Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

March 25, 2013

How to Bake a Delicious Ricotta and Lemon Cake

Yum, yum, yum.  Have I got a batch of deliciousness to share.  I realized a tub of ricotta cheese was rapidly approaching its expiry date, so I scrambled for a quick recipe because I'd since eaten the other ingredients to make what I originally bought the ricotta for.  In the nick of time I found a delicious lemon and ricotta muffin recipe that I turned into a cake, added a twist to, and can't stop devouring.

Lemon and ricotta cake recipe

Here's the recipe I pinned, from Healthy Food Living, with my tweaks:

For the muffin/cake:
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • Lemon zest (2 lemons)
For the icing:
  • Lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • Lemon zest (1 lemon)
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar

Make the cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. In a large bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a smaller bowl, mix together the ricotta, oil, lemon rind & juice, water and egg.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir only until it's just mixed - don't over stir, this dough gets really stiff very quickly so watch out!
  5. Pour into muffin cups or, if you're lazy like me, use an 8" by 8" lightly greased pan.
  6. Bake muffins for 15-17 minutes, but if it is in cake form, bake for about 30 minutes, until lightly browned on top and a knife you insert comes out clean.
Ricotta cake recipe

Make the icing (not in original recipe):

I had planned a thick, super rich icing like I made for my sugar cookies but it turns out we were almost out of icing sugar!  Probably a good thing.  I used what was left and made a very runny glaze by mixing together the zest and juice of one lemon and about two (maybe 3) tablespoons of icing sugar.  I drizzled in onto the cake when it was minutes from the oven, so it seeped in a little and also crystallized from the heat.  It's like the glaze on an apple fritter, but with more kick.  But honestly, this is also an awesome muffin without the sugar topping.

Recipes for ricotta
Moist lemon ricotta cake

This cake is moist and rich, but light and fluffy.  It is sweet but also has a really zingy lemon flavor which balances the sugary glaze.  In case you're wondering, sugar-free me lasted about three weeks (a week shy of my month long goal) but then I fell off the wagon.  Now I'm trying to just eat less sugar.  She says with a straight face, as she stuffs her face with a slab of sugar coated muffin-cake. 

Breakfast of champions.

Delicious lemon cake recipe


  1. Oh my goodness, they look AMAZING! I love lemon, and, while I haven't had a lot of ricotta in my lifetime, I love cheese, so I have a feeling this would be a total winner for me. Definitely trying these when I have a chance!

    1. The ricotta cheese is definitely a mild flavor in this cake but it makes for a yummy texture. You will love these and they were a snap to make - like five minutes prep and then into the oven! Happy snacking!

  2. Yum!! Going to pin this! Thanks for sharing : )

    1. I'm happy to! Let's all eat a muffiny cake for breakfast ;)

  3. I can't wait to try this- it looks so good.

    I love coffee-cake sorts of cake but lemon in dessert is the best.

    1. It's so hard to photograph food, so I'm happy I captured it's yumminess. I'd love to know how the recipe turn out for you. It really is delicious. And is also good the following days if stored covered (I slapped a plastic dome over a plate).

  4. Replies
    1. It really, really is. And is all gone now. Is that a bad thing? An 8 inch pan is pretty small, right?

  5. Hi Tanya,

    For the ricotta cheese that reads 3/4, do you mean 3/4s of a cup? Please let us know because I would love to make your cake.

    Thank you,

    1. Sorry! 3/4 cups, yes!! I'll fix that right now :)
      Happy baking.


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