Summer Year Round Recipes Eggs Puddings Cakes

Ricotta cake with lemon and pine nuts


Ricotta replaces butter in this cake, and adds moisture, which keeps it tasting fresh for a few days. It is just as good eaten for breakfast with some strong coffee as it is at teatime or for pudding; I like this sort of versatility with summer recipes. To embellish it as a dessert, try serving with figs, nectarines or peaches and a dollop of crème fraiche.

Using ricotta and olive oil instead of butter gives this cake a particularly soft and good lasting texture.


Serves 6

  • 3 eggs
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 230g ricotta
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, zest and juice
  • 4tbsp olive oil
  • 170g plain flour
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • 4tbsp pinenuts


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C
  • Lightly oil a non-stick loaf tin (or line with baking paper if it isn’t non-stick)
  • Whisk the eggs and the sugar together (using an electric mixer if you have one) until very light and fluffy and increased in volume by at least a third.
  • In another bowl, beat the ricotta, lemon zest and juice and oil until smooth.
  • Add this to the eggs and beat to combine fully.
  • Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl and stir to distribute well.
  • Fold this into the egg mixture and pour into the loaf tin.
  • Scatter pine nuts all over the top and lightly press them into the batter.

This recipe previously appeared in House & Garden magazine July 2018 issue


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