Italian Lemon Ricotta Cake

Month one of my hardcore low-carbing is over! I ate less that 20 carbs a day, focusing on good fats (coconut oil, avocado, nuts, eggs, etc).  I also practiced Intermittent Fasting, I gave myself a 6 hour window (from Noon-6pm) to get in all my calories per day. Then, 3-4 times a week I went to the gym. Lifting weights mostly mixed with power walking.


And here are the results!

  • 32 years old
  • 5 foot 8 inches
  • Starting weight: 246 pounds     Current Weight: 236 pounds

My measurements:

  • Upper Arms: Then: 16″—Now: 15″
  • Waist: Then: 40″———-Now: 37″
  • Hips: Then: 48″———–Now: 46″
  • Thighs: Then: 29″———Now: 27″
  • Calves: Then: 18″———-Now: 17″

Pounds Lost: 10

Inches Lost: 9

Low Carb & Keto Friendly Lemon, Almond & Ricotta Cake with whipped cream.My life is filled with cake. Seriously, it is! I run my own cake business as my day job, so on a regular basis I am surrounded by fluffy cake and delicious Swiss meringue buttercream. You’d think this would be the hardest thing on the planet for someone on the keto diet…and it was.

Then I discovered erythritol, Swerve to be exact. I have tried other sweeteners in the past (liquid stevia, stevia in the raw, etc.) but nothing is as great as this stuff. I’ve made fat bombs, cupcakes, cake and pancakes with this stuff and honestly, I would not be able to guess these things were low-carb if I didn’t already know.


I know the internet is full of keto cake recipes. Cheesecakes, mug cakes, and a TON of chocolate peanut butter cake. Don’t get me wrong, cheesecake might be reason God gave us taste buds…but this cake…

This cake is classy. After living in Europe for about 2 years now, this just reminds me of afternoon coffee and cake. It’s moist, zesty and rich.  The entire cake has about 47 carbs, so at ten servings that 4.7 carbs per slice. Add a dollop of stevia sweetened whipped cream and you’re probably looking at 6 carbs. Which in the world of cake, it’s nothing.

After baking it, I honestly had to restrain myself from eating half the cake. So I wrapped individual portions (with a dollop of whipped cream) in plastic wrap and frozen them. It took about a week to polish them all off and they were just as good as the first day!

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Low Carb Lemon & Ricotta Cake

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print


  • 4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ⅓ cups Swerve Sweetener (or sub with Erythritol + 2 tsp liquid stevia)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • ¼ cup lemon zest
  • 4 eggs, separated and at room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups almond meal
  • 10 ½ oz ricotta
  • ⅓ cup flaked almonds, to decorate


    1. Heat oven to 325 degree Fahrenheit. Line the base of an 8” round cake pan with parchment paper and set aside.
    2. Place the butter, Swerve, vanilla seeds and lemon zest into a stand mixer (or a hand-mixer and a large mixing bowl will work) and beat for 8-10 minutes or until pale and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then gradually add the egg yolks, one at a time, continuing to beat until fully combined.
    3. Add the almond meal and beat to combine.
    4. Fold ricotta through the almond meal mixture.
    5. Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl with mixer until stiff peaks form.
    6. Gently fold a third of the egg whites into the cake mixture. Repeat with the rest of the egg whites.
    7. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan, smooth the top with a butter knife, sprinkle the cake with almond flakes, and bake for 50-55 minutes or until cooked and firm to touch. Allow to cool completely in the cake tin.
    8. Serve with whipped cream.




27 responses to “Italian Lemon Ricotta Cake

  1. What am I missing with Swerve and a low-carb diet? Sugar has 4.2 grams of carbs per teaspoon; whereas Swerve has 5!!

    Are the carbs not absorbed? Can someone explain why everyone is so high on Erythritol as a sweetener on a low-carb diet?

    This recipe looks divine, but I’m hesitant to give it a try.

    • Hi Tracy! I was so confused at first, too! Swerve (erythritol) is a sugar alcohol and has a rating of zero on the glycemic index. So basically, you don’t absorb it and it doesn’t mess with insulin production! So for net carbs, it has zero 🙂

      • Thanks for the explanation! I figured there had to be some reason. Zero net carbs sounds wonderful.

        I’ve ordered some Swerve and I’ll give it a go.

  2. Hi can I use just granulated stevia in this as the sweetener ? And how much do you think I would need as I know Stevia is a lot sweeter 🙂

  3. I made this and I shared it with co-workers – It was gone in 5 minutes. I cut myself a piece, set it down, and my boss picked it up and started eating it. Very, very good! I made another one but changed it a little. I used cream cheese instead of ricotta, and lemon essence (1 tsp) and almond extract (1tsp) instead of lemon zest. It was tasty too! Now I am making another one with cream cheese again – and cocoa powder for the flavor – so we shall see!

  4. This looks wonderful! I’m not used to baking with Swerve… does it make the cake cool or crunchy ( especially if it needs to be refrigerated )? Does whipping the egg whites takeaway the “grainy problem” that sometimes happens with almond flour?

  5. I made this today but swapped out ricotta for cream cheese. The taste was delicious!!! However it was still a bit too wet in the middle, so I probably should’ve left it in the oven a bit longer. I also would add a bit of lemon juice to make that flavor more pronounced. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  6. This cake is great! I had leftover ricotta from a different recipe and I’m so glad I found this cake. It’s super moist and I love the crunchy almonds on top – even my husband who is a bit skeptical about swerve was pretty happy with it.

    It is also such a great jumping off point for other flavor combos. I’m thinking a chocolate chip cake is next, and then some sort of cinnamon coffee cake with a nut-streusel type topping (with swerve, of course).

    swerve is a lifesaver!

  7. Soooo this looks amazing, but… 1/4 CUP of lemon zest? How many lemons did you use for this?? I’m lucky to get a teaspoon out of a single lemon. I’m not asking to be contrary, I genuinely want to know because I’d love to make this, but I just don’t know how many lemons I can buy for a single recipe. Thanks for any help you can give.

  8. I am learning about ketosis low carb dieting, and have been doing low carb (under 100) for a few weeks. However, I am still keeping track of every single calorie – and I noticed these recipes do not.
    When you go lower carb and higher fat for ketosis, do you stop counting calories, and ONLY count carbs?? Does this allow for faster weight loss, even if there are more calories? Thanks!

    • Hi Scharlette,
      I also do a Ketogenic diet/lifestyle and have been on it for several months now. After a I was not seeing the scale move nearly as much as it first had first 2 months, that is until I got my macro-nutrient levels down. I made the mistake of not watching calorie intake as some of the information out there was misleading on this, and my weight loss slowed down. Once I found how many grams of fat, protein, and calories I needed for the carb intake I am doing it made a big difference in the amount the amount of weight I lose. There are a few sites that have a ketogenic macro-nutrient calculator that will help you figure out what your goal should be for fat, carbs, protein and calories. I hope this helps, wish I come across that info sooner as there were about 4 months were I was barely losing 4lbs a month, now I am back to about 10-12lbs a month and still very satisfied hunger wise. Hope this helps you.

  9. I really love your recipes!, but I haven’t been getting your newsletter/blog by email lately, couldn’t find a contact information, would really love to get your new recipes!.

  10. Made the recipe used xylitol instead worked with the stevia. It was delicious. Will definetly be freezing some before I eat it all. Do you have the macros for this recipe? Thx.

  11. I made this cake today and it was easy to make and looked delicious, but boy was it sweet. I will make it again but next time cut the Swerve sweetener to 1 cup.

  12. I made this cake yesterday using only 1/2cup Natvia baking sweetener ( it was all I had left and I really wanted cake). The cake itself looks great so the reduced volume of sweetener did not effect the baking outcome, only the level of sweetness. Although my “sweet” preference has reduced since being low carb for the last couple of years, I think I would increase the amount to 3/4 cup sweetener next time. Having said that, My initial disappointment with my changes to the recipe has been overturned. The cake has been in the fridge overnight and I have just cut a thin slice and spread with “Kerry Gold” butter… OMG, this is delicious, and still low carb. Thank you for posting the recipe. For those that may read this review and wonder what Kerry Gold butter is, it is Irish butter from grass fed cows. Very expensive here in Australia but so rich and creamy it can be spread much more easily than normal butter (straight from the fridge) and the taste is devine. I only tried it recently when it was on sale and now I have to fight off the rest off the family from using it.

  13. This was awesome!! Very moist and not too egg-y or spongey. I made a meringue cream cheese buttercream frosting to use rather than whipped cream, and it was great, but this cake could have stood alone and been great. I love the idea of putting butter on it; I think that would have been great. I also used 1 tsp vanilla extract in place of the bean, and 2 tsp almond extract in place of the lemon zest (my mom loves almond cake) and it was perfect. Thank you so much for this recipe!

  14. Pingback: 36 Mouthwatering Keto Italian Recipes·

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