Lemon cakes are not everyone’s cup of tea, but it sure is for this girl. However, I still decided to break down the sourness that normally characterized a lemon cake with some sweet cream cheese frosting. If this sounds amazing to you then let me introduce you to my lemon ricotta cake recipe with cream cheese frosting.

Lemon ricotta cake with cream cheese on a cake stand with lemons in the back, flowers, and a cake knife.

Spring Recipe

I feel like this lemon ricotta cake recipe is the perfect spring recipe. It’s a sublime companion for an afternoon tea or your next brunch gathering. Heck, it’s like the sweetest treat to give to your co-workers (those who you don’t hate), neighbors, or anyone who you’d like to bribe with food. Am I the only one who bribes people with food? I can’t be!

Anyway, I’ve been really into brunches lately. Somehow I started developing a new fascination for donuts and bagels. No idea why! For Mother’s Day, I’m thinking of organizing a brunch for my mum. My lemon ricotta cake will certainly be a contender to join the table. This and bagels AND donuts, perfection!

This lemon ricotta cake recipe is basically your new spring sidekick. Print or save this recipe, throw on your baking apron, and try it out. I’m sure you’ll love it and I’m sure you’ll want to save this recipe for future reference.

Prepping and Baking Notes

I chose to make this a 2-tier cake frosted with cream cheese in the middle and on top. To me, this choice was more appealing to the eye, but you can definitely make another variation. You can choose to make it just 1 tier, make it in a loaf tin with or without frosting, or in a bundt form with a sugar glaze instead of cream cheese frosting. Half the recipe if you want to make a thinner cake, a loaf, or a bundt.

3 slices of lemon ricotta cake on a plate with the who cake on the side and yellow flowers on the opposite side.

Make sure you don’t overmix. The batter won’t be completely smooth because of the ricotta. You just have to remove the big lumps. Also, let the cake cool down completely in the baking pan before removing. If you try to remove it earlier it will crumble to pieces. I almost made that mistake.

For decoration, I went with some lime swirls with mint.

Lemon ricotta cake with cream cheese on a cake stand with lemons in the back, flowers, and a cake knife.

Lemon Ricotta Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting

This lemon ricotta cake recipe with cream cheese frosting is a delicious balance of sweetness with a little bit of tart.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Resting Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian


  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 0.24 cup grated lemon zest approx. 2 lemons
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 0.5 tsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp baking soda
  • 0.5 tsp salt

Cream-Cheese Frosting

  • 120 gr butter softened
  • 240 gr cream cheese room temperature
  • 600 gr icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugar on medium until light and fluffy. Add eggs on by one and mix well after each one.
  • In one bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, buttermilk, lemon zest, vanilla, and lemon juice. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add both mixtures gradually to the butter-sugar cream by alternating between the two. Mix well after each addition.
  • Line the inside of your baking pan with parchment paper. Add half the mixture and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let it cool for 10-15 minutes and repeat the same process for the remaining batter.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In a mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, mix the butter and cream cheese. Gradually add the sugar until it’s all well incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and beat for 5 minutes more.
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