Italian Ricotta Cake

By Anthony Silvio

Our creative director Anthony Silvio caught up with Vincenzo's Plate to create this highly requested dessert. Prepare to embark on a delightful journey to the heart of Sicily with this Italian Ricotta Cake. This luxurious dessert is an ode to tradition, with a texture and flavour that captures the essence of the Mediterranean.

Imagine a velvety, cloud-like and creamy ricotta filling, held together by a buttery, crumbly crust. A timeless showstopper suitable for any occasion, this dessert will transport you straight to Sicily.  


Dry Ingredients

500g 00 Flour

150g Icing Sugar

Zest of one Lemon, finely grated

1 pinch Sea Salt

1 tsp Baking Powder

Wet Ingredients

4 Egg Yolks (keeping the egg whites for the egg wash)

150g Full Cream Milk

120g Unsalted Butter

1 tsp Vanilla Paste

Ricotta Filling

1kg Fresh Ricotta

250g Sugar

To Finish

Icing Sugar, for sifting

Ground Cinnamon, for sifting


To make the pastry dough:

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, icing sugar, salt, and baking powder.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
  • Add the milk, egg yolks, lemon zest, and vanilla paste to the well.
  • Cut the butter into small pieces and add them to the bowl.
  • Use your hands to mix the ingredients together until a soft dough forms, without adding additional flour.
  • Separate the dough into two discs: one disc with 2/3 of the dough, and the other disc with the other 1/3 of dough.
  • Cover each disc with plastic wrap and refrigerate for minimum 1 hour to allow the butter in the dough to firm up.

To make the ricotta filling:

  • Sift the ricotta through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any lumps and create a smooth, creamy texture. (Alternatively, you can blitz the ricotta and sugar in a food processor until smooth)
  • Add the sugar to the ricotta and stir until well combined.
  • Cover the filling with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the pastry is ready to roll out.

Assembling the cake:

  • Before assembling the cake, preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Take the pastry out from the fridge and roll the base to 1/2cm thick with a little flour to avoid sticking.
  • Line the pastry base into the tin and transfer the delicious ricotta cream filling that we made earlier into the base, smoothing the filing out to the edges.
  • Carefully cut off the excess pastry with a sharp knife, leaving a small overhang. Set the excess pastry aside.
  • To make the pastry lid, lightly flour your rolling pin and roll out the remaining pastry into a circle.
  • Beat the leftover egg whites with a fork and lightly brush around the edge of the pastry base.
  • Bake the ricotta cake for 30 minutes, or until the top is a light brown all over.
  • Let the cake cool completely before dusting it with a mixture of icing sugar and ground cinnamon.