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  • Writer's picturemandyjdc

Italian Lemon Ricotta Cake (Migliaccio)

This is one of my favorite cakes. The only reason it's not #1 is because I'm a chocoholic and anything chocolate will always have first place in my heart. That being said, this is a strong second. It's light, refreshing, you can taste the lemon without it being overpowering, not overly sweet, and the ricotta cheese makes the texture of this cake soft and creamy.

It's a traditional Neopolitan cake made at Carnivale time in Italy. Each region in Italy has a slightly different version, but since I'm part Neopolitan, I figured I'd make their traditional cake. It's very easy to make, not time consuming, and is covered in a very light buttercream that is to die for. If you want to be fancy, you can quickly candy some lemon slices to place on top for aesthetics.

NOTE: I recommend using Meyer lemons if you can find them as they are slightly sweeter than regular lemons and are great for cakes and baking in general. I couldn't find any, so I used regular lemons and it came out just fine.

Ingredients For Cake:

1/2 C Butter, melted

1 1/2 C Whole milk ricotta cheese

3/4 C Sugar

3 Eggs, large

1Tbl Lemon zest (zest of about 2 lemons)

Fresh lemon juice from 1/2 a large lemon

1 tsp Vanilla extract

1/4 tsp Almond extract

1 1/2 C Flour

2 tsp Baking powder

3/4 tsp Salt

How To:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Melt butter in microwave.

  3. Once butter is no longer hot, place it in a mixing bowl.

  4. Add in sugar, eggs, lemon zest, extracts, and lemon juice to the bowl with the butter, and whisk until creamy.

  5. Add in ricotta cheese, and whisk until light and fluffy.

  6. Add your dry ingredients on top of wet mixture, and stir until just combined.

  7. Pour batter into an 8 inch greased cake pan.

  8. Bake 30-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. I always check earlier rather than later because my oven can be finicky and sometimes my cakes cook faster than suggested.

  9. Take cake out of the oven, and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Use a knife to separate the sides of the cake from the pan.

  10. After 10 minutes, take cake out of the pan and place it on a wire cooling rack. Once room temp, place cake in fridge to cool down.

Ingredients For Icing:

1/4 C Butter, softened

2Tbl Fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 1/2 Tbl Half and half

3 C Powdered sugar

1tsp Vanilla extract

How To:

  1. Add butter, and all wet ingredients to a mixing bowl. Add just 1 C powdered sugar.

  2. Beat on low speed for about 20 seconds, and then increase speed to medium.

  3. Gradually add in more powdered sugar and start on slow speed and slowly increase to prevent powdered sugar from flying out of the bowl.

  4. Once all sugar is added, beat on high for 30 seconds until buttercream is light and fluffy.

  5. Spread icing on cooled cake.

  6. If you want to make candied lemon slices, cut a lemon into slices, and heat 1 C of water and 1 C of sugar over medium high in a large pan. Once simmering, add lemon slices, and let cook uncovered for 15 minutes. Take out slices and lay on a cooling rack.


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Your recipes are amazing! 😋



This is my new birthday cake. That’s how delicious it is. I could eat a bowl of the lemon icing



Absolutely delicious

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