This moist brown sugar and ricotta cake is finished with a wonderful browned butter glaze. The cake is baked in a tube cake pan or Bundt cake pan.
A plain vanilla glaze would be delicious as well, but browning the butter adds nutty depth of flavor to the icing.
Use vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract in the cake and in the glaze.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (13 1/2 ounces)
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter (unsalted, softened)
- 1 cup ricotta
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar (light, firmly packed)
- 6 large eggs (separated)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
- For the Browned Butter Glaze:
- 6 tablespoons butter (unsalted)
- 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
- Heat oven to 300 F.
- Generously grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt cake pan or spray with baking spray with flour.
- Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl with electric mixer, beat 1 cup butter and ricotta cheese with 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 1/2 cups brown sugar until light. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
- Stir in the flour mixture.
- Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold the beaten whites into the batter until well incorporated. Spoon into the prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched with a finger.
- Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Carefully invert the cake onto a rack to cool completely. Use a spatula to loosen the sides of the cake, if necessary.
- Glaze with the browned butter glaze (below) or dust the cake with confectioners' sugar.
Browned Butter Glaze
- Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until just golden brown, about 7 to 10 minutes. Be sure to remove it from the heat as it turns golden, because it can darken very quickly.
- Immediately pour the browned butter into a bowl, leaving most of the sediment in the pan. Sift confectioners' sugar into the bowl and add 3 tablespoons of milk. Stir until smooth. Add more milk as needed to make the glaze thin enough to spoon over the cooled cake.
- Drizzle over the cooled cake.
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