This citrus-packed Lemon Ricotta Cake is a quick and easy bake with a fluffy texture and moist crumb. Top the cake with a colorful blueberry glaze for a truly perfect dessert!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
If you're looking for an easy lemon ricotta bundt cake recipe, you are in the right place, and has really become a favorite cake of mine! This moist cake has a lighter texture than a pound cake (which can be a rather dense cake) and is made with just a handful of ingredients.
Because it's baked in a bundt pan, the entire cake turns a nice golden brown color with a lightly caramelized exterior to hold in that rich lemon flavor!
This is a great cake for you if you love lemon desserts, and also has the best texture and nice open crumb. The cake is topped with a fresh fruit blueberry glaze, which can be naturally colored to your choice of purple!
This recipe is also great paired with a light and bright lemon curd to really bring home that lemon flavor.
Make this cake a day in advance, then dress it with the blueberry icing when you're ready to serve. This would be a hit for any dinner parties you may have planned!
This delicious lemon ricotta cake is made with incredibly basic ingredients.
- Dry ingredients. All-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt.
- Wet ingredients. Granulated sugar, large eggs, vegetable oil, butter (melted).
- Whole milk ricotta cheese. If it is particularly runny, be sure to drain any excess liquid.
- Vanilla extract.
- Fresh lemons. Fresh lemon zest and fresh lemon juice - about four large lemons.
- Blueberries. Fresh berries or frozen berries can be used for the blueberry glaze.
- Powdered sugar. For the blueberry glaze (also known as confectioners sugar or icing sugar).
See recipe card for quantities.
- Stand mixer or electric hand mixer.
- Bundt pan. Because this recipe doesn't use a springform pan, you also won't need parchment paper.
- Food processor or Microplane. For the lemon zest and lemon sugar.
- Fine-mesh sieve. To strain the blueberry juice for the blueberry glaze.
While this easy ricotta cake uses simple ingredients, there are a few substitutions that can be made. In place of the full-fat ricotta, you could use sour cream, buttermilk, or greek yogurt (all full-fat).
For the blueberry glaze, rather than using all milk, cream or water, you could use lemon juice or limoncello in place (or in addition to).
If you'd like to pair this moist lemon ricotta cake with a fresh blueberry sauce, you can cook down one extra cup of blueberries with two tablespoons of sugar until the blueberries break down and the juices released become slightly thick.
Additional flavor variations:
- orange instead of lemon
- almond (use almond extract)
How to Make This Recipe
Step 1: Combine the lemon zest and sugar then add it to whipped eggs.
Step 2: Add the wet ingredients and ricotta cheese and mix to combine.
Hot tip! Be sure all dairy ingredients (eggs, ricotta, milk) are at room temperature for a smooth batter and an even bake.
Step 3: Alternate adding the flour mixture, milk, and rest of the flour mixture until combined.
Step 4: Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake until set. Cool for 20 minutes, then turn out the cake onto a platter to finish cooling.
Hot tip! Grease the bundt pan, then sprinkle in flour. Use your hands to tap the flour the whole way around the pan, then discard any extra flour left over.
How to Make the Blueberry Glaze
Cook down the blueberries until juices release, then pass the juice through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Once cool, add it to powdered sugar and drizzle in a bit of heavy cream, milk, or water until a thick but pourable consistency forms.
Check out my Easy Blueberry Glaze for Desserts post for details on how to adjust the color to your preference!
Once the cake is fully cool, pour the glaze over the top so it falls over the sides.
- Be sure the eggs, ricotta cheese, and milk are at room temperature for best results.
- Only mix the batter until the final round of flour is incorporated. Over-mixing can lead to a tough cake.
- Test a drizzle of blueberry glaze on an overturned cup to see how it falls. Adjust the powdered sugar to thicken or liquid to thin the glaze.
This could be for a few reasons. First, it was over-baked, second, too much flour was added. It's best to weigh your flour, but if you don't have a digital scale, be sure to fluff and spoon the flour into your measuring cup. Watch this video for correct flour measuring tips!
Finally, the batter could have been over-mixed! Only mix until the flour is just incorporated.
If your glaze is too thin and runny, that just means that slightly too much liquid has been added. Simply add more powdered sugar a bit at a time (stirring in between each addition) until the glaze thickens to a slow, pourable consistency.
If you didn't grease and flour your pan, this is likely culprit number one. If you did grease and flour, does your pan have scratches? Scratches on non-stick surfaces can also cause cakes to not release properly.
The best way to do this is to place a serving platter slightly larger than the pan on top of the bundt pan opening. Using two hands to hold both the pan and platter, quickly turn the pan so it becomes upside down on top of the platter. Tap on the top and sides of the pan a few times, then gently lift straight up.
If the cake does not come out. Allow it to sit for a few minutes to see if it releases on its own. Otherwise, turn it back over and use an offset spatula to go around the edges and release any sticking points, then try to turn it out again.
This cake can be stored a room temperature for one day, then in the fridge for an additional three days. Be sure to store the cake with plastic wrap or in an airtight container. Any uncovered pieces can dry out the cake considerably.
The cake or slices of cake can also be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, placed in a tiptop bag and frozen for two months. Unwrap completely and thaw at room temperature.
Add the glaze once the cake is thawed. I do not suggest freezing the cake with the blueberry glaze already on top.
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Lemon Ricotta Cake with Blueberry Glaze
- Food processor, microplane, or zester
- Stand mixer with paddle attachment, or handheld mixer
- Bundt pan
- Fine mesh sieve
Lemon Ricotta Cake
- 3 cups all-purpose flour 360g
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 large eggs two whole eggs, two egg whites (room temperature)
- 1½ cups granulated sugar 300g
- 3-4 tablespoons lemon zest or 1½ peeled lemons
- ¼ cup vegetable oil 60ml
- ¼ cup unsalted butter melted (57g)
- ¼ cup lemon juice freshly squeezed (60ml)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
- ¾ cup ricotta cheese (full-fat) room temperature (180g)
- 1 cup whole milk (240ml)
- 1 cup blueberries fresh or frozen (115g fresh)
- 1½ cups powdered sugar sifted (180g)
- 1-2 tablespoons water, milk, or heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350℉/180℃. Grease and flour a bundt pan and set aside.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.3 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Separate two of the eggs, keeping the whites and saving the yolks for another time.4 large eggs
- Peel one and a half lemons and add the peels to the food processor with the sugar. Blend until no chunks of peels remain. Alternatively, zest 3-4 tablespoons of lemon zest using a microplane and mix it into the sugar with your fingertips.1½ cups granulated sugar, 3-4 tablespoons lemon zest
- Add the eggs and egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium high speed for about 3 minutes until foamy and fluffy.
- Add the lemon zest sugar, vegetable oil, melted butter, lemon juice, vanilla, and ricotta and mix to combine, then scrape down the sides.¼ cup vegetable oil, ¼ cup unsalted butter, ¼ cup lemon juice, 2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract, ¾ cup ricotta cheese (full-fat)
- With the mixer running on low speed, add half of the flour mixture, drizzle in the milk, then add the remaining flour. Stop mixing as soon as the flour is incoprorated.1 cup whole milk
- Pour the mixture into the prepared bundt pan and spread evenly. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the center (but still has moist crumbs).
- Remove the pound cake from the oven and rest on a cooling rack for 20 minutes, then turn the cake out of the pan onto a serving platter to finish cooling.
- When the cake has finished cooling, add the blueberries to a small saucepan over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Gently mash down the blueberries as they are cooking to release all the juices.1 cup blueberries
- Once the blueberries have started to break down and produce juices, pass them through a fine mesh sieve into a small bowl so you are left with only the thick liquid.
- Sift the powdered sugar into a separate bowl, and start by adding only 1 - 2 tablespoons of the blueberry juice to the sugar. Mix until incorporated (it will be very thick and pasty at this point), then slowly add in a small drizzle of liquid at a time and whisk together. The glaze should be thick, but pourable.1½ cups powdered sugar, 1-2 tablespoons water, milk, or heavy cream
- Once the cake is cool, spoon or pour as much glaze as desired over the cake. Slice, and serve!
Hi Callan, l just came across your post about the lemon ricotta cake and it looks so yummy, however l was wondering if using a little less sugar would work and if so how much approximately, as l need to watch my refined sugar intake. Thank you .
Hi Jo, I haven't tried reducing the sugar in this recipe, so I can't exactly say how it would turn out. Sugar plays a large role in both structure and moisture in cakes, so the current amount is important for the outcome. If you do want to try to reduce, I'd say you definitely couldn't go any lower than 3/4 cup!
How do you think it would be with raspberries? I have an over abundance of them. Thanks!
The Cozy Plum
Hi Belinda, while I haven't tried raspberries specifically, the process should ideally be the same and I think it would work great! If you experience any discoloration, just add a touch of food coloring (if you'd like). Let me know if you try it!
Such a delight! I made this to share with my mom for Mother's Day and we all loved it! It's very bright with the perfect amount of sweetness. The blueberry glaze adds such a lovely pop of flavor and color. Definitely a sweet treat I'll make again and again!
Hi, Blueberry and Lemon is one of my favorite combinations! Quick question though, you list 1/4 cup lemon juice as an ingredient but never mention it in the actual recipe. (Unless I missed it!) I'm wondering if that was part of the update you made in June and it jut got missed. Please let me know as I've purchased everything and am ready to bake! If you don't respond I think I'll just sub out 1/4 c of the milk and replace with the lemon juice for more lemon flavor to the cake!
The Cozy Plum
Hi Jill - thanks for notifying me of this! The lemon juice will go in at the same time as the melted butter and the rest of the liquid ingredients. I've just updated the recipe card so you may need to do a browser refresh to see the updates. I hope you enjoy this!
Such a delicious cake and perfect for spring! My cake baked quickly so I might try a slightly shorter bake time next time. I also added lemon juice to the blueberry glaze to give it a bit more zip. Thanks for the recipe!