How Lemon Ricotta Cake Became An Italian Breakfast Staple

Slice of citrus ricotta cake
Slice of citrus ricotta cake - Sbossert/Getty Images

Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day, and at least 38% of Americans say their go-to breakfast involves some form of eggs. But Italians like to keep things sweet for this morning meal. Bombolone (which are filled donuts), ciambelle (which are cake-like donuts covered in sugar), and the cornetto (which is similar to a croissant) are all traditional sweet breakfast foods you might eat while in Italy. One of the most popular Italian breakfasts is a slice of lemon ricotta cake — check out our cranberry version for a spin on the recipe. According to Eater, the idea of eating cake for breakfast really caught on during the country's post-war boom and became the morning norm in the 1950s and 1960s.

Prior to the 1950s, an Italian breakfast was typically comprised of whatever leftovers might be in the fridge. It was more utilitarian than titillating for the taste buds. However, once ingredients became more accessible and affordable, that approach changed, as did the foods that people began eating. Today, a lemon ricotta cake is so mainstream that you can find it in both bakeries and supermarkets.

Read more: 30 Types Of Cake, Explained

Change Up The Citrus

Ricotta cake slice on dish
Ricotta cake slice on dish - Lrescigno/Getty Images

Italians tend not to linger over breakfast. A slice of this beauty along with a cappuccino or coffee is a quick meal that will keep you satiated until lunch. What does a lemon ricotta cake taste like? It is going to have a dense but super moist crumb with a custard-like consistency. It is not heavy but rather light on your tongue. Frosting lovers might be disappointed that it is not frosted, but instead, the top is dusted with confectioners sugar.

If you experience multiple lemon ricotta cakes in Italy, you may find it varies ever so slightly from region to region. If you want to make this cake at home for breakfast or dessert, you can stay traditional or take it to the next level with a baked ricotta cheesecake. And, if lemon isn't your thing, switch it out with the type of citrus you prefer. Orange or lime can make for delicious options. You can also add fruit directly to the batter if you are so inclined, just be cautious of fruit with a high water content, which can ruin the cake's texture.

Read the original article on Tasting Table