3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature + more to grease pan
1 1/2 cups cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 orange, zested
2 tablespoons amaretto
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan with butter.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to blend.
Using a mixer, cream the butter, ricotta cheese, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the mixer running, add the eggs 1 at a time. Add the vanilla, orange zest, and amaretto until combined.
Add the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture, a small amount at a time, mixing just until incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and cake 45 to 50 minutes until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake pulls away for the sides of the pan. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Return cake to the pan and dust the top with powdered sugar.
For gifting, wrap a pretty bow around the pan.
Note: The Food Network's Giada has said this is one of her favorites. She continued to say, "It even makes a great breakfast."