This Italian Ricotta Lemon Cake is an excellent Italian dessert to prepare for your friends and family.

You do not need a special occasion or holiday, either.

And if you are like me, you will find yourself craving it.

Lemon Ricotta Cake

Unbeatable flavor and texture thanks to the combination of ricotta, lemon, and golden raisins soaked in rum. This is a step not to be skipped, as it gives this cake a flavor that is out of this world.

Sweet and slightly dense in texture. The perfect afternoon snack with a cup of tea or at the end of a great dinner.

This wonderful Ricotta Lemon Cake can stay at room temperature and in the fridge. The ricotta keeps it moist and rich tasting.

In this Article

What is ricotta?

It is a by-product of whey, the watery part of cow milk.  As well as from sheep, goat or Italian water buffalo. Soft and delicious, it has many uses in your culinary journey.

Used as a filling for many pasta preparations as well cakes and pastries. More of a Southern Italy specialty when it comes to desserts.

I recommend purchasing the whole milk kind. Richer in flavor, you will not regret it. A bit denser as well.

However, if the diet is not permitted, the fat-free ricotta works well with this recipe and any of the below suggested recipes.

What is dark rum? 

Rum is an alcohol made from sugarcane by-products such as molasses or sugarcane syrup.

Dark rum has been barrel-aged more than all its counterparts, white or golden.

All rum stars are the same as clear spirit. However, instead of being filtered and bottled right after being distilled, dark rum is aged first in charred oak or wooden barrel for some time.
The longer the rum is aged, the dark it is.

Rum was first created in the Caribbean and has become popular worldwide.

French baking uses a lot of rum in their desserts.

Ricotta Lemon Cake

Here are a few helpful tips for the ingredients needed

Whole milk ricotta: Do not substitute whole milk, which brings a richness in flavor to this ricotta cake recipe.

Granulated sugar: Not to worry about the amount, as it balances off the lemon tartiness and the bland flavor of the ricotta.

Candied pineapple rings:  Most of all, the flavor that the pineapple rings bring to this dessert is fantastic. Most of all, your taste buds will love you once blended with the rum.

Lemon zest and juice: One of the stars of this dessert. Clean and scrub the lemons before using them to remove any wax deposited from the farmer. Dry well before zesting.

Golden raisins:  they can be replaced with dark raisins. Make sure you soak them in the rum. Drain the rum but save it in a close lid jar for later use.

Dark rum: I strongly recommend using dark rum. The flavor it brings and adds to your baking is undeniably the best.

Eggs: Always use large eggs and bring them to room temperature before working with them.

All-purpose flour: Keeps all the wet ingredients together.

Confectioner’s sugar:  To be sprinkled over your cake once it is cooled off.

Ricotta Lemon Cake

Equipment you will need

10-inch springform cake pan Best to bake cakes that need to be removed from the mold. perfectly sealed, and once your lemon ricotta cake is cooled off, opening the springform round, your cake will be ready to be enjoyed.

KitchenAid Stand mixer or electric hand mixer I have both and use them all the time. A must in every kitchen. One for the big jobs and the smaller electric hand mixer for the small jobs.

Zester is The tool that does it all. Zesting the lemon will enhance the flavor of your cake as the essential oils are in the skin and those oils will be in your batter.

Juicer I found it easier to use a juicer so you can separate the pulp from the juice and also prevent any pits to end in your batter.

Baking wooden spoon my choice, but then I started baking with wooden spoons and to me it brings back wonderful memories.

Cake stand So fun and wonderful to showcase your desserts on a cake stand. There are so many wonderful shapes and colors on the market to choose from.

Ricotta Lemon Cake

Baking tips and step-by-step instructions  to make this fantastic Ricotta Lemon Cake

First, ensure you have all your ingredients ready before baking. Your eggs need to be at room temperature.

Oven on. Eggs out of the refrigerator. Let’s start working on the cake.

  • Do let the golden raisins marinate on dark rum. I enjoy and use Myers’s Rum Original dark for all my cooking and baking. Not all retail stores may have it. I highly recommend it. Rich in flavor it gives the raisins a subtle flavor and does not interfere with the taste by tasting the alcohol.
  • If you cannot find the candied pineapple rings, you can use lemon or mango.
  • Do chop the candied pineapple rings into small pieces.
  • Very important that you use lemon zest. A step that you cannot skip. The natural oils are what give this cake a fabulous flavor.
  • Gently fold the egg whites.
  • Not all ovens are the same, and I have a classic ancient old range. Ricotta Lemon Cake has to have a golden brown top.
  • Another way to test your cake is by using a clean knife from the center of the pan.
  • Completely cool before removing the ring of the springform cake pan. I always place any desserts that need to cool off on a wire rack. Cooling off faster and more even.

You will love how moist this cake is; all the flavors blend.

ricotta lemon cake

How do you store this ricotta lemon cake?

I recommend sealing it with a plastic sheet over it. It will be my preference if you have a cake dish with a dome.

Stores well in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Weather permitting, meaning not too hot, you can keep your cake at room temperature.

If  you enjoy this delicious Ricotta Lemon Cake, look at some of my other recipes:

Penne with Ricotta and Asparagus

Mangoes With Rum And Vanilla Ice Cream

Eggplant, Pasta and Ricotta Salata

Products and Equipment used to make this recipe.

Ricotta Lemon Cake

5 from 32 votes
Ricotta Lemon Cake
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10 people
This Italian Ricotta Lemon Cake is an excellent Italian dessert to prepare for your friends and family. You do not need a special occasion or holiday, either.


  • 2 pounds whole milk ricotta
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 6 ounces candied pineapple rings, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup golden raisins, soaked in dark rum for 20 minutes, drained, patted dry, and diced
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum, from the soaked raisins
  • 6 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 egg whites, beaten with ¼ cup granulated sugar until still peaks form
  • confectioner's sugar, for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Butter and flour a 10-inch springform cake pan, shaking off any excess.
  • Put the ricotta and sugar in a large bowl of a stand mixer (or use an electric hand mixer) and mix well until the sugar is all incorporated and the ricotta is smooth.
  • In another bowl combine the chopped candied pineapple, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon dark rum, and the raisins with the egg yolks and mix well with a large baking wooden spoon. Add the ricotta and mix thoroughly. Fold in the flour and mix until smooth.
  • Fold in the egg whites thoroughly and pour the mixture into the buttered pan.
  • Bake until the top is golden brown and a thin knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.
  • Cool at room temperature, remove from the pan, sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar, and serve.


Calories: 349kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 163mg | Sodium: 104mg | Potassium: 269mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 569IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 216mg | Iron: 1mg

Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.

Did you make this?

Leave a comment below and tag @giangiskitchen on Instagram

Visit my Amazon Storefront for my selection of favorite kitchen essentials. I only recommend equipment that I use and love.

Giangi's Kitchen Amazon Storefront

Please read my privacy policy for more info. I only recommend the products that I love and use. This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links at no additional cost.

Originally published on March 25, 2021. Updated on November 19, 2022.