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Italian Lemon Ricotta Cake


This Italian Lemon Ricotta cake is a deliciously rich and moist take on a cheesecake that’s not too sweet – making it perfect as a dessert, as well as a teatime snack.


Units Scale
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 medium lemons, zested and juiced
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta


  1. Preheat oven to 355 degrees F, and prepare a baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Mix in the lemon juice and zest.
  4. Add one egg at a time, mixing well, until all 3 eggs are well incorporated. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Gently fold in about half of the flour mixture, until just incorporated.
  6. Mix in the ricotta. Stir in the remaining flour mixture, until just combined.
  7. Pour into your prepared baking dish. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly before carefully removing from the cake tin (it’s a delicate little thing).
  8. Serve warm, with a smile…and a generous dollop of mascarpone!


  • I used a standard 9-inch springform pan. To prepare the pan, I inserted a lightly buttered sheet of parchment paper. You can use an unbuttered sheet, or just generously butter a baking dish – all are fine options. (I like the buttered parchment option…because parchment paper makes it easier to remove the cake, and because I’ll take any and every opportunity to add more butter to a recipe.) That said, this cake does sometimes stick, so if presentation is a big deal to you, you’ll want to butter generously, and remove it carefully.
  • If using a loaf pan, I’ve made this recipe using a standard 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch loaf pan.
  • If you happen to have big whisking muscles, you can cream your butter and sugar by hand. I use an electric mixer.
  • Zest your lemons before juicing them – life is just easier that way.
  • To add some warm notes to the cake, include a touch of cinnamon or nutmeg.
  • Using fresh juice means this cake will be super moist. If you cut into it, and it looks a little wet (but still cooked), then that’s totally fine. That stickiness is delicious.
  • If you don’t have mascarpone on hand, don’t worry. It’s a lovely addition to the cake however, the cake is delicious without it too. (Unsweetened whipped cream and berries work well too.)
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Italian Lemon Ricotta Cake, Lemon Ricotta Cake, Italian cheesecake

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