Wake Up Your Tastebuds With My Ricotta Orange Marmalade Buttermilk Cakes
Allow me to introduce you to my newest, little sweet-tart, Ricotta Orange Marmalade Buttermilk Cake. Yeh, the name is quite a mouthful, but this mini cake has too many features and I didn’t want to leave the exciting ones out. Y’all know I’m not a big fruit dessert person, but I know many people who are. I have had tons of requests for fruity cake and cupcake recipes. Once again, I found myself searching the pantry hoping for a unique or overabundant ingredient to jump out at me. Why do I have so many flavors of jam, jellies, and marmalades in my cupboards, I will never know, but I decided today would be a great day to showcase orange marmalade. It hasn’t been too sunny in Orlando, lately. Seems as if the rain is coming earlier and staying for longer periods of time each day. I can only say that living in the “orange state” has inspired me to feature a summery fruit on this rainy, Sunday evening.
I wanted to have my simple, yet big on flavor, Big Boy Vanilla Cake as a base to these mini cakes. My Big Boy Cake is a buttermilk cake and only seems fit when representing a southern state in this dessert. I had a container of ricotta cheese and wanted to incorporate it into a glaze of some sort. I also wanted this cake to feel light and summer-ish, something you would find at a southern ladies’ luncheon, which made me realize covering this petite cake in buttercream wasn’t an option.
My Ricotta Orange Marmalade Buttermilk Cake is very moist because of all the buttermilk. There is just a bit of tartness to each bite from the pure orange marmalade layered between the sweet cakey layers The mini cakes feature a little ring of ricotta and cream cheese frosting, just enough to hold the orange marmalade in tight. And finally, this fruity dessert is coated in a ricotta based orange marmalade glaze, which has a hint of cinnamon for the “wow” factor.
Hopefully, this recipe will get some on-lookers and respect from the judges of The World Food Championships. I will be submitting this tiny baby later this week. Wish me luck!
First, we will start with the buttermilk cake of this recipe. You can always refer to my Big Boy Vanilla Cake post for more thorough baking instructions.
Ricotta Orange Marmalade Buttermilk Cake
Yields: 36 standard cupcakes or 8-4″ circular cakes
For the cake
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup instant vanilla pudding (half the box)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 cups cake flour (presifted at least 4 times BEFORE measured)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 36 standard size cupcake tins. Or prepare cake pans by using nonstick baking spray.
2. Presift your cake flour at least for times in a separate bowl. This is CRUCIAL that you ONLY use CAKE FLOUR!!!!! Otherwise your cake will be dense and dry. Measure 2 cups of cake flour after you have sifted at least 4 times and it becomes very airy and silky. (There is a huge difference between self-rise flour and cake flour. Please be sure your box says “cake flour”).
3. With the measured cake flour in a sifter, add baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift together in a bowl and set aside for later use.
4. Using an electric mixer, beat butter on high until smooth and creamy.
5. Add sugar mix on medium-high to high for at least 2 minutes until fluffy and light in color. (This is critical to making your cake fluffy with lots of tiny holes). Scrap sides.
6. Mix in vanilla pudding. Scrap sides.
7. Mix in eggs, then add vanilla. Scrap sides.
8. Starting with dry mix, slowly add a small amount at a time into the wet batter. Then alternate with the buttermilk. Continue alternating dry with buttermilk until you end with the dry ingredients.
ANOTHER CRITICAL MOMENT: DO NOT OVERMIX!!!!!!!
Over mixing at this point causes gluten to form and then your cake will shrink.
AS SOON AS YOU NO LONGER SEE WHITE FLOUR, STOP MIXER AND INCORPORATE THE REST BY HAND. MAKE SURE TO SCRAP SIDES AND BOTTOM.
9. Fill cupcake tins 2/3rds way full or use a 1 cup measure and pour one cup of batter into each 4″ cake pan.
10. Bake 375 10-12 minutes for cupcakes or 15-20 minutes for mini cakes.
11. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pans about 5 minutes.
12. Remove from pans and allow further cooling on a baking rack. Move on and start frosting.
These cakes will not be covered in buttercream so there is no need to use my freezer method to prepare for layering, frosting, etc.
Ricotta & Cream Cheese Frosting
For the frosting
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp ricotta cheese
4-5 cups powdered sugar, depends on your consistency preference
1 tsp imitation clear vanilla extract
1. In a mixing bowl, on high combine butter, cream cheese, and ricotta until smooth and creamy.
2. Add in clear vanilla.
3. Slowly stir in one cup at a time of powdered sugar. Be sure it is mixed well.
4. Place in piping bag for frosting cupcakes and filling cakes.
Ricotta Orange Marmalade Glaze
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup ricotta
3/4 cup orange marmalade
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 cups powdered sugar
1. In an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and ricotta until smooth.
2. Mix in marmalade until smooth (except for the fruit). It will be very liquidy.
3. Add in cinnamon.
4. On low, stir in powdered sugar and mix until thoroughly combined.
5. Set aside for assembly.
Let’s Stack Our Cakes
1. Using 2 of the 4″ cakes, cut off domes using a serrated knife or cake layer cutter from a cake supply store.
2. Cut the cake layer in half on each cake, giving you 4 thin pieces of cake.
3. Place a dollop of ricotta cream cheese frosting on serving plate and place bottom piece of cake on top. This will act as your glue for your base.
4. With your ricotta cream cheese frosting, swirl a border on the very edge of your cake.
5. Fill with 1 1/2 tbsp of orange marmalade.
6. Place next layer of cake and repeat with frosting and marmalade. Do this until the top piece of cake is placed.
7. With top piece of cake on, spoon on ricotta orange marmalade glaze. Allow it to drip and cause a mess.
8. Gently wipe the sides of cake to rid of excess glaze. I actually used a spatula to tighten the look up. Plus be sure to clean up the base of the plate.
9. Place a spoonful of orange marmalade on top of cake for decor.