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Strawberry Ricotta Cake (Easy No-Fail Recipe)

Strawberry ricotta cake is soft, melt-in-your-mouth, creamy and delicious! It’s like cheesecake but without all the work. And it’s just what we need to bring us out of winter and into spring.

(Love strawberries? Start the day with these strawberry chocolate chip waffles. Crunchy outside, tender inside, so good!)

Slice of strawberry cake with ricotta on a plate.

I love baking with ricotta cheese. It’s more commonly used in making lasagnas and other savoury Italian dishes but it makes baked goods moist and tender as well.

Although not as smooth and creamy as cream cheese (in fact it results to slightly grainier cheesecakes), I like that cakes made with ricotta are lighter and not as rich.

This strawberry ricotta cake has the consistency of cheesecake — tender, melts in your mouth, creamy — but without all the work that comes with baking one. 

Isn’t that awesome?

Why you’ll love making strawberry ricotta cake

Freshly baked strawberry and ricotta cake in a pan.

Once you give it a try, I bet you’ll become a fan of baking with ricotta, too. This strawberry cake is a great recipe to try because:

  • It’s easy to make. You won’t even need a mixer! All you need to do is whisk, fold, bake, eat. Just watch the video to see how easy it is to make.
  • It’s a very forgiving recipe. Unlike traditional cheesecakes where you worry about cracking and water baths, baking this cake is straightforward. And it’s meant to look charmingly rustic.
  • Strawberries shine. They are the star of this show, which makes it a perfect spring cake! It’s great for Easter and Mother’s Day too.

How to make

Ingredients for ricotta cake with strawberries.

Making this cake is simple and easy!

Ingredient notes

This recipe has less than 10 ingredients. Most of what you’ll need are pantry staples like flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. 

Key things to note about some of the others:

  • 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.
  • Butter — we use melted butter. Make sure to allow time for the butter to cool so that it doesn’t crystallize once we add it into our batter.
  • Strawberries — it’s best to use sweet strawberries for this cake. Taste your berries before using.

Baking tools

You won’t need an electric mixer to make this ricotta cake. Just the following:

  • Balloon whisk
  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Rubber spatula
  • And an 8-inch springform pan (see FAQs below for alternatives)

Easy recipe with step-by-step photos

First you’ll want to preheat your oven to 350F. Then lightly grease the bottom of your pan and line it with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk all your dry ingredients until combined: flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Photo collage - flour mixture in a bowl.

In another bowl, whisk your wet ingredients until incorporated: eggs, ricotta cheese and vanilla extract. Your mixture won’t look perfectly smooth and that’s ok.

Photo collage - eggs and ricotta cheese in a bowl.

Fold your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Do not over mix the batter at this point. Your batter should look grainy and crumbly, not smooth.

Photo collage - wet ingredients folded into dry ingredients.

Add the melted butter and strawberries and fold until combined.

Photo collage - melted butter and strawberries added to cake batter.

Transfer the cake batter to your prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake starts to brown at the edges and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool for 20 minutes on the counter before releasing from pan.

Cake batter in a pan ready to go into oven.

Expert baking tips

  • Use sweet strawberries. Using sweet strawberries is key to the success of this cake. Strawberries that are on the sour side would leave a tart aftertaste. Some people may like the sweet-sour combo but I prefer this cake to be sweet all the way (don’t worry, it’s not overly sweet).
  • 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.

Frequently asked questions

Overhead shot of strawberry and ricotta cake.
Can I use other berries or frozen berries?


You can absolutely use other berries if strawberries are not available. Raspberries would work especially well here.

Frozen berries can work too but be wary about the extra moisture they’ll bring into the cake.

What to use if I don’t have a springform pan


I like using a springform pan because it releases the cake so easily. If you don’t have one, you can use a similar-sized round pan that’s greased and lined with parchment paper.

You can even use a square pan and make a mini sheet cake or bars. Again, just make sure to line it with parchment so you won’t have trouble releasing the cake later.

Slice of ricotta cake with strawberries and cream.

Can I make this cake ahead?


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.

Storage and shelf life


You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. They should be good for up to a week.

Dessert recipes using ricotta cheese

If you love ricotta cheese as much as I do, you would love these desserts made with ricotta cheese.

  • This Meyer lemon ricotta pound cake is a family favourite. Sweet and salty, soft and moist, you don’t need frosting or glaze to enjoy it!
  • Meanwhile, the chocolate fans in your life will be forever grateful when you make a batch of these delightful chocolate chip ricotta muffins. It’s the perfect excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast!

Plus, check out this delicious collection of recipe ideas for what to do with that leftover ricotta cheese in your fridge.

Slice of strawberry ricotta cake with whipped cream and strawberries.

Strawberry Ricotta Cake

Author: Jolina
Strawberry ricotta cake – soft, melt-in-your-mouth, delicious! It’s just what we need to bring us out of this chill and into spring!
5 from 14 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Cooling Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Italian, North American
Servings 8
Calories 361 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 3 pcs large eggs room temperature
  • 11 oz ricotta cheese (about 1 ½ cups) room temperature
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled
  • 7 oz fresh strawberries (about 1 ½ cups) hulled and quartered

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
    Springform pan lined with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until combined.
    Photo collage - flour mixture in a bowl.
  • In another bowl, whisk eggs, ricotta cheese and vanilla until incorporated. It will a little grainy and that's OK.
    Photo collage - eggs and ricotta cheese in a bowl.
  • Fold into your dry ingredients just until combined (do not over mix). You're not looking for a smooth batter; it should look rough and crumbly.
    Photo collage - wet ingredients folded into dry ingredients.
  • Fold the melted butter and strawberries into batter until combined.
    Photo collage - melted butter and strawberries added to cake batter.
  • Transfer the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the cake is starting to brown at the edges and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
    Cake batter in a pan ready to go into oven.
  • Allow to cool for 20 minutes before removing from pan. Serve with whipped cream and extra strawberries on top (optional).
    Freshly baked strawberry and ricotta cake in a pan.

Video

Notes

  1. The yield depends on how big your cakes slices are. The estimated nutrition information is based on 8 servings.
  2. You can use raspberries or blackberries if they’re your favourite.
  3. You can also make this cake up to 2 days ahead. Just store tightly wrapped in the fridge then bring down to room temperature just before serving (though it’s also delicious chilled!).
  4. See post for more tips, FAQs and step-by-step photos.

 

Nutrition

Calories: 361kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 7gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 255mgPotassium: 210mgFiber: 1gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 533IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 136mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information are estimates only.

Keyword Easter, Easy, Mother’s Day, Spring
Tried this recipe?Tag @iamtheunlikelybaker I’d love to see your creations!

Happy baking!

Did you make strawberry ricotta cake?  I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

And let’s get social! Find me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

(First published on The Unlikely Baker on 12 March 2018. Updated on 23 March 2022 with a more comprehensive baking guide.)

Rate the Recipe




Sandra

Thursday 12th of May 2022

This cake was so moist and delicious! We had extra ricotta and found the perfect recipe for it. Thank you!

Jolina

Tuesday 17th of May 2022

Hi Sandra, you're most welcome! Glad you liked it :)

Gregory Halpen

Monday 9th of May 2022

I love making cheesecake. However, sometimes it’s nice to make a dessert that isn’t too complicated. I love how your recipe is forgiving! I’m going to make this this weekend!

Lisa

Thursday 3rd of September 2020

This cake is so good! I was a bit worried when mixing the dry and wet ingredients together as it was such a thick mixture. However when I added the melted butter and strawberries it seemed much better... the end result was sp scrumptious! Saving this recipe to make again for my extended family when we can finally catch up after lock down! Thanks

Jolina

Sunday 6th of September 2020

So happy to hear that Lisa! It's really a delicious way to enjoy strawberries :) Hope you're enjoying these last few days of summer.

Valerie

Sunday 7th of July 2019

1:00 in the oven and still not cooked in the middle... it smell heaven but i dont understand why it takes so long

Jolina

Monday 8th of July 2019

Hi Valerie. There can be a lot of reasons for this but the most common one is oven temperature. If your oven runs too hot the outside of the cake will cook faster than the middle. My old oven was like this and I resolved it by buying a $10 oven thermometer. In the meantime, when you're baking a cake and notice that the sides or tops are getting too brown too soon, loosely cover with foil and continue baking.

Jennifer

Friday 26th of April 2019

Hi, I made this cake last night and it was a big hit. I just have a question about mixing the ricotta with the eggs and butter. It never got smooth and I mixed in my kitchenmaid for awhile. Is there something else I need to do to make it smooth? I will be trying the lemon muffins next.

Thanks!

Jolina

Friday 10th of May 2019

Hi Jennifer! Glad you and yours liked it! The batter won't actually get super smooth (like other cake batters) so you're ok (check out the video, the batter is a tad grainy though I don't know if the footage shows that clearly).