This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for more details.
The fine crumble and the fresh creamy ricotta filling make this wonderful lemon ricotta cake to die for. It requires minimal preparation, 6 ingredients, and no stand mixer.
Welcome to the best new ricotta cake you’re going to love!
This is absolutely one of our favorite cakes ever and is inspired by the Italian sbrisolona, a typical crumb cake very popular in Northern Italy.
I can’t even explain just how much we all love this cake, and I’ve lost count of the number of times I baked it. This is my go-to cake recipe for any special occasion, and it’s also my Easter dessert of choice this year!
And it’s always a hit.
First, the refreshing yet delicate flavor and texture are incredible. The crispy crumble outside, the soft filling inside made with sweet ricotta and bright lemon zest and juice.
Best? It’s a breeze to make, it keeps well in the fridge and it’s freezable too, so it’s just perfect if you want to make it ahead.
And if you haven’t tried ricotta desserts, you’ll be amazed. This lemon ricotta cake is just ideal for Easter, spring and really just any time you’d like a simple but beautiful cake.
I think I am going to make this lemon ricotta cake for the rest of my life. It’s that good. So good! Please, make it right now and let me know what you think. x
List of the ingredients
- All-purpose flour
- Vanilla extract
- Vegetable or olive oil
- Baking powder
How to make lemon ricotta cake
(Note: this is simply a quick explanation, the full recipe is at the bottom of the page)
- Make the lemon ricotta filling: add ricotta, egg, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla extract in a bowl.
- Stir until well combined and smooth. You’ve just made the filling, set aside.
- Make the crumbs: add flour, sugar, baking powder and lemon zest to a large bowl. Mix the dry ingredients until well combined.
- Stir in the egg and the vegetable or olive oil.
- Use your fingers and rub oil and egg into the dry ingredients until you get a crumb-like mixture.
- Use about ⅔ of the crumbs to cover the bottom and edges of a round cake tin.
- Fill this shell with the ricotta mixture, then sprinkle the crumble mixture all over.
- Bake for 30 minutes and serve dusted with icing sugar.
- Enjoy at room temperature. The following day tastes even better!
Ricotta cake variations
This is the ricotta pie of your dreams, and it’s also amazingly versatile!
- Amaretti cookies: if you happen to find some Italian amaretti cookies, skip the lemon zest, and add a generous handful of crushed amaretti to the ricotta filling.
- Orange zest: another simple and delicious option is using orange zest instead of lemon zest. To make a refreshing and delicious ricotta orange cake.
- Dark chocolate chips: you can’t go wrong with dark chocolate and ricotta, just skip the lemon zest and add about 1/3 cup chocolate chips to the ricotta mixture.
- Raspberries: ricotta and fresh raspberries is another terrific combination, I tested it many times.Spread the ricotta mixture first, then scatter about 3/4 cup raspberries on top, pushing them down a bit with your finger, then cover with the remaining crumbles.
More ricotta cake recipes…
If you haven’t tried ricotta in desserts, you’ll be amazed. This fresh, soft Italian cheese brings plenty of moisture and a delicate flavor without weighting down. It makes rich, refreshing fillings, or moist, delicious crumbs like in these strawberry cake and raspberry cake or easy ricotta cake.
Does lemon ricotta cake need to be refrigerated?
This cake keeps well at room temperature for about 4-5 hours, but if your kitchen is too warm or if you’re planning to store it longer, wrap it in cling film and store in the refrigerator. It doesn’t dry out and it keeps very well for 3 days.
It freezes beautifully!
This lemon ricotta cake freezes very well: wrap it in cling film and freeze it for up to 1 month.
If you love ricotta…
Oh I love ricotta! This fresh Italian cheese is brilliant for sweet or savoury recipes, from scrumptious quick pasta dishes to moist cakes, and more. Have a look at this inspiring collection of amazing ricotta recipes to see how to get the most of it. Just to name a few:
- Ricotta meatballs
- Ricotta crostini with peas
- Easy cake with ricotta
- Herbed whipped ricotta
- Lemon ricotta pasta
- Ricotta crostini
If you make this delicious lemon ricotta cake or if you have a question, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it or tag a photo #theclevermeal on Instagram. I would love to hear from you!
Recipe update: originally published in March 2020, I’ve tweaked recipe and added new photos.
Lemon ricotta cake
Lemon Ricotta filling:
- 2 cups (500 grams) ricotta
- 7 Tbsp (90 grams) sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ large lemons, zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 ¼ cup (300 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ scant cup (90 grams) sugar
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 6 tablespoon (90 ml) olive oil or vegetable oil
- ½ large lemon, zest
- icing sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350F°/180C°.
- Line with parchment paper or grease with oil or butter a loosed bottom cake pan* (size 9 inches/23 cm).
- To make the lemon ricotta filling, place the first group of ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork or a whisk, until well combined and smooth. Set aside.
- To make the crumb shell, place flour, baking powder, lemon zest in a large bowl and mix the dry ingredients until well combined.
- Stir in egg and oil and using your fingers, rub the egg and the oil into the flour and sugar to make a crumb-like mixture.
- Using about ⅔ of the crumbs, make the cake bottom and edges (about 1 ½ inch hight), but don't press the mixture too much.
- Fill this crumble shell with the ricotta mixture, then sprinkle the crumble mixture all over the ricotta filling.
- Bake for 30 minutes until lightly golden.
- Let it cool, and serve at room temperature dusted with icing sugar. The following day tastes even better! Enjoy.
Storage: it keeps well at room temperature for about 4-5 hours, but if your kitchen is too warm or if you’re planning to store it longer, wrap it in cling film and store in the refrigerator. It keeps very well for at least 3 days. Also, this ricotta freezes very well: wrap it in cling film and freeze it for up to 1 month