Olive Oil Ricotta Cake with Italian Prune Plums and Whipped Mascarpone Cream

Olive oil ricotta cake

At long last, a recipe!  I am particularly excited to share this cake with you as it is everything I love in a dessert. It is dead simple to make, uses some lovely seasonal fruit (in the form of Italian prune plums) and some unusual ingredients (in the form of ricotta and olive oil) that people don’t usually associate with dessert. It is rustically beautiful to the eye. It feels perfect for these final days of summer, early days of fall.

Our plum tree in the garden has just a few deep purple, jewel-like plums left on its gnarled old branches. Most of the plums were picked by family and friends although a good number were pilfered by the local Italian gentlemen who pass by the tree on their way to play bocci in the park, just down the street. When caught in the act (one guy had a cardboard box that he was busily filling up) they smile sweetly and murmur something about being friends with the owner or that they (or their brother or their uncle) planted this very tree, so many years ago. In my neighbourhood the plums and figs, grapes and tomatoes growing in the private gardens are always seen as public property. As I am generally open to sharing I tend to think of this as a somewhat charming yet quirky aspect to living just off of Commercial Drive.

We have a big bowl of plums on the counter in the kitchen and while I love to eat them out of hand, make plum preserves or a plum tart my very, very favourite way to enjoy them is to make this olive oil and ricotta cake. Be sure to use a good quality, extra virgin olive oil and, if you are feeling up for it, you can even make your very own ricotta.  This year’s plums from our tree have been a bit on the tart side and I think that is what makes them such the perfect compliment to the rich and moist cake, but feel free to toss them with a drizzle of honey if you like things a bit sweeter. Served with a dollop of whipped mascarpone cream, this is one of the best desserts ever.

The prune plums should be around for at least another couple of weeks, depending on your neighbourhood. Make this cake before they are gone for another year!




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7 Responses to Olive Oil Ricotta Cake with Italian Prune Plums and Whipped Mascarpone Cream

  1. I happen to have some Italian plums waiting to be used. Now if I can get some mascarpone I’ll be all set. This looks lovely!

  2. Beeta says:

    This looks amazing! I love Italian plums, and I love the use of unexpected items. Can’t wait to try out this recipe – thanks, Julie! xo

  3. Boss says:

    Sure hope there is a slice left for me!

  4. Lyndsay says:

    That is so funny about the local Italian guys picking your plums!

    This cake looks and sounds divine. Can’t wait to try it … Mlmm mascarpone too!

  5. Charlotte says:

    this looks absolutely delicious! but I’m always hesitating at cake recipes with olive oil.. does the flavour of the olive oil come through?

    • Sorry for the late response. I somehow missed your comment! The flavour of the olive oil is very subtle and delicious! People are usually very surprised when they find that there is olive oil instead of butter in this cake. They love the flavour but can’t quite put their finger on what it is…

  6. Naomi Weavers says:

    I made this delicious cake tonight. It was a great success. It is very simple to prepare. It was moist, not too sweet, with a delicate flavour from the lemon and plums. I liked the healthy ingredients; olive oil and ricotta. Perfect summer dessert. Next time I will try making it with peaches or figs.

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