Being Frugal with Ricotta, Part 1

A muffin worth waking up to, or ending the day with.

With our 401ks in a horrific nosedive, our stocks plummeting at a dizzying rate, and so many of us no longer bringing home the bacon with a steady paycheck (uh, yes, that includes yours truly), we simply can’t waste food these days.

So when I found myself with some extra ricotta recently, left over from making pizza, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to try new recipe or two. For me, that meant baked goods, of course.

I could have just eaten the luscious whole-milk ricotta mixed with a little honey and fresh fruit. But oh, where’s the challenge in that? I thought the leftover ricotta, with its moist, creamy texture and subtle sweet flavor, deserved more.

So on the Web, I found a recipe on that had never been reviewed yet. The Lemon Ricotta Muffins needed a little tinkering, as the oven temperature was in Celsius degrees, and the mixing instructions were a little off kilter.

But in the end, the result was a batter as thick as cookie dough that baked up to a tender, cake-like texture that melted in the mouth. The sliced almonds and sugar strewn on top of the muffins gilded the lily in the loveliest way. My hubby is already asking when I can make these again.

I think it was a fitting end to some of my leftover ricotta. Find out what other baked good was the recipient of the remainder of the ricotta in tomorrow’s post.

Lemon Ricotta Muffins

(makes 12)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest

1 cup ricotta cheese

1 egg

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 cup sliced almonds

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon or so of granulated sugar, for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a stand mixer, combine 1 cup sugar, butter, and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Beat in ricotta. Then beat in egg, lemon juice and almond extract. Add flour mixture, and beat on low speed until just combined.

Divide batter into lined muffin tins. Sprinkle tops with slivered almonds and the extra granulated sugar.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes until lightly golden brown, and a tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Cool muffin pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove muffins from pan and place on rack, allowing them to cool further.

Tomorrow: Being Frugal with Ricotta, Part 2

Print This Post


  • These sound amazing!! I don’t have any left over ricotta in my fridge, but it sounds like it’s worth going out and buying some for this yummy recipe! 🙂

  • Hmmm, that looks good. Can you try to make some kind of lemon ricotta pancakes next? 🙂

  • I think I have some leftover ricotta at home. I hope I’m right!

  • Oh, I have seen recipes for lemon ricotta pancakes. I will try that the next time I have leftover ricotta. Or I will make an excuse to have leftover ricotta just to try making pancakes. 😉

  • I just happen to have some leftover ricotta that I didn’t know what I was going to do with. These muffins look so good! I will have to give it a try.

  • I love this recipe- been making these for awhile. It actually originated from Giada DeLaurentis from FoodNetwork- here’s a cute 5 minute video of her making these:

  • I need to run out and buy some leftover ricotta.

  • How funny that Giada makes these, too. Now, if only I could look as glam as her while I make them. 😉

  • Wow. looks great Carolyn! another winner. Soon as I’m done w/fish and the new website launch, I’m pulling out my Food Gal recipes and going to town!

  • I love muffins but oddly haven’t made any in ages – these look so good!

  • Pingback: Food Gal » Blog Archive » Ricotta Revisited: Part 1, The Pound Cake

  • These were delicious. I, too, was looking for a way to use ricotta leftover from making a pizza. I baked these muffins and took them to a video shoot and they disappeared in minutes— all except the one we used as a prop!

  • Thank you for posting the recipe! I have some soon-to-expire ricotta cheese, and would love to give it a try.
    I was wondering how you measure the flour for all your recipes, and would like to ask if you could please point out how much one cup should weigh.
    Thank you for an enjoyable read!

  • Shelly: One cup of flour weighs 5 ounces, according to the cookbooks I have on hand. I admit that I rarely weigh my flour. I usually just measure it by cups. First, I stir my big container of flour to make sure there are no clumps in it. Then, I spoon the flour into my dry measuring cup. I use the edge of a butter knife to level off the flour in my measuring cup. And voila! That’s it.

    Hope you enjoy the muffins. They really are spectacular. Happy New Year!

  • Happy New Year! and Thank You for your kind reply!
    I’ll use that as a guide, and will be sure to enjoy their flavor and texture as well.
    Next on my list are your Cinnamon-buttermilk muffins…
    But with regard to ricotta, would you happen to know of any “Torta di Ricotta” recipe?

  • Shelly: There’s a recipe for torta di ricotta (“Obsessive Ricotta Cheesecake”) in Gina DePalma’s cookbook, “Dolce Italiano.” I have not tried that particular recipe, but everything else I’ve made from that cookbook is divine. It’s one of my fave baking books.

  • I just wanted to drop you a line…I found you on food gawker at least a year ago. This recipe has been made quite a few times since then, most recently tonight. We love them!! They rarely last longer than one day here 🙂

  • Katie: Thanks so much for the wonderful note. These are good, aren’t they? I’m so glad they’ve brought such delight to you and your family time and time again. 😉

  • Pingback: Lemon Ricotta Muffins — eatlaughpurr

  • These were delicious! Kept 2 for myself and dropped off 10 still warm from the oven to the wonderful staff at the Humane Society!

  • I like baking with ricotta! Must try your muffins!

  • I made these last night and they are the most delicious and moist muffins. Next time I will put cranberries in them. Thanks for the recipe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *