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Slice of lemon ricotta cake on plate.

Italian Style Lemon Ricotta Cake

Moist and rich, this zesty Lemon Ricotta Cake uses simple ingredients to bring you one very tasty dessert. A simplified take on a traditional Italian cake, perfect for Easter or Mother's Day!
Course Cake, Dessert, Easter
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 10 slices
Calories 419kcal
Cost $10



  • Pre-heat your oven to 180°C / 360°F.
  • Add your softened butter and sugar to a large bowl. Cream using a mixer or handheld beater for around 2-3 minutes or until the mix becomes light and creamy.
    180 g butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • Next pop in the ricotta cheese and continue mixing on a medium-high setting for 5 minutes.
    2 cups ricotta cheese
  • In a small jug, add the eggs, vanilla essence and lemon zest. Lightly whisk, then add to the ricotta mix and incorporate on a low-medium setting.
    3 eggs, 2 tsp vanilla essence, 1 zest of one lemon
  • For the final step, pour in the self raising flour and slowly fold through the mixture using a wooden spoon. Don't overmix this step, continue until just combined.
    1 ½ cups self raising flour
  • Line a springform or tall cake pan (around 20-22 cm / 8-9 inches) with baking paper (or lined with butter with a icing sugar dusting). Pour all the batter in and flatten out the top with the back of the spoon or spatula.
  • Pop the cake onto the lowest or middle baking rack. Bake for 30-50 min or until a skewer comes out clean. Watch for the top as it starts to brown, this is usually a sign it's almost ready.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
  • Take out of the pan, slice and serve. Optional: Dust with icing sugar.
    icing sugar / powdered sugar



  • Ricotta - Regular supermarket ricotta is best - aim for whole milk, full fat ricotta for creamy, moist texture with a hint of sweetness. Some delicatessens will sell ricotta that has been stored in water, so it’s best to avoid these versions. If you have a watery ricotta, always drain it first. This will give you the best texture in the final cake.
  • Eggs - For best results, make sure to use room-temperature eggs.
  • Sugar – We recommend caster sugar, aka super fine sugar. You can also use raw sugar as a substitute.
  • Self Raising Flour - This already has baking powder in the mix, if using all purpose flour, add in 1.5 tsp of baking powder and 1/2 tsp of baking soda.
  • Lemon Zest - You can substitute your lemon zest with orange in a pinch or leave it out.
    Vanilla Essence - Leave out if you prefer, or substitute with almond essence if you like.
  • Beat the Batter - Beat for a good few minutes to avoid eggy/spongy texture, and achieve a more creamy finish.
  • When Baking - Always use the middle rack so it doesn't cook too quickly. Check frequently to avoid the top browning too much.
  • Store in the Fridge - Since this cake includes ricotta (aka cheese), it must be kept refrigerated and served chilled.
  • Topping Ideas - Serve with whipped cream and berries such as strawberries, blueberries or raspberries. For an even sweeter treat, top with a sprinkling of crystallised sugar.
  • Add Flavour - A tablespoon or two of Amaretto, Frangelico or Marsala can give the cake quite a nice addition of flavour.


Calories: 419kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 177mg | Potassium: 96mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 741IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 1mg