INCREDIBLE Lemon Ricotta Crumble Cake

recipe

Lemon Ricotta Crumble Cake

I cannot tell you how much fun making this cake was. For starters it's SO easy as in it requires just two bowls and a whisk and no mixer but it also tastes so wonderful and is great made a day ahead of time so it's pretty much the perfect cake! I did feel like I had won the cake lottery. I was inspired to make this by a ricotta cake that I saw in a cafe. I looked it up and saw a recipe from The Clever Meal but I wanted the filling to be a bit more like the famous Pasticceria Papa ricotta cheesecake so I made the filling a bit richer using some mascarpone. Plus nothing beats the flavour of butter over olive oil in a crumble so I used butter.

Lemon Ricotta Crumble Cake

Tips for making this Ricotta Crumble Cake:

I like using raw sugar for crumble or streusel to add texture to the mixture. You can also use plain white or caster/superfine sugar.

You can use your favourite ground nuts - I like using walnuts for extra flavour.

You can use your hands or a pastry cutter to "rub" the butter in.

Crumble mixture is best when the butter is cold but really cold butter is hard to rub in. As it is winter here I leave the butter out of the fridge for 1 hour - it really depends on the ambient temperature where you are but you definitely don't want soft or sloppy butter. Just in case, I place the already made crumble mixture in the fridge to chill and firm up before baking it.

If you are allergic to nuts, you can replace the almond meal with 1/2 cup of plain all purpose flour (don't measure the equivalent weight as almond flour is heavier than flour).

I use smooth ricotta for this cake. If you ricotta isn't of the smooth variety you can pass it through a sieve. This helps to give the cake a smooth texture.

Mascarpone is softer than cream cheese so if you are using cream cheese make sure to soften it by leaving it at room temperature for an hour.

I cover the cake with foil after 30 minutes in the oven so that the crumble is paler in colour.

You can serve this warm (although I'd avoid serving this hot as you want the cheese to set). I prefer to chill it and serve it like a cheesecake.

This cheesecake should be kept in the fridge.

Lemon Ricotta Crumble Cake

I gave Mr NQN a piece of this cake in the afternoon. He's always on Zoom calls in his office so sometimes I sneak in and play with Teddy in the corner out of sight of whomever he is talking to. That day I ended up being so riveted and amused by his Zoom call that I stayed for a while playing with Teddy and listening to the workplace banter.

Lemon Ricotta Crumble Cake

He has a colleague that is newish to the company. Mr NQN isn't her boss, he's sort of above her but in a diagonal way and he always introduces Teddy to everyone new. A couple of weeks prior his colleague had been late to a meeting with her new direct boss because of her own dog Sid who has a peculiar way of eating. When she explained to her boss that it was because of Sid he was immediately understanding. He too was working from home and had two kids of his own and they kept him on his toes.

He was so lovely about it that she didn't have the heart to tell him that Sid was a dog and not a human child.

"So now it's too late to tell him that Sid is a dog and now I've got to pretend that Sid is my human baby!" she said. She also has to be careful not to tell him that Sid's special way of eating is to chuck all of her food out of his bowl and then eat it off the floor!

So tell me Dear Reader, have you ever found yourself in a situation where it's gone too far to backtrack? Have you ever tried a cake like this?

Lemon Ricotta Crumble Cake

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella

Ricotta Crumble Cake

Rated 5.0 out of 5 by 4 readers

An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 50 minutes

Serves: 8-10

For Crumble

  • 300g/10.6ozs. plain all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup/60g/2ozs. ground almonds or walnuts
  • 110g/3.9ozs caster or superfine sugar
  • 125g/4ozs. butter, cubed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • Icing or powdered sugar for dusting

For Filling

  • 325g/11.5ozs. smooth ricotta
  • 200g/7ozs. mascarpone (or cream cheese, softened)
  • 90g/3ozs. caster or superfine sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 teaspoon lemon flavouring
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Lemon Ricotta Crumble Cake

Lumpy, crumble mixture

Step 1 - Line the base and sides of a 20cm/8inch round springform tin. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Make the crumble by whisking together the flour, baking powder, almond meal and sugar. Rub in the butter and beaten egg, lemon zest and vanilla bean paste with your hands or a pastry cutter until you get a lumpy, crumbly mixture. Place in the fridge until needed.

Lemon Ricotta Crumble Cake

Mixing the filling

Step 2 - In a large bowl whisk the ricotta, mascarpone or cream cheese, sugar and eggs together. Add the vanilla, lemon and cinnamon and whisk until incorporated.

Lemon Ricotta Crumble Cake

Filling in the base and sides of tin

Lemon Ricotta Crumble Cake

Filling with ricotta mixture

Lemon Ricotta Crumble Cake

Topping with remaining crumble mixture

Step 3 - Press about two thirds of the crumble mixture into the prepared tin on the base and sides. Don't press down too hard like for a cheesecake but you do want it cohesive and to hold together. Scoop the ricotta filling on top of this and then top with the remaining crumble mixture. Bake for 30 minutes. Cover with foil and then bake for another 20 minutes until the centre is wobbly but not liquid. Allow to cool and dust with icing sugar.

Lemon Ricotta Crumble Cake