What is a snacking cake? To me, it’s any cake, usually just one layer, usually smaller than a 9×13″ pan, that’s easy to make, decorated simply or left unadorned, and not fussy at all to eat. This is a piece of cake that you won’t feel any guilt whatsoever having for breakfast, lunch, or really any time of day. This lemon ricotta snacking cake with olive oil is made with a whopping two-lemons’-worth of zest, and the flavor honestly reminds me of the Starbucks lemon loaf.
The texture is ultra-moist from the olive oil and the ricotta, and has a nice chew from the addition of finely ground cornmeal. Because we use oil, not butter, this cake can sit on your counter, or in your fridge, for days, and it will not dry out. Shockingly it tastes as good on its third day as its first — if it lasts that long.
Here are 3 tips for making lemon ricotta olive oil cake:
Citrus zest + sugar = love: One of the best ways to infuse citrus flavor into any baked good isn’t with juice, believe it or not. A lot of the flavor and color in lemon baked goods actually comes from the zest. When you rub lemon zest into your sugar before doing anything else, the sugar actually pulls out all the flavor and takes it on, which intensifies the taste of your final cake.
Use good olive oil: Again, there’s no butter in this cake. Your main fat source is all olive oil, so you want to make sure your star ingredient is high quality. This cakedoesn’t taste overwhelmingly of olive oil, but you still want to have that hint of flavor in the final product, so I recommend extra virgin olive oil, which has a more olive-y taste.
Measure your flour correctly. I can’t say it enough! Using the spoon and sweep method, where you gently spoon flour into the measuring cup and sweep off the excess with a straight edge, will help make sure your cake doesn’t come out dry or tough.
Did you make this lemon ricotta snacking cake? Tag me on Instagram or TikTok @easygayoven! I would love to see what you make.