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 to enjoy this traditional Italian cake.

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 Lemon Cake?

The combination of the richness of the ricotta, lemon, and golden raisins soaked in rum gives this cake an unbeatable flavor and texture. This is a step not to be skipped, as it provides this cake with 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 easy Lemon Ricotta Cake can be kept at room temperature or in the fridge. The ricotta keeps it moist and rich-tasting.

What is ricotta?

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

It is used as a filling for many pasta preparations, cakes, and pastries. However, it is more of a Southern Italy specialty when it comes to desserts.

I recommend purchasing the whole milk kind. It is richer in flavor; you will not regret it. It is also a bit denser.

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

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 rich flavor to this delicious lemon ricotta cake recipe.

Granulated sugar – The amount is not important, as it balances the lemon tartiness and the bland flavor of the ricotta.

Candied pineapple rings – The pineapple rings’ flavor in this dessert is fantastic, and your taste buds will love them once blended with the rum.

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

Golden raisins  – These can be replaced with dark raisins. Make sure you soak them in the rum. Drain the rum, but save it in a jar with a tight-lid lid 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 the top of the cake once it is cooled off.

Ricotta Lemon Cake

Equipment you will need

Please follow the link to access the product of your preference.

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 is for the big jobs, and the smaller electric hand mixer is 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 beautiful memories.

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

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.
  • 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

Substitutes and Additions

For those seeking to personalize this delightful lemon ricotta cake recipe or adapt it to dietary restrictions, here are some thoughtful alternatives and additions that can enhance or maintain the integrity of the original recipe:

Gluten-Free Flour: A one-to-one gluten-free flour blend can substitute all-purpose flour for those with gluten sensitivities or preferences. Ensure it includes a binder like xanthan gum.

Dairy-Free Ricotta: Almond milk ricotta or coconut milk ricotta can be used as a non-dairy alternative. Be mindful that the texture and taste may differ slightly from traditional ricotta.

Sugar Alternatives: To lower the sugar content, consider using a granulated sugar substitute like stevia or erythritol. Keep in mind that the sweetness levels and volume may vary.

Non-Alcoholic Rum Flavor: Rum extract is an excellent choice for a rum flavor without alcohol. For every tablespoon of dark rum, use about 1/2 teaspoon of rum extract mixed with water to make up the remainder of the liquid volume.

Nuts Addition: Add a crunch to your cake by folding chopped walnuts or almonds into the batter. They complement the lemon and ricotta flavors beautifully.

Berry Topping: Amp up the fruit factor by serving this cake with a compote of fresh fruit or fresh berries on top. A mixture of blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries simmered with sugar and lemon juice creates a lovely topping.

Citrus Variations: Experiment with different citrus zest, such as orange or grapefruit, for a twist on the classic lemon flavor.

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.

Ricotta Lemon Cake on a white cake stand

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this cake in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the cake ahead of time. Wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, the uniced cake can be kept at room temperature for a day before serving. If you need to store it longer, you can refrigerate it for up to three days or freeze it for up to a month. Thaw in the refrigerator if frozen and allow it to come to room temperature before serving.

How do I prevent the cake from sticking to the springform pan?

To prevent sticking, thoroughly grease the springform pan with butter or non-stick spray. For extra protection, line the bottom with parchment paper.

Is this recipe suitable for making cupcakes?

Yes, this recipe can be adapted to make cupcakes. Adjust the baking time accordingly, as cupcakes will bake faster than a whole cake. Start checking for doneness after about 18-20 minutes.

What can I do if my batter seems too thick?

Add a tablespoon of milk or lemon juice to adjust the consistency if your batter is thicker than expected. Add additional liquid sparingly, mixing thoroughly before deciding if more is needed, as excess liquid can alter the texture of the finished cake.

Can I omit the rum?

If you prefer not to use rum, leave it out and marinate the raisins in orange juice or a non-alcoholic rum flavoring as suggested in the ‘Substitutes and Additions’ section.

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.

KitchenAid Artisan Series 5 Quart Tilt Head Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield KSM150PS, Removable bowl, Aqua Sky
$379.95
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02/18/2024 08:30 pm GMT

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.

Ingredients 

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Substitutes and Additions

For those seeking to personalize this delightful lemon ricotta cake recipe or adapt it to dietary restrictions, here are some thoughtful alternatives and additions that can enhance or maintain the integrity of the original recipe:
Gluten-Free Flour: A one-to-one gluten-free flour blend can substitute all-purpose flour for those with gluten sensitivities or preferences. Ensure it includes a binder like xanthan gum.
Dairy-Free Ricotta: Almond milk ricotta or coconut milk ricotta can be used as a non-dairy alternative. Be mindful that the texture and taste may differ slightly from traditional ricotta.
Sugar Alternatives: To lower the sugar content, consider using a granulated sugar substitute like stevia or erythritol. Keep in mind that the sweetness levels and volume may vary.
Non-Alcoholic Rum Flavor: Rum extract is an excellent choice for a rum flavor without alcohol. For every tablespoon of dark rum, use about 1/2 teaspoon of rum extract mixed with water to make up the remainder of the liquid volume.
Nuts Addition: Add a crunch to your cake by folding chopped walnuts or almonds into the batter. They complement the lemon and ricotta flavors beautifully.
Berry Topping: Amp up the fruit factor by serving this cake with a compote of fresh fruit or fresh berries on top. A mixture of blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries simmered with sugar and lemon juice creates a lovely topping.
Citrus Variations: Experiment with different citrus zest, such as orange or grapefruit, for a twist on the classic lemon flavor.

Nutrition

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.

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Originally published on March 25, 2021.