Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C with the fan option off. Arrange the baking tray onto the middle shelf of the oven. Line with parchment paper a 8-inch or 9-inch cake pan.
In a large bowl whisk together the ricotta with half of the sugar until light and creamy. Transfer into a container.
In the same bowl, add the eggs and remaining sugar and whisk until you have a creamy foamy batter. Mix in the lemon juice and zest and whisk until combined.
Slowly incorporate the ricotta mixture into the egg mixture. Whisk in the vanilla extract if using.
Finally, sift the flour and baking powder and slowly incorporate them into the cake batter. Whisk from the bottom to the top, until just combined. Do not overmix!
Pour the batter into the cake pan lined and bake for 35 minutes. Insert a tootpick into the middle of the cake to check its doneness.
Remove the cake from the oven, and transfer it on a cooling rack. Allow the cake to cool completely before removing it from the pan.
Sprinkle a little confectioner’s sugar on top and serve. Or make a simple lemon glaze and drizzle it all over the cake.
For the glaze:
Mix the glaze ingredients until you have a thick but spreadable glaze. Drizzle it over the top of the lemon ricotta cake and serve.
Drain the ricotta cheese over a fine-mesh sieve lined with a cheesecloth.
Not necessary, but if you want a lighter texture you can add the eggs in two steps. First add the yolks, then whip the eggs whites until soft peaks form and fold them into the batter.
This cake has a spongy but a bit denser texture, so it won’t rise as much as a regular cake. For a softer texture, substitute 1 tablespoon of flour with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.
Let the cake cool completely before removing the cake from the pan.
How to store this Italian ricotta cake?Store the cake in an air-tight container or wrapped in plastic wrap. You can keep it at room temperature during the colder months or store it in the fridge. It will keep well for up to 3 days.Can I freeze this cake?This cake has spongy soft texture that might change when frozen and then thawed.If you’d like to freeze it, cut it into individual slices, place them on a tray and freeze for 30 minutes, then transfer them into individual ziplock bags.You can safely store the slices in the freezer for up to 1 month.