Home Spring Blissful Breakfast – Almond, Lemon & Ricotta Cake

Blissful Breakfast – Almond, Lemon & Ricotta Cake

by Sam Dunham

Lemon Almond Ricotta CakeFirstly I must apologise; this for almond, and cake is not ‘strictly ’, it contains plenty of local ingredients that you’ll find used here  & you’ll find variations of this served in local pasticerrie all the time, but this is a cake for gluttons like me who’d rather have a couple of slices than just one. It’s gluten free, the divine tasting ground almonds more than filling the traditional boots normally filled by flour and it’s senza the butter; we’re using ricotta after all and in central Italy so no need to add extra fat!

A big thanks to Trader Joe for their original recipe. I have simply upped the lemon tang being a complete lemon-head & whisked the egg whites up separately for added lightness.  Baked last thing at night it’s perfect to wake up to if the smell doesn’t make you delirious when you’re trying to sleep. For me it’s one of my favourite breakfasts sitting on my little terrace in Abruzzo surrounded by my flower pots with an espresso before I hit my pc, but would be equally perfect for dessert perhaps with a berry compote or, more quintessentially English perhaps, with a large cup of tea.

Almond Lemon & Ricotta  Cake


240 g Ground Almonds
1 tsp Baking Powder
¼ tsp salt
3 Eggs separated
100g Sugar
420 g Ricotta
Zest of 3 lemons (do try & use lemons for zest, the chemicals in ordinary ones do your stomach really no favours – strong advice from one Amalfi Lemon Grower we stayed with)
Juice of 1 lemon
Seeds from ½ vanilla pod


Preheat the oven to 175C

In a processor grind your almonds if you haven’t been able to get ground almonds with the baking powder, salt and sugar and add to a bowl.

Mix the egg yolks, ricotta, lemon zest and lemon juice & vanilla seeds together and add to the dry mixture mixing well.

Whisk your egg whites till they form soft peaks and then fold this into your ricotta & almond mix.

Pour the mixture into a greased  deep pie dish (230mm/9″) and bake for 50-55 minutes until it’s golden and the cake‘s middle is no longer jiggly.  (If your oven is  a little fierce and think it it’s getting a little too golden but still needs a bit longer simply turn down the cooker, this cake is very moist there won’t be any problems of it drying out.)

Leave overnight in its cake tin so that it retains its shape!  If you don’t have a springform cake tin you may lose the first piece as it is light and very moist but hey isn’t it always good to try what you’re serving!


Galit Cohen 05/07/2013 - 16:02

A wonderful cake that entered my Top 10 list! I have used just a little bit more sugar (120 g.) and added fresh raspberries – this is a real upgrade. Also I suggest using a little bit more baking powder.
Thanks very much Sammy!
Galit from Israel … (do you remember us? (travellers to Abruzzo on the days of the last big earthquake…))

LifeInAbruzzo 08/07/2013 - 13:25

Galit, wow how wonderful to hear from you, of course I remember you! How are you? I am going to try your raspberry suggestion a try if I can find some in the shops here, it sounds a wonderful combination and so pleased it is in your Top 10 cakes and makes great use of Israel\’s superb lemons

Francesca 08/04/2011 - 15:06

Thank you for sharing! Can't wait to try this. I had leftover almond floor and now it has a purpose.

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All about Abruzzo in a slow travel & food blog
All about Abruzzo in a slow travel & food blog