Very Best Gluten-Free Ricotta Lemon Loaf

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Average Rating: 4.5 | Rated By: 12 users

Gluten-Free Ricotta Lemon Loaf with Light Fresh Lemon Icing. The gluten-free cake that tastes like fresh lemons. Very moist, extra lemony, made with ricotta cheese. Each slice is lightly drizzled with fresh lemon icing. A ricotta lemon loaf that’s just a touch more delicious.

This gluten-free loaf is everything. It’s buttery, light, moist, has a perfect crumb and a zing from fresh lemons. But even more importantly, it tastes soo good! I could not be more excited to share this ricotta lemon loaf today. It is all the things a lemon loaf needs to be and better.

Ricotta Lemon Loaf Recipe Notes,

In these notes, I will explain how to get that perfect crumb. It’s in the small details that make this ricotta lemon loaf perfect.

This gluten-free cake recipe is made from plenty of fresh lemons and lemon zest.


zesting a lemon


Before I zest the lemons, I remove the impurities, including wax, from the peel. To do this, I pour boiling water over the lemons and soak them for one minute. Then I drain the water and wipe the lemons with a dry clean cloth.

a punch of fresh lemon flavour,

First, I mix the nutrient packed lemon zest with sugar using an electric mixer. Doing this first helps release some of the essential oils from the zest. It makes all the difference in flavour.


sugar, butter, lemon zest in a bowl


Next, I cream the butter until fluffy. For this ricotta lemon loaf recipe, the butter, eggs and ricotta must be at room temperature for best results.

If you are short on time or forget to bring your ingredients to room temperature, here is a tip.

Fill a large bowl with warm water about 120 F, place the eggs, butter still in the paper and ricotta in a measuring cup into the water for 10 minutes. Do not submerge the ricotta in the water. Done!


mixing an egg in lemon loaf batter


adding eggs to the butter mixture,

Next, mix in one egg at a time. This will maintain a creamy and airy butter mixture. In the end, very briefly mix in vanilla and ricotta cheese until just combined.


lemon loaf batter in a mixing bowl


To keep the batter lump-free, I alternate flour mixture with lemon juice and use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix everything until smooth. 

Don’t worry if the batter might look slightly curdled. This is due to the acidic lemon juice. The final result will be melt in your mouth cake crumb.

baking for a perfect lemon loaf crumb,

First, I brush the loaf pan with oil and then line it with parchment paper. By oiling the pan first, the parchment paper will stick easily to the pan.


gluten-free cake batter in a loaf pan


Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and smooth out the top.

The lemon loaf takes about 70 minutes to bake. To avoid browning too quickly, after 45 minutes, loosely cover the loaf with foil paper shiny side facing up and continue baking.


baked gluten-free cake in a pan


Rest the lemon loaf in the pan for 15 minutes, then transfer onto a cooling rack to fully cool.

No lemon loaf is complete without lemon icing!

I find that 1 cup of powdered sugar (icing sugar) with 6 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice will give you the optimal consistency. The icing should be thick. If you want the icing to be thinner, add 1/2 teaspoon at a time of lemon juice until you reach desired consistency.


iced cake on a platter


Once cooled, drizzle the top with lemon icing with the icing dripping down the sides. Or, you can use royal cream cheese frosting.


sliced ricotta lemon loaf on a plate with lemons


This cake doesn’t need anything else besides the icing. However, adding a few thin slices of lemon make the lemon loaf look fresh and pretty.

To store, the lemon loaf will keep well in a closed container in a cool dry place for about 3-4 days.

I promise you this gluten-free ricotta lemon loaf is so much better than the words can describe. Enjoy!








  • 2 Tbsp. lemon zest (about 2 - 3 lemons)
  • 1 cup caster sugar or granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. Pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups gluten-free measure for measure flour (if the blend doesn't include xanthan gum add 1/2 tsp.)
  • 2 1/2 tsp. GF baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 6 tsp. Fresh lemon juice
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  • Preheat oven to 350 F and brush a standard ( 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inches) loaf pan with oil and line with parchment paper
  • Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, mix sugar with lemon zest in a large bowl. Add butter and mix until creamy
  • Add one egg at a time, mixing well after each egg until smooth
  • Add vanilla and ricotta cheese and mix until just combined
  • In a separate bowl, mix flours, baking powder and salt
  • Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix using a spatula to combine. Add 1/4 cup of lemon juice and mix to combine. Add the second third of the flour mixture and mix to combine. Add remaining lemon juice, mix and finish with the remaining flour mixture. The batter should be smooth
  • Transfer the batter into prepared loaf pan, smooth out the top and bake for 70 - 75 minutes covering the loaf loosely with foil paper shiny side facing up after 45 minutes. This prevents browning too quickly. The loaf should have a large crack running along the center or side and should pass the toothpick test
  • Cool in the loaf pan for 15 minutes. The loaf will deflate slightly, then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Stir powdered sugar and six teaspoons of lemon juice together until smooth. The icing should be thick
  • Drizzle over cooled loaf with icing running down the sides
  • Leave a Comment

    5 Responses to Very Best Gluten-Free Ricotta Lemon Loaf

    • Teresa January 21, 2022

      Very lemony and quite good. Six teaspoons (aka 2 tablespoons) of lemon juice for the icing seems a bit much. I advise adding this slowly until you get the consistency you like. I give this 4 stars as a GF recipe. If it wasn’t GF it would be more like a 3.

      • Kristina January 21, 2022

        thank you Teresa for sharing!

    • Tracey May 16, 2022

      We loved this loaf! I subbed mandarin orange as I had lots and made double batch to freeze one loaf. I didn’t ice it and we didn’t miss it! Yummy. I’ll make again when our strawberries come along!

    • Christine July 4, 2022

      Just made this recipe and it’s outstanding! Tastes like a rich lemon pound cake with a wonderful tender crumb. (I use Analise Roberts GF blend with Superfine White Rice Flour, no Xanthan gum.) It doesn’t need the lemon frosting in my opinion. I made 4 – 6″x3″ mini loaves and baked only 55 minutes. This is now in my permanent recipe collection. Thank you!

      • Kristina July 5, 2022

        I am so happy to hear that Christine, thank you for sharing your version

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