Elevate a regular vanilla cake with the addition of bright lemon and creamy ricotta cheese. The texture and flavor of this lemon ricotta cake is simply to die for! Topped with freshly whipped cream and beautiful blueberries, this is the perfect spring/Easter brunch cake.
I love simple cakes. Cakes that are easy to make and don’t require structural blueprints. If I wanted to make cakes from blueprints, I would be a civil engineer or an architect, which I’m not! But I still like to make my cakes special, and all the more so if I’m baking it for a special occasion.
I am a somewhat moody baker, a baker who bakes on a whim or according to what I can find in my pantry and fridge. Need to use up bananas? I have five different recipes on the blog on last count. Craving chocolate? Got you covered here. Can’t bother making a full size cake? Cupcakes and muffins then. I love rustic cakes mostly. Simple vanilla cakes elevated by adding fresh summer berries or a layer of caramelized citrus fruits. But a macaron-topped ombre-frosted six-layer unicorn cake? Sorry, just not my thing. Yet.
But I still love to plan extensively for my boy’s birthday cakes. My son loves the classics – yellow cake, chocolate cake, buttercream frosting, the works. My husband on the other hand, is a die-hard orange cake fan. Seriously, I cannot count the number of times I have made orange cake for him. And as always, he was expecting an orange cake on his birthday last month. Instead, I surprised him with another citrus-flecked cake.
A light and flavorful lemon ricotta cake is what I made. A basic vanilla cake in which the liquid content (usually milk or buttermilk) is replaced with fresh lemon juice and creamy full-fat ricotta cheese. A beautifully tender, delicate and toothsome cake. It is at the same time, the best lemon cake and the best ricotta cake there ever was.
I actually baked his birthday cake as a two-layer five-inch cake, which unfortunately wasn’t planned as a blog post. But ever since I shared the cake on Facebook and Instagram, I have been flooded with recipe requests. So I decided to make it again and share it with you guys, just in time for Easter. Any excuse to bake a cake! I made it as a loaf cake this time around.
A light and airy whipped cream frosting is all it takes to complete this beautiful ricotta cake.
And since I’m all about spring and spring-like ingredients, let’s just decorate the cake with the freshest blueberries we can find. The combo of blueberries, whipped cream, lemon and ricotta is like a well-synchronized quartet.
I love a rustic looking cake, but there is an element of elegance to this one, no? Fresh whipped cream lightly swirled on top of the lemon ricotta cake and decorated simply with a handful of berries, fresh herbs (rosemary or mint works well) and lemon slices makes for an eye-catching addition to the dessert table.
A lemon ricotta cake is the best of both worlds. There’s enough lemon flavor to satisfy a lemon cake lover and the ricotta cheese adds a unique texture and flavor to the cake. It is like lemon cake and cheesecake had a baby together.
And this lemon ricotta loaf cake is a winner with both kids and adults alike. I love the fact that the frosting is not too rich like a traditional buttercream or cream cheese frosting, though if you wanted to, you could use either of them as well.
If you are looking for a dessert to grace your Easter brunch table, look no further. This is it. The lightest, scrummiest, most delightful spring themed cake ever, which is also super easy to make. If a lemon cake topped with whipped cream and berries doesn’t make you excited for spring, I don’t have anything to say.
Don’t wait for a special occasion though. This makes for a great tea-time cake as well. A slice of this ricotta lemon cake, hot cups of tea (or coffee) and good company makes for a pleasant evening.
- All-purpose flour - 1½ cups
- Baking powder - 1¼ tsp
- Baking soda - ¼ tsp
- Salt - ½ tsp
- Butter - ½ cup, softened
- Sugar - 1 cup
- Eggs - 3, large
- Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
- Ricotta cheese - 1 cup, full-fat preferred
- Lemon juice - ¼ cup, freshly squeezed
- Lemon zest - 1 tbsp
- Heavy cream - 1 cup
- Powdered sugar - 2 tbsp
- Blueberries - 1 cup
- Rosemary sprigs - for decoration, optional
- Lemon slices - for decoration, optional
- Lemon Ricotta Cake: Pre-heat the oven to 350 deg.F. Liberally grease a 81/2" x 41/2" or 9" x 5" loaf pan, line the bottom with parchment paper and set aside.
- Sift the dry ingredients together a couple of times and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar on high speed till pale and creamy, 2 minutes.
- Add eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. Beat on high speed for at least a minute till mixture is fluffy.
- Add vanilla extract and ricotta cheese and beat till incorporated. Add lemon juice and zest and bat well to incorporate. Mixture will look curdled at this point, but that's okay.
- Tip in the dry ingredients and fold with a spatula till just mixed in. Do not over-mix. Batter will be light and airy.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth the top.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 325 deg.F and bake the cake for 50-55 minutes or till it passes the toothpick test.
- Remove pan from oven and cool cake in pan for 10 minutes. Carefully remove cake from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
- Whipped Cream Frosting: Meanwhile, make the whipped cream frosting. Using a cold bowl and cold beaters, beat the heavy cream and powdered sugar till it thickens and stiff peaks are formed. You may add a few drops of vanilla extract or lemon zest for flavor. Cover with cling wrap and keep refrigerated till needed.
- Decorating the cake: Frost the top of the cake with whipped cream, decorate with blueberries, rosemary and lemon slices.
- Keep leftover cake covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
2. To make this cake as a 2-layer 5-inch cake, divide the batter between two 5" round pans. Check for doneness at 30 minutes and bake cakes till they pass the toothpick test.
3. Ever since making this recipe a couple of times, I have found that baking the cake at a slightly lower temperature (325 degF) is better for even baking. Reduce the oven temperature after pre-heating the oven to 350 degF.
4. You may double the amount of whipped cream if you want to frost the sides as well.
5. If you cannot find blueberries, you may use any other berries like strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc.
6. Since this cake has a whipped cream frosting, it must be refrigerated. Cake can be brought to room temperature before serving.
Do try as a delightful Easter cake next week. Or if you have a citrus cake lover in your life, surprise them with this cake on their special day!
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Do you have any cake stories? Do you like lemon cakes? Have you tried ricotta cheese in baking? Do try this pretty lemon ricotta cake and let me know how you like it.
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