Preheat oven to 350F. Line the bottom and sides of a 9x5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper and generously grease with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine 1 ½ cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
Using a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat ¾ cup butter, 1 ½ cups ricotta cheese and 1 ½ cups sugar on medium-high speed until incorporated, 2-3 minutes. The mixture will look like scrambled eggs at this point and that's OK!
Switch to low speed and add the eggs one at a time until combined. Then add 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon lemon zest and 2 tablespoons lemon juice.
Once your wet ingredients are incorporated, add your flour mixture a little a time until just combined. Do not over beat.
Transfer your batter into your pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with minimal crumbs (see note 2).
Cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
You can substitute the same quantity of zest and juice from regular lemons.
If you notice that your cake is getting too brown too fast, you can cover the top loosely with aluminum foil midway and continue baking.