This lemon blueberry ricotta cake is a delicious spring and summer dessert. Fresh juicy blueberries, bright lemon flavour, light and tender cake. It’s delicious on its own and doesn’t need a glaze. It’s very easy to make too.
(Craving for a more lemony treat? Try this equally delicious lemon ricotta pound cake. I make them with Meyer lemons when they’re in season and with regular lemons all year-round!)
Lemon and blueberries go so well together (have you tried blueberry lemon bliss cheesecake bars?). Add ricotta cheese into the mix and you have yourself a real treat!
Ricotta cheese, a fresh and fluffy Italian cheese, is most commonly known for its role in everyone’s favourite lasagna but it’s an excellent addition to baked goods as well.
I love baking with ricotta. Some of my favourite dessert recipes using ricotta cheese include:
It’s also used in the filling for cannolis (check out the easiest homemade cannoli recipe from the folks at The Crumby Kitchen!).
And this lemon blueberry ricotta cake, of course. It’s one of my favourite things to bake in the summer.
Why you’ll love making this recipe
And it’s sure to become one of your favourite summer treats too because:
- It’s very easy to make. The recipe is simple, straightforward and very forgiving.
- Which makes this the perfect snacking cake or coffee cake. Something you can quickly and easily whip up this afternoon to enjoy with your tea or with your coffee tomorrow morning.
- But you can also jazz it up for company. Make a simple glaze or serve with whipped cream to make it look extra special.
- Can be used with a wide range of berries. No blueberries? No problem. You can substitute the same amount of your favourite berry instead.
How to make lemon blueberry ricotta cake
Most of what you’ll need are pantry staples like flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Here are a few things to note about some of the other ingredients:
- Eggs — we use large eggs and make sure they’re room temperature. This means you’ll want to set them on the counter at least 30 minutes before you intend on using them.
- Ricotta cheese — I always use full-fat ricotta cheese. I’ve been asked if I strain it and my answer has always been no because the cheese I get doesn’t really have a lot of excess moisture. If you think you need to strain yours, go ahead but be careful not to dry it out too much.
- Lemons — like in my pound cake, I use Meyer lemons when they’re available and regular lemons when they’re not. Both works and are delicious!
- Blueberries — I always use fresh blueberries but you can use frozen berries in a pinch. Got extra? Try making some blueberry oat bran muffins!
I like using my stand mixer when making this cake but a handheld electric mixer will work too. You’ll also need:
- 9×5 inch loaf pan
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring spoons and cups
- Wooden reamer and microplane zester — work great for juicing and zesting lemons
Easy cake recipe with step-by-step photos
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper with an overhang on each side. Having an overhang will help you release and lift the cake easily later.
In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In another bowl using a handheld electric mixer or using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, ricotta cheese and sugar until incorporated. Your mixture won’t look perfectly smooth and that’s ok.
Add the eggs one at a time until combined.
Add the vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest and continue to mix until incorporated.
Add flour mixture a little at a time until just combined. Do not over mix. Your batter will look like scrambled eggs at this point and that’s totally normal.
Gently fold in blueberries until evenly distributed.
Transfer to your prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with minimal dry crumbs.
Expert baking tips
- Use room temperature ingredients. And this is true for all baking. Room temperature ingredients are easier to combine and incorporate and helps you avoid over-mixing the batter.
- Don’t over-mix. Stop just as soon as the flour mixture is incorporated into the batter. Over-mixing will result to an unnecessarily dense and tough cake.
- Cover with aluminium foil. If you see that your cake is browning (especially on the edges) too soon and your cake is still slightly underbaked in the middle, loosely cover the cake with aluminum foil and continue baking.
Frequently asked questions
I prefer using fresh blueberries in this recipe but you can use frozen ones too. No need to thaw, just ensure to separate them before tossing them into the batter.
Note that frozen berries tend to bleed into the cake as they bake.
Blueberries tend to sink into the bottom of the cake (see pictures) and I’m ok with that.
However, if you want them more evenly distributed, you can toss the blueberries in a little flour before folding into the cake batter.
Yes, you can make this cake up to 2 days ahead of when you’re planning to serve it.
Keep it in the fridge in the meantime and bring it down to room temperature before serving, though we personally love it chilled.
You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. They should be good for up to a week.
This cake is delicious on its own but you can serve it sprinkled with powdered sugar, or topped with whipped cream and more blueberries.
Did you make this blueberry and ricotta cake? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below. And check this out if you’re looking for more recipes that use leftover ricotta cheese.
Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Cake
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper with a slight overhang on each side, then generously grease. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
- In another bowl using a handheld electric mixer or using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter, ricotta cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until incorporated. Your mixture won't look perfectly smooth and that's ok.
- Switch to low-medium speed and add the eggs one at a time until combined.
- Then add vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest and continue mixing until well blended.
- Add your flour mixture a little a time until just combined. Do not over mix. At this point, your cake batter will look like scrambled eggs and that's fine.
- Gently fold in blueberries until evenly distributed.
- Transfer batter into your prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with minimal dry crumbs (see notes).
- Cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- The total number of servings depends on how thick or thin you slice your cake. The estimated nutritional information is based on 8 servings.
- I usually just put all the lemon zest I have in the cake batter if I don’t have another use for it. I just make sure it’s not significantly more than 1 teaspoon.
- If you notice your cake getting too brown on the edges while the centre is still a little underbaked, loosely cover with aluminum foil and continue baking.
- See post for more baking tips, FAQs and step-by-step photos.
Nutritional information are estimates only.
(This post first appeared on The Unlikely Baker on 20 July 2016.)