Cooking Through A Cookbook

Olive Oil Ricotta Cake with Concord Grape Coulis Review

Recipe 85 from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman


WW Note: this cake comes out to 8 points a slice for 1 of 12 pieces or 12 points for one of 8 slices. I would venture to say this is healthier because of the use of olive oil and you can and should pair it with fresh fruit in some way. Subbing for Monkfruit Sweetener brings the 1/8 slice to 6 points and 1/12 piece to 4 points which ends up super reasonable.


This recipe can be found in Deb Perelman’s “The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook” on page 247-249 or from the following sites:

Sweet Tarte Blog

Stacey Snacks

Houston Press


I’m loving all these easy cake recipes. I keep looking at the end of this chapter and realizing the hardest is hanging out back there so it surprises me when I have one like this that just comes together and is the opposite of technical. For anyone who doesn’t like to bake, this might be a good one to have in your back pocket because it doesn’t require any skill whatsoever.

I imagine the only thing you’re going to have to have on hand to do this one last minute is a cup of full fat ricotta cheese. I don’t know about you but I don’t really keep that stuff on hand. However if you happen to have some on hand you might want to try this cake out for grins.

If you don’t already have a sifter or even a fine-mesh sieve you may want to grab one from somebody you know or purchase one to help with a flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. The other thing you use for this is a springform pan. They suggest 9in but I think mine might have been 8in and worked just fine.

I attempted this recipe this past weekend… take note that it is the end of January beginning of February when I am posting this. Needless to say concord grapes are not easy to find this time of year. I decided that I would opt for concord grape juice instead and figured I would reduce it down to get a more of a syrupy coulis. The coulis recipe calls for water, sugar, lemon juice, salt, and Concord grapes. I didn’t think about the fact that if you throw all of these items in a pot to try and make a coulis that all you’re going to get is… grape juice. When I tried to spoon this on the final cake it just soaked into the cake because it was so watery. I was wishing I had opted instead to do some of her modifications for the grape coulis that she suggests in her cooking note for this recipe

In her cooking note she gives you a few ideas for switching out the grapes. Her suggestions include fresh currants, champagne grapes, fresh berries, citrus, jam, and marmalade. I have a really yummy raspberry marmalade that I could have used on this cake instead but I try my hardest to stay true to the recipes when I’m doing a new one for the first time before I start making modifications.

I think I still have more ricotta in the refrigerator so it’s possible I’ll try to make this again for our life group on Sunday and use the marmalade instead.

As for taste, I would say it definitely needed something to help enhance it’s basic flavor. The coulis / grape juice was a nice flavor to pair with it. But because it is a basic cake you really could put anything with it. if you made frosting and wanted to ice it that would also be a reasonable option as well.

That’s it for the basic cakes. The cakes get a little more fancy over the next few recipes…I’m excited about the next one because it’s small! Stay tuned!