Lemon Ricotta Cake

03.16.2018

This Lemon Ricotta Cake is the perfect dessert to welcome spring! It’s an Italian inspired, made from scratch cake that has such an irresistible flavor. The ricotta in the cake lends moisture and a delicious richness and the lemon zest adds a welcome zing. Trust me, this is a cake people wont forget about!

Lemon Ricotta Cake

Admittedly this is a not so traditional Italian Ricotta Cake – the more traditional ricotta cake is made either with either almond flour or semolina flour.

I’ve tried the almond version and while it’s so delicious I actually prefer this softer version made with all white flour.

Lemon Ricotta Cake

This ricotta cake is perfectly rich, it has a good density (similar to muffins), it’s amazingly moist, and perfectly lemony.

And it’s perfectly highlighted with toppings of fresh, lightly sweetened strawberries and fluffy whipped cream. The blend of the three layers together is simply dreamy.

Lemon Ricotta Cake

I love that this cake isn’t overly sweet, in fact it would even make an ideal weekend breakfast/brunch cake. Serve it to guests on Friday night for dessert then save what’s left (if there is any) for breakfast on Saturday – sounds like a good plan to me!

Lemon Ricotta Cake

Unfortunately this cake of mine is already gone (I made this cake a few weeks ago, I’m a few weeks ahead with recipes to share).

But no worries, I’ve bought more ricotta to make it again! It’s a perfect spring treat and I just can’t get enough of it! I have a dessert addiction, can you tell??

Lemon Ricotta Cake

More recipes with ricotta you might also like:

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Lemon Ricotta Cake

4.86 from 7 votes

This cake is the perfect dessert to welcome spring! It's an Italian inspired, made from scratch cake that has such an irresistible flavor. The ricotta in the cake lends moisture and a delicious richness and the lemon zest adds a welcome zing. Trust me, this is a cake people wont forget about! 

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups (188g) all-purpose flour (scoop and level to measure)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (356g) whole milk ricotta cheese

Topping

  • 1 lb. fresh strawberries, diced or sliced
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp (42g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup (235ml) heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan, line bottom with a round of parchment paper and butter parchment.

  2. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.

  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together sugar, butter and lemon zest until pale and fluffy.

  4. Mix in eggs one at a time (mixture will appear lumpy), blend in vanilla.

  5. Add in half of the flour mixture and mix just until combined, add ricotta and mix just until combined. 

  6. Add in last half of the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Gently fold batter to ensure ingredients are evenly incorporated. 

  7. Pour batter into prepared springform pan and spread into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven until cake is set (a toothpick can come out moist but no batter), about 45 - 50 minutes.

  8. Let cake cool 10 minutes then run a knife around edge to loosen any edges that may have stuck slightly, remove springform ring and continue to let cool.

  9. Once cool, slice and serve with macerated strawberries and whipped cream.

Macerated Strawberries

  1. In a medium mixing bowl toss strawberries with 2 Tbsp of the sugar. Cover and let rest in refrigerator while cake is baking and cooling.

  2. In a separate medium mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. 

  3. Add 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar and whip until stiff peaks form. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  4. Recipe source: Cooking Classy

Lemon Ricotta Cake - this is the perfect dessert to welcome spring! It's an Italian inspired, made from scratch cake that has such an irresistible flavor. The ricotta in the cake lends moisture and a delicious richness and the lemon zest adds a welcome zing. Trust me, this is a cake people wont forget about! #ricottacake #easter #cake #cookingclassy

35 comments

  • Christi: This is so perfect for spring, I adore lemon desserts! March 17, 2018 at 9:06am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Christi! March 17, 2018 at 8:08pm Reply

  • Laura Dembowski: This is such an elegant cake! Love the topping too. March 18, 2018 at 9:46am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Laura! March 18, 2018 at 10:11pm Reply

  • Helen Gallagher: I made this cake today to take to a dinner party tonight. The house smelled heavenly. The cake was wonderful. I served it with strawberries and whipped cream. Everyone loved it. It did not rise as well as the one in the photo. My baking powder was fresh. Do you know what may have caused it? March 18, 2018 at 5:36pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I cut smaller slices (not all the way to the center so they’d fit nicely on the plate for the photo) so that’s probably why mine looks a little taller, but mine was pretty short as well. You could try adding in an extra tsp of baking powder next time and be sure to whip the butter and sugar mixture well and see if that helps. Glad it was enjoyed though :). March 18, 2018 at 10:10pm Reply

    • Emily: I’ve made a version of this where I reserve some of the egg whites, whip them and fold in after mixing everything else up. I find it gives the cake a lighter a crumb. Wonderful cake any way you do it!! March 19, 2018 at 4:20pm Reply

  • Laura | Tutti Dolci: Such a gorgeous spring cake, I’m in love with the bright lemon flavor and that pretty strawberry topping! March 21, 2018 at 10:14am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Laura :)! March 21, 2018 at 4:58pm Reply

  • Vivian: Hmm…THREE layers? Please elaborate. March 22, 2018 at 12:14am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Layer of ricotta cake, layer of whipped cream and layer of sweetened strawberries, not referring to a three layer cake :). March 22, 2018 at 5:24pm Reply

  • Gale Geary: Would love to make this for the Saturday before Easter but it has to be make Thursday and travel. Does it need to be refrigerated? March 23, 2018 at 7:41am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes I’d recommend refrigeration. I hope you love it! March 23, 2018 at 4:02pm Reply

  • Karen: Hey!
    How much ricotta does this recipe call for? It’s not clear in the recipe.
    Thanks! March 24, 2018 at 10:57pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: It’s there under the vanilla, 1 1/2 cups :). Hope you enjoy! March 25, 2018 at 12:58am Reply

  • Leah: Do I need to make any changes for high altitude? March 28, 2018 at 1:14pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m at 4,200 ft so if you are much high than that then yes otherwise you should be fine. March 29, 2018 at 2:06pm Reply

  • Joanna: Hi Jaclyn,
    Do you recommend adding some fresh lemon juice along with the lemon zest? March 30, 2018 at 6:12am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I thought it had enough lemon flavor with all the zest and it doesn’t need more moisture with the amount of ricotta. If you did decide to add some I’d cut back on the ricotta a little. March 30, 2018 at 10:30am Reply

  • Valerie: Sorry if I missed this in the recipe, but how many lemons do you think I need to yield enough zest for this recipe? Thanks! March 30, 2018 at 3:23pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: It should be about 3 lemons. Hope you enjoy! March 30, 2018 at 5:22pm Reply

  • Daphne Manning: I must thank you for one of the easiest baking experiences I was in a rush and had to do a quick yet elegant dessert and you came to my rescue twice this week.If you look on Instagram at jordsmom you can see a picture April 1, 2018 at 12:59pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for your feedback! I’ll definitely check it out! April 2, 2018 at 3:21pm Reply

  • Grace Emily: This recipe is amazing and it tasted wonderful! Really easy to make and reasonably cheap as well. The cake didn’t rise as much as I had hoped so I’m not too sure why, so it was slightly less fluffy and a little bit thick but overall it was amazing!! April 1, 2018 at 5:11pm Reply

    • Grace Emily: I also served it with fresh cream and raspberries instead of the strawberries that were recommended in the recipe and it wasn’t dry at all April 1, 2018 at 5:13pm Reply

  • Quyen: Hi,

    I wonder if I can use gluten-free flour mix for this recipe to replace the all-purpose flour?

    Thank you!! April 2, 2018 at 12:36am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry I wish I could say for sure but I know gluten free recipes can require some tweaking, i.e. more eggs, xanthan gum etc. The back of the gluten-free flour blend may have some suggestions. April 4, 2018 at 11:39pm Reply

  • Kristin: I made this for my family’s dessert today, and I really enjoyed it! The cake had a nice lemon flavor, and it was nice and moist. The cake domed nicely. It was a great way to use up my ricotta. Another great recipe! Thanks! April 5, 2018 at 5:36pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m happy to hear it turned out well for your Kristin! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review! April 5, 2018 at 11:08pm Reply

  • Jennifer: I made this cake for Easter Sunday lunch and it was delicious! Everyone loved it…so light and refreshing! Made it again today for another group of friends. One of my new favorites. Thanks for sharing! April 7, 2018 at 4:27pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for taking the time to comment! Glad you liked it! April 12, 2018 at 12:11pm Reply

  • Nancy: I don’t have a springform pan; can I use a regular round baking pan? April 10, 2018 at 6:04am Reply

    • Jaclyn: It would really just depend on how deep it was, if it was a deep 9-inch pan then yes otherwise it will overflow. April 10, 2018 at 9:56am Reply

  • natalie barney: I made this along with Italian wedding soup on a snowy spring Sunday at it was a perfect combo! I only had 8 and 10 inch springform pans. I used the 8 and the outside of the cake was a little over done by time it baked through. I will definitely make this again and use the larger. I am 3 for 3 using recipes from this site! April 15, 2018 at 8:57pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying the recipes Natalie! Thanks for leaving a comment! April 16, 2018 at 4:25pm Reply

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