A slice of sponge cake on a bed of fruit with a dollop of ricotta on top with a sprig of mint next to it, the slice of cake is on a round white plate that is set on top of a red napkin.

Seasonal Fruit & Ricotta Sponge Cake Bake

Author Icon Michael Bonacini Nov 10 2021
Serving Time Icon 1 hr 5 Min
Serves Number Icon Serves 6-8 (Using a Deep Sided Pie Dish approx. 8X12)

This Seasonal Fruit & Ricotta Sponge Cake Bake by notable Chef Michael Bonacini is so delicious, you’ll need to double up on the recipe because your guests will be begging for more!

“This is a dessert dish from my childhood,” Chef Michael Bonacini recollects. "It's often served with seasonal fruit and berries, grown in our backyard or based on the seasonal fruits and berries available at the grocery store and farmer’s markets.”

Wine Pairing

Pair this exquisite dish with any VQA Ontario Icewine to balance out the sweet flavours of this dessert!

Please enjoy responsibly.

Ontario Cheese & Wine Winter Pairings created in partnership with the Ontario Wine Marketing Association

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Prep 20 Min

Cook 10 Min

Bake 35 min

Fruit Base Ingredients

Sponge Cake Ingredients

Ricotta Cream Topping Ingredients

Santa Lucia Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta was born from cheesemakers' ambition to find a use for the leftover whey from cheese production, and is in fact not technically cheese but instead, a cheese by-product. Made from fresh pasteurized whole milk and only 2 other ingredients, this all natural ricotta cheese offers a smooth, ultra-creamy texture with a noticeably fresh taste. Look for Santa Lucia Ricotta Cheese from International Cheese in Toronto, Ontario in your local grocery store!


Fruit Base:


Step 1

In a good size pan heat ½ a tsp of butter over medium heat. Add in the apple and cranberry along with sugar and the juice of half of an orange. Cook gently for 5-7 minutes until the cranberries begin to burst and the apples soften.


Step 2

Add in the pear and cook for 1 or 2 additional minutes.


Step 3

Remove from heat and add in your fresh or frozen plums and blueberries. Then add in the fresh ginger, cinnamon, vanilla extract and lemon zest. Allow to cool.


Sponge Cake:


Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) with convection fan on. For regular ovens preheat to 375°F (190°C).

Step 2

Using a stand mixer, place in the bowl the sugar and butter and beat using the paddle attachment until the butter and sugar creams, and is light and fluffy (2-3 minutes).


Step 3

In a separate bowl, mix the plain flour, cornstarch, baking powder and a pinch of salt making sure everything is well combined.


Step 4

Add the vanilla extract and one egg at a time to the cream mixture (continue to beat on low speed). Slowly add the flour mixture to bring all the ingredients together and beat well for 1 minute.


Step 5

Take the now cooled fruit and place into a deep-sided oven-safe dish. Top with the sponge cake mixture and bake in a preheated oven for approximately 35 minutes or until the sponge cake is fully baked and golden brown.


Step 6

Test the doneness of the cake by inserting a wooden skewer or toothpick into the cake and removing it. If it comes out clean, the cake is baked. If there is some residual sticky cake batter on the skewer, an additional 5-10 minutes baking may be needed. Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool.


Ricotta Cream Topping:


Step 1

In a small bowl, place the 35% cream, maple syrup and vanilla extract and whisk until soft stand up peaks are achieved.


Step 2

In a separate bowl, place the fresh ricotta and beat lightly with a wooden spoon or spatula to soften and slightly cream the ricotta.


Step 3

Take the whipped cream and gently fold into the ricotta, followed by the orange zest and coarsely grated dark chocolate. Add a little cinnamon to taste.


Step 4

Scoop a generous helping of the sponge and fruit base onto a serving plate. Add a large dollop of the ricotta cream topping, garnish with a sprig of mint, dusting of powder sugar and serve.

Chef Tip

It’s always best served warm. Often served with freshly made custard, a scoop of ice cream or a delicious ricotta cream topping.

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Written By

Michael Bonacini

Celebrity Chef & Co-Founder of Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality

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