Ricotta, Pistachio and Pine Nut Cake

For an elegant and sophisticated dessert try Ross Burden's recipe for an Italian ricotta cake, studded with nuts
By Ross Burden
Ricotta, Pistachio and Pine Nut Cake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4 - 6
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes plus overnight soaking and cooling
  • Effort: easy



  • 125 g raisins
  • 75 ml Brandy or Grappa brandy
  • 3 eggs, and 1 egg yolk
  • 300 g caster sugar
  • 225 g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 250 g well-drained ricotta cheese, beaten until smooth
  • grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp pine kernels, toasted
  • 3 tbsp whole pistachio nuts, shelled
  • cinnamon, for dusting
  • icing sugar, for dusting


1. Soak the raisins in the brandy, for at least 4 hours or ideally overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/Gas 6.

3. Using an electric whisk beat together the eggs, egg yolk and caster sugar until the mixture forms a ribbon when it falls from the whisk.

4. Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold in thoroughly.

5. Beat in the ricotta until well-mixed. Fold in the lemon zest, vanilla extract, pine nuts, pistachios, raisins and the brandy or grappa in which they were soaked.

6. Transfer the mixture to a greased and floured 25cm cake tin.

7. Bake the cake for 45 minutes until set. Test with a skewer that the cake is cooked through.

8. Turn out the cake and cool on a wire rack.

9. Dust with cinnamon and icing sugar and serve.

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