Dense, moist and deliciously rich – this Strawberry Cornmeal Ricotta Cake is easy to make and supremely satisfying! Creamy ricotta balances out textured cornmeal sweetened with brown sugar and fresh diced strawberries mixed throughout. An excellent summertime bake!
Strawberry Cornmeal Ricotta Cake
Do yourself a favor and make this cake ASAP!
It’s a mouthwatering cross between a classic sweet cornbread and a light and creamy Italian ricotta cake. Moist, rich and insanely delicious! Textured, creamy, sweet and savory – all baked up into a simple yet satisfying summery berry cake.
Who wants a slice?!
- Gluten Free Cornmeal – Make sure to choose a yellow cornmeal with a medium grind.
- Gluten Free All Purpose Flour – Make sure to add xanthan gum if your flour blend doesn’t already contain any.
- Baking Powder – Helps the cake rise in the oven.
- Light Brown Sugar – The main sweetener in this cake.
- Cinnamon + Salt – Flavor enhancers
- Ricotta Cheese + Butter – Both provide fat and moisture making for a dense, rich cake.
- Eggs – Adds moisture, binding and lift.
- Vanilla + Almond Extract – Adds a sweet, nutty and delicious flavor.
- Strawberries – Use fresh berries as frozen berries will add too much excess liquid to an already moist cake.
Cornmeal Ricotta Cake Steps
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) and grease or line 9-inch cake pan. Set aside.
- Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Whisk together the wet ingredients (not the strawberries) in a medium bowl.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of the dry ingredients. Mix into a thick batter until no pockets of flour remains.
- Gently stir in most of the diced berries. Save a few for topping the cake.
- Pour into the prepared pan. Spread evenly across the bottom and sides of the pan. Top with the remaining strawberries.
- Position in the center rack of the oven and bake for about an hour until cooked through.
Cool & Enjoy
- Let the cake cool while still in the pan for at least 15 minutes, then gently transfer to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
- Top of the cake with a light dusting of powdered sugar (if you want).
- Slice, serve and enjoy!
Substitutions + Recipe Variations
A few quick substitutes and adaptations you might find useful:
Almond Extract >> More Vanilla Extract
- Almond extract can be a bit hit and miss with many people. It’s sweet, nutty and noticeable. I think the flavor works well in this cake, but it’s still great if you want to give it a miss. Keep it simple (and nut free) with all vanilla extract.
Butter >> Oil
- Use melted coconut oil, olive oil or vegetable oil in place of the butter. Coconut oil will add a subtle coconut flavor. Olive oil adds a different kind of fruity and slightly savory flavor. Vegetable oil is totally neutral.
Light Brown Sugar >> Granulated White Sugar
- Brown sugar provides a rich, almost caramel-like flavor but you can swap it out for regular granulated sugar if you prefer.
Strawberries > Other Berries
- Instead of strawberries, try this with other fresh berries like raspberry, blueberry or blackberries. You can also use a mixture of berries so long as it doesn’t add up to more than 1 cup (170g).
Let me know if you try this Strawberry Cornmeal Ricotta Cake recipe! Leave a comment and review with your thoughts. I always appreciate the feedback and serving suggestions that you come up with!
- 1 1/4 cups gluten free all purpose flour (175g)
- 1/2 cup yellow medium-ground cornmeal (80g)
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar (165g)
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled (113g)
- 3/4 cup whole milk ricotta (190g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract (or more vanilla extract for nut free option)
- 1 cup fresh strawberries, diced (170g)
- Powdered sugar (confectioners' sugar) for dusting on top (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Grease an 9-inch round cake pan with a loose springform bottom.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
- In another mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, melted butter, ricotta, vanilla extract and almond extract.
- Pour the wet ingredient mixture into the flour mixture. Mix together into a thick batter with no remaining flour lumps.
- Stir in the diced strawberries until evenly distributed throughout the cake batter.
- Add the batter to the prepared pan. Smooth evenly across the sides and bottom of the pan. Scatter the remaining berries over the top.
- Place in the center of the oven and bake for about 55-60 minutes until golden brown and a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Check the oven around 45 minutes - if the top starts to look too dark, place a piece of foil over the cake.
- Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes then remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
- Lightly dust the top of the cooled cake with powdered sugar if desired then slice and serve.
- If you don't have a springform pan you can use a regular pan lined with baking paper. Make sure to leave a couple of inches of baking parchment hanging over the sides so you can easily lift the cake out of the pan.
- Use salted or unsalted butter