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Lemon Ricotta Cake

 Lemon Ricotta Cake
This recipe is a family gem that was passed down from my grandmother and mother. Garnished with shaved lemon peel, the moist four-layer cake is the perfect dessert when you want to impress.
12-16 ServingsPrep: 1 hour + chilling Bake: 30 min. + cooling


  • 3 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 medium lemons
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened

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Lemon Ricotta Cake (continued)

Ingredients (continued)

  • 5-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  • For lemon curd, in a small bowl, combine eggs and egg yolks. In a
  • heavy saucepan, cook and stir the sugar, lemon juice and butter over
  • medium heat until smooth. Stir a small amount of hot mixture into
  • eggs; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle
  • boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes. Cool slightly. Cover and chill
  • for 1-1/2 hours or until thickened.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add
  • eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the
  • ricotta cheese, buttermilk, lemon peel, vanilla and lemon juice.
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to the
  • creamed mixture alternately with the buttermilk mixture, beating
  • well after each addition.
  • Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at
  • 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the
  • center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from
  • pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Using a citrus zester, remove peel from lemons in long narrow strips;
  • toss with sugar. Let stand for 30 minutes. (Save fruit for another
  • use.) Meanwhile, in a large bowl, cream butter until light and
  • fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, milk, lemon peel, vanilla and
  • salt; beat until smooth.
  • Cut each cake in half horizontally. Place one cake layer on a serving
  • plate. Pipe a circle of frosting around the edge of the cake. Spread
  • a third of the lemon curd inside the frosting. Repeat layers twice.
  • Top with remaining cake layer. Frost top and sides of cake. Garnish
  • with lemon peel. Store in the refrigerator.
  • Yield: 12-16 servings.
Nutritional Facts: 1 slice equals 657 calories, 27 g fat (16 g saturated fat), 172 mg cholesterol, 370 mg sodium, 98 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 8 g protein.

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Lemon Ricotta Cake (continued)

Wine: Sweet White Wine: Enjoy this recipe with a sweet white wine such as Moscato or a sweet Riesling.