Sicilian ricotta cake

For a glorious citrus-flavoured, ricotta-iced cake try Eric Lanlard's recipe for a classic Sicilian treat
By Eric Lanlard
Sicilian ricotta cake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: plus overnight chilling
  • Effort: medium



  • 200 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 250 g plain flour
  • zest of 4 lemons, grated
  • 2 drops of lemon oil
  • fresh fruit, such as strawberries, raspberries, for decorating

For the ricotta mixture:

  • 650 g ricotta cheese
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • glace fruit, to taste, finely chopped
  • orange liqueur, to taste


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.2. First make the lemon cake. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together.3. Once the mixture if well-mixed and fluffy, beat in the eggs one by one. If the mixture shows signs of separating, add a spoonful of the flour.6. Once all the eggs have been added in, fold in the flour, lemon zest and lemon oil (handle the lemon oil carefully as it can burn the skin).7. Turn the cake mixture into a greased 20cm cake tin, base lined with silicon baking parchment.8. Bake the cake for 25-30 minutes until risen and cooked through. Test the cake by inserting a skewer into the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean then the cake is cooked through. Remove the cake from the oven and set aside to cool.9. To prepare the ricotta mixture, pass the ricotta cheese through a sieve into a mixing bowl. Mix in the caster sugar. Reserve a quarter of the ricotta mixture for icing, chilling it in the refrigerator.10. Add the glace fruit and orange liqueur to the remaining ricotta mixture, mixing well. 11. Carefully slice the lemon cake horizontally into 5 slices. Line the cake tin with cling film and place the base slice of the cake in the tin.12. Spread over a portion of the ricotta mixture, spreading evenly. Top with another slice of cake and a further layer of the ricotta mixture.13. Repeat the process until all the slices and ricotta have been used up, finishing with the top of the cake and pressing down well. Wrap the whole cake in cling film and chill in a refrigerator overnight.14. Unwrap and unmould the cake. Use a palette knife to ice the cake with the remaining ricotta. Decorate with strawberries and raspberries.

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