Lemon and Ricotta Pound Cake

Pound cake is a rare treat for me, and given how easy it is to make, I’m not sure why I don’t have it more often. Its delicious, rich, crumbly, and buttery on its own but is also easily tweaked to highlight other flavors.

Lemon and Ricotta Pound Cake

In this case, I chose to go with a more Italian inspired flavor profile: creamy and tangy ricotta with the bright flavor of lemon. The cake was delicious, and I topped it off with a simple, sweet, lemony glaze to further the lemon flavor. The final result was delicious with a sweet, crispy crust around the edges and a tender, crumbly, delicious cake inside. My only regret was using too small of a loaf pan (so I also had some free-form pound cakelet blobs to enjoy on the side, lol).

  • Cake
    • 1.5 cups flour
    • 2.5 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 3/4 cup/6 oz unsalted butter
    • 1.5 cups fresh whole milk ricotta
    • 1.5 cups sugar
    • 3 eggs
    • zest of 1 lemon
    • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
    • Optional: dash of limoncello or lemon extract
  • Glaze
    • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
    • juice of 1/2 lemon
    • milk (few tsp as necessary)

Cream the butter and ricotta

In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set this aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the room temperature butter and add in both the sugar and ricotta, beating until the mixture becomes fairly smooth.

Mix the dry ingredients in with the wet to form the pound cake batter

Add the eggs one at a time to the butter/ricotta mixture, mixing until incorporated before proceeding. Add in the lemon zest and vanilla extract (and if you’re including the optional limoncello or lemon extract, add that as well).

Finally, add the dry ingredients into the wet, mixing slowly and only as much as is necessary to bring it all together.

Spread the batter evenly in a well buttered loaf pan

Butter a (roughly 9 inch) bread pan well. Pour the batter in, give it a shake to free any air bubbles, and smooth it out with your spatula. Put this on a baking sheet and give it 15 minutes in a 350°F oven. Then, rotate the pan 180 degrees (for even browning), drop the heat to 325°F, and give it ~30 minutes more (and depending on how wet your ricotta is, you might find you need 15-30 minutes more). Keep an eye on the pound cake–its done when a tester comes out of the center cleanly.

Lemon and Ricotta Pound Cake

Once time is up, let the cake cool down. You can top it with a simple dusting of confectioner’s sugar if you want a quick and simple finish. Or if you’re of the glaze persuasion (like myself), simply mix all of the glaze ingredients together in a bowl, adjusting the sugar/liquid until it takes on a viscous but still pour-able texture that you’re happy with. Once the cake is cool, simply pour on the glaze, cut a slice, and enjoy!

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11 Responses to “Lemon and Ricotta Pound Cake”

  1. Bellini Valli Says:

    Yumm!!!!

  2. nina Says:

    I love pound cake and the addition of ricotta will just make this the ultimate pound cake!!!

  3. Arlene Says:

    This is definitely a keeper. I love pound cake and the lemon and ricotta are just “icing.”

  4. heather Says:

    mmmmmm. lemon and ricotta! what a delicious combo!

  5. susan from food blogga Says:

    I love baking with ricotta. My family uses it in pies, cakes, and cookies, and it always renders them so light and creamy. Your pound cake looks fabulous, Mike!

  6. Tracy Says:

    Very nice and fresh tasting.

  7. ingrid Says:

    Yummy, that looks heavenly! I don’t have ricotta right now but I do have some mascarpone….think that will work?
    ~ingrid

  8. Steph Says:

    pound cake is definitely a rare treat for me! I never make it unless I’m sharing because of all the butter. If you ever have the chance, you should try whipping cream pound cake. The texture and flavour is incredible!

  9. nithya at hungrydesi Says:

    I love the idea of using ricotta in a pound cake. Sounds delicious.

  10. ingrid Says:

    Thank you! Thank You! THANK YOU!

    I just pulled this out of the oven 15 minutes ago and sliced a piece off sans glaze (yes, I know I need to let it cool longer!) and it is UH-MAZING! I did make two very slight changes. I made four mini poundcakes and because I love almond (1/2 tsp) and citrus (lemon extract 1/4 tsp)I subbed the almond extract for the vanilla.

    Seriously thanks Mike!
    ~ingrid

  11. Sophie Says:

    What an excellent & luscious loking cake this is!! I so love ricotta! thanks!!

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