Lemon Ricotta Cake

I am not one for fancy desserts that require a lot of fiddling with, and I really prefer rustic fruit tarts, or simple cakes that can be enjoyed from breakfast right through dinner just like this one. I have had this easy recipe for a very moist Lemon Ricotta Cake in my files for quite a while, and although I have made it a number of times in the past, I just recently realized that I have never shared it. This is a lovely cake as the ricotta keeps the cake nice and moist and it has just enough lemon flavor to keep it from being at all boring. Because it is a fairly basic cake though, you do do a lot with it. It is wonderful glazed with a light lemon glaze, or served sliced with a scoop full of macerated berries, or other fruit on top which is how I prefer to serve it.

This cake will keep at room temperature well wrapped for two days, but if you are keeping it longer, or if your kitchen is warm I’d store it in the refrigerator. The texture does become a little more dense once it has been refrigerated, but it is just as delicious. I am very lucky living here in Umbria that I can buy freshly made sheep’s milk ricotta cheese as well as organic lemons from the Amalfi coast, but any good quality full fat ricotta cheese will work just fine. If your ricotta seems very wet, simply place it in a sieve over a bowl to remove excess liquid for 30 minutes or so. Use unwaxed lemons for the best flavor.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2011

Lemon Ricotta Cake

Yield: Serves 6 - 8

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 45 mins

A simple lemon flavored cake that includes ricotta cheese, keeping the cake ver moist.


3/4 Cup Softened Butter
3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
Zest From 3 Large Lemons
1 Teaspoon Lemon Extract
3 Large Eggs, Separated
1 Cup Full Fat Ricotta Cheese
1/2 Cup Plus 2 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
Dash of Salt
To Serve:
Fresh Strawberries


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Lightly grease and flour a 7 or 8 inch spring-form pan.
Beat the butter and sugar with a hand mixer until light and fluffy.
Add the lemon zest, extract, egg yolks and ricotta cheese and beat until smooth.
Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt, and beat into the butter mixture just until combined.
Wash your beaters well, and then beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff.
Gently fold the egg whites into the batter then spoon the batter into your prepared tin.
Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a cake tester stuck into the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool to room temperature before serving.


12 Responses to “Lemon Ricotta Cake”

  1. 1
    Nikita — January 15, 2012 @ 4:16 am


    My parents dont eat egg. Can there be a replacement of egg here? I really would like to try this cake.



    Deborah Reply:

    Sorry, I do not know of a replacement for eggs that would work in this recipe.


  2. 2
    Marcia — January 30, 2012 @ 6:44 am

    Hi I love the look of this recipe , please can you give the recipe in grams, I cannot understand CUPS


    Deborah Reply:

    Try this handy conversion calculator at http://www.dianasdesserts.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/tools.measures/Measures.cfm
    There are many other conversion tools online as well that are very helpful.


  3. 3
    Liz — February 8, 2012 @ 10:34 am

    I replaced all lemon products with lime, used lime juice instead of extract and made this cake with some homemade ricotta I had….topped with a little lime glaze and more zest…..DELISH!


  4. 4
    Jenny — May 7, 2012 @ 7:13 am

    This is such a Beautiful cake..So easy to make. Keep very well..If it stay that long as everyone want’ the recipe its so moist and delisious…
    Thank you for sharing your recepie..I love it and have made it several times this week and given some away as gifts…
    Many thanks..I am trying some of your other cakes now..
    Jenny West Australia..


  5. 5
    Jennifer — May 17, 2012 @ 11:43 am

    This cake was absolutely delicious. I added cocounut and made it in a 10″ springform pan because it was all I had. As a result, it was very thin, so a made another layer and put a bit of vanilla pudding in between the layers and on top, then topped with lots of strawberries. This cake was an absolute hit, and one of the best I’ve ever eaten. Thank you for sharing!


  6. 6
    Elena — June 14, 2012 @ 5:18 am

    Hi, Deborah,

    I made this wonderful cake this weekend and it was so delicious I ate about half of it myself:)! I think I’ll make it again soon:). And that’s why I have some questions about it:

    1. Though the cake rose very well, it settled later while cooling and became quite thin. How can I prevent it next time?

    2. If I want to add some lemon juice to the batter, should I increase the amount of flour? If yes, how much should I add for 1 teaspoon of lemon juice?

    Thank you very much for the recipe and advices:)


  7. 7
    Sara — July 31, 2012 @ 6:22 pm

    Sounds GREAT! My husband heard about a chocolate/ricotta cake and like the comment above I’m thinking of layering them with the chocolate in the middle. Think it will work? I also love the coconut idea!


  8. 8
    @foodiequine — October 2, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

    Just made this gorgeous cake with some of my own homemade ricotta cheese. Amazingly moist and lemony. Think I should have perhaps cooked it a wee bit longer as it sunk in the middle as it cooled. Tastes amazing though!


  9. 9
    Allison — October 3, 2012 @ 3:41 pm

    I have two packages of beautiful, fresh raspberries… Do you think this cake would work with raspberries incorporated into the batter?


  10. 10
    JR — January 8, 2013 @ 3:27 am

    Thanks for the recipe. This was delicious. I didn’t have lemon extract so I used lemon juice. I was worried that the lemon juice was curdling the ricotta because I was not getting a smooth mixture, but I just went for it and it baked up just fine and tasted great. I made a lemon curd for the topping because strawberries weren’t in season. Very tasty.


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