The best way is forward. That doesn’t mean we’re not allowed to walk down memory lane and revisit old haunts, or to freeze some of our summer strawberries for cake come deep winter.

Musical pairings:Widowspeak – All Yours

Latest Mixtape:

Shop the TK market: Coffee + Vinyl Pairings Subscription (Recurring)

Buy it now

Strawberry Ricotta Cake

Strawberry Ricotta Cake
“You can’t go back,” Matt said to me while we were enjoying what could quite possibly be one of our few last evenings out just the two of us before these babies come.

We were sitting in a restaurant on Market Street, which runs from the Embarcadero (the Ferry Building), through downtown and the Castro, reminiscing about how much San Francisco has changed in the years since both of us moved here — most dramatically and noticeably in the last couple of years. The stretch where we were dining used to be quite dingy, punctuated by a few classic establishments including Zuni Cafe, Cafe du Nord (a music venue closed and re-opened as a bar and restaurant), and the Swedish American Music Hall.

Strawberry Ricotta Cake

Today, there are multi-unit condo buildings that have taken the place of empty parking lots and gas stations. After dinner, we popped downstairs into Cafe Du Nord. The evening was still somewhat young and the bar was empty save for a few other couples. We recalled seeing Spoon play there at a ‘secret’ show. Now, I was drinking a virgin mojito knowing that my dad was waiting at our house, putting Neko to bed.

Strawberry Ricotta Cake

I felt a wave of nostalgia overcome me. Not for parts of the city that I felt like I’d lost somehow but for time, constantly moving forward. I had undiagnosed postpartum depression after I had Neko. It hit me hard and it hit me fast. My life felt like it was at a standstill and I desperately tried to reconnect with my ‘old’ self. I consoled myself with almond cookies from a nearby bakery and walks in Golden Gate Park. And I wrote. And I cooked, too.

Strawberry Ricotta Cake

I hold a deep worry that those feelings may resurface again once the twins arrive and I keep telling myself now that the future is bright, and what lies ahead is inevitably just as exciting (if not more) than what lies behind.

Strawberry Ricotta Cake

I can’t deny that there’s a part of me that will occasionally miss that ‘old’ life and my ‘old’ city. Not the one that I live in now. But I know that Matt is right: you can’t go back. So the best way is forward. That doesn’t mean we’re not allowed to walk down memory lane and revisit old haunts, or to freeze some of our summer strawberries for cake come deep winter. There’s always an opportunity to peek into the past.

Strawberry Ricotta Cake

Lucky for us, California strawberries are almost always in season but you can also make this cake with any variety of berries — fresh or frozen. It’s the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.

Strawberry Ricotta Cake

Strawberry Ricotta Cake
adapted from Bon Appetit

Nonstick vegetable oil or spray
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of almond meal
2/3 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups of ricotta
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
1 teaspoon of real vanilla extract
1 stick (1/2 cup) of unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup of sliced strawberries (or other berries, fresh or frozen)
turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Generously oil a 9″ round cake pan (preferably the kind with a removable bottom).
2. Add the almond meal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt to a large bowl and whisk to combine.
3. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, ricotta, lemon zest, and vanilla extract.
4. Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients until just blended. Then fold in the butter and 3/4 cup of the sliced strawberries.
5. Pour the batter into the cake pan, smoothing the top. Arrange the remaining strawberries on top and generously sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean (about 50-60 minutes).
6. Let the cake cool before removing (I recommend running a knife around the cake before snapping it open and transferring to a cake stand or plate).

Print this recipe

Let's Meet up… in your inbox.

Posted by Kasey

Kasey is the food editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. She loves dark chocolate, warm crusty bread, and traveling to new places. She speaks Russian, but does not like vodka.

  • Megan Gordon

    Sweet post, Kasey. I already feel this way about parts of Seattle and I’ve only been here five years .. part of it is simply getting a bit older, I suppose. Thinking of you. xx

  • elalderson

    First of all, great minds really do think alike 🙂 Lovely cake.

    Secondly, in the few short months since Mack came into our lives, I occasionally feel an extremely strong pull towards the past (I think it also doesn’t help that I’ll be turning 30 in a few short months, so it’s coupled with a bit of ‘where did my 20’s go). I had to stop thinking of it as my ‘old’ self and ‘new’ self and begin looking at it as my ‘ever evolving’ self- it’s helped, but I still like the occasional trip down memory lane.

  • If there’s one thing I have learned through pregnancy and having Rocco, it’s that hormones are CRAZY. I’m so sorry you went through postpartum depression and so understand why you’d be wondering how things will go this time around. I had a truly insane labor and delivery experience (I mean, it’s the kind of story you hate to tell people) and so I still rehearse and remember it, wondering how the heck it happened and how I could ever try to do it again, and yet at the same time I know days keep coming and time keeps ticking by and we take what God gives us and that’s all we can do. For what it’s worth I am rooting for you all the way and hoping the second experience surprises you with how different you feel and how well things go. I still can’t believe you’re having twins. TWINS! Oh Kasey! One moment at a time.

  • What a beautiful cake! I am very jealous of your almost always in-season strawberries. Thinking of you often and sending good thoughts and vibes your way! I can’t wait to see your sweet babies 🙂

  • Thanks, M! I do think a lot of is getting older :/ Thinking of you, too! xo

  • Ohhh the big 3-0 will definitely do that to you. But I will say that my 30s have been my best years yet! I love your outlook 🙂 xo

  • Oh Shanna, thank you so much for your love and support! One moment at a time is right. I’m trying to remind myself not to make the same mistakes I made the first time around. Your little one is absolutely darling, btw. xoxo

  • Thank you, Nicole! It is kind of crazy that we have strawberries pretty much year-round. I remember reading an interview with Zoe Deschanel in Bon Appetit where she was asked what she always has in her fridge and she said strawberries because, California. Lots of love to you! x

  • cindy ensley

    I made a version of this cake a few months ago, delicious. Post partum can be so isolating, even with all the helping hands. I have been thinking of you and your growing family and sending lots of good thoughts your way!

  • Kate Ramos

    Love this post Kasey, and you are right about the only way is to move forward and ask for help (which I know you have everything lined up anyway). I’m so excited to see those beautiful babes. Thinking of you! Lots of love!

  • I was actually surprised by just HOW MUCH I liked this cake but it really blew me away. And I agree re: post partum. I’m hoping that I can leverage some experience and lessons from last time. Thanks for the <3, Cindy! xo

  • Thank you, Kate! And thank you for contributing to the Pairings Box!!! I am super excited to share your recipes. <3

  • Sam

    I forgot to add the butter and it came out dense would that of caused it. Still tasted really nice

Get the pairings box:A curated food and music discovery experience

Subscribe

In season now:

Shop the TK market: Cookbook In A Recipe Box

Buy it now

Latest Feature:

Latest Pairings Box:

Recently on the turntable:

See all Stories from the Turntable > >

Recently in the kitchen:

See all Stories from the Kitchen > >

Get the pairings box:A curated food and music discovery experience

Subscribe

In season now:

Shop the TK market: Cookbook In A Recipe Box

Buy it now

Latest Feature:

Latest Pairings Box: