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Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake

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4.8 from 59 reviews

  • Author: Alexandra Stafford
  • Total Time: 1 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1 large loaf or three mini loaves


Inspired by Giada De Laurentiis

** UPDATE: If you love an olive oil cake, I’ve since adapted this recipe to use olive oil in place of butter. It’s also a one-bowl job: One-Bowl Orange-Ricotta Pound Cake (Simple substitute lemon zest for the orange zest and fresh lemon juice for the orange liqueur.)**


  • Important: You must use a 9×5-inch loaf pan or 10×5-inch loaf pan or something larger for this recipe, or, two 8×4-inch loaf pans, otherwise the batter may spill over into your oven, and the cake will not bake evenly. If you only have an 8×4-inch loaf pan, I would recommend not filling it higher than 3/4 or even halfway to be safe. You can bake off the remaining batter in smaller pans or you can wait till your first loaf is done; then bake off the remaining batter in your cooled and cleaned loaf pan.
  • I often use three mini loaf pans, because this is a great one for gifting.


  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks | 170 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more to grease the baking pan
  • 1 1/2 cups (196 g) cake flour or 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 (300 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- or 10 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan (see notes above!) with butter (grease it 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 (Note: Do not fill pan higher than 3/4 — save extra batter to bake off in a mini pan or muffin tin … if you fill the pan higher than 3/4 you risk the batter spilling over. See notes above.) and bake until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan, 45 to 60 minutes (about 35 minutes for mini pans). Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American