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
4.89 from 63 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

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

  • 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.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.

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186 Comments

  • Shelley

    Thank you for posting this great recipe!! :) It is just perfect.
    I followed the recipe as stated and it came out soft and just sweet enough. I poured the batter into 24 mini muffin pan and baked for 12 min at 350 and let it cool outside. Yum!

  • Lindy

    Made it almost exactly except that I forgot the vanilla in the cake so I added it to the topping 😬
    Absolutely fantastic and easy! I’ll be making this again for sure.

  • sharon

    So simple and delicious. I made this with leftover ricotta from the Italian market – more chunky than smooth and it was perfect. My husband and I each ate a massive piece and went back for seconds. I decorated it with powdered sugar, whipped cream and fresh blueberries vs macerated strawberries. Will definitely be making this again. Thanks

  • Linnie

    My daughter- in-law has several dietary restrictions, but she can have ricotta so this recipe popped up. It looks perfect. She can’t have lemon due to the acidity so can I use almond flavor instead? If so, gluten free flour and almond would be the only substitutions. Would that work? Thanks!

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      The recipe would take a bit of modifying and testing, you’re best bet might just be to check for a gluten-free almond ricotta cake. Good luck!

  • Mary

    delicious cake, I made it exactly as written and weighed the ingredients. The only thing that I was concerned about is that the cake took quite a bit longer than 45 minutes to bake, closer to 65 or 70 minutes. Most cakes I make bake in the expected amount of time. I will be making this cake again.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I don’t recommend it here as it will throw the recipe off, plus the lemon juice doesn’t have as much flavor as the zest.

  • Camilla

    We have a lot of birthdays and anniversaries packed into 1 month so sometimes we want something other than a frosted cake and ice cream. This is a delicious sweet option for a lighter melt in your mouth cake! Oh its so good! Especially with the strawberries on top! 🤤

  • Rose T

    Turned out great! Followed technique instructions exactly; modified ingredients slightly (subbed for cake flour, reduced sugar to 1/4c, part-skim ricotta). Was pretty smooth and light. Thanks!