Ricotta Plum Cake

slices of ricotta plum cake

Ricotta plum cake is an Italian inspired coffeecake baked up with juicy plums and fluffy ricotta cheese in the batter. This late summer breakfast cake is a joy!

three slices of ricotta plum cake

ricotta plum cake

I adapted this recipe from my friend Jennifer’s blog, Seasons & Suppers. This delicious cake is unusual in several ways. It doesn’t require any oil or butter, and the only ‘liquid’ in the recipe comes from the eggs. Ricotta cheese enriches the batter, and the texture? It’s like a cross between a pound cake and a cheesecake, what’s not to love?

late summer plums explode with flavor

Plums are a joy to bake with because cooking them ever so slightly brings out vivid flavors and colors in the fruit. A raw plum is delicious, but the baked fruit is incredible, and that tart flavor brightens every bite of this pretty cake. I use black plums, which aren’t really black, but a deep reddish purple.

taking a slice of ricotta plum cake

what you’ll need

  • plums, ripe but firm. I used black plums, which are a deep purple on the outside and yellow inside. Any type of plum will work in this cake, but be sure they’re not too ripe or too juicy. Plums straight from the produce aisle will be perfect.
  • ricotta cheese ~ use full fat ricotta (remember the cake contains no butter or oil)
  • all purpose flour
  • sugar ~ both granulated and a little confectioner’s for dusting
  • eggs ~ large
  • sliced almonds
  • baking powder and salt
  • vanilla and almond extract ~ why both? Hints of both flavors work really well with the plums in this cake.
black plums for plum cake

ricotta cake faqs

Does this cake taste like cheese?

No not at all! Ricotta is a fresh cheese with no ‘cheesy’ flavor, it’s more of a milk product than a cheese, in this application.

Can I substitute cream cheese for ricotta?

No, ricotta has a specific texture that is needed for this cake.

Can I use other types of fruit?

Sure! Try other stone fruit, or berries. Fresh figs would be nice in fall.

Do ricotta cakes need to be refrigerated?

No, this one can be left on the counter, loosely covered, for a few days.

Is ricotta cheese sweet?

No, it’s not at all sweet, but, like mascarpone cheese and cream cheese, it lends itself well to baking in cakes and other desserts. Check out my Honey Roasted Plums with Fresh Ricotta!

honey roasted plums with fresh ricotta cheese in a glass bowl

Can you make homemade ricotta?

Yes, it’s super simple, I have a recipe for homemade ricotta here.

What to do with the leftover ricotta?

If you have leftover ricotta cheese you might use it in scrambled eggs, an omelette, a quiche or fritatta. I love to add ricotta to simple pasta dishes. I use ricotta to make a whipped basil ricotta dip for veggies.

Making whipped basil ricotta

Why does this cake take so long to bake?

Ricotta cakes are tall, and somewhat dense, and in this case there is extra moisture from the fruit topping. It needs extra time to cook through. If your cake seems to be browning too quickly, lay a piece of foil loosely over the top.

slicing a ricotta plum cake

more plums, please

fork in a slice of ricotta plum cake
slices of ricotta plum cake
4.78 from 9 votes

Ricotta Plum Cake

Ricotta plum cake is an Italian inspired coffeecake baked up with juicy summer plums and fluffy ricotta cheese in the batter.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American/Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Yield 12 servings
Calories 283kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 9 inch springform pan


  • 6 ripe but firm plums (you might need more or less depending on size)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar (plus extra for sprinkling on the top before baking)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup full fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1-2 Tbsp sliced almonds
  • confectioner's sugar for dusting (optional)


  • preheat oven to 350F. Lightly spray a 9 inch springform pan and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.
    springform pan, lined with parchment paper
  • Slice your plums into thin slices. You'll need enough to cover the top of your cake.
    slicing plums
  • Beat together the sugar, eggs, and extracts until light and smooth. Beat in the ricotta.
    making ricotta plum cake batter
  • Blend in the baking powder, salt, and flour, mixing just until well combined.
    dry ingredients for cake
  • Turn the batter into your prepared pan and top with the sliced plums.
    making a ricotta plum cake
  • Sprinkle the almonds over the top of the plums. I like to sprinkle a little more granulated sugar over the almonds, which gives the top an extra crunch.
    Ricotta plum cake ready to bake
  • Bake for 80-90 minutes, or until just cooked through in the center. Use a toothpick to check for wet batter.
    Ricotta plum cake out of the oven
  • Let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then run a thin spreading knife around the edges to loosen them. Remove the outer ring.
    plum ricotta cake on a board
  • If you want to dust the cake with powdered sugar, wait until it has cooled.


Calories: 283kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 84mg | Potassium: 140mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 273IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    September 11, 2022 at 7:57 pm

    Can I make this in a 13x9x2 dish and decrease the baking time? Easier to cute and serve for a larger group.

  • Reply
    Melanie Strybos
    August 22, 2022 at 1:21 pm

    I’m not an experienced cook. I have no idea where I went wrong. I doubled checked my ingredients to make sure I didn’t leave any thing out. The batter was very thick. I checked it at 60 minutes and it wasn’t baked. I took it out at 80. It was not burned and the toothpick was clean. It had pulled away from the sides. It was very thin and hard as a rock. The crust wasn’t burned. I wonder if I over beat it (by hand with a wooden spoon). I mixed the flour in until the lumps were gone. Thank you.

  • Reply
    April 23, 2022 at 1:22 pm

    5 stars
    Very tasty! I went rogue and disobeyed several of the instructions because I needed to use up some ingredients: I used light ricotta, overripe plums and slivered almonds (I ran out of sliced). Still very delicious but I can tell it would be even better if I had stuck to the recipe. Because I used light ricotta, my batter was very stiff, so I added a couple of tablespoons of milk so it was mobile enough to get into the pan. After reading the comments, I reduced my oven temp to 325 (since I’m using dark nonstick pans), and checked the cake after 50 minutes, then another 20 minutes, then put some foil on and cooked it another 10. Interior is moist, outside golden brown, nothing burned! I’d love to try it again with other stone fruits, especially cherries.

  • Reply
    August 24, 2021 at 9:25 pm

    3 stars
    Oh, dear. I baked it this afternoon and it burned terribly. I have an oven thermometer to ensure that my oven temp is correct, I used the correct size pan, but the cook time was waaaay too long for some reason, and I set my timer to 55 minutes so that I could check it “earlier” than the recommended 80-90 minutes and it was burned on the bottom and sides by that time. The good news is that with the sides and the bottom cut off, it tastes simply delicious, but overall this try was a disappointment. I am definitely going to try this again with a lower temperature and a much closer watch on the oven. The batter comes together quickly and the eggs and ricotta give the cake a wonderful texture–rich without being too dense. The almonds and sugar sprinkled on the top of the plums before baking give it a wonderful crunch. I have confidence this should be a go-to recipe! Try, try again!

  • Reply
    August 24, 2021 at 7:04 pm

    Sue, this recipe sounds so good. I love cakes with ricotta in them! I am not a plum lover. The only ones I like are the Italian plums, but living in Florida I can never find them. Do you think this could be made with peaches or pears?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      August 24, 2021 at 7:09 pm

      Yes, absolutely Mariann, just substitute them for the plums, no problem.

  • Reply
    Nancy Cady Semos
    August 21, 2021 at 9:19 am

    Sue ~ In the recipe for the Ricotta Plum Cake ~ it reads to: Bake for 80-90 minutes, or until just cooked through in the center. This must be a typo. I cut the baking time to 60 minutes and it was still way too much time. What is the actual baking time suppose to be.
    I have made lots and lots of your delicious recipes with great results ~ and I think this will be 5 stars with the proper baking time.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      August 21, 2021 at 9:47 am

      I’m not sure why your results were different than mine, Nancy, but both times I made this cake it took that long. Could be different pan size? Or oven temp. Not sure!

  • Reply
    August 19, 2021 at 2:38 pm

    would it be just as good with those Italian Sweet plums? This looks so yummy, and I can’t tell you how much I enjoy your blog and I have made so many of your recipes, and they always come out perfect. Thank you.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      August 19, 2021 at 3:32 pm

      Yes! I just loaded up on those at the supermarket and now need to make this cake again 🙂

  • Reply
    August 19, 2021 at 4:29 am

    This was delicious!! Received many compliments and requests for the recipe.

  • Reply
    Betty Barkley
    August 14, 2021 at 3:22 pm

    5 stars
    Thank you so muvh, I enjoy your recipes very much !!!

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