Lemon Cake Italian Style
This lemon cake recipe results in a moist, delicious, and delightful treat that will bring joy to your belly and your guests too. The delicate citrus flavour runs throughout this moist cake, and the best part is you can enjoy it for breakfast, afternoon tea or even as a dessert.
Vincenzo’s Top Tips
Squeeze those lemons!
Make sure you get as much lemon juice out of your lemons as you can. This is what will give your cake its flavour. If you end up with lemons that don’t have much juice, you might need to use a few more.
Check the consistency
Don’t be concerned – you want to achieve a nice runny consistency. If your mix is too thick, add in a little bit more milk and mix this through. This will help the end result be a luscious, dense cake.
It’s ready when it’s golden
While your cake is baking in the oven keep an eye on the top of it. When it has risen slightly and becomes golden brown on top, your cake is ready for the next step. This could take anywhere from 50 minutes to one hour depending on your oven.
Enjoy it warm or cold
If you are like me, you may not be able to wait for the cake to fully cool – that’s okay – this cake can be enjoyed warm or once it has had time to rest.
How to plate lemon cake
To serve this delicious cake, you have a few options. I like to have the cake just as it is: with only icing sugar on top. But feel free to add some fresh fruit like mixed berries and decorate the way you want, putting some on top and some around the rim on the plate.
You can also serve this cake with your favourite flavour of gelato or fresh mascarpone cream.
Now, cut yourself a generous slice and marvel at your lemon cake’s spongy and moist interior. You will notice the lovely contrast between the sweet cake and the tart lemon flavor quickly – it is soooo good. The milk and ricotta make this lemon cake soft, fluffy, and amazing. Dig in, it won’t last long.
What to serve lemon cake with
There are endless dishes you can enjoy before devouring this treat but keep in mind you can also eat this for breakfast or a snack with a coffee or tea.
A nice way to get your palette ready for this cake is to enjoy some seafood beforehand – keep it light with an antipasto like Shrimp Scampi with cognac
followed by Pasta alle Vongole as a first course
or you could have a Lemon meal and make my famous Pasta al Limone
- 1 10inch round baking 9 or 11 inch will also work. Line it with baking paper.
- 1 Zester
- 1 Electric Mixer
- 1 bowl Large
- 1 Serving plate Quantity based on number of people you are serving
- 1 Cake Knife A simple sharp knife will also work
- 150 grams ricotta cheese or 5oz
- 150 grams white sugar or 5oz
- 250 grams plain flour or 9oz
- 1 lemon organic (more if necessary!)
- 4 eggs free range, organic
- 50 ml sunflower oil Or 3 tbsp. Do not use extra virgin olive oil, it’s too heavy for this recipe.
- 100 ml whole milk Or 7 tbsp. Full cream is best.
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Icing sugar As much or as little as you like!
- Fresh berries optional
- Mascarpone optional
- Preheat the oven to 180C/356F. I use fan-forced, but you can use the convection setting if your oven has it.
- Grate the skin of your lemon into a large bowl.
- Add the eggs into the bowl with the lemon zest.
- Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a glass or small bowl.
- Use a fork to remove any seeds that fell into the lemon juice, and set aside the juice.
- Use an electric mixer to beat the egg and lemon zest mixture.
- While you beat the eggs, slowly add in the sugar a little bit at a time.
- Once all sugar has been added, add lemon juice, sunflower oil, and milk. Then mix everything together.
- After you mix the ingredients, add in the ricotta. Gently mix to break up the ricotta and spread it everywhere.
- Add in a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- Add in a few ounces of flour and mix until cream starts to form.
- Add in the baking powder and the rest of the flour, and mix gently, getting all the flour from the edges.
- Place the cake mix into your paper-lined baking tin.
- Place the cake in the oven for 50 minutes.
- After about 50 minutes, turn the oven off and leave your cake inside for another 10-20 minutes to prevent it from sinking.
- After 10-20 minutes, remove your cake from the oven.
- Do the “toothpick test” to tell if your cake is cooked. Place a toothpick into the center of your cake and remove it. If there is no cake on the toothpick, it is ready.
- Gently cover your cake with foil and allow it to cool down.
- Time to unveil your cake! Remove it from the tin and peel away the parchment/baking paper.
- Place the cake onto a large cake and sift/sprinkle icing sugar on top for decoration.
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