2½ cups all purpose Flour
2½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1¾ cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp fresh orange zest
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1¼ cup milk
1 tub (10 oz) ricotta cheese drained if needed. (see note)
1 tub (16 oz) Mascarpone cheese drained if needed.
3 cups powdered sugar (possibly more if needed to thicken frosting).
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp fresh orange juice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
1 bag (10 oz) mini chocolate chips (divided) - If you want a lot of chocolate chips on the outside, you may want to have another bag on hand)
1. Preheat oven 375º. Butter and flour 2 9 inch round baking pans (or can substitute 8 inch round baking pans).
2. Mix together flour, baking powder and salt in medium mixing bowl until well combined.
3. Beat together butter and granulated sugar i large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium spreed until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Then beat in fresh orange zest and 1½ tsp vanilla extract until well combined.
4. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and milk into the butter and sugar mixture. Beating after each addition until just combined.
5. Pour cake batter into prepared pans, spread to form even layers. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean. (if using 8 inch pans, baking time will be about 30-35 minutes.)
6. Cool cakes slightly then remove from pans and finish cooling completely on wire racks. When cakes are completely cool, split each layer in half horizontally with a long serrated knife to form 4 layers.
7. For frosting, beat together ricotta and Mascarpone in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Beat in powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, orange juice, cinnamon, and salt until well combined.
8. To assemble cake, place on layer on cake dish. Top with frosting then sprinkle about 2-3 Tbsp of mini chocolate chips on top. Repeat with remaining layers. Frost outside of cake and remaining chocolate chips to outside of cake or as desired. Use remaining frosting to decorate or pipe as desired.
You can omit the orange zest and juice if you don't like citrus. You can also add chopped pecans, walnuts or pistachios with the chocolate chips.
If your frosting is too soft you may need to add extra sugar to thicken or more mascarpone or cream cheese.
Instead of vanilla extract you could use almond extract.
For BEST results use full-fat cheeses AND drain your ricotta overnight. Place the ricotta in a strainer lined with cheesecloth over a bowl and drain in the fridge overnight. Squeeze out all the liquid and make sure the cheese is thick before making the filling/frosting.