Ricotta Cheese and Cinnamon Pear Cake – GF

I like to bake using soft cheeses, with both firm ricotta cheese and homemade cottage cheese, instead of butter. They add not only fat to batter, but what is more important, provide extra protein, lacking in gluten free flours. Thus soft cheeses, which are not exactly dry ingredients, become the source of protein that helps to provide structural support for the texture of any gluten free baking product. They also make these products less floury and make them of better nutritional value and sometimes creating a product that can be considered a healthy meal in itself (surprise, surprise!!!).

Ricotta and pear cake is moist and chewy simultaneously. The texture of the cake is springy, does not crumble and is easy to cut, even warm. For those of you who love sweet cakes, please add extra 20g of sugar, to a quantity in the recipe. I served the cake for afternoon tea with gently whipped cream, spicy pear sauce and moist dried pears. But it was more of indulgence than necessity.


cake batter, for 19cm springform pan

  • 170g of firm ricotta cheese, I buy ricotta from deli department in supermarket (or use my own homemade cottage cheese instead)
  • 50g full fat sour cream
  • 20g of lemon juice/or lemon flesh leftovers from making freshly squeezed juice
  • 30g apple puree
  • 130g rice flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 90g sugar
  • 10g vanilla sugar
  • 1 tea spoon lemon zest (I used frozen)
  • 7g cinnamon powder
  • 6g baking powder
  • half of a large can of pears canned in juice, no sugar added


  • unsalted butter to grease the pan
  • sliced almonds for decoration before baking (optional)
  • icing sugar for decoration after baking

For serving

spicy pear sauce (optional)

  • 100g canned pears puree
  • 10g regular sugar
  • 10g coconut sugar
  • 1 table spoon liquid from canned pears
  • 1 table spoon lemon juice
  • 1 table spoon whipping cream
  • 1/2 coffee spoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 coffee spoon dry ginger powder
  • 1/2 coffee spoon vanilla powder (dried empty vanilla beans ground with sugar)

whipping cream (optional)

sliced dried pears (optional)


  • prepare the pan, grease a piece of baking paper with butter
  • grease the sides of the baking pan
  • lock the sides of the springform, fixing baking paper on the bottom
  • strain slices of canned pears, use half of them for the batter, blend the rest into fine puree
  • dry pear slices selected for the batter on paper towel, make their surfaces dry
  • chop pear slices in 1 cm cubes, or close to that, put them in a dry bowl and cover with cinnamon powder
  • cover the bowl with another, smaller one and shake to cover pear pieces with cinnamon powder from all sides
  • mix dry ingredients, rice flour and baking powder
  • in another bowl mix ricotta cheese, lemon juice/flesh, apple puree, sour cream and lemon zest into fine paste (add vanilla paste to a mix, if using it to replace vanilla sugar)
  • beat eggs with sugar and vanilla sugar until pale and triple in size
  • add 2 table spoons of beaten eggs mixture to ricotta cheese paste
  • whisk until combined
  • add the rest of egg mixture, mix with a whisk to combine
  • add dry ingredients to wet ingredients
  • combine thoroughly with a whisk
  • add cinnamon powdered pear pieces

  • mix them in with spatula
  • pour the batter with pears into prepared springform pan
  • tap the pan gently on a benchtop for the batter to spread
  • use almond slices to decorate the batter

  • bake in preheated to 170C fan-forced oven for 50-60 minutes, make sure the toothpick comes back clean and the sides of the cake are slightly separated from the pan (55 minutes in my oven)

  • take the sides off and rest the cake on the bottom for 10 minutes

  • transfer the cake to a serving plate or board with baking paper
  • it is very easy to get baking paper from beneath the cake
  • dust with icing sugar to decorate (optional)

  • to prepare spicy pear sauce place all ingredients in a small sauce pan and cook for 3-5 minutes, constantly stirring
  • whip the cream to soft peaks


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