This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for more details.
The fine crumble and the creamy, lemon ricotta filling make this amazing ricotta cake to die for. It’s also very easy to make, it requires only 6 ingredients, minimal preparation, and it’s guaranteed to impress!
All you need are two bowls and one spoon, no beating and no stand mixer are required in my easy cake recipes.
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. Honestly, I’ve lost count of the number of times I baked it.
We love its incredible flavor and texture: the crispy crumble outside, the soft filling inside, and the sweet, refreshing ricotta. This is basically our go-to cake recipes for dinner parties too, everyone fall in love with it!
And 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.
List of the ingredients
- Vegetable oil
- Baking powder
How to make ricotta cake
I’ll show you the method in a few simple steps, then follow the detailed recipe card below.
- To make the crumb shell, place flour, sugar, egg, baking powder, oil and lemon zest in a bowl
- Using your fingers, rub the egg and the oil into the flour and sugar to make a crumb-like mixture
- To make the ricotta cream, mix ricotta, egg, sugar and lemon zest in a bowl until well combined.
- Using about ⅔ of the crumbs, make the cake bottom and edges
- Fill the cake shell with the ricotta mixture, then sprinkle the crumble mixture all over
- Bake for 30 minutes at 350F/180C
- Serve dusted with icing sugar!
RECIPE NOTES & FAQ
RICOTTA CAKE VARIATIONS
This recipe is pretty versatile, you can make these little changes and the result is incredible!
- 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. I promise you will love it.
- Orange zest: another simple and delicious option is using orange zest instead of lemon zest. It’s refreshing and so delicious.
- 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.
DOES RICOTTA CAKE NEED TO BE REFRIGERATED?
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 doesn’t dry out and it keeps very well for at least 3 days.
Plus, the following day it tastes even better!
CAN YOU FREEZE IT?
Absolutely yes. This ricotta freezes very well: wrap it in cling film and freeze it for up to 1 month. Or if you happen to have ricotta leftover, you might want to try this delicious lemon ricotta pasta, one of my popular recipes.
MORE AMAZING CAKES?
If you fancy more Italian treats, you might want to try my super easy almond cookies or almond biscotti, easy recipes to make in just one bowl!
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!
- 2 cups (500 grams) ricotta
- 7 Tbsp (90 grams) sugar (I used unrefined cane sugar)
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ lemons, zest
- 2 ¼ cup (300 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 7 Tbsp (90 grams) sugar (I used unrefined cane sugar)
- 6 Tbsp vegetable oil (I used expeller pressed canola oil)
- 2 tsp baking powder (I used self-rising flour)
- ½ lemon, zest
- 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 ricotta filling, place the first group of ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork or a whisk, until well combined.
- To make the crumb shell, place the second group of ingredients in a bowl and using your fingers, rub the egg and the oil into the flour and sugar to make a crumb-like mixture (see pictures above).
- Using about ⅔ of the crumbs, make the cake bottom and edges, but you don't want to press the mixture too much.
- Fill this crumble shell with the ricotta mixture (see pictures above), then sprinkle the crumble mixture all over the ricotta filling.
- Bake for 30 minutes until lightly golden.
- Let it cool at room temperature, and served dusted with icing sugar.
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
Soooo easy and delicious. I added a splash of vanilla to the filling, along with nutmeg, and a heavy pinch of salt to the crumb mixture. Also, I crumpled parchment paper and wet it slightly with cold water to line the pan.
Can’t wait to try many variations.
Fantastic, Sharon! I’m so glad to hear it turned out delicious. : )
Thanks so much for sharing your lovely feedback. x
Hi, I saw the substation for chocolate chips in stead of the lemon zest. i assumed that was for the filling. If so what about the crumb base still use the lemon zest?
Hey Tim! If you go for chocolate chips feel free to skip the lemon zest for the crumbs, or add 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract if you have it on hand. Enjoy!
I have whole milk ricotta that I need to use. Therefore, I’m trying this recipe later today.
Questions: Do I need to drain the ricotta? If my flour is not self rising, how much baking soda and salt should I use? Finally, have you ever made this using olive oil?
drained ricotta is best but not essential, I prefer baking powder for this recipe, but 3/4 scant tsp of baking soda + pinch of salt would do too instead of baking powder.
Olive oil is tastier than canola but fine, it’s just for the crumb shell and the flavor shouldn’t be overpowering. Hope you love the recipe. x
Added almond extract (1/2 tsp) to the ricotta mix and omg it’s like an Italian cookie! Also added some salt and baking soda since author uses self rising flour. Not too sweet, nice and light. Lastly, mine cooked for 50 minutes, and it’s just delicious!
I’m so pleased to hear that! Almond extract sounds delicious.
Thanks so much for your lovely feedback. xx
Mines in the oven now!!! Can’t wait to try it!!! I’m going to put it in the fridge once it cools and “try” to wait to try it until tomorrow. Yeah-good luck to me on that… 🤣
I’m sure it turned out delicious! : )