Blood Orange, Cornmeal, and Ricotta Cake

blood orange, almond, and cornmeal cake | apt 2b baking co
blood orange, almond, and cornmeal cake | apt 2b baking co
blood orange, almond, and cornmeal cake | apt 2b baking co
blood orange, almond, and cornmeal cake | apt 2b baking co
blood orange, almond, and cornmeal cake | apt 2b baking co

When Liz Prueitt (of Tartine fame) shared a couple of photos of a blood orange, cornmeal, and ricotta cake on Instagram - along with a short form recipe in the caption, I just couldn’t get it out of my head. Turns out Deb from Smitten Kitchen and Amelia from Bon Appétempt were drawn to this recipe too, for good reason. To be honest, I almost didn’t add my voice to the chorus evangelizing for this delicious cake, but I just got the photos back from the lab and the cake was too pretty not to share.

I also made a few small changes to the method that streamlined it a bit – this was mostly because I didn’t feel like separating the eggs and folding them into the batter (a kitchen task I avoid whenever possible!), so I added the whole eggs instead. I figured the finished batter was already pretty thick and heavy from the ricotta and almond flour that the small amount of additional air that step would provide would be pretty inconsequential.

The finished cake is dense and rich, punctuated by slightly bitter candied orange slices, and totally delicious. Prueitt described it as cheesecake-like, which is totally on the money. I can't wait to try this with blueberries and stone fruit in the summer.

Blood Orange, cornmeal, and ricotta Cake

adapted from Liz Prueitt who adapted from The River Café Cookbook

This cake is dense and moist, almost custard-like in texture. Make sure to slice the oranges very thin so they soften and caramelize a bit while the cake bakes.


2 blood oranges scrubbed and cut into very thin slices (I used a couple of cara cara slices too)

1/2 cup (100g) sugar

2 tablespoons water


1/2 cup (100g) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature

3/4 cup (170g) whole milk ricotta

zest and juice of 2 lemons

1 cup (135g) almond meal/flour

1/3 (45g) cup cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat your oven to 300ºF. Butter a 9-inch baking pan and line it with parchment paper. Butter the paper too, then dust the pan and paper with flour. Stir the water and sugar together, then spread it on the bottom of the prepared pan. Arrange the orange slices in a single layer on the bottom of the pan.

Cream the butter and sugar together with the lemon zest until very light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for 30 seconds in between each addition. Then beat the mixture for 5 more minutes. Beat in the ricotta and lemon juice.

Stir in the almond meal, cornmeal, and salt. The batter will be very thick.Spread the batter over the orange slices and bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40-50 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then invert it onto a platter.

blood orange, almond, and cornmeal cake | apt 2b baking co

Tahini Stracciatella Ice Cream

tahini stracciatella ice cream | apt. 2b baking co.

I think we can all agree tahini is having a bit of a moment. Well, it’s Middle Eastern cooking that’s truly having its moment, but the result is ingredients like tahini, rose water, zatar, and sumac are hitting the mainstream. There are premium tahini companies, like Soom Foods (in Philadelphia) popping up, and a new tahini and halva shop in Chelsea Market in NYC. I can even find three different varieties of tahini alongside the peanut butter and almond butter at my local C-Town, a decidedly un-fancy grocery store.

I grew up in a household that always had tahini around (medjool dates dipped in tahini is one of my dad's favorite snacks), and I am so happy to see it get some love because it is incredibly delicious and versatile - tahini's bitter toasty flavor can play a role in both sweet and savory cooking. In sweet preparations, like this super easy, eggless ice cream, it pairs exceptionally well with bold, bitter chocolate. 

More chocolate and tahini goodness:

Danielle Oron’s Salted Chocolate and Tahini Cookies via Molly Yeh

Marbled Chocolate Tahini Cups from A Cozy Kitchen

Tahini Chocolate Cakes from the NY Times

Tahini Hot Chocolate from Bon Appetit


Tahini Stracciatella Ice Cream

This ice cream combines chocolate and tahini to great effect. I made it with an eggless base, considering how oily tahini is, I figured I didn’t need the extra richness from egg yolks. It is rich and super creamy, punctuated by chocolate bits that melt as soon as they hit your tongue (thanks to a bit of coconut oil.) 

Ice Cream Base

1 cup (245g) tahini

1 cup (240ml) whole milk

2/3 cup (135g) sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 cups (480ml) heavy cream


1/2 cup (75g) chopped bittersweet chocolate or chips

1 (15g) tablespoon coconut oil

Whisk the tahini, milk, sugar, and salt together in a saucepan. Warm gently while whisking constantly until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is emulsified. Whisk in the vanilla extract and heavy cream until well combined. Chill thoroughly then churn the mixture in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions.

While the mixture is churning melt the chocolate and coconut oil together over a double boiler or in the microwave. Whisk until smooth.

In the last minute of churning stream in the chocolate mixture and continue to churn until the chocolate is evenly distributed. Transfer to a freezer safe container, cover and freeze until firm.