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Lemon Love Cake

Lemon Love Cake is a truly unique lemon cake with a ricotta cheese filling that is topped with a luscious lemon mascarpone topping. You will love the lemon flavor in this not-too-sweet cake. This cake is a lemon lover’s dream!

Lemon Love Cake

Lemon Love Cake starts with a basic boxed lemon cake mix that we’re dressing up with some extra lemon flavor.

Next, we’ll layer on the ricotta and mascarpone cheese filling. Ohhh so decadent.

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When the cake bakes, the ricotta layer sinks to the bottom and the lemon cake rises to the top for the ultimate switcheroo.

Finally, we’re adding a creamy lemon mascarpone topping that is so rich and delicious.

Disclosure – I may get a small commission for purchases made through affiliate links in this post.

Lemon cake with ricotta

Key to Success #1 – Boost the Lemon Flavor

This recipe starts out with a basic lemon cake from a boxed mix, but we’re not going to stop there.

We’re boosting the lemon flavor by adding some lemon juice to the cake batter.

This extra lemon juice adds a nice burst of fresh lemon flavor to the cake mix.

Start by mixing together the lemon cake mix with the ingredients that are called for on the box.

I use the Duncan Hines Lemon Supreme cake mix, but you can use any lemon cake mix that you prefer.

Once the cake mix has been prepared according to the package directions, whisk or stir in 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.

You can use freshly squeezed lemon juice or lemon juice from a bottle.

Either option works well in this easy recipe.

lemon layer cake with lemon frosting

Key to Success #2 – Add Lemon to the Ricotta Layer, too

The ricotta cheese layer even gets a lemon boost in this Lemon Love Cake recipe.

Use a lemon zester or fine grater to zest two lemons.

I have the OXO Good Grips Zester and it has worked great for many years.

I love that it comes with a cover so that it doesn’t get messed up in the utensil drawer.

Make sure you are only getting the yellow peel of your lemon and not the bitter white pith.

In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese and half of an 8-ounce container of mascarpone cheese.

You don’t have to measure the mascarpone exactly. Just spoon out about half of the mascarpone into the ricotta layer

Mix the ricotta and mascarpone together until it is smooth.

Next, add the sugar and vanilla extract and blend well.

Add in the eggs and mix until fully combined.

Finally, put in your lemon zest and mix until it is fully incorporated.

Pour the ricotta filling over the lemon cake mix, spreading it all the way to the edges.

As the cake bakes, the ricotta filling will sink to the bottom and the yellow cake layer will rise to the top.

lemon love cake recipe

Key to Success #3 – The Lemon Mascarpone Topping is DIVINE!

True to form, we’re including lemon in the mascarpone topping layer as well.

We want this to be the ultimate lemon cake so we’re putting lemon flavor in every single layer.

Start by beating the mascarpone cheese until it is smooth and creamy.

Slowly add in the milk, beating the mixture constantly.

Add in the lemon pudding mix along with the extra lemon juice and beat the mixture for 2-3 minutes until the topping is thick and smooth.

You will end up with a fluffy topping that tastes a lot like lemon tiramisu filling.

Spread the topping over the cake when it is completely cooled.

You are going to love how perfectly this cake slices for serving.

lemon love cake

Save this Lemon Love Cake recipe to your favorite Lemon Dessert Recipes board or your Favorite Cake Recipes board.

Lemon Love Cake
italian love lemon cake

Lemon Love Cake

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Lemon Love Cake is a truly unique lemon cake with a ricotta cheese filling that is topped with a luscious lemon mascarpone topping.

You will love the lemon flavor in this not-too-sweet cake.

This cake is a lemon lover’s dream!


  • 1 box (16.5 oz) lemon cake mix + ingredients called for on box
  • 4 Tbsp lemon juice (divided)
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 container (32 oz) container part-skim ricotta
  • 2 containers (8 oz) mascarpone, divided
  • 4 large eggs 
  • 3/4 cup sugar 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 cup whole milk 
  • 1 box (3.4 oz) instant lemon pudding mix


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish. Set aside.
  2. Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and stir to combine. Pour the cake batter into the greased baking dish.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat together the ricotta, 4 oz of mascarpone cheese, and lemon zest on low speed until fully combined. Add sugar and vanilla extract and mix well. Add eggs and beat until just combined. Spread the ricotta mixture over the cake batter in the baking dish.
  4. Bake 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The cake layer will rise to the top. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
  5. When the cake is cool, make the topping. In a medium bowl, beat the remaining mascarpone on medium speed until it is smooth. Slowly add the milk and mix well. Add the pudding mix and beat for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is smooth and thick. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and blend well. Spread over cooled cake.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 282Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 395mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 1gSugar: 33gProtein: 6g

Nutrition Information Provided For Educational and Informational Purposes Only.

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