Wine Cake Recipe

An Italian favourite from The Tuscan Sun Cookbook. "Massimo and Daniela preside over Bar Tuscher in a venerable palazzo in Cortona. All the expats in town are lured by their house-made desserts and the intimate tables, so perfect for a private conversation away from the piazza. When I walk into town in the mornings, I'm assured of a quiet spot for writing in my notebook. Although I'm torn between their warm cornetti filled with berries and this tender vin santo-scented cake, the cake usually wins."


1 cup (2 sticks) plus 5 tbsp unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for the pan
1-1/3 cups sugar
1-1/3 cups (11 oz.) whole-milk ricotta
3 eggs
1/3 cup vin santo
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for the pan
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
1-2 tbsp confectioners sugar


Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Step 2: Butter and lightly flour a nonstick 9″ springform tube pan or 10″ tube pan.

Step 3: In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar and ricotta until fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time and then incorporate the vin santo.

Step 4: Sift the flour and baking powder into a small bowl, then slowly and thoroughly beat them into the batter. Pour into the prepared pan, sprinkle the pine nuts on top, and bake for 30 minutes, or until the cake is firm but springy to the touch and a promising aroma fills the kitchen. Cool before removing the cake from the pan. Sift confectioners sugar over the top.

See more recipes from Frances and Edward Mayes.

Reprinted with permission from Frances and Edward Mayes’ The Tuscan Sun Cookbook (2012 Clarkson Potter).