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“Hertzoggie” Ricotta cake

“Hertzoggie” Ricotta cake 

Hertzoggie Ricotta cake is a revelation if you love Coconut Meringue and apricot jam… Yes, this is a very traditional South African “petit gateâu” recipe that I have combined with a delicious Ricotta and almond cake recipe. Super easy to make with the added bonus of hopefully some late night leftovers…

My recipe this week is certainly not Italian. I have been wanting to share this one for quite some time. It has Ricotta in it and that qualifies as Italian right? We all know their desserts of choice are Tiramisu, Cannoli, Biscotti, and Panna cotta.
For mains, there are steaming hot dishes of ravioli, lasagne, gnocchi and thin based pizzas. I might come back 10kg heavier… Oh well, I’ll just buy a new pair of pants like Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love.


Hertzoggie Ricotta cake. The name in itself is enough if you know what a Hertzoggie actually is. It’s a butter based cookie filled with apricot jam and coconut meringue ‘icing’. It’s glamorous, but all the same down to earth. It’s truly South African. I know what you are thinking, though, why am I posting South African recipes whilst living in France? We had guests over and no “braai” can be better accompanied than with a proper homemade “gourmandise”.
The combination of  Ricotta cheese, almonds and apricots just work perfectly. This summer has supplied loads of fresh, ripe apricots that gave this cake a tangy kick. The coconut “icing” provides a lift because this dense cake on its own can be quite heavy on a summers day. The balance is unmistakably perfect. For me it was a gamble making this cake because I haven’t let my taste tester a.k.a husband tells me his thoughts on it, but oh that’s how it goes. It all worked out well in the end…I just forgot to put sugar in the custard, that was served with the cake (reminder, rather go for ice cream!). My guests were quite “gentle” (nice in french) about it.


Prep Time
Cook Time


10-12 people


  • 1/2 butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 1/2 almond meal
  • 1/2 shredded coconut
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 salt
  • 5 ml vanilla
  • 1 cup Ricotta
  • 5 fresh apricots
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam
  • 1/2 sugar
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup coconut
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Place all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  3. Separate the four eggs and place in two different mixing bowls.
  4. Mix the butter and the four egg yolks together until fluffy and smooth.
  5. Add the vanilla essence, sugar, ricotta and 1/4 cup of apricot jam into the yolk mixture.
  6.  Add the yolk mixture into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon.
  7. Pour the dough into a parchment paper lined cake pan.
  8. Slice the apricots into thin slices. Place on top of the cake in a circular motion.
  9.  Spread the rest of the apricot jam onto the fresh apricots.
  10.  Bake for 30 minutes until brown.
  11. For the meringue: Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer, while adding 1/2 sugar until shiny and smooth.
  12. Fold in the 1 cup shredded coconut with a spatula.
  13. Spread the “icing” onto the cake 10 minutes after you have removed the cake from the oven and bake for a further 15 minutes until the meringue is cooked and brown.
  14.  Serve with Crème anglaise a.k.a custard of your choosing or fresh whipped cream.

This is certainly a new favorite of mine!


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