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+ servings
Lemon ricotta cake drizzled with lemon icing.

High Altitude Lemon Ricotta Cake

Heather Smoke
An easy, high altitude recipe for a classic, one-layer lemon ricotta cake that's tender and moist, and drizzled with lemon icing.

All recipes on Curly Girl Kitchen are developed for high altitude at 5,280 feet.

5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American, Italian


  • 8-inch Springform Pan with Removable Bottom
  • Stand Mixer with Paddle Attachment



  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 15 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
  • zest of 1 large lemon or 2 small lemons
  • 1 ¾ cups + 2 tbsp cake flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp coarse Kosher salt


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp meringue powder
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice



  • Preheat the oven to 350 F, and position a rack in the center of the oven. Spray an 8-inch springform pan with non-stick baking spray.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the softened butter with the sugar on medium speed for 3 minutes, until fluffy.
  • Scrape the bowl down, and add the ricotta cheese. Beat on medium speed for 5 minutes. This step aerates the ricotta for a fluffy cake crumb.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Add the vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest. The cake batter will look curdled at this point.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the cake batter, and mix just until combined. Use a spatula to scrape everything up from the bottom to make sure the batter is evenly mixed.
  • Spread the cake batter into your prepared pan. Bake for about 50-55 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean, and the top of the cake springs back when gently touched.
  • Set the pan on a cooling rack, cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel, and cool completely.
  • When the cake is cool, run a knife around the side of the pan, then release the collar. Turn the cake over onto a serving plate or cake pedestal, so the flat bottom side is facing up.


  • In a bowl, whisk together the icing ingredients until smooth. It should be fairly thick, but drizzly.
  • Immediately, pour the icing on top of the cake, and use a spatula to spread it towards the edges, gently nudging it over the edges of the cake.
  • Let the icing set and crust over (about 30 minutes) before slicing the cake and serving.


Store leftover cake in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Keyword Lemon, Lemon Cake, Lemon Ricotta
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