This Lemon Ricotta Cake is bursting with fresh lemon flavor thanks to the lemon zest and freshly squeezed lemon juice in the batter. Perfect for Sunday brunch, Mother’s Day, and Easter!
Easiest Lemon Ricotta Cake Recipe
There are so many wonderful things to cook and bake with ricotta cheese, like this fantastic lemon ricotta cake. This lemon bundt cake is loved by all who’ve tried it, and it is a cake that can be changed up in so many ways.
And did you know Mother’s Day is coming up? I know you did! You could bake this lemon cake recipe from scratch for your mom or any special lady you love and want to impress. It’s so easy to put together.
This original recipe that inspired this lemon ricotta cake was a lemon pound cake. (A pound cake is traditionally made with a pound each of flour, butter, eggs, and sugar — or a 1:1:1:1 ratio of the ingredients). But when I made this lemon bundt cake as instructed, it was just too heavy and too sweet for me. I had to change it up a bit. The lighter version I’m sharing today is, in our opinion, the way to go!
What’s Needed for Lemon Ricotta Cake?
All you’ll need to make this easy lemon cake recipe is:
- Unsalted butter
- Cake flour
- Baking powder
- Kosher salt
- Ricotta cheese
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Lemon zest and juice
Can I Use All-Purpose Flour Instead?
No, I’ve made this lemon ricotta bundt cake once with regular flour and I didn’t like the results. It wasn’t nearly as fluffy and light, which is why I recommend using cake flour to make this lemon cake recipe from scratch.
How to Make Lemon Ricotta Cake
This show stopping cake is a breeze to make and requires just 10 minutes of hands-on prep work! Here are the basic steps to make this lemon ricotta bundt cake recipe:
- Prep your bundt pan (see my tips below for how to properly grease a bundt pan).
- Whisk together the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet, then turn the cake batter into a bundt pan.
- Bake the lemon bundt cake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, noting that you need to reduce the oven’s temperature about halfway through.
- Once the cake has cooled, dust powdered sugar on top or drizzle with a simple lemon powdered sugar glaze.
How to Prep a Bundt Cake Pan
Are you afraid to bake a bundt cake because your cake always sticks to the pan? I know that feeling when you flip the pan and the cake doesn’t release all the way. There’s complete silence and you await that very quiet thump when the cake hits the serving plate. I found the following tip in a Cook’s Illustrated Holiday Baking book and you should try it out!! You can see my cake had no problem popping right off the pan!
Here is how they suggest you prep your pan to ensure an easy release of the cake:
- Mix 1 Tablespoon of cooled, melted butter with 1 Tablespoon of flour.
- Use a pastry brush (or your fingers) to grease the Bundt pan. This creates a coating that prevents the cake from sticking to the pan.
Such a great baking tip, especially for bundt pan bakers that sometimes encounter a problem with the pan! It truly works and you will be thrilled each time your bundt pops right out onto your serving dish — no more waiting in fear to see if it sticks or not!
Can You Freeze Lemon Ricotta Cake?
Yes, you can freeze this lemon bundt cake. Once the cake is completely cool, simply wrap it in foil then place it in a zip-top freezer bag or even a Tupperware container. To thaw, let it defrost overnight in the refrigerator the day before you’re ready to serve it. Then proceed to dust with confectioner’s sugar or ice it as desired.
Tips for Making Lemon Ricotta Cake
For the best flavor and texture, use full-fat ricotta cheese and not low-fat. Also note that there are no substitutes you can use in place of the ricotta.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice is also a must in this easy lemon cake recipe. The bottled stuff just isn’t the same!
If desired, you could use orange juice and zest in place of the lemon to make an orange ricotta cake.
More Lemon Dessert Recipes:
Lemon Ricotta Cake
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter , at room temperature (plus more to grease the baking pan)
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- zest of 1 to 2 lemons
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (less than 1 lemon, usually)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour Bundt pan (or you could use baking spray, as I did).
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir to blend.
- Using a mixer, cream the butter, ricotta and granulated sugar until blended, about 3 minutes — I never really go over three minutes, and it’s ok if there are some visible pieces of butter. In other words, the batter will not look entirely smooth (see photo). With the machine running, add the eggs 1 at a time.
- Add the vanilla, zest and lemon juice until combined. Add the dry ingredients, a small amount at a time, until just incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place on middle rack of oven.
- Bake for 25 minutes on 350. Lower heat, bake about another 20 minutes on 325, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan. I always have to lower my oven to 325 with cakes. My cakes bake too fast if I bake all the way on 350.