One-Bowl Lemon Ricotta Cupcakes

/// September 3rd, 2015

One-Bowl Lemon Ricotta Cupcakes As someone who grew up in a traditional Italian family, baking with ricotta cheese has always been second nature to me. My grandmother used it in everything from lasagna to cookies to crumb cake. And my mother was the one who encouraged me to make this outrageously amazing pumpkin ricotta cheesecake. A few weeks ago we celebrated my sister’s 40th birthday (where do the years go?!) and I wanted to make a dessert that honored our Italian roots as well as her favorite flavor – lemon. My original plan was to make a dramatic layer cake, but after some deep thought, I decided the best way to feed 60 people dessert was in cupcake form.

One-Bowl Lemon Ricotta Cupcakes These lemon ricotta cupcakes are deeply inspired by two recipes already on my blog: My Perfect One-Bowl Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting & these Light and Lovely Lemon Cupcakes. <—- Those recipes are total rock stars in their own right, but I wanted, no… needed, something new and special to celebrate my big sis. I also needed the recipe to be a one-bowl situation because um, remember when I said 60 people?! Don’t get me wrong – I love baking. But I also love enjoying the party with a calm mind and a glass of champagne in my hand 😉

One-Bowl Lemon Ricotta Cupcakes You guys won’t believe it. The party went flawlessly! Not even one little hiccup. My sister loved her cupcakes, my grandmother gave me the nod of approval, and I got to enjoy the evening stress and mess free. My mom and brother made most of the food food for the event, but I made these Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Cucumber Bites and they seriously were gone in seconds. Just in case you’re in the market for a new appetizer recipe.

One-Bowl Lemon Ricotta Cupcakes

One-Bowl Lemon Ricotta Cupcakes After 6 hours of eating, dancing, and sipping champagne, I was full, happy, and so ready for bed. Wanna know what I was thinking of the entire drive home? YOU! I knew I needed to grab a giant tub of ricotta and make these cupcakes for you asap.

One-Bowl Lemon Ricotta Cupcakes

One-Bowl Lemon Ricotta Cupcakes And that is just what I did. I actually had C stop at the store on the drive home so I could run in and grab ingredients. Seriously, do I love you guys or what?

One-Bowl Lemon Ricotta Cupcakes Since we’re on the topic of ingredients, let’s talk about what you need to make these stellar cupcakes in your very own kitchen. For the dry ingredients you’re going to need cake flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Please, please, please do not try using all-purpose flour in place of the cake flour. Cake flour is an essential ingredient and is what gives these cupcakes their luxuriously soft texture. Can’t find cake flour at the grocery store? Make your own! All you do is sift together 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch for every cup of cake flour called for.

For the wet ingredients you’re going to need butter, ricotta cheese, eggs, whole milk, lemon juice, and vanilla. The butter needs to be really really soft, so I suggest placing it out on the counter a good hour or two before you intend on baking.

One-Bowl Lemon Ricotta Cupcakes This recipe yields 12 fat and fluffy cupcakes, but I know – for a fact – the recipe can easily be doubled if you need 24. You also may want to double the frosting recipe if you’re going to swirl it on high and heavy like me. If you’re just going for a simple slather, though, you’ll have plenty with a single batch.

One-Bowl Lemon Ricotta Cupcakes

I hope you get a chance to whip up these cupcakes and enjoy them with some people you love!

One-Bowl Lemon Ricotta Cupcakes

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 1 dozen cupcakes

Serving Size: 1 cupcake (or two...)

Soft and incredibly flavorful Lemon Ricotta Cupcakes are topped with Lemon Ricotta Frosting.


  • 1 and 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 sticks (4 ounces) unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Lemon Ricotta Frosting
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, very soft
  • 2 to 3 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest


  1. For the cupcakes:
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line or grease cupcake tin and set aside.
  3. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the softened butter and vanilla, mix until the batter resembles a course meal. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well with each new addition. Add ricotta, milk, and lemon juice and mix until combined.
  4. Spoon prepared batter into cupcake cups (filling about 1/2 way each) and bake for 16-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcakes comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs attached. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
  5. For the Lemon Ricotta Frosting:
  6. In a stand mixer or large bowl using an electric handheld mixer, beat the butter and confectioners sugar together until smooth. With the mixer speed on low, add in a 1/2 cup of confectioners' sugar at a time, beating until it's to your desired sweetness and texture. Slowly mix in ricotta cheese, then quickly add in lemon juice and zest. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes. Refrigerate frosting for 10 minutes then frost cooled cupcakes.


Keep cupcakes stored in the refrigerator until needed. I recommend bringing the cupcakes to room temperature before serving. To do this, simply remove cupcakes from the fridge 30-45 minutes prior to serving.

17 thoughts on “One-Bowl Lemon Ricotta Cupcakes

  1. Paige Bradley Murray

    where are people’s comments…? Was really wanting to see ppl’s opinions on these Precious & Prettiful Cupcakes!! They are so beautiful! I never cared for Lemon desserts but all of a sudden I DO! Or, think I do…want to try these so bad!! Ohhhhh Thank you so much for this post…and that I just found you, you DO care for us!! Thank You❤️

    1. bakerbynature Post author

      Hi Paige! So happy you found my blog :) I just posted this recipe today – so hopefully there will be some more comments soon! I can promise you these cupcakes are 100% delicious! xoxo

    2. Vanessa

      I made the cupcakes without the icing and i have to say- They’re awesome I am a baker, so I added extra lemon because I always do when it comes to lemon recipes. @Paige Bradley- But since you said you don’t usually like lemon, maybe don’t stray from the recipe. It is very easy and sooo good!!! I’ve fed it to my loved ones and not one complaint!

      1. bakerbynature Post author

        Hi Vanessa. So happy to hear you and your company enjoyed the cupcakes – even without the frosting! And thank you for your advice to fellow readers on the lemon ratio :) Always helpful!

  2. Cheryl

    I have been looking for a recipe to use up my ricotta but did not find anything that interested me until now. I LOVE things made with lemon. I will try these.

    1. bakerbynature Post author

      Hi Cheryl. So happy these cupcakes have grabbed your attention :) I always have a little extra ricotta sitting around, and these are definitely a great way to make it disappear.

  3. Rochelle

    Wow. These are absolutely delicious and so easy to make. Delicate crumb texture and excellent, not too sweet flavor. I made these for my co workers and even the ones who usually shy away from cupcakes thought they were tasty. I will keep this recipe on hand for sure. :)

  4. Lena

    Delicious, thank you so much! I was looking for some nice cupcakes for my students and co workers, and these came out perfect. I used a simple icing (powdered sugar and lemon juice) instead of the frosting so it wouldn’t be so messy for the kids, and everybody was happy. Greetings from Germany!

    1. Al

      I was actually wondering how they might freeze with the icing already on them?? Would love to know, rather than wreck my batch!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *