recipe image

The Cake of Three (Dolce del Tre)

Photo by Emiko
  • Serves
    6 to 8
Author Notes

The recipe for this Tuscan cake is based on a ratio of weight (cups and ounces are given too, though you can see it’s a lot easier to remember in grams!). It’s an old-fashioned recipe that I found in a cookbook by Claudia Spargi on the cuisine of Tuscany’s Maremma region.

It makes a cake that is springy, moist and delicately flavored—the kind of cake Italians would call a “breakfast cake” and the perfect blank canvas, too, for those who want to play around with adding more to it. Traditional Italian favorites might be lemon or orange zest, vanilla extract, a splash of rum or sambuca, or chopped nuts, chocolate, or dried fruit. A layer of sliced apples or pears over the top would be delicious, too. The options are pretty much endless.

It keeps very well, wrapped well in plastic wrap. Leave as is or dust with confectioners’ sugar.


  • Test Kitchen-Approved


  • 300 grams

    (10 1/2 ounces) fresh ricotta

  • 300 grams

    (1 1/3 cups) superfine sugar

  • 3

    eggs (use ‘large’ size / 60 gram eggs)

  • 300 grams

    (2 1/3 cups, plus 1 tablespoon) all-purpose flour

  • 11/2 teaspoon

    baking powder

  • zest of 1 lemon (or other options, see note)

  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)

  1. Beat the ricotta, sugar, and eggs together until creamy. Whisk together the flour and baking powder, then fold into the wet mixture along with any flavoring you may want to use (see headnote).
  2. Pour the cake batter into a greased and lined baking tin (I used a loaf tin but a round, 8.5-inch cake tin works as well) and bake for about 40 minutes at 350° F (180° C) OR until golden brown and springy on top and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

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