was only a matter of time before I tried baking with these tart citrus fruits.
Making the Cake
To make this Grapefruit Ricotta Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, I adapted one of my all-time favorite recipes, my Lemon Ricotta Cake. I swapped out the lemon for grapefruit, and added a sweet grapefruit-cream cheese frosting to balance out the tartness.
Start with cake flour, baking powder, salt, and grapefruit zest in a medium bowl. Whisk.
With a mixer cream together the butter and sugar and then incorporate the eggs.
Add the other ingredients as instructed in the recipe instruction card below.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream Cheese Frosting is so easy to make. Just whip beat cream cheese and butter together with a mixer then add powder sugar and any flavoring, in this recipe, grapefruit juice.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the ricotta, grapefruit juice, and vanilla and beat on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, about 2 minutes.
The frosting recipe makes quite a lot, more than you think you will need, but I left it as is because I like to slather it on thick. Cream cheese frosting is just soooo good, ya know?
The ricotta cheese makes this cake extremely moist, and it’s more of a dense pound cake than a light and fluffy cake. Which is awesome but I just want to make sure you know what to expect if you make it. There’s a definite tartness from the grapefruit, which is delicious paired with the cream cheese frosting. And since this Grapefruit Ricotta Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is in the shape of a loaf it’s totally acceptable to eat a slice for a snack or breakfast, right?
Grapefruit Ricotta Cake
For the cake:
- 1½ cups 192g cake flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. grapefruit zest
- ½ cup 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 6 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
- 4 tbsp. 1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup 120g powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp. grapefruit juice
- 1 tsp. grapefruit zest
- pinch of salt
- grapefruit slices, for garnish, if desired
Make the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray. Place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan, letting it hang up and over the sides on the two ends.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, salt, and grapefruit zest. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the ricotta, grapefruit juice, and vanilla and beat on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, about 2 minutes.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions. Beat until combined, 1-2 minutes.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 55-65 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Be sure to insert the tester all the way down to the bottom of the cake, as the top may be done but the bottom might still be gooey.
- Let cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then remove from pan to cool completely before frosting.
Make the Cream Cheese Frosting
- Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until light and creamy. Beat in the powdered sugar, a little at a time, until incorporated. Beat in the grapefruit juice, zest, and salt. Spread icing over top of cooled cake in a thick layer. Garnish with grapefruit slices, if desired. Store frosted cake in the refrigerator.