Italian Lemon Curd Ricotta Crumb Cake (Torta Sbrisolona)
Food & Cooking

Italian Lemon Curd Ricotta Crumb Cake (Torta Sbrisolona)

Total Time:
1 hour 10 minutes

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This Lemon Curd Ricotta Crumb Cake is a fabulous, four-layer Italian dessert. The crust and crumb topping are made from the same sweet, buttery dough, making it quick and easy; no special equipment is needed!

Ever since I posted our delicious Italian Raspberry Jam Ricotta Crumb Cake, a few weeks ago, I’ve been smitten with the thought of ricotta crumb cake. A zillion recipe variations have swirled around in my mind but this Lemon Curd Ricotta Crumb Cake took first place… so may I, without further ado, introduce you?

Horizontal overhead photo of a Italian Lemon Curd Ricotta Tart sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Simple perfection

I love how easily this recipe comes together even though the recipe includes four layers of deliciousness that meld and marry into one fabulous sweet treat. The crust (base) and crumb topping are made from the same easy, stir-together-with-a-fork dough, so in minutes, two of the layers are already done.

Vertical overhead 2 photo collage of how to layer the crumbs for making Italian Lemon Curd Ricotta Tart.

After patting part of the dough into a pan to form the bottom layer, the second layer, (a velvety ricotta cheese cake) comes together in minutes, with just four ingredients.

Horizontal overhead photo of the ricotta cream layer for making Italian Lemon Curd Ricotta Tart

The easiest lemon curd recipe

The next layer is a breeze. Simply dollop spoonfuls of lemon curd over the ricotta layer and give it a little swirl. You can either make our Ridiculously Easy Microwave Lemon Curd (pictured below), a day or two in advance (WAY quicker than it takes to run to the store) OR purchase a jar of store-bought lemon curd.

Vertical closeup photo of Weck jars of Ridiculously Easy Lemon Curd.

Either way, you’re done with this layer in less time than it takes to say Italian Lemon Curd Ricotta Cake!

Top the lemon curd with the remaining crumb dough and that’s it! The rest of the magic happens in the oven, over the next 45-50 minutes. The layers meld together, creating a fabulous, delicious dessert that will please everyone who has the pleasure of partaking.

Vertical overhead photo of an Italian Lemon Curd Ricotta Tart.

Serve it unadorned or with a shower of powdered sugar… either way, it’s fabulous!

Vertical overhead photo of a Italian Lemon Curd Ricotta Tart sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Any time of day

Because this Lemon Curd Ricotta Crumb Cake isn’t overly sweet, it can be served as a breakfast or brunch cake or a lovely tea-time sweet treat. It’s also perfect for a weeknight treat or a fancy dinner party as it can be made in advance and popped in the freezer, so there’s no last-minute fuss with dessert.

Horizontal extreme closeup photo of the side and top of an Italian Lemon Curd Ricotta Tart.

Whenever you decide to serve this wonderful dessert expect to hear rave reviews!

Vertical photo of a Italian Lemon Curd Ricotta Tart on a white pedestal serving plate with a slice of the tart on an individual serving plate.

Cafe Tips for making this Italian Lemon Curd Ricotta Crumb Cake

  • You’ll need a 9-inch cake pan for this recipe. I like these OXO Good Grip cake pans.
  • I recommend using whole milk ricotta (vs skim milk) for a silky smooth filling.
  • Here in the US, ricotta usually comes in 8 and 15-ounce cartons. This recipe calls for one 15-ounce carton which is 425g.
  • This recipe calls for almond flour, not almond meal. Almond flour is finely grated blanched (skins removed) almonds. Almond meal is much coarser as the almonds are ground with their skins.
  •  Almond flour gives the crust and crumb layers a really nice European flavor. You can purchase almond flour at most grocery stores in the specialty grains/flour area. I find it’s much more reasonable online.
  • That being said, this recipe will also work with 100% all-purpose flour. Just sub an equal amount of all-purpose flour for the almond flour.
  • As mentioned above, I love to use our Ridiculously Easy Microwave Lemon Curd for this cake. It has a beautiful fresh color which makes a pretty presentation.
  • This is optional, but you can add a few tiny spoonfuls of lemon curd to the top of the tart immediately after it emerges from the oven for a pretty presentation.
  • The Microwave Lemon Curd mentioned above takes 10 minutes to make with just one bowl and a few ingredients. It has well over a hundred 5-star reviews from readers who can’t believe how easy and delicious it is!
  • You can also use a good quality store-bought lemon curd for this recipe. I like Trader Joe’s lemon curd, but most larger grocery stores carry lemon curd. Tiptree makes a good lemon curd.
  • This dessert can be served right from the pan or turned out onto a cake platter or stand. If turning out, be sure to let the cake cool in the pan for at least an hour before removing it as the cake can collapse if turned out of the pan while it’s still warm.
  • Don’t forget to add the sugar! I inadvertently skipped the sugar in the crust/crumb layer the last time I made this cake. Yikes, it was NOT THE SAME! 😩

Thought for the day:

The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

What we’re listening to for inspiration:

The Love of God

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If you enjoy this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear your results, adaptations and ideas for variations.

Italian Lemon Curd Ricotta Crumb Cake

This Lemon Curd Ricotta Crumb Cake is a fabulous, four-layer Italian dessert. The crust and crumb topping are made from the same sweet, buttery dough, making it quick and easy; no special equipment needed!

Author: Chris Scheuer

Horizontal overhead photo of an Italian Lemon Curd Ricotta Tart.

Prep Time:
20 mins

Cook Time:
50 mins

Total Time:
1 hr 10 mins

Servings: 12 servings

Calories: 365 kcal

Ingredients

For the crust/crumble dough:

  • 4
    ounces
    butter
    (1 stick) I use salted

  • cups
    all-purpose flour
  • ¾
    cup
    almond flour
  • ½
    cup
    granulated sugar
  • 1
    teaspoon
    baking powder
  • ½
    teaspoon
    kosher salt
  • 1
    large
    egg
  • 1
    teaspoon
    vanilla extract
  • ¼
    teaspoon
    almond extract

For the ricotta filling:

  • 15
    ounces
    whole milk ricotta
  • ½
    cup
    granulated sugar
  • 1
    large
    egg
  • 1
    tablespoon
    cornstarch
  • 2
    teaspoons
    vanilla extract

For serving:

  • powdered sugar
    optional
  • whipped cream
    optional

Instructions

For the prep:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Spray a 9-inch cake pan generously with baking cooking spray then line it with a circle of parchment paper. Set aside.

  2. Place the butter in a small microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup. Cook on high power for 45-60 seconds or until just melted. Set aside to cool for at least 5 minutes while you start the crust/topping.

For the crust/crumb dough:

  1. Combine the all-purpose flour, almond flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium-size bowl and stir with a fork to combine.

  2. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extracts to the cooled melted butter and stir with the same fork to combine. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with the fork until crumbs form and all of the flour mixture is incorporated. Make sure all the dry ingredients at the bottom of the bowl are incorporated into the crumbs. If the crumb mixture seems dry, you can add a little water, one teaspoon at a time, stirring after each addition until nice crumbs form. If the mixture seems too wet and crumbs aren’t forming, add an additional tablespoon of flour then stir again with a fork.

  3. Transfer 1¼ cups of the crumb mixture to a separate bowl and set aside. Pour the remaining crumbs into the prepared pan and shake the pan gently to distribute the crumbs over the bottom of the pan evenly. Press the crumbs down with your fingers or a flat-bottom measuring cup to form the bottom crust. Set aside while you prepare the ricotta filling.

For the ricotta filling:

  1. Combine all filling ingredients in a medium size bowl. (I just wash the bowl I used for the dough.) Using a whisk, stir until smooth and all of the ingredients are well incorporated. Turn the mixture out onto the crust layer. Smooth to an even layer with an angled knife or the back of a spoon.

To finish:

  1. Dollop the lemon curd over the top of the ricotta mixture. Use a knife to lightly swirl the lemon curd over the top of the ricotta layer.

  2. Using your hand, sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture over the top.

  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 45-55 minutes or until the top is a nice light golden brown. The tart should be firm although it may wiggle a tiny bit in the center when gently shaken.

  4. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the pan for at least an hour.

  5. If desired, flip the cake onto a clean plate then flip it one more time onto a platter or cake stand so that the crumb topping is facing up.

For serving:

  1. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and/or a sprinkle of powdered sugar, if desired. It’s also wonderful served on a pool of Raspberry Coulis. ENJOY!

Recipe Notes

See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips to ensure success. If you prefer to use Metric measurements there is a button in each of our recipes, right above the word “Instructions”. Just click that button to toggle to grams, milliliters, etc. If you ever come across one of our recipes that doesn’t have the Metric conversion (some of the older recipes may not), feel free to leave a comment and I will add it.

Calories 365kcal

Fat 18g

Saturated fat 9g

Trans fat 0.3g

Polyunsaturated fat 1g

Monounsaturated fat 4g

Cholesterol 69mg

Sodium 243mg

Potassium 106mg

Carbohydrates 43g

Fiber 1g

Sugar 26g

Protein 9g

Vitamin A 439%

Calcium 113%

Iron 1%

Italian Lemon Curd Ricotta Crumb Cake (Torta Sbrisolona)Italian Lemon Curd Ricotta Crumb Cake (Torta Sbrisolona)