Cheesecake Confusion

Never miss a recipe! Subscribe through email and I'll send you FREE healthy recipes straight to your inbox!

ricotta bundt cake with almond drizzle


Cheesecake really confused me as a kid. I sprinkled mozzarella on my pizza and pasta, and I ate cake with ice cream at birthday parties. But combining the two?…


Did that mean topping the cake with slices of melted cheddar like I did with my morning toast? Or maybe folding shredded Monterey Jack inside like with a quesadilla so that it formed long cheesy strings when you cut a piece of the cake?  


ricotta bundt cake with almond drizzle


When an adult explained to me that cheesecake was made with cream cheese, I crossed that last mental image off of my list. (No strings attached—got it!) But I didn’t figure out the cheesecake conundrum until high school when I ate my first real slice.


Although a far cry from the dense, mousse-y texture of true cheesecake, this ricotta cake resembles one of my more reasonable definitions: a moist cake made with soft cheese as its main ingredient!


ricotta bundt cake with almond drizzle


Ricotta Bundt Cake with Almond Drizzle

Yield: 1 bundt cake (8 servings)

Serving Size: 1 slice

Ricotta Bundt Cake with Almond Drizzle

modified from this recipe

This cake has a subtle tang from the lemon and ricotta, plus a sophisticated flair from the almond drizzle. It’s perfect to serve to company, but it’s easy enough to whip up for a weeknight dessert too!

for the cake
½ c granulated sugar
½ c water
1 tsp lemon zest (about 1 tiny lemon)
1 c all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 c low-fat ricotta
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg (or 2 egg whites)

for the drizzle
½ c powdered sugar
¼ tsp almond extract
½ tsp lemon juice
½ - 1 tsp water

  1. To prepare the cake, combine the sugar, water, and lemon zest in a small pot on the stove. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently, and boil for 1-2 minutes. Let the sugar syrup cool for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°, and coat a 6-cup bundt pan with nonstick baking spray with flour.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar syrup, ricotta, and vanilla until smooth. Add in the egg, mixing well. Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. To prepare the drizzle, whisk together the powdered sugar, almond extract, lemon juice, and ¼ teaspoon of the water. Stir in more water, a little at a time, until the drizzle reaches the desired consistency. Drizzle decoratively over the top of the bundt cake.

View Nutrition Facts


ricotta bundt cake with almond drizzle


*Disclosure: Some of the links included in this post may be affiliate links and I will earn a small commission if you purchase through those links. I really appreciate your support!


  1. Bek @ Crave says on March 8, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Your pictures are just phenomenal! I need a good camera omg, and your photography skills 😉

    • foods for the soul says on March 8, 2013 at 6:10 pm

      Aww thank you, that’s so sweet of you to say! :] A good camera makes a difference, but practice makes perfect. I’m planning on doing a food photography series in the near future, so stay tuned!

  2. Andrea @ mrs Webb in the kitchen says on March 9, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Gorgeous! I’ve never thought of using ricotta to moisten a baked good, but that sounds lovely! I like the yellow mug in the background… Great accent 😉

    • foods for the soul says on March 9, 2013 at 7:22 pm

      Thanks! A little splurge at Target… I can never resist big, cozy mugs!

  3. Brittany says on March 9, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    I used to HATE cheesecake as a kid, then I grew up and I really liked it. Now I don’t eat traditional cheesecake, but would love to make a killer vegan version (I know I know..not the same.) This one looks delicious and the photos are great!

    • foods for the soul says on March 9, 2013 at 7:23 pm

      Thanks! :] Would vegan cheesecake be made of tofu, or is there some other special ingredient that would result in the typical cheesecake dense/creamy texture?

  4. Ray says on March 10, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Looks great! I can’t wait to make this for some friends.

    • foods for the soul says on March 10, 2013 at 8:34 pm

      Thanks! Hopefully it’ll disappear just as quickly with your friends as it did at my house!

  5. Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen says on March 11, 2013 at 4:14 am

    Yum, your cake looks and sounds so delicious!

    • foods for the soul says on March 11, 2013 at 4:51 pm

      Thank you! Bundt cakes are some of my favorites, especially when I’m too impatient to eat the cake and don’t want to make any frosting! ;]

  6. Norah says on March 25, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    This looks absolutely mouthwatering! I have to say your blog is becoming sooo beautiful and inspiring. Your recipes are beyond delicious and the pictures are so beautiful and elegant! I am so proud of you!

    • foods for the soul says on March 26, 2013 at 6:07 pm

      You are so sweet; thank you!! I lose track of time and have so much fun when I’m doing anything blog-related, so it’s really rewarding to hear that it’s inspiring to other people. :]

  7. Yii-Huei says on April 8, 2013 at 4:06 am

    What a beautiful cake, I especially love the texture of the cake!


    • foods for the soul says on April 8, 2013 at 10:47 am

      Thank you! I liked the texture too — so much that I nearly ate the entire cake by myself!

  8. Huda says on June 27, 2013 at 10:47 am

    I’ve made this cake about 4 times since I found the recipe while trying to use up my tub of ricotta. It always turns out so great! I’ve been replacing the almond extract with lemon extract to make a lemon drizzle for the summer. Great with iced tea!

    I was wondering if you usually serve it warm or at room temperature? I know the drizzle can’t look like that on a warm cake, so I’m guessing room temperature, but the texture is really magnified when it’s hot out of the oven.

    • Amy says on June 28, 2013 at 12:12 pm

      Huda, I’m so thrilled you enjoy the cake! I love your idea of a lemon drizzle. I’ll have to try that!

      I’ve always served the cake at room temperature so the drizzle sets instead of “melting” down the sides. I wonder if the cake’s texture would be similar to straight-out-of-the-oven if you reheated individual slices after adding the drizzle. Something to consider!

  9. Sheryl says on November 10, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    My hubs found this recipe for me when I said I needed a recipe to use up my ricotta. I just finished making it and can’t wait to have a slice. I’m thinking the texture will be great, not to mention the contract of almond and lemon! The only thing is I wonder if I did something wrong because mine is, shall we say, shorter in height. I double checked and I followed the recipe to the letter. The only thing I did differently is use what’s technically an angel food cake pan. So, it was a very deep pan. I think it will be fine, but I’ve gotta replace my mysteriously disappeared bundt pan!

    • Amy says on November 10, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      What a sweet husband you have, Sheryl! Was your angel food cake pan standard size? In the recipe, I called for a 6-cup bundt pan, which is acutally half the size of a standard bund pan (12-cup capacity). That might be why it looks so short, but hopefully it still turned out delicious! And I’d happily trade my bundt pan for your angel food cake pan — I’ve been meaning to buy one of those for ages! 😉

      • Sheryl says on November 17, 2013 at 10:01 am

        Thanks Amy. That’s one of the reasons I call him “sweetie”. Well, I think my angel food cake pan was standard because my angel food cakes have turned out fine. I replaced my bundt pan with what seems like a standard size and made the cake again! (I must solve this mystery– nothing to do with wanting to eat it again..:))

        Wouldn’t you know, as I announced I’d replaced my bundt pan, hubs walks in saying he found my old pan, lol. The cake turned out well, a little taller but still seemed short. I guess I have a larger pan. Unfortunately, there’s nothing on the pan stating the volume, and I’m not sure of the best measuring method for this but I filled it with 10 cups of water and there was still some room left. So I figure with rising, I could easily DOUBLE the recipe and be in good shape. By the way, the second time around I added homemade almond paste (for hubs) and it was yummy. Next time I’ll put more in though. Thanks for the new cake recipe!

        • Amy says on November 17, 2013 at 12:55 pm

          What a fitting name for your husband! Using water is the same method I use for figuring out the size of a pan; it works like a charm. You’re definitely right — doubling the recipe (and possibly increasing the baking time a bit) should be perfect for your pan! Plus, then you’ll have twice as much to eat. 😉 I love the sound of almond paste too; I’ll have to remember that!

  10. J says on January 25, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Could you make this without a bundt pan? like in a 8×11?

    • Amy says on January 25, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      I’m sure you could! The bake time would probably be shorter, so just start checking it 10-15 minutes early. I’d love to hear how the cake turns out for you! :)

  11. Sk says on February 12, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Hi , lovely cake. Could you tell me how to make the same without eggs

    • Amy says on February 12, 2014 at 7:55 pm

      Ener-G is my favorite egg replacer. Just use 1 1/2 teaspoons of the Ener-G powder mixed with 2 tablespoons of warm water. Hope that works for you!

  12. Carols_got_cakes says on March 16, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Made this tonight and OMG! Seriously the best bundt cake I have ever had made for that matter. Thank you so much for posting! I have a picture posted on my Instagram @carols_got_cakes

    • Amy says on March 16, 2014 at 10:03 pm

      I’m so happy you enjoyed the bundt cake, Carol! It’s been one of our favorites too. I didn’t see the picture on your Instagram, but I’m sure it looked lovely!

    • Carol says on March 16, 2014 at 10:33 pm

      Sorry I will post tomorrow!!! Thank you

      • Amy says on March 16, 2014 at 10:41 pm

        No worries Carol! I completely understand. :)

  13. shawana says on July 3, 2014 at 9:07 am

    v yumm cake… extremely awsome, and i baked it perfectly:)

    • Amy says on July 3, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      I’m so happy you enjoyed the cake Shawana! :)

  14. Taniaha says on September 22, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    This cake was great and moist! I think I would double the recipe next time.The icing really made the cake. My daughters (2, and 3) helped and really enjoyed making their first cake! But I wonder if your supposed to taste the lemon zest inside?

    • Amy says on September 22, 2014 at 9:19 pm

      I’m so glad you and your daughters enjoyed the cake Taniaha! That’s so precious that this was their first. :) The lemon zest is supposed to be more of a subtle hint in the background. It’s mainly there to add a little acidity to help activate the baking powder. You’re welcome to add more if you’d like though! I think 1 or 1.5 tablespoons would be much more prominent of a flavor.

  15. Kat says on October 30, 2014 at 9:30 am

    I made this yesterday and posted some photos of my results on my personal blog. :) It was delicious, I just wish mine had come out as pretty as yours! Trying to get used to this new oven… your photos put mine to shame too, lol!

    • Amy says on October 30, 2014 at 10:51 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing Kat! New ovens are always interesting. We just moved 2 weeks ago ourselves, and I’ve been so lucky that I haven’t burned anything yet! Probably because I check on whatever’s in there every 30 seconds… 😉

  16. bewestbrook says on December 8, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Recently, I’ve found out I drastically need to reduce the salt in my diet (inner ear disorder). I’ve tried using the no-salt baking powder and baking soda, but the results are awful. Tastes like I’m eating chalk. Have you ever tried these for your healthy baking? Do you have any way to make baked goods made with no-salt leavening taste good?

    • Amy says on December 9, 2014 at 12:25 pm

      That sounds really disappointing! I haven’t tried no-salt baking powder and baking soda, but if the baked goods taste like chalk, that may be because of too much leavener. Are they supposed to be a one-to-one substitution for regular leaveners?

      • bewestbrook says on December 9, 2014 at 1:32 pm

        Amy–Thanks so much for responding. No, it’s a 2 for 1 substitution. Haine Featherweight Baking Powder and Ener-G Baking Soda. They make it sound like a simple substitution, but the crumb and taste were so off.

        • Amy says on December 9, 2014 at 11:34 pm

          You’re welcome! I did a little research, and I actually think that it should be closer to a 1-to-1 substitution. I was a chemist before I was a baking blogger, and the active chemicals in both regular and sodium-free baking powder and baking soda are exactly the same. So the recipe shouldn’t require a full 2x as much. Try doing a 1-to-1 substitution with the baking powder, or maybe just a tiny bit more. (One person said 4 tsp of sodium-free for every 3 tsp of regular.) Then cut down on the baking soda to about a 1.5-to-1. If the recipe you’re testing tastes less chalky, then it’s because there was too much leavener. I’d love to hear how that goes! As an ex-chemist, I always find things like this really interesting. :)

          • bewestbrook says on December 10, 2014 at 5:22 am

            Thank you! Thank you so much. I will give it a try and let you know. Can’t thank you enough for checking into it.

          • Amy says on December 10, 2014 at 7:06 pm

            My pleasure! I love baking chemistry, so it was fun for me to do the research. :) I’m excited to hear what happens!

          • bewestbrook says on December 14, 2014 at 6:02 pm

            Amy–Sorry to take so long. I work at a university and take a class each semester. The paper was a killer this time around. Just finished this afternoon. I made a standard cornbread recipe (milk and eggs, not buttermilk) with a one-to-one substitution of no-salt baking powder. The cornbread rose some, not quite as much as usual and domed a bit. The taste, however, was fine. Next, I’ll try something that rises more, like biscuits. Thanks for letting me keep this thread going.

          • Amy says on December 16, 2014 at 12:04 am

            That sounds really tough to both work and take classes — good for you!! I’m glad that the taste was fine and not so chalky. Perhaps just a tiny bit more baking powder (such as an additional 1/8 teaspoon per teaspoon of baking powder) would give you the rise you were looking for without the chalky taste. Keep me posted on your next recipe! :)

      • bewestbrook says on December 18, 2014 at 1:17 pm

        Amy–I made biscuits today (standard recipe) and, again, they didn’t rise quite like usual. Next time, I’ll try your suggestion of increasing the baking powder 1/8 tsp. Thanks so much for the comments and the help. I really appreciate it. Brett

        • Amy says on December 19, 2014 at 11:27 pm

          My pleasure Brett! I’m hoping we can figure this out so all of your baked goods in the future taste (and rise) exactly as they should. Let me know if that extra 1/8 tsp doesn’t work, and I’ll keep thinking!

          • bewestbrook says on January 4, 2015 at 5:58 pm

            Again, sorry for the lengthy gap. Holiday baking and caring for SO after rotator cuff surgery (it’s been a looonnnng semester). Adding the 1/8 tsp of the no-sodium baking powder to the original amount totally worked! I got the usual rise out of cornmeal muffins. I reduced the salt quite a lot and you can definitely taste that, but rise and crumb are perfectly fine. Next experiment will be buttermilk biscuits so I can try the no-sodium baking soda with the baking powder using the same additional 1/8 tsp. I still wonder about cakes, but will work up to that. Thank you again for your expertise and encouragement. Any low/no-sodium ideas you have, I would love to hear them. Best wishes for a happy 2015. Brett

          • Amy says on January 5, 2015 at 4:26 pm

            No need to apologize Brett! The holidays are a busy time for everyone, and I’m sure your SO really appreciated the help and care. :) I’m really glad that the extra little bit of baking powder worked! Hearing that completely made my day. I’m so happy that we’re finally on the right track with solving the no-sodium baking powder mystery!

  17. Al says on January 27, 2015 at 11:35 am

    If I do not have lemon zest, is there a substitution. Home on a snow day, and only have lemon juice in a bottle. Should I just abandon for now and try another way to use my Ricotta?? Thank you!

    • Amy says on January 27, 2015 at 12:16 pm

      You could leave out the zest Al, but it actually provides a lot of lemon flavor. Alternatively, you could try substituting 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice for the equivalent amount of water. Stay warm!

  18. CR says on July 2, 2015 at 7:43 am

    Can I use another kind of pan. I dont have a bundt pan…..I have square and round baking pans, spring pan. thanks

    • Amy says on July 2, 2015 at 9:01 am

      Yes! If following the recipe as written, use one 9″-round cake pan. If doubling, use two. I hope you enjoy the cake!

  19. Clara says on July 16, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Made this cake yesterday. LOVE IT! So does my hubby! It is definitely worthy of its own recipe card!
    (This is a big deal to me, only the best make it to my recipe box!)
    Great with a cup of coffee!! Thanks Amy!!!

    • Amy says on July 16, 2015 at 1:18 pm

      I’m so touched by your kind words Clara! That’s quite a compliment if this cake found its way into your recipe box. I hope you enjoy any other recipes of mine that you try too!

  20. GG says on August 19, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    This cake is delicious! I poked holes in the cake while it was still warm and my lemon glaze soaked into the cake. A definite keeper. Thanks!

    • Amy says on August 20, 2015 at 9:45 am

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the cake! Lovely idea about poking the cake so the glaze soaks in!

Leave a Comment