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This Italian lemon ricotta amaretti budino cake is really delicious. This Italian ricotta dessert falls somewhere between a cake and a pudding. You will need a Bundt pan to make the cake which is often served at Christmas or other holidays. Not only would Nonna make handmade pasta and authentic Italian desserts but she made the best Italian lemon ricotta amaretti budino cake. And this is her recipe.

Italian lemon ricotta amaretti budino cake on a plate.
Lemon Ricotta Amaretti Budino Cake. Photo credit: Lemon Ricotta Amaretti Budino Cake.

This cake with ricotta cheese is a popular treat and will make you feel warm and festive inside when eating a slice! It’s the perfect sweet eat for a cold winter’s day!

You might also like these mascarpone stuffed strawberries if you are a strawberry fan, or perhaps you’re more in the mood for a funfetti cake or gingerbread baked oatmeal bars. And you simply can’t go wrong with strawberry shortcake!

This dessert is made with amaretti cookies and ricotta cheese, both of which are true Italian staples. You will also need eggs, sugar, rum, lemon, breadcrumbs, and shortening. The shortening is just to grease the pan so feel free to sub oil or melted butter if you prefer.

The lemon ricotta amaretti cake is moist and soft and it tastes just as good (maybe better!) after a day or so. In fact, it’s hard to describe just how tasty this cake with ricotta cheese is, so I’d recommend you make your own, and then you’ll know!

You will see rum is one of the ingredients in this Italian ricotta dessert but you might not want to use that. Swap it for amaretto if you want or brandy. 

How to Make This Italian Ricotta Dessert

Making Italian lemon ricotta amaretti budino cake is straightforward. You first need to combine the eggs with the sugar and ricotta. Grind up the cookies then add those.

Next mix in the lemon zest and rum and then the breadcrumbs. Transfer the batter into a greased Bundt pan and bake for an hour. Sprinkle some icing sugar over the cake before serving.

See? I told you it was easy!

What Does Budino Mean?

Budino is a traditional dessert from Italy. It’s a rich, creamy pudding-like cake which can be vanilla or chocolate flavored. It’s popular with kids and can be served at a kids’ party in Italy. This is also a nice dessert for the grownups to make a change from Italian lemon cake. Oh, and if you’re making this for kids you might want to omit the rum!

This cake, made with amaretti cookies and ricotta cheese, has an interesting history. Although ‘pudding’ might not sound very exotic or elegant, this dessert proves it can be! This is perfect served at Christmas or other holidays.

The term budino is believed to date back a couple of hundred years although the dessert is much older than that. Originally it would have described savoury ‘puddings’ which were created and sold in delicatessens.

These savoury puddings would have been like a medieval style sausage, so not really recognisable as the modern budino recipes today!

Cornstarch is typically used to thicken such mixtures although before the 1600s flour or gelatine would have been used instead.

What is Ricotta Cheese?

This ingredient is one of the key components of lemon ricotta amaretti cake. Ricotta is a soft white cheese made from whey. Technically it’s not a cheese since it’s made from the by-products of cheese-making. Ricotta is Italian for ‘re-cooked’.

Ricotta is a versatile ingredient which features in both savoury and sweet recipes. You can find this ‘cheese’ in pancakes, gelato, pasta sauces, lasagne, cakes, and more. It works perfectly in Italian lemon ricotta amaretti budino cake too.

A Word About Eggs

You will see this recipe calls for 6 eggs and that isn’t a typo! Since this is an egg-rich recipe it’s worth using good ones. Plenty of farms in my area sell fresh eggs so you’ll never find my refrigerator without a box.

If you can’t buy eggs direct from the farm, I’d still recommend choosing good quality, free range eggs, since they’re such a huge part of this cake with ricotta cheese.

So if you’ve been looking for a delicious cake made with amaretti cookies and ricotta cheese, your search ends here. I can’t recommend Italian lemon ricotta amaretti budino cake enough. It’s an incredible cake with ricotta cheese, perfect when served at Christmas or other holidays.

There are lots of different dishes I look forward to during the holidays. This is one of my favourites. Not only does this Italian ricotta dessert taste incredible but it always brings back special memories of my Nonna.

If you like this Italian ricotta dessert, you might also like Amaretti Cookies, First Watch Inspired Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, or Italian Pignoli Cookies.

Italian Lemon Ricotta Amaretti Budino Cake Recipe

5 from 5 votes

Lemon Ricotta Amaretti Budino

By: Bella Bucchiotti
I love this Italian lemon ricotta amaretti budino cake! This Italian ricotta dessert falls somewhere between a cake and a pudding. You need a Bundt pan to make this lemon ricotta amaretti cake which is often served at Christmas or other holidays.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 16


  • 6 eggs
  • 1 Container ricotta cheese, 500g or 16 Ounces
  • 1 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Cup rum
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 2 Packages Amaretti cookies, 400g or 14 Ounces total
  • 1 Cup bread crumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon Shortening , to prepare pan
  • 1/4 Cup Icing sugar, for sprinkling


  • Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In a bowl, mix eggs, ricotta and sugar together to combine.
  • Grind cookies in food processor or by hand with a rolling pin and then add to the ricotta mixture. Don't make do too fine, it should look coarse. Mix to incorporate.
  • Add rum and lemon zest. Mix to combine. Add bread crumbs and mix again.
  • Prepare a bundt pan with a generous coating of shortening. Then add a sprinkling of bread crumbs over the shortening to coat. Pour ricotta mixture in the pan carefully.
  • Cook for 60 minutes.
  • Cool completely and remove from bundt pan. Sprinkle with a touch of icing sugar.


Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 104mg | Potassium: 124mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 207IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Happy Holidays! Let me know if you try this budino recipe. It is one of those recipes that tastes better the second day, so it is perfect for making ahead. I have also been known to eat this for breakfast…. it is just mostly eggs and cheese after all!

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.


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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This looks like a wonderful recipe that I would love to make! Do you have a recommended internal temperature to ensure it is done baking? Since ovens vary in temperature, I want to be sure I don’t ruin it by baking too little or too long. Also, do you still coat the pan with bread crumbs if using a baking spray?

    1. Yes, use the breadcrumbs. I like either shortening or butter because it prevents sticking better than baking spray but if you want to use the spray be generous with it. As for the internal temperature, I typically tell when it’s done because the edges pull slightly away from the pan, the budino smells amazing and also if you insert a toothpick or knife it will come out clean.

  2. Bella–I’m going to make this for our Easter celebration. Can it be made ahead of time? What’s the best way to store it, in the pan or out? Thank you…

    1. You will love this one! It is actually better the next day, so that is no problem. I take it out of the pan and store on a plate covered in plastic wrap.

  3. Hi Bella, I would like to make this lovely Bundt cake for New Years day brunch. What size package of amaretti cookies or how many actual cookies? Also I am assuming you are using the larger container of ricotta (450gm) not the half size one is this correct?

  4. Bundt cakes are so cute – I love how the recipes are usually super simple, but the end results always look professional! P.S. You always have the tastiest-looking photos!

  5. This sounds so insanely tasty! I’m going to have to give this recipe a go once I get home at the end of the week.

  6. Wow this looks amazing!!! I am trying to eat super healthy before the holidays and after seeing this post I might have to break my healthy streak haha! I can’t wait to try this recipe!