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Lemon Almond Ricotta Muffins, An Italian Family Recipe

Updated on August 20, 2012

Ricotta cheese lends these muffins a moist dense texture. Plus, the classic Italian pairing of citrus and almonds comes together delightfully making this a wonderful breakfast, dessert or snack.

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 25 min
Ready in: 40 min
Yields: 12 muffins
4.4 stars from 5 ratings of Lemon Almond Ricotta Muffins


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temp
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, approx. 2 lemons
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup granulated or coarse sugar
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
Click thumbnail to view full-size


  1. Preheat oven to 350'F. Grease a normal size 12 cavity muffin pan.
  2. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt
  3. In a large bowl use electric beaters to blend the butter, granulated sugar, and lemon zest until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat the ricotta into the butter mixture. Now beat in the egg, lemon juice and almond extract.
  5. Stir in the dry ingredients just until blended. The batter should be very thick and sticky.
  6. Divide the batter into the twelve muffin spaces. I find it easiest to just get messy and use your hands.
  7. Sprinkle each muffin with the coarse sugar, then with sliced almonds. Gently press on the almonds to help them stick better during and after baking.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until pale golden. Serve warm or cool. Refrigerate left-overs.

A note on zesting a lemon

Before zesting remember to wash and dry your lemon. It is a myth that this will reduce the lemon flavor in any way.

I find it easiest to use a microplane for this (great for mincing garlic too) but you can also use a traditional zester or even a sharp knife or potato peeler. If anything other than a microplane is used be sure to further chop the zest until it is very fine.

Take care to only remove the zest from the lemon. This is the very outermost yellow layer. The white layer is called pith and is very bitter. Including the pith will cause the muffins to have an underlying bitterness.


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    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Jellygator, Thank you!!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Rajan, Thank you so much, your comments and support are always wonderful ^_^ These are a favorite of mine and I hope you enjoy!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Peggy, Ooh I just love greek yogurt! I'm very curious to know how that would do with these muffins! If you try it, please let me know ^_^

      Thank you so much for you fantastic comment and support

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Jesse, Thank you so much! I appreciate your kind support ^_^

    • jellygator profile image

      jellygator 5 years ago from USA

      This look delish!!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Hi Sasha,

      Very interesting recipe. The lemon, almond and ricotta combination seems very mouth tingling. Certainly a recipe worth bookmarking. Thanks for the cautionary note on removing the lemon zest.

      Voting this up, interesting and sharing. Pinned too.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Just gave this recipe another 5 star rating plus up votes and sharing. I love all of the ingredients so KNOW that this will be delicious. Except for the ricotta, I have all of the ingredients in the house. May try substituting Greek yoghurt...or just wait until we go to the grocery store to get the ricotta. Sounds delicious!!!!! Thanks for sharing your recipe with us.

    • jessefutch profile image

      jessefutch 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Wow these look amazing! Definitely going to give these a shot. Thanks, voted and shared.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Thank you TT ^_^ Your comment makes me so happy! Thank you for the vote and share as well.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      omg, these look SOOOOOOOOOOO good! Can I come over the next time you make these and test them? :) Voted up and shared.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Michelle, Always a pleasure hearing from you! I'm so happy you want to try these and thank you for the pin ^_^

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      Ok, I'm pinning this. I love ricotta cheese. This sounds like a must try!! Thanks, Sasha.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Vespa, Yay... I love leftover or "bonus" recipes ^_^ Ricotta is so versatile I try to keep a tub in the house at all times. Thank you for your comment and votes ^_^

      Alicia, Thank you for your nice comment! I adore ricotta as well ^_^ I hope you like them ^_^

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I love the taste of ricotta cheese, and I love the idea of mixing ricotta cheese with lemon too. Your muffins look delicious! I'm looking forward to trying this recipe.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

      I love anything lemon and will enjoy these muffins! I often make ricotta for calzones and usually have about one cup left over, so this will be a perfect recipe to use it up. Thanks so much! Voted up and shared.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Teaches, Thank you for stopping by ^_^ Citrus goes so well with Almonds, its fantastic ^_^ Enjoy

      James, Ooh all the votes ^_^ so nice! I'm happy you like the recipe! Thank you.

      Shelly, lol, I'm so happy you like them ^_^ Thank you for such a nice comment, it makes me look like this ^_^

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      Oh Sasha why do you do this to me? You have such wonderful recipes, your cheesecake I'm still raving about and I think this is going to be the next best thing in my house. Up and Yummy er 5 stars!

    • Olde Cashmere profile image

      Olde Cashmere 5 years ago from Michigan, United States

      Thank you Mama Kim for sharing this recipe, looks like a tasty combination. Voted up, awesome, and useful :)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I have never heard of this combination in muffins but it looks really good in the photo. I do love almonds and lemons, so I know it's going to be really good.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      RT, Tweeking recipes to suit your needs is highly encouraged. In fact I would love to know how this comes out using goat's cheese or yoghurt! As for my metabolism it's half genetics and healthy habits and half breastfeeding! ^_^ Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      This fabulous recipe may become a breakfast staple here at our house, though I will have to replace the ricotta with goat's cheese/yoghurt. I doubt anyone here will complain about a little experimenting with which is best for our needs. :) Um, is your metabolism recipe a secret? ;)

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Bill, I just love your comments ^_^ thank you. I was about to say "It's not fattening!" and then I remembered I have the metabolism of a 10 year old and looked at the ingredients, hehe... but it tastes so good ^_^

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well doesn't that sound scrumptious? Yes it does! Thank you for yet another fattening experience! :)