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 48 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! 

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


  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

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.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Ricotta Cake
Author: Jaclyn

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  • Mary Ragbourn

    Excellent!! I have made this cake twice, once with the lemon recipe and the second time with almond flavoring. Neither lasted very long! Both were very easy and exceptionally good. This will now be one of my go to cakes.

  • Anna

    I taste-tested plenty of the batter and cream along the way, but noticed my cake was much flatter than pictured. Any tips or ideas about that?

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Sorry to hear that, it could be a variance in ricotta used, whether ingredients were properly measured/or expired, oven calibration, altitude, etc. I would maybe try a few extra tablespoons of flour next time to help build up the structure of the cake.

  • Sharon Vincent

    I made this for Valentine’s Day and it was delicious. This goes into my favorite recipe book 😍

  • Kat

    Yum! Just made for vday. Did most of ingredients. I just added 1/2 tsp almond extract (luv anything almond) and reduced the sugar by 1/4 c. CUz planned to drizzle some strawberry compote on top with whipped cream. It was a perfect cake cuz I was getting tired of the chocolate overload all day lol. With almond, reminded me of Frangipane tart, my fave.GReat with raspberries too. Not too sweet,moist,simple but special enough for an occasion.

  • Martin Ball

    This is awesome! Just made it tonight but did a hard cider raspberry glaze!!!

  • Andi

    Just took cake out of oven and had the same issue as some of the other people
    Smells delicious but didn’t rise enough Probably tastes good but won’t present well as a suprise BDay cake for a family member who loves ricotta cookies

    • Lori

      Top it with whipped cream and berries and it will present beautifully. It is a delicious cake! Everyone will love it.

  • Nancy

    I followed this recipe exactly and it came out exactly as pictured. Cooked perfectly in 45 min. I absolutely love ricotta anything. I thought the cake was good. Nice texture, moist but a little dense. This is a very mild, light cake which needs something more. I would add more lemon zest and incorporate berries in the batter next time. You definitely need the added whipped cream w/berries or even drizzled chocolate to give it that extra oomph.
    But if you prefer a lighter dessert with tea or coffee, this works well as it is not too sweet either.

  • Debra Gabriel

    Moist we loved this cake . Using it again to replace lady fingers for lemon teramisu