My Nonna first introduced me to Italian lemon ricotta amaretti budino cake and I’ve loved it ever since. This Italian ricotta dessert falls somewhere between a cake and a pudding. You will need a Bundt pan to make this tasty lemon ricotta amaretti 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. This cake with ricotta cheese is a real family favourite and I always feel warm and festive when eating a slice! It’s the perfect sweet treat for a cold winter’s day and here in Canada we certainly get those!
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 flavoured. It’s popular with kids and can be served at a kids’ party in Italy. This is also a nice dessert for the grownups. 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.
Italian Lemon Ricotta Amaretti Budino Cake Recipe
Lemon Ricotta Amaretti Budino
- 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.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
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 is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for food, dogs, fitness, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.