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+ servings
5 from 33 votes
Italian Lemon Ricotta Cake
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
55 mins

A combination of cake and cheesecake, this delicious Italian Lemon Ricotta Cake is a one-bowl, no-mixer recipe that you can throw together in minutes.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Lemon Ricotta Cake
Servings: 12
Calories: 400 kcal
Author: Chris Scheuer
For the cake:
  • ½ cup butter 4 ounces
  • 1 ½ cups ricotta
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest from 2 medium size lemons
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
For the buttercream icing:
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 ½ tablespoons half & half (or whole milk)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F. Spray an 8-inch round pan with baking spray, then rub all over with a paper towel to evenly coat pan with spray. Line the pan with parchment paper. Spray lightly again, making sure to coat bottom and sides of the pan. Set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a medium-size microwave-safe bowl (on high power for 45-60 seconds). Remove from microwave and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Add sugar, eggs, lemon zest and extracts. Whisk together until well blended. Add ricotta and stir until light and fluffy (about 30 seconds).

  3. Sprinkle flour, baking powder, and salt over the top of the ricotta mixture and stir just until all the flour is incorporated.
  4. Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth the top with a knife or spatula. Place in preheated oven and immediately lower temperature to 350˚F. Bake for 38-42 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched on the top and/or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The top will be lightly golden. The top may crack slightly, that’s okay.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack and allow the cake to cool completely before adding the icing. When cool, transfer to a serving platter (keep flat, bottom side up) and ice with buttercream.
For the buttercream icing:
  1. While the cake is cooling, make the icing. Place butter in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on high power until melted, 30-40 seconds.
  2. Add all other icing ingredients and whisk together until creamy and well blended. It should be a somewhat loose but spreadable icing. If too thick add a bit more half and half. If too thin add a bit more powdered sugar.
  3. 10. Scoop icing onto the top of the cake. Spread (with an angled spatula) to the edges and down the sides of the cake. Decorate with edible flowers, if desired. Allow icing to set before slicing. Can be refrigerated, but bring back to room temperature before serving.

Nutrition Facts
Italian Lemon Ricotta Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 400 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Cholesterol 88mg29%
Sodium 291mg13%
Potassium 135mg4%
Carbohydrates 56g19%
Fiber 0g0%
Sugar 42g47%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 560IU11%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 108mg11%
Iron 1.1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.