Lemon ricotta cake

Easy lemon ricotta cake that is full of citrus flavour and with a great texture.

Easy lemon ricotta cake that is full of citrus flavour and with a great texture.

We never pretend to be something that we’re not. Same goes for our recipes. The BEST baklava? No, probably not the best in the world, but the best we’ve ever had. The EASIEST banana bread? Easy is relative, so who are we to say (although it has been successfully made by a second grader). It was not entirely comfortable for us then, to hear that our lemon ricotta cake was being compared to the Starbucks lemon loaf, and that our dessert rivaled, and in some opinions, surpassed it. Did we set out with this goal in mind? Were we intent on creating yet another copycat recipe? Not at all. Are we happy with the result? You bet we are! We bet you will be too.

Easy lemon ricotta cake that is full of citrus flavour and with a great texture.

How long does the lemon ricotta cake last?

Stored properly, this lemon ricotta cake will last for 3 – 4 days at room temperature and up to a week in the refrigerator. If you’re interested in keeping it longer, it freezes really well.

To store, keep your cake in an airtight container on the counter or in the fridge. If you will be freezing your cake, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then keep it in a freezer bag for a double layer of protection.

Is ricotta healthy and good for weight loss?

Okay friends, let’s get something straight. If you’re asking this question, maybe you are better off checking out our recipe for Greek lentil soup. Although ricotta in and of itself is pretty healthy; it is high in protein and relatively low in calories. But, this is a cake recipe, so we’re pretty sure that the sugar, oil and white refined flour tip the healthy scale towards – not so much. Having said that, everything in moderation is key, so have a small piece of cake, maybe as a treat for finishing up your bowl of chickpea soup.

How to make a lemon glaze.

As you can see, we finished our lemon ricotta cake with a dusting of icing sugar. We love this because it is easy, looks pretty and adds a nice little bit of sweetness. If you want to be more like the Starbucks lemon loaf (which again, was not our intention), you could top your cake with a lemon glaze. To make a lemon glaze, simply place about 1/2 cup of icing sugar in a bowl and add fresh lemon juice to it, one tablespoon at a time until you get the desired consistency after whisking to incorporate. It does not take much lemon juice to give you a great glaze.

Do you taste the olive oil in the lemon ricotta cake?

We love to bake with olive oil, and enjoy the flavour that it gives to baked goods. In this recipe however, you do not taste the olive oil much, if at all!

Easy lemon ricotta cake that is full of citrus flavour and with a great texture.
Easy lemon ricotta cake that is full of citrus flavour and with a great texture.

Looking for more wonderful lemon desserts? Check these out:

Lemon ricotta cookies

Greek yogourt cake with lemon

Olive oil cake with lemon

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Easy lemon ricotta cake that is full of citrus flavour and with a great texture.
Easy lemon ricotta cake that is full of citrus flavour and with a great texture.

Lemon ricotta cake

Easy lemon ricotta cake that is full of citrus flavour and with a great texture.
4.67 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 356kcal
Author: Mia Kouppa


  • 1 10 inch round cake pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Stand mixer or hand held mixer
  • Rubber spatula


  • cups (225 grams) all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • cup (300 grams) sugar
  • ¾ cup (175 mL) olive oil
  • 454 grams ricotta cheese fresh, full fat
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup (125 mL) lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • vegetable oil or cooking spray for greasing pan
  • cup (45 grams) icing sugar, for dusting top of cake optional


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Prepare your baking pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper and greasing the sides with cooking spray or vegetable oil. Set aside.
  • In a medium size bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt until well combined. Set aside.
    1½ cups (225 grams) all purpose flour, ½ tsp baking soda, ½ tsp salt
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat together the eggs and sugar for 5 minutes at medium speed.
    3 large eggs, 1½ cup (300 grams) sugar
  • Add in the olive oil, the ricotta cheese, the vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest. Beat well for an additional 3 - 4 minutes.
    ¾ cup (175 mL) olive oil, 454 grams ricotta cheese, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tbsp grated lemon zest, ½ cup (125 mL) lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • With the mixer speed on low, slowly incorporate the flour mixer into the wet ingredients and mix until just well combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of your bowl, and to finish the mixing.
  • Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan and bake in the middle rack of your oven for 50 - 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before turning the cake out onto a wire rack. Remove the parchment paper, and allow the cake to cool completely before dusting it with icing sugar, if desired.
  • Enjoy.


Lemon ricotta cake will keep well at room temperature for 2 - 3 days; any longer and it should be stored in the refrigerator.


Calories: 356kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 191mg | Potassium: 83mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 226IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 1mg

Thanks for sharing!


  1. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen says:

    Yum! A whole tablespoon of zest and a half cup of the juice, that’s the lemon for me!

    1. miakouppa says:

      Yes, it really is bursting with lemon flavour! As it should be 🙂 Hope you give it a try Dorothy! xoxo Helen & Billie

  2. Poppie Tanksley says:

    I made this recipe and followed the recipe step by step. The flavor is amazing and it is very moist but it seems way too dense. Would this be from over mixing at the last step or just the nature of the cake? I’ve never had ricotta cake so I can’t tell.

    1. miakouppa says:

      Hi Poppie!! So glad that you tried our recipe and enjoyed the taste, and yes, it is very moist 🙂 As for the texture, ricotta cakes are not light and fluffy as a rule, they are more dense than many cakes. However, the amount of mixing time is important, in this recipe and all cakes actually. So be sure to beat the wet ingredients for as long as indicated in the recipe, and mix the dry ingredients in only until incorporated. Hope that helps! xoxo Helen & Billie

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