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A partially sliced lemon ricotta olive oil loaf on a plate, ready to eat.

Mini Lemon Ricotta Olive Oil Loaves

  • Author: Rebecca Blackwell
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 9 mini loaves


These delicious little Lemon Ricotta Olive Oil Loaves are one of my favorite things to make any time of year, but even more so around the holidays. They are impossibly moist and tender, with a bright lemon flavor and sweet-tart lemon glaze.


For the Lemon Ricotta Olive Oil Loaves:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp table salt (1 1/2 tsp kosher salt)
  • 3 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp lemon extract

For the Lemon Glaze:


Make the Lemon Ricotta Olive Oil Loaves:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 9 cavities of a mini loaf pan. Even if the pan is non-stick, it’s important to grease and flour the pan. The loaves are so moist and tender that they stick easily. You can also simply line the pan with mini-loaf paper liners.
  2. Add the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt to a bowl and stir with a wire whisk to combine.
  3. Add the lemon zest, olive oil, and sugar, to a separate bowl and whisk to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking vigorously for 10-20 seconds after each addition.
  4. Add the ricotta, lemon juice, and vanilla and lemon extracts to a separate bowl and whisk to combine. Add this ricotta mixture in two additions to the olive oil and sugar mixture, alternating with three additions of the flour: flour, ricotta, flour, ricotta, flour. Whisk the batter after each addition just long enough to incorporate the ingredients.
  5. Distribute the batter between the 9 prepared mini-loaf pan cavities. The batter should come about 3/4 of the way to the top.
  6. Bake the loaves for 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the loaves comes out with crumbs attached, but no evidence of batter.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 2 or 3 minutes in the pan. Carefully flip the pan upside down, allowing the loaves to spill out onto a wire rack. Allow them to cool completely before covering them with glaze.

Make the Lemon Glaze:

  1. Add all the glaze ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine. Whisk gently at first until all the powdered sugar is moistened, then whisk more vigorously until completely smooth. Keep covered until ready to use.


  • This recipe makes 9 mini-loaves. If you are using an 18-cavity pan, either double the recipe, or be sure to fill the empty cavities halfway with water before baking so that the pan doesn’t burn. After baking, carefully pour out the water before flipping the pan over to remove the loaves.
  • Store the loaves in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Unglazed loaves can be frozen for up to two months. Make sure to freeze in a single layer so that the loaves don’t stick together.

Keywords: lemon bread, lemon cake, olive oil cake, quick bread, small cakes, mini, holiday recipe