Lemon, Ricotta and Almond Cake

There are so many versions of Lemon and Ricotta cake out there that I was reticent about adding another. This one, I can assure you, will go straight into the hand written sepia toned exercise book that I reserve for very good cakes. The recipe includes 4 lemons, and the batter is lightened by 6 eggs, the whites whipped and folded through at the end. It is an expensive cake but then it serves around 10 people, or two greedy people who eat it every day for dessert and afternoon tea. When served hot, it resembles a lemon delicious pudding. When served cold, it becomes more like a lemon cheesecake. It also keeps well. In summer, store the cake in a container in the fridge. Buonissimo e Molto Siciliano.                                         l

Torta di Limone, Ricotta e Mandorle,  Lemon, Ricotta and Almond Cake


  • 250 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 6 free range eggs, separated
  • 250 g almonds, ground
  • 75 g self-raising flour
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • zest of 5 organic lemons and juice of 4 organic lemons
  • 400 g fresh ricotta

    Lemon, Ricotta and Almond Cake
    Lemon, Ricotta and Almond Cake

Preheat the oven to 180°C (Gas Mark 4).

Butter and paper a 25 cm round springform cake tin. Beat the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until very light and fluffy. With the motor running, add the egg yolks, one at a time, until all are incorporated.

Combine the ground almonds with the flour, salt and lemon zest. Fold into the batter.

Whisk the lemon juice with the ricotta until light and airy.

Fold into the cake batter.

Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold them carefully into the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 50 minutes. Test by inserting a skewer into the cake. It should come out clean when cooked through.

Remove the cake from the oven and turn it out onto a cake rack to cool. It will remain moist for a few days. Store in the fridge in warm weather.

From Four Seasons, Manuela Darling-Gansser, Hardie Grant Books.

And Manuela’s great food and travel blog can be found here.

54 thoughts on “Lemon, Ricotta and Almond Cake”

  1. Francesca–do you grind your own almonds as opposed to purchasing almond meal? I have several recipes that require almond meal, but such a small amount that it seems frivolous to purchase a package of meal for the scant amount required in the recipe.


    1. The original recipe suggests grinding them but as I use lots of ground almonds, I tend to buy them, pre- ground, in kilo lots and I keep them sealed in the fridge. I have at least 4 other almond cakes on my site, and rarely use flour in cake recipes, so it all gets used. 250 g is quite a lot- well over 2 cups full.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I must check out yours too Signorina. Is there a post on it? I have about 5 doz eggs on the bench- my chooks are pumping, so I was attracted to this one because it used 6 eggs.


    1. I get a bit anal about little notebooks and journals and still try to use them- they have a special patina and feel, unlike keeping all my recipes here on the hard drive, waiting for it to blow up. A Very Special Cakes notebook and a Garden Design notebook, with a kids hand- drawn radish on the front that says,’ FrenJ Radish’ ( Noah’s fenetic spelling).


  2. I can smell and taste this divine cake – we have the most amazing tropical lemons in our garden, so now it’s off to find almond meal!
    Peter Far North Qld


  3. Love this cake. All the ingredients are not so expensive here. Love Manuela’s books and have them all – beautiful to page through and read, but I haven’t done much cooking from them. Methinks I need to go back to them for another look.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that’s good. We have our own eggs, and ricotta is cheap here but almonds have gone through the roof! Most of our almonds come from USA and I noticed the prices going up after the bees started disappearing from California.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This cake includes all the things I really, r eally like – ricotta, almond meal and lemons – unfortunately our ‘girls’ have entered henopause – so eggs are not even thin on the ground here. However, in the interests of applying what is positively a health food to my face I am compelled to make this. Do you drain the ricotta first Francesca?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Healthy and very lemony- it is a good cake to have up your sleeve for when those girls get back into action, or when you buy them some younger sisters. With regard to ricotta, it depends on how you buy it. I usually buy those 1 kilo baskets- they are well drained. Or sometimes I buy the amount needed from a deli selling it buy the kilo- also well drained. If I buy those little Italian style tubs, I would drain it as they tend to be a lot wetter.


    1. If only I knew you were coming. Half went home with my eldest son, as it was far too big for the two of us. I have far too many eggs so was pleased that it used 6. Yes, a GF version would be easy to do.


        1. Self raising flour is sold in Australia but elsewhere it is made by adding baking powder to Plain Flour ( AP ) or cake flour. Just add 2 teaspoons of baking powder for each 150g/6oz/1 cup plain flour. Sift the flour and baking powder together into a bowl before using, to make sure the baking powder is thoroughly distributed (or you can put both ingredients into a bowl and whisk them together). Or in Italy you use a cake lievito?

          Liked by 1 person

                1. Oh, it’s already yuuuuum. Only this: I should have believed that ‘almond flour’ means really flour and not almonds cut in little pieces like garlic. 😀 Still, thank you VERY much!!


                2. we can buy almonds already turned into almond meal or flour here. It should taste Ok with chopped almond, though the texture might be a little more crumbly. Next time look for almond meal.

                  Liked by 1 person

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