Strawberry ricotta apricot mini cakes

Strawberry ricotta apricot mini cakes - part cookie part cake, perfect dessert for a summer party! |

Perfect dessert for a summer gathering! Recipe makes 20-22 mini cakes, the size of a large apricot.



Strawberry ricotta

  • 500g (2 cups | 18oz) ricotta
  • 7 tablespoons granulated sugar (adjust to taste)
  • 5 TBSPs strawberry jam
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Cake – cookies

  • 540g (3 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 155g (1/2 cup + 2 1/2 TBSPs) granulated sugar
  • 120ml (1/2 cup) milk
  • 115g (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • zest of 1 organic lemon


  • 80ml (1/3 cup) apricot syrup from a can of canned apricots
  • Golden yellow and copper food coloring (from Wilton)
  • granulated sugar (about 2 cups)
  • mint leaves for serving


  1. First make the ricotta: In a medium bowl, whisk ricotta and sugar until creamy. Add the strawberry jam and vanilla paste and whisk until incorporated. Taste to see if you need more sugar, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you make the cookies. (You can also add a drop of yellow or copper food coloring to mimic the apricots.)
  2. Make the cookies: In a bowl combine flour and baking powder, set aside. In another large mixing bowl whisk together sugar and eggs until fluffy and pale. Add milk, melted butter, lemon zest and stir to combine. Gradually add flour, in 2-3 additions, and keep stirring until the dough comes together. Knead with your hands if needed and add more flour if needed. The dough has to be soft and smooth, but not sticky. Refrigerate dough for about 10 minutes, to make it firmer.
  3. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Take dough out of the fridge and roll 20-22 balls, make them as smooth as possible. Place all on baking sheets, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Press down each ball slightly, so the bottom flattens.
  4. Bake the first round for 10-15 minutes, until the bottoms are golden brown (the cookies will rise, but the tops will remain pale). Take out of the oven and put in the second sheet of cookies.
  5. Transfer cookies to a plate and start scooping them as they are still warm (this is important!). If they’re too hot, hold them with a kitchen towel.
  6. Cut a circle in the bottom of each cookie and scoop out about a teaspoon of the cookie. Don’t cut too close to the edge and be careful to not pierce the top of the cookie. Set aside. When the second sheet is baked, repeat the process.
  7. Assemble the cookies: Take two small bowls and add 1/2 of apricot syrup into each one. Stir in a drop or two of food coloring, you need one yellow and one copper bowl. Then find pairs for each cookie, both halves of the apricot have to be of a similar size. Set aside.
  8. Fill each cookie with about a teaspoon of filling, enough that it completely covers the hole. Press the two flat sides of each apricot together, rotate a bit and wipe away any filling that comes out at the sides.
  9. Brush each apricot with yellow and orange food coloring, gently roll it in sugar and place on a large plate or baking pan. Continue with the rest of the cookies. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for a few hours before serving, or even overnight.
  10. Decorate each apricot cake with mint leaves before serving to mimic real apricot leaves.
  11. These apricot mini cakes keep for about 4 days, although they taste best on the first two days. Leave them out at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes before serving.


It is important that you put in enough filling in each cookie. It needs to reach the edge of the hole you made. As you press the two halves together, some of the filling will come out and it should. As you rotate the cookies, the filling moistens the rim around the hole and this is the glue that will keep the two cookies together. Wipe away only whatever filling is sticking out of the “apricot”. You need to chill the cakes before serving or they will fall apart. They will be quite firm once the ricotta has had time to set. The ricotta will also moisten the cookie / cake part, which is originally drier but becomes perfectly moist as the cake sit and set. The recipe is adapted from my Orange infused sweet ricotta peach cookies.