Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake

  • Author: Alexandra Stafford
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1 9x5x3-inch loaf or three mini loaves


Source: Giada De Laurentiis

** UPDATE: I’ve since updated this recipe to be one-bowl: it’s faster and just as delicious if not more so: One-Bowl Orange-Ricotta Pound Cake ** Substitute lemon zest for the orange zest and 2 tablespoons lemon juice for the orange liqueur.


  • The first time I made this, I used an 8.5×4.5-inch loaf pan. The batter rose way above the top of the pan and spilled all over my oven. You really need to use a 9×5-inch loaf pan or something larger for this recipe, or, if you only have an 8.5×4.5-inch loaf pan, I would recommend not filling it higher than 3/4 or even halfway to be safe.
  • I often use 3 three mini loaf pans to bake this pound cake, because this is a great one for gifting.


  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks | 6 oz | 170 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more to grease the baking pan
  • 1 1/2 cups (6.75 oz | 196 g) cake flour (I use all-purpose)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 (13 oz | 366 g) cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon (12.5 oz | 360 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 to 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (less than 1 lemon, usually)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan (see notes above!) or 3 three mini loaf pans with butter (grease pans very well). In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir to blend.
  2. Using a mixer, cream the butter, ricotta and granulated sugar until blended, about 3 minutes — I never really go over three minutes, and it’s ok if there are some visible pieces of butter. In other words, the batter will not look entirely smooth (see photo). With the machine running, add the eggs 1 at a time. Add the vanilla, zest and lemon juice until combined. Add the dry ingredients, a small amount at a time, until just incorporated.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan, 50 to 60 minutes (or 5 to 10 additional minutes — cover loosely with foil if top is getting too brown) for standard loaf pan and 40 to 45 minutes for mini pans. (Note: Times might vary dramatically depending on the type of pan you are using. If you are using Pyrex or Corningware or some other glass or ceramic loaf pan, the loaves might take an hour or an hour and 15 minutes to bake. If you notice the top browning too much before the cake is finished, cover it loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil.) Let cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the pan(s) and transfer loaf/loaves to a rack to cool completely.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: lemon, pound cake, ricotta