This Lemon Ricotta Cake makes the perfect light dessert or afternoon tea cake. The one-bowl Ricotta Cake with Lemon has such a light and fluffy texture - it's like bitting into a cloud!
Why we love this recipe
This classic Italian Lemon and Ricotta Cake is a quick and easy dessert that is made in one bowl only. It has a super light and airy crumb that is hard to resist!
The combination of Lemon and Ricotta is such a classic flavour association too. Just like for my Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake, it brings an irresistible lightly tangy and cheesy taste to this cake.
It is a great way to finish a meal on a light note and makes the perfect treat to serve with your afternoon tea. Enjoy it on its own or topped with a berry sauce, fresh fruits, a tangy Lemon Curd or some whipped cream!
This Ricotta Cake with Lemon is made from a few basic ingredients only. The star of the show is obviously the Ricotta Cheese!
- Butter: Unsalted and very soft / at room temperature
- Sugar: Caster Sugar or Fine White Granulated Sugar
- Lemon: both the juice and the zest
- Ricotta: use unsalted ricotta if possible. It will combine better into the batter if added at room temperature.
- Eggs: medium size, at room temperature.
- Vanilla: I used a simple Vanilla Extract but Essence or Paste will work fine as well.
- Flour: Plain / All-Purpose Flour. I haven't tried to make this cake with Self-Rising Flour but it should work as well - just discard the baking powder, soda and salt.
- Baking Powder, Soda and Salt: to give the cake a nice rise.
To finish the cake, I sprinkled a little bit of Icing Sugar and the zest of another Lemon - but this is optional.
More baked goods with Ricotta:
How to make Ricotta Lemon Cake
This Lemon Cake with Ricotta is quite easy to make in one bowl only. I used a hand mixer to combine all the ingredients but you could also make it in the stand mixer - or even by hands.
The mixer will come in handy to cream the butter and sugar that will give the cake its super fluffy crumb. It can be done by hands, but is much harder.
- Preheat your oven on 180'C / 350'F. Line the bottom of a 24 cm / 9" Springform Pan with Baking Paper and lightly grease the edges so the cake doesn't stick to the pan.
- Photo 1 & 2: Place the very soft Butter, Sugar and Lemon Zest in a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of your mixer) and cream them together until pale, fluffy and doubled in size. This will take about 3 to 5 minutes at a medium-high speed.
- Photo 3 & 4: Add the Ricotta Cheese (at room temperature) and mix it in until combined.
- Photo 5: Add the Eggs (at room temperature) one at the time, mixing them in slowly so the batter doesn't curdle (don't worry if it does though, the batter will come together again when you add the flour).
- Photo 6: Mix in the Lemon Juice and Vanilla Extract. Mix again until combined (the lemon juice might react to the other ingredients and make the batter look like it is splitting, it's normal). - photo 6
- Photo 7 & 8: Sift in the Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda and Salt. Slowly mix it in, stopping as soon as combined to avoid overworking the batter.
- Pour the cake batter into the Pan and use a spatula or the back of a spoon to spread it out if needed.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool down completely before removing from the pan.
- Optional: When cool, dust with a little bit of Icing Sugar and more Lemon Zest.
Tips to make this recipe
- The cake might stick the the pan so make sure to line it and/or grease it to avoid any issues after baking.
- Cream the Butter and Sugar for 3 to 5 minutes, or until very fluffy. This is what will give the cake its super airy texture! To know you have creamed them properly, rub a little bit of the mix between your fingers; the sugar should have dissolved into the butter so you shouldn't feel any grain of sugar.
- Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature, especially the eggs and ricotta cheese. If those two ingredients are too cold, they will make the soft butter harden when combined.
- Don't worry if the batter seem to curdle or split when you add the lemon juice - it will come back together when you add the dry ingredients.
- Leave the cake to cool down completely before attempting to remove it from the pan. It is a very light cake that might break if you try to move it when still warm.
This cake can be kept at room temperature, well covered or in an air-tight container. Alternatively, you can keep it in the fridge but it will dry out more quickly.
It will last for up to 3 days at room temperature.
I don't recommend freezing this cake. It will loose its very light and moist crumb if frozen and thawed.
How to serve this cake
We had this cake both plain on its own and topped with a homemade Blueberry Compote.
I find it to be absolutely delicious with some kind of berries (fresh or in a sauce) or some cream as well.
Here are a few other ideas.
- Strawberry or Raspberry Coulis
- a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream
- some tangy Lemon Curd
- with Stewed Rhubarb
- a simple Whipped Cream
- some Sweet Whipped Ricotta Cream
More Winter Cake Recipes
- Lemon Yogurt Bundt Cake
- Orange Semolina Cake
- Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf Cake
- Easy French Apple Cake
- Upside-Down Blood Orange Cake
- Pear and Almond Cake
- Chocolate Beetroot Cake
- Apple Upside-Down Cake
Made this recipe? Let us know if you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below! And don't forget to share your creation on Instagram with the hashtag #abakingjourney and tag @a.baking.journey
Lemon Ricotta Cake
- 120 gr (1/2 cup) Unsalted Butter - very soft
- 100 gr (1/2 cup) Caster Sugar - or Fine White Granulated Sugar
- 1 Lemon, zested and juiced - (30 ml / 2 tablespoons of juice)
- 250 gr (8.75 oz or 1 cup) Ricotta Cheese - at room temperature
- 3 Eggs - at room temperature
- 1 teasp. Vanilla Extract
- 200 gr (1 1/3 cup) Plain / All-Purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 teasp. Baking Powder
- 1/2 teasp. Baking Soda
- 1 pinch Salt
I highly recommend using the measurements in grams & ml (instead of cups & spoons) for more accuracy and better results.
- Preheat your oven on 180'C / 350'F. Line the bottom of a 24cm / 9" Springform Pan with baking paper and lightly grease the edges.
- In a large bowl (or the bowl of your mixer), cream together the Butter, Sugar and Lemon Zest for 3 to 5 minutes on medium-high speed (see note 1).
- Mix in the Ricotta Cheese then the Eggs, one at the time. Add the Lemon Juice and Vanilla Extract and mix to combine (see note 2).
- Sift in the Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda and Salt. Slowly mix and stop as soon as combined to avoid overworking the batter.
- Transfer into the prepared Springform Pan. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to spread and smooth out the batter if needed.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool down completely before removing from the pan (see note 3).
- Optional: to finish the cake, dust it with a little bit of Icing Sugar and the Zest of a Lemon.
- You should get a very light, pale and fluffy texture that will create an airy crumb for the cake. You can cream and mix the ingredients by hands with a whisk if preferred but I highly recommend using a hand or stand mixer for better results. If the butter is not at room temperature or soft enough, it will be hard to cream it and you will get small chunks of un-mixed butter in the batter.
- Don't worry if the batter seem to split / curdle when you add the lemon juice, it' a normal reaction. The batter will come back together when you add the dry ingredients.
- The cake will be very soft when it comes out of the oven and might break if you try to move it out of the pan straight away. Make sure it is cool before removing it from the pan.