Recipe: Ricotta and Jam Crumb Cake

This Italian-style version of a classic American coffee cake is perfect with espresso, and can work as breakfast or dessert.

By: Chef Rossella Rago


Serves: 10 people

For the Crumb Topping:

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

For the Cake:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 packets vanilla or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk ricotta
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs, plus one egg yolk (room temperature)
  • 1 apricot jam, or any flavor jam/preserve of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds


  • Jams from Italy available here.

To Make the Crumb Topping:

  • In a mixing bowl combine the sugars, cinnamon, salt, butter and flours. Using your hands, mix until the flour is fully absorbed. The mixture will be crumbly. Set aside.

To Make the Cake:

    1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 inch springform pan with baking spray. Set aside.
    2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
    3. In a small bowl, whisk together the ricotta, milk and lemon juice until smooth. Set aside.
    4. In another mixing bowl combine the olive oil, sugar and vanilla. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed until combined. Add in the eggs and yolk one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
    5. Add the ricotta mixture to the bowl and beat until smooth.
    6. Add in the dry ingredients and beat on low speed until just absorbed. Do not over mix!
    7. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan. Follow with half the crumb mixture. Pour the rest of the batter over the crumbs. Smooth with a spatula.
    8. Dollop the jam or preserves of your choice over the cake batter. Follow with the remaining crumbs and sliced almonds.
    9. Bake for 70-80 minutes or until the center of the cake is set. Cool for at least one hour before cutting.

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