Lots of time has been spent baking in the last few days for a number of reasons. Perpetually hungry children at home, ingredients in the fridge nearing their expiration day, something to do with a child that has a broken collarbone. But perhaps the main reason is this…
Having a stash of homemade baked good available whenever kids ask for a snack has always made me feel prepared, organised and being in control. Something I need right now when too many things are uncertain as I shared in the last post.
Another thing I tend to do when I need this extra sense of security is bake something that is reminiscent of my childhood, the time when things were straighter and simpler like “Am I going to get that second scoop of ice cream like my big brother or not? Never mind, I see my dad coming with it now. Life is back to being fabulous.”
To evoke those warm feelings from childhood I baked a simple cake that is a loose version of a Russian loaf cake “Keks”. It is usually served simply dusted with some powdered sugar but I decided to give it a royal treatment and went for a cloud of light and fluffy cream cheese frosting to crown my humble loaf. Here is the result.
This cake is pretty spectacular on its own with the soft crumb made especially buttery by the addition of ricotta cheese and infused with lemon juice and lemon zest. The flavour is delicate and exquisite. Then enters the frosting, which you would want to eat by the spoonful. I tried to restrain myself but my kids let loose and I wished I was 9 again with that raging metabolism for a moment but then I remembered the pains of growing up and I was back just like that.
Enjoy and get some baking done this weekend!
- 75 g/1/3 cup butter, softened
- 165 g/2/3 cup demerara sugar
- 130 g/1/2 cup ricotta cheese, drained
- 2 eggs, large
- 150 g/ 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ salt
- 1 lemon, juice and zest of
- 200 g/ 1 cup cream cheese
- 150 ml/ ½ cup double cream
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- lemon zest for decoration
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F
- Cream soft butter with sugar in a stand mixer.
- Add ricotta cheese and eggs, lemon juice and lemon zest and continue beating until light and well combined.
- Sift flour in a separate bowl, then add baking powder and salt.
- Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix for 1 minute until well combined.
- Empty contents in a greased and parchment paper lined loaf pan and bake for 60-65 minutes.
- Check the cake for doneness with a toothpick, it should come out clean. Let it cool in a pan for 30 minutes and then remove it on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Whip slightly softened cream cheese with icing sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add double cream or whipping cream and vanilla bean paste continue whipping for 2 more minutes until the frosting comes together. It should be slightly more stiff than whipping cream in consistency.
- Frost the top of your cooled cake and sprinkle with more lemon zest.
For more loaf cakes try these:
Russian Loaf Cake “Keks Stolichniy”
Orange, Yogurt and Olive Oil Cake from Supergolden Bakes
Poppy Seed Loaf Cake with Lemon Glaze from Let the Baking Begin
Huckleberry Lemon Verbena Tea Cake (Gluten-Free) from Bojon Gourmet
Classic Pound Cake with Fresh Strawberry Glaze from Blogging Over Thyme