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Honey and Lemon Torta

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  • Author: Kathy Bechtel




  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature, plus more for greasing pan)
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • zest of one lemon

for the cream:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup fresh (whole milk ricotta cheese, drained of excess liquid)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons grappa or dessert wine


  1. Heat oven to 350º with rack in middle. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter, and cover with parchment paper, cut to fit.
  2. In a food processor, pulse hazelnuts with 1 tablespoon of the flour until ground to a fine powder; transfer to a large bowl. Add remaining flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda; stir to combine.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter, ¼ cup honey, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Mix in whole egg and egg yolk, one at a time.
  4. Whisk together milk, vanilla and lemon zest. In three additions, add flour mixture alternating with milk mixture to the butter mixture. Using a rubber spatula, scrape batter into prepared pan; place pan on a baking sheet. Bake, rotating halfway through, until the cake is golden brown and gently bounces back when touched, 40 to 45 minutes.
  5. Transfer cake pan to a wire rack; immediately put remaining 2 tablespoons honey in a small saucepan; heat over medium-low heat, stirring to combine, until just warm and viscous, then brush mixture over cake. Let cake cool completely before serving.
  6. For the cream: In large mixing bowl, vigorously whisk together cream, cheese, honey and liquor until mixture is smooth and reaches soft peaks, about 3 minutes.
  7. Serve cake warm or at room temperature large spoonful of the cream.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: Italian
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