This delicious Italian Ricotta Crumb Cake features a layer of creamy ricotta topped by a ribbon of raspberry jam nestled between a crisp, buttery dough that forms both the bottom crust and pretty crumb topping.
To ward off the extra pounds (the consequence of having a recipe website and thoroughly enjoying all things related to food), I try to walk for an hour each day. I make the walks more fun and interesting with phone chats and listening to music or podcasts. On one of my walks last week, I tuned into an Italian culinary podcast and was intrigued by the mention of a Ricotta Crumb Cake. I know about (and love) Ricotta cake - but with a crumb topping? Yum, it sounded wonderful!
If you've been following The Café for a while you know that when I get a recipe inspiration, I can hardly wait to delve into it. The minute I got home from my walk, I checked to see if I had any ricotta stashed in the fridge. I was thrilled to discover two large containers.
Next, I googled "Ricotta Crumb Cake" and was shocked to see that Mr. Google had 967,000 results for me! Where have I been? (Under a rock again?) I chose a recipe that looked promising and went to work. It wasn't difficult and in less than 20 minutes my cake was almost ready to bake.
The recipe creator mentioned that you could add a variety of toppings... fresh fruit, chocolate, herbs, etc. I had a jar of our jewel-toned Raspberry Freezer Jam (pictured below) in the fridge (and a bunch more in the freezer!) which seemed like a perfect pairing with the cake.
After the cake cooled a bit I cut two small slices and handed one to my husband, Scott. We both thought it was "good", but not "great". I had a few ideas of how to make a better (and easier) ricotta crumb cake and quickly got busy. After a few trials and lots of tweaks, I'm happy to share this delicious recipe.
With a crisp golden bottom crust, a creamy smooth ricotta filling topped with dollops of raspberry jam and big handfuls of buttery, crunchy crumbs, this cake is a huge winner! We've been passing out samples of this Ricotta Crumb Cake all week and everyone has rolled their eyes with the first bite and given it a huge thumbs up. We think it's "great" now!
An Italian favorite
From doing some research, I learned that this simple cake, aka Torta Sbrisolona, is popular throughout Italy but seems to be a favorite among the Northern Italians. As mentioned above, there seem to be a zillion variations, each family and/or region having their own special version. This recipe is my own rendition.
I love how quickly and easily this cake comes together. The crust and crumb topping are made from the same easy dough which requires simply a fork to stir it together. The ricotta layer is just as easy! Scott snapped a few pics to demonstrate this easy Ricotta Crumb Cake:
See what I mean? Easy!
A pretty finishing touch
This dessert is wonderful straight from the oven and can be served right from the pan. You can also flip it out of the pan after it's cooled and serve it on a pretty cake platter or stand. Sometimes, I like to add a shower of powdered sugar for a finishing touch.
This Italian-inspired Ricotta Crumb Cake is truly a reason to celebrate! It has already become a favorite in my recipe arsenal. We had friends for dinner last night and I served this dessert. I garnished it with a small dollop of whipped cream, a few fresh raspberries and a tiny mint sprig (my mint is beginning to emerge from its winter solace 🙌). There were lots of rave reviews and nary a crumb left on anyone's plate!
Cafe Tips for Making this Raspberry Jam Italian Ricotta Crumb Cake
- You'll need a 9-inch cake pan for this recipe. I like these OXO Good Grip cake pans.
- I recommend using whole milk ricotta (vs skim milk) for a silk smooth filling.
- Here in the US, ricotta usually comes in 8 and 15-ounce cartons. This recipe calls for one 15-ounce carton which is 425g.
- This recipe calls for almond flour, not almond meal. Almond flour is finely grated blanched (skins removed) almonds. Almond meal is much coarser as the almonds are ground with skins.
- Almond flour gives the crust and crumb layers a really nice European flavor. You can purchase almond flour at most grocery stores in the specialty grains/flour area. I find it's much more reasonable online.
- That being said, this recipe will also work with 100% all-purpose flour. Just sub an equal amount of all-purpose for the almond flour.
- As mentioned above, I love to use our Raspberry Freezer Jam for this cake. It has a vibrant red color which makes a pretty presentation. This is optional but you can add a few tiny spoonfuls of jam to the top of the tart immediately after it emerges from the oven for a pretty presentation.
- The Raspberry Freezer Jam can be made with fresh or frozen berries and takes less than 15 minutes of hands-on time, making it easy to have a stash all year long. It doesn't require any canning skills as it's stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
- You can also use a good quality store-bought jam for this recipe although the color won't be as bright. I like Bonne Maman which is available at most larger grocery stores.
- This dessert can be served right from the pan or turned out onto a cake platter or stand. If turning out, be sure to let the cake cool in the pan for at least an hour before removing it as the cake can collapse if turned out of the pan while it's still warm.
Thought for the day:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways, acknowledge Him
and He will make your paths straight.
What we're listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoy this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear your results, adaptations and ideas for variations.
- 4 ounces butter (1 stick) I use salted
- 1 large egg
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup almond flour
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 15 ounces whole milk ricotta
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- ¾ cup raspberry jam (6 ounces)
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Spray a 9-inch cake pan with non-stick cooking spray then line it with a circle of parchment paper. Set aside.
Place the butter in a small microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup. Cook on high power for 45-60 seconds or until just melted. Set aside to cool for at least 5 minutes while you start the crust/topping.
Combine the all-purpose flour, almond flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium size bowl and stir with a fork to combine.
Add the egg to the cooled melted butter and stir with the same fork to combine.
Add the egg/butter mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with the fork until crumbs form and all of the flour mixture is incorporated.
Transfer 1 cups of the crumb mixture to a separate bowl and set aside. Pour the remaining crumbs into the prepared pan and shake the pan gently to distribute the crumbs over the bottom of the pan evenly. Press the crumbs down with your fingers or a flat-bottom measuring cup to form the bottom crust. Set aside while you prepare the ricotta filling.
Combine all filling ingredients in a medium size bowl. (I just wash the bowl I used for the dough.) Using a whisk, stir until smooth and all of the ingredients are well incorporated.
Turn the mixture out onto the crust layer. Smooth to an even layer with an angled knife or the back of a spoon.
Dollop the jam over the top of the ricotta mixture, spreading it out a bit but leaving some of the filling showing.
Using your hand, sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture over the top, allowing some little areas of the jam to show.
Bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes or until the top is golden brown. The tart should be firm although it may wiggle a tiny bit in the center when gently shaken. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the pan for at least an hour.
If desired, flip the cake onto a clean plate then flip it one more time onto a platter or cake stand so that the crumb topping is facing up.
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and/or a sprinkle of powdered sugar, if desired. ENJOY!
See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips to ensure success.
If you prefer to use Metric measurements there is a button in each of our recipes, right above the word “Instructions”. Just click that button to toggle to grams, milliliters, etc. If you ever come across one of our recipes that doesn’t have the Metric conversion (some of the older recipes may not), feel free to leave a comment and I will add it.
*The flour amounts for this recipe have been amended on 2/8/24. The original amounts were incorrect.