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This simple Lemon Ricotta Cake is a sweet lemon-infused cake with a custard texture and soft buttered crumb topping. It’s the perfect dessert to end any meal!
A Creamy and Delicious Lemon Dessert
I love a good lemony dessert, especially when it comes in the form of a creamy and luxurious cake like today’s Lemon Ricotta Cake.
At first glance – being a ricotta cake – you might think this is some sort of lemon cheesecake. But it has more of a creamy but firm custardy texture that is silky smooth and bursting with sweet-tart lemon flavor. Each slice of cake also has a soft buttery crumbly topping.
Why you’ll love Lemon Custard Ricotta Cake
- This cake has refreshing sweet and lemony flavor in every bite.
- It’s so easy to make – only about twenty minutes of hands-on prep before baking in the oven.
- You can serve the cake warm out of the oven, or chilled for a few hours in the refrigerator – either way is delicious!
Key Ingredients & Substitutions
- Eggs – You’ll use an entire dozen eggs in this cake, which gives it that decadent custardy texture.
- Granulated Sugar
- Ricotta Cheese – Buy whole milk ricotta for the richest taste and texture.
- Lemons – You’ll use three or four lemons – both the juice and zest.
- Heavy Cream – Don’t be tempted to swap in milk or a lighter cream – heavy cream is a must for the most luxurious cake consistency.
- All-Purpose Flour
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda
- Unsalted Butter – Used to prepare the baking dish and for the topping.
Special Tools Needed
- 9×13-inch baking dish or casserole dish
- Stand mixer or hand mixer with whisk attachment
- Bowl to mix the dry ingredients
- Spatula to scrape the bowl
- Box grater to grate the butter
How do I make Lemon Custard Ricotta Cake?
- Whisk the eggs and sugar until pale in color.
- Add in the ricotta and whisk until completely incorporated.
- Add lemon zest, lemon juice, and heavy cream, then whisk again to completely mix.
- Add flour and salt, then mix. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again.
- Pour batter into buttered casserole dish.
- Mix dry ingredients and sprinkle over the top of the custard
- Grate cold butter over the top of the batter.
- Bake until a paring knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Optional Step: Broil for a minute or two if you’d like to brown the top of the cake. Just be sure to watch the cake as it broils to avoid burning the crumbs.
- Cool for 30 minutes then cut into squares for serving. (Or you can chill in the refrigerator until completely firm.)
- Whip heavy cream and spoon a dollop over each serving.
Tips & Tricks
As the cake bakes, if any dry flour forms on top or around the edges, spray over the dry spots with cooking spray and continue baking. This will help keep the topping soft and crumbly.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I make Lemon Custard Ricotta Cake ahead of time? Yes, this is delicious served cold.
- How do I store leftovers? Store covered and refrigerated for up to three days.
- Can I freeze this cake? Yes. We suggest wrapping individual servings.
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12 whole eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 pint whole milk ricotta cheese (16 ounce but if container is 15 ounces, that is fine)
6 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons lemon zest (about 3–4 lemons)
3/4 cup lemon juice (about 3–4 lemons)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks cold butter (12 tablespoons)
1 cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Butter a 9×13-inch casserole dish.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the 12 eggs until light and creamy, about two minutes on a fast speed.
- Add sugar and whisk for another minute.
- Add ricotta and whisk for another minute.
- Add cream, whisk for a minute, then scrape the bowl and mix.
- Add zest and juice and whisk to combine.
- With mixer running on low, whisk in flour and salt. Scrape the bowl and mix again.
- Pour into prepared casserole dish.
- Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl then sprinkle over the top of the custard.
- Use the large holes of a box grater and grate the cold butter all over the top.
- Bake uncovered for about 50 minutes or until a paring knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Broil for a minute or two if you want the top to be darker.
- Let rest 30 minutes then cut 3×4 rows into 12 pieces.
- While the cake is resting, whip the cream.
- Serve slices with the whipped cream.
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