This lemon ricotta cake is such a simple and delectable cake to whip up any day of the week. Whether you bake this in a simple cake pan or double the recipe and turn into a lemon ricotta bundt cake is unimportant. All that matters with an easy cake recipe like this is that it tastes incredible, which I can guarantee! This lemon ricotta cake’s tender crumb will have you delighting in each and every bite.
Lemon Ricotta Cake
The French call this lemon cake a gâteau au citron et à la ricotta. It’s also known as gâteau italien à la ricotta because, of course, a lemon ricotta cake is traditionally known as an Italian contribution. In fact, this sort of cake recipe is usually referred to as an Italian ricotta cake.
Regardless of what it’s called, it’s a cake recipe that’s loved in many countries. Unlike lemon ricotta pound cake, this cake is incredibly light and delicate.
Moreover, this easy ricotta cake is the definition of simplicity. This lemon ricotta cake is really a foolproof cake that any level baker can make.
I love whipping this up for a casual dinner with friends or family. I was prompted to share it today after I recently made my tomato ricotta tart. I had leftover fresh ricotta and didn’t want it to go to waste, so I decided to make this lemon ricotta cake with it.
This is a one-bowl kind of recipe, no fancy tools needed. It’s the kind of cake a French person would make at home.
In general, French people tend not to bake too much because they can easily get the best desserts at their local patisserie. On occasion, however, they do like to bake something from scratch at home.
This lemon ricotta cake could easily satisfy the needs of a French person for a simple, delicious dessert that requires only basic ingredients.
It also comes together pretty quickly, which is always nice when you’re looking for a dessert that’s not only effortless but quick too.
I make this cake in a 6″ cake pan (this one here), but you can make a more shallow cake in an 8″ pan or double the recipe ingredients if you still want the height but want to use a larger pan.
I just find the 6″ pan a comfortable size for a quick dessert I can manage without a handful of guests over.
The cake is supremely moist, and that has a lot to do with the ricotta used in the cake. The apple in the recipe also lends some density to the cake, although don’t mistake that for meaning this cake is heavy in any shape or form. This lemon ricotta cake is anything but.
Cutting into each slice, you’ll easily be able to see just how light and airy this cake is. Dusted with powdered sugar, this lemon ricotta cake is perfectly capable of stunning, regardless of its simplicity.
If you wanted to turn this into a gluten-free lemon ricotta cake recipe, then you can substitute almond flour for the all-purpose flour. Just make note that you may want to reduce the oven temperature to 375°F or even 350°F as baked goods made with almond flour tend to brown a little quicker.
Lemon Ricotta Cake
A light and super moist cake made with fresh ricotta and lemon.
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter (43 grams) softened, plus more for greasing pan
- 5.5 tbsp granulated sugar (69 grams)
- 1 egg
- 6 tbsp all-purpose flour (47 grams)
- 1 tsp baking powder (4 grams)
- pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup ricotta (81 grams)
- zest of half a lemon
- 1/3 a medium apple (approx 1/3 cup) peeled and grated
- powdered sugar to dust the top with
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a 6" cake pan with some softened butter. In a large bowl, mix the butter and sugar together using a rubber spatula. When the two are combined and creamy, add in the egg and mix to combine.
Pour in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir everything together. Then add in the ricotta, lemon zest, and grated apple. Again, stir everything to combine - there should be no visible clumps of flour or dry ingredients.
Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth out the batter. Bake the cake for approximately 25 minutes, until the cake is beginning to golden on top and the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes before flipping out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Dust the top with powdered sugar.