Tangerine Ricotta Pound Cake with Rhubarb Compote

Tangerine Ricotta Pound Cake- VRAI Magazine[dropcap] I [/dropcap] am the youngest of two kids. My sister, Kelsey, is just 3 years older than me. I think it is safe to say that I only had two main goals growing up. The first was to annoy and embarrass my older sister as much as humanly possible. The second was to be as much like her as I could. That second goal also served the purpose of the first.

She probably doesn’t know this, but I actually have her to thank for liking many of the foods that I do today. I was a fairly picky eater as a kid. But at some point I made the decision that I was going to make myself like certain foods just because she liked them. I remember one week where I ate tons of dill pickles because she loved them and I wanted to make myself like them. Like dill pickles were a “cool” food or something. And it eventually worked.

Rhubarb was another one of those “cool” foods in my mind. My sisters favorite pie was the strawberry rhubarb pie that my grandmother made. I thought it was weird. I just wanted apple. What is this tart pink celery looking food? And why was everyone so crazy about it? But at some point I made the decision that strawberry rhubarb was my favorite too. Or at least that’s what I said. So each time my grandmother made her strawberry rhubarb pie (which was often) I had to eat it and act like I loved it. And eventually I did love it. I can honestly say that rhubarb is by far one of my favorite pie flavors now.

When spring rolls around I immediately start looking out for rhubarb in the grocery store. As soon as I see those unmistakable bright red/pink stalks I have to snatch them up immediately! Rhubarb is one of those nostalgic foods for me. It reminds me of cool spring days, the excitement of the school year coming to an end, running around outside with neighborhood friends as the days were getting longer, and sitting at my grandmother’s dining room table eating the same pie as my sister hoping I would someday love it as much as her. And I do.


5.0 from 1 reviews
Tangerine Ricotta Pound Cake with Rhubarb Compote
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This rich ricotta pound cake is scented with tangerine zest and almond extract. The ricotta cheese adds a unique flavor that in fact lightens up the incredibly dense nature of pound cake. A tart rhubarb compote and tangerine segments on top make this elegant dessert perfect for springtime!
Serves: 1 Loaf
For the Pound Cake
  • 1½ sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ cups whole milk ricotta, room temp
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • zest of half a tangerine
  • 1½ cups cake flour
  • 2½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
For The Rhubarb Compote
  • ½ lb rhubarb, cut into ½" slices
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • zest of half a tangerine
  • juice of half a tangerine
For the Pound Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Heavily butter a large loaf pan (9x5x3) and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter, ricotta, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. About 3 minutes at medium speed. Add in the eggs one at a time and mix after each until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract, almond extract, and tangerine zest and mix until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and kosher salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture into the mixing bowl a little at a time. Stop mixing as soon as the flour is incorporated.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake at 350ºF for 50-60 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Loosely cover the top with a piece of tinfoil during the last 15 minutes if the cake is getting too brown.
  5. Allow to cool in the loaf pan sitting on top of a cooling rack for 20 minutes before turning out to cool completely on the cooling rack. Serve with rhubarb compote (recipe below) and tangerine segments.
For The Rhubarb Compote
  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Cook until the rhubarb softens and the juices thicken.
  3. Serve over tangerine ricotta pound cake with tangerine segments.
Pound cake recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
[author title=”About the Author”]


  1. This sounds incredible!!!! Yum.

  2. Thanks Sarah! The compote is my favorite part. It really elevates the cake!

  3. You had me at almond extract. And rhubarb? Don’t even get me started…. such a treat! Mouth watering as usual after reading!

  4. Rhubarb season gets me so excited! I’m so happy to know that I’m not the only one. I know it is a controversial ingredient. You either love it or you don’t.

  5. Kristin — beautiful photos as always. These look so light and airy and beautiful this time of year!

  6. Thanks Danny! Spring is my favorite season! I’m dreading the heat that is surely on its way…

  7. As a non-chocoholic (weird, I know), this is RIGHT up my alley. I can see this as the centerpiece of a spring brunch or luncheon, and I love the tart rhubarb offsetting the pound cake. I can’t wait to try this. Gorgeous photos too!

  8. Thanks Charlotte! Your idea as a centerpiece at a brunch is brilliant!

  9. Love anything with orange and rhubarb! Love your photography, dad would be so proud.

  10. Thanks for reading and commenting mom! I think of dad often when I’m trying to figure out the photography stuff. He taught himself in the beginning so I guess I’m doing the same!

  11. I love that you gorged yourself on dill pickles just to be like your sister! I think that would probably turn me off to pickles for the rest of my life! (I do love a good pickle, just not too many at one time!). This pound cake sounds divine, and your photos are incredible!

  12. Thanks Emily! I’m wishing I still had some in the house today.

    But there are some dill pickles in my fridge…. 😉

  13. I love childhood stories like this one, it reminded me of picking rhubarb as a child and dunking it in cups filled with sugar:) My love for rhubarb has grown up and your pretty cake with a rhubarb compote is the dessert I’d love now!xx

  14. You just ate it raw dunked in sugar?! I mean, that is pretty genius.

  15. O

    You made me laugh, telling the story of you & your sister growing up.
    It worked perfectly didn’t it, getting you to love the foods that she did.
    How our childhood memories are so wonderful, thank-you for sharing this.
    I remember wanting to like oysters. I love all seafood apart from oysters, just the thought of them turns my stomach!

    Love your recipe for Tangarine Ricotta Pound Cake, sounds gorgeous.
    Must make this, love to see the wonderful, bright orange color, especially on these miserable, cold, dark, frosty winter days.
    Here in the U.K. we’re having dreadful gales & snow, combined with hail & sleet, so it’s so very welcome to see this sunny looking cake.
    I shall make this beautiful bright cake to remind us that brighter days are ahead soon , I hope…
    Will have to adapt recipe & miss out the rhubarb until it’s in season,
    Looking forward to making this cake with delight, as with all your recipes, I’ve no doubt it will be beautiful.

    Many thanks,
    Odelle Smith. ( U.K.)

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