Upside Down Citrus Almond Ricotta Cake

It's Citrus Season and time to make the most of it all the way through dessert!  Chock full of Vitamin C, which we clearly need more of this time of year, and folate, potassium, lycopene, fiber and more, it's a good idea to use these beauties now whenever you can!  Having just picked a bowlful of sunshine, the first thing that came to mind was this tea time favorite. Inspired by The River Café’s classic and Elisabeth Prueitt’s adaptation, it is a sweet treat for sure but also just a bit on the more savory side with an interesting, and addictive!, flavor profile. Enjoy!

Makes one 9" cake - gluten free

For the oranges:

½ cup light muscovado sugar
1Tablespoon warm spring water
2 oranges (a mixture is nice visually)

For the cake:
3 large          eggs, separated
2/3 cup         natural cane sugar
2 oz.             unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup           olive oil
1 teaspoon   vanilla
juice and zest of 3 lemons
2/3 cup          whole milk ricotta cheese (we like goat if you can find it)
1 cup             almond flour
¼ cup            millet flour
1 Tablespoon psyllium husk
1 teaspoon     fresh lemon thyme
1 teaspoon     baking powder
½ teaspoon    baking soda
1/3 cup           corn meal (at the level of grind you enjoy)
½ teaspoon    salt

For the glaze:

juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
2   tablespoons honey
2   tablespoons spring water


Preheat oven to 300F. Oil the bottom and sides of a 9 inch round cake pan . Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper. In a small bowl, mix together the muscovado sugar and water into a thick syrup and spread over the parchment paper. Thinly slice the oranges and arrange decoratively over the brown sugar mixture. Set aside.



In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar and incorporate the olive oil. Mix in the 3 egg yolks, then the ricotta cheese, lemon juice and zest. Add the cornmeal, almond flour, millet flour, psyllium husk, lemon thyme, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

With clean whisk attachment, whip egg whites until stiff and gently fold them into the batter, first 1/3 of the whites and then the remaining whites. Spread evenly over the orange slices. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until a cake tester comes out fairly clean. Allow to cool in the pan on a rack for a few minutes, then invert onto a serving plate. Drizzle glaze over the top. (see below)


In a small saucepan, heat the lemon juice, honey and water until the honey is just melted and the mixture is hot. One spoonful at a time, drizzle the glaze over the top of the hot cake.

Refrigerate cake for at least an hour before slicing and serving.

Annette Shafer
Annette Shafer


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