Lemon Ricotta Cake

March 16, 2018

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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

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

A Perfect 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

A Cake fit for Brunch

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

A Cake Recipe You’ll Want on Repeat

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

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Lemon Ricotta Cake
4.88 from 55 votes

Lemon Ricotta Cake

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! 
Servings: 12
Prep20 minutes
Cook40 minutes
Ready in: 2 hours


  • 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


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


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan, line bottom with a round of parchment paper and butter parchment.
  • In a medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together sugar, butter and lemon zest until pale and fluffy.
  • Mix in eggs one at a time (mixture will appear lumpy), blend in vanilla.
  • Add in half of the flour mixture and mix just until combined, add ricotta and mix just until combined. 
  • Add in last half of the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Gently fold batter to ensure ingredients are evenly incorporated. 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Once cool, slice and serve with macerated strawberries and whipped cream.

Macerated Strawberries

  • 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.
  • In a separate medium mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. 
  • Add 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar and whip until stiff peaks form. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  • Recipe source: Cooking Classy
Nutrition Facts
Lemon Ricotta Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 354 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Cholesterol 108mg36%
Sodium 101mg4%
Potassium 221mg6%
Carbohydrates 37g12%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 22g24%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 725IU15%
Vitamin C 23.9mg29%
Calcium 130mg13%
Iron 1.3mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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  • Mary

    This cake is delicious. I reduced the sugar by 25% and I used the zest of one lemon. I baked it 55 minutes. It came out light and fluffy – just perfect.

  • Charlotte Doherty

    I just made this cake today. After my second piece I can say that th cake is is very good I like a cake that is not to sweet, moist. I added some blueberries that I had in the freezer, and sliced almonds on top be for I baked it. What a good recipe. I will definitely make this again.

  • Deb

    This cake is perfect! Lemony, dense, rich! I have been searching for something that resembles Starbucks Lemon Loaf and this is it! Finally! I’d even use it for a birthday cake – way better than any yellow cake recipe I’ve found. I did have to modify because I only had one cup of ricotta. Added 1/4 cup whole milk and about 3 T lemon juice.

  • Shelina Teja

    Hi this looks like a great recipe. I love anything lemon.

    Can you make this in a Bundt or any other baking pan? I only have a 10 inch Springform and from the reviews if the 9 inch is not high enough I can’t image how what would happen with a 10 inch. Don’t want a flat cake.

  • Debra T

    LOVE this cake. So moist and stays that way for days ( if you don’t eat it all first!)
    Changes – I used more lemon zest. ~1/4 cup
    I added 1 tsp lemon extract; cut vanilla back to 1/2 tsp. And added 2T of fresh lemon juice.

    Next time I’m going to do a touch less sugar.