If you have a bag of cherries in the freezer, a tub of ricotta in the fridge, and a handful of kitchen staples, you’ll be able to throw this together in minutes for last-minute company. The cherries will pair beautifully with the orange zest, but feel free to use lemon zest instead if that’s what you have on hand.

Despite the ricotta, this tastes more like an ultra-moist butter cake than an Italian cheesecake. It’s best served fresh from the oven, with the interior still warm and the sugared top nice and crisp.

Servings: 8 to 10


  • Nonstick cooking spray with flour, such as Baker’s Joy or Pam Baking
  • 1½ cups (195 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225 g) sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ cups (360 g) whole-milk ricotta
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ tsp (packed) grated orange zest (from 1 orange)
  • ½ cup (1 stick/4 ounces/113 g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1⅓ cups (180 g) frozen sweet cherries (do not thaw)


  1. Heat the oven to 350° and set an oven rack in the middle position. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray with flour (alternatively, spray with nonstick cooking spray and dust with flour).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, 1 cup (200 g) of the sugar, the baking powder, and the salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, ricotta, vanilla, and orange zest. Gradually add the melted butter, whisking constantly, until evenly combined. 
  4. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and fold with a rubber spatula until just blended. Quickly fold in 1 cup (135 g) of the cherries; don’t overmix or the cherries will bleed and turn the batter pink. 
  5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and scatter the remaining ⅓ cup (45g) cherries over the top. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.
  6. Bake the cake until golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for about 30 minutes, then remove the sides of the pan. Serve warm or room temperature.

Recipe used with permission from Once Upon a Chef: Weeknight/Weekend.
Copyright © 2021 by Jennifer Segal.

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