Sicilian Citrus Ricotta Cake

This is a super easy summer dessert that will have you going back for seconds for sure. Every summer we find ourselves competing with the crows and raccoons for the cherries in our tree, so we have to be quick to pick them as soon as they start to ripen. Cherries are so delicious. Who can blame them for wanting to eat them?

This year was no exception. A furry friend was up in the tree twice so far this week and he wasn’t in a hurry to come down. He feasted on cherries for hours. The crows always alert us when a raccoon visits the yard, but there’s not much we can do to calm the crows. They just have to make peace with sharing the cherries with the raccoons. It’s actually kind of fun seeing this frenzy of activity for a couple weeks of the summer. The only problem is that the raccoons tend to be early risers, so the crows wake us up around five in the morning to let us know that a raccoon is close by and likely in our cherry tree. They’re good climbers.

The ricotta, honey and olive oil make this cake really moist. It’s not super sweet so you can enjoy two pieces without much guilt. The cherries go so well with the ricotta and citrus.

This cake totally reminds me of the flavours of Sicily. I developed this recipe on a whim one morning with ingredients I had in my fridge and pantry and it turned out great.

I hope you enjoy it too.

Sicilian Citrus Ricotta Cake
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
35 mins

Lemon Cherry Ricotta Cake

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: lemon cherry ricotta cake, lemon ricotta cake, Ricotta cake, Sicilian Ricotta Cake
Servings: 12
Author: Rosa
  • 2 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh pitted cherries, halved
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Grease a 9 inch round pan generously with oil or butter and then coat with flour.

  3. Whisk the egg whites until frothy. Then add the sugar and whisk until firm peaks form.

  4. Add the egg yolks and whisk until combined.

  5. Gradually add the olive oil, lemon juice and zest and whisk on low speed until incorporated.

  6. Add the ricotta cheese and whisk on low speed until incorporated.

  7. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix gently with a spatula until mostly combined. Then add the cherries. Do not overmix the batter. Reserve a few cherries for the top of the cake.

  8. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

  9. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes before flipping it onto a serving plate.

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