This Anna Garten Cake is my favorite last minute dessert.

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When the Food Network started in the early 90s, I couldn't get enough of it. During high school, my mom and I would watch (dubbed) Japanese. The Iron ChefAnd when the network added talent like Ina Garten and Giada De Laurentiis, I watched them too. I have fond memories of watching Anna prepare dishes in her Hamptons kitchen – sometimes on her way home from work for Jeffrey, sometimes with lucky friends.

I daydreamed about spending my time making delicious food and cocktails for guests. And while I may not currently live in a dream home in The Hamptons, I what Love to entertain my friends with delicious food. One recipe that made it into my keepers folder long ago is an Anna Garten classic, hers Blueberry Ricotta Cake.

There are a few ingredients for this cake. First, it's easy. Other than creaming the butter and sugar, it doesn't require any special technique and is honestly hard to screw up. Second, it's beautiful without needing real decoration. The berries on top are a lovely touch, and a quick dusting of powdered sugar hides any ailments. Third, it's wonderfully moisturizing without being heavy. And it stays moist for days!

The most important thing is that it is delicious and everyone loves it. It's the ideal level of sweetness with pops of tartness from the plums, and it's texture is decadent. Anna calls it a breakfast cake, and it's delicious for breakfast or brunch, but it's also the perfect cake for a dinner party, potluck, tea time, you name it.

Just Recipes / Laurel Randolph


How I Make Anna Garten's Blueberry Ricotta Cake

Start by creaming the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer until fluffy. Add the eggs three at a time, mixing between each one, and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the ricotta, a little sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla and beat to combine. I double the lemon zest (sometimes I do one lemon and one orange) and vanilla extract.

Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix until just combined. Sometimes I add a dash of nutmeg or cinnamon to the dry ingredients. Pour in about 2/3 of the berries and batter into a buttered and floured 9-inch springform pan. Gently press the remaining berries into the top. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until a tester comes out clean (or just with blueberries).

Cool for a few minutes, remove sides of pan, and cool completely before topping with a little powdered sugar.

Springform pan tip!

Although Anna calls for a springform pan, you can make this cake in a regular 9-inch cake pan. It won't look as pretty because the sides will be hidden, but it will still be pretty and tasteful.

A very customizable recipe

See how easy it is? So simple for a cake that feels really special. I've made this recipe a number of ways over the years (including my slight tweaks to the process above) and it always turns out great. Here are some variations that I am well aware of:

  • Substitute the flour for a 1:1 gluten-free flour mixture.
  • Substitute sour cream for plain yogurt.
  • Use a different berry or mix. Try raspberries, blackberries, pitted and halved cherries, or cranberries. Berries can be frozen – just don't defrost them and toss with a little flour before adding.
  • Substitute powdered sugar for a drizzle of vanilla yogurt thinned with milk.

Just Recipes / Laurel Randolph


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