This creamy, fluffy whipped Ricotta Frosting is great on cupcakes, cakes, and even soft sugar cookies. It’s the best thing to do with leftover ricotta, and you will love how it tastes like the inside of a cannoli!

Ricotta frosting in a clear glass bowl.

You’ve had super sweet American buttercream frosting, and I’m sure you’ve had ethereal Swiss meringue buttercream. But, have you ever had whipped ricotta frosting? It’s such a fun way to put a spin on the sweets coming out of your kitchen. It basically tastes like the inside of a cannoli, and in my world, that is one of the highest compliments a frosting recipe can receive. And yes, I’ve been to Reading Terminal Market in Philly and eaten my fair share of cannoli, filled from the pastry bags hanging from the ceiling.

  • You can scale this recipe up or down. As written, it makes almost 2 cups of frosting, enough to frost 12 cupcakes. You can double it to frost an 8 or 9″ cake, too!
  • Flavor Adaptations: I love orange zest in this frosting, because it reminds me of Italian cannoli, but you can use lemon or grapefruit zest, too. Or, omit the zest and use vanilla or almond extract instead.
  • It’s a great way to use leftover ricotta after making freezer lasagna or any other dish using ricotta. The grocery store typically sells one-pound tubs, and I almost ever use the whole container. 
  • One small note: this recipe isn’t freezer-friendly. Ricotta can separate after freezing, so use this recipe the same day you make it.

I developed this recipe to serve with my ricotta pound cake cupcakes, but I think it’s great on so many other desserts!

Spread this ricotta frosting on:

Lemon Layer Cake Recipe or Lemon Cupcakes–ricotta and lemon go together so well.

Strawberry Rolls typically have a cream cheese frosting, but this ricotta frosting is great on strawberry cinnamon rolls. Try it!

-Switch out the classic vanilla buttercream on this Mini Vanilla Cake and use ricotta instead!

Wedding Cake Cupcakes have a strong almond-scented cake base, which is awesome with this frosting.

Champagne Cupcakes for a fun spin. If you add almond extract in the frosting, it plays so well with the champagne in the cupcake.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes typically have super sweet cream cheese frosting; swap in this mellow frosting instead.


  • Ricotta. Since we’re making a dessert, please reach for full-fat whole-milk ricotta. If you happen to have leftover low-fat ricotta, it will still work here; I just think the ricotta frosting tastes best with whole milk.
  • Butter. Unsalted butter is best here; you can add salt to taste, if you like.
  • Powdered Sugar.
  • Orange Zest. Optional, but I love the flavor orange zest brings. You can use lemon or grapefruit zest instead.
  • Vanilla Extract. You can use vanilla extract or half the amount of almond extract.

How to Make Ricotta Frosting:

  1. Gather all of your ingredients, and ensure they’re softened and nearly at room temperature. To bring cold ingredients to room temperature, place them on the counter for about 2 hours. When butter is at room temperature, you can press a finger in it and leave a print, but it’s not so overly soft that your fingers slides all the way through the stick easily.
    Ricotta and butter in glass bowl.
  2. Place the softened butter and ricotta in a large bowl, and beat with an electric mixer on HIGH until fully combined and fluffy.
    Beat butter and ricotta in a bowl.
  3. Next, add the powdered sugar to the bowl. Turn on the mixer slowly so the powdered sugar doesn’t fly out of the bowl, and beat until combined.
    Powdered sugar in frosting bowl.
  4. Add the orange zest and vanilla extract.
    Orange zest in frosting bowl.
  5. Beat the orange zest and vanilla into the frosting. Give it a taste and add a dash of salt or any extra vanilla, if you prefer.
    Whipped ricotta frosting in clear glass bowl.

You can scrape this ricotta frosting into a piping bag and pipe pretty swirls, or you can just spread it on cupcakes with a knife. Either way, it’s delicious!

Other frosting recipes:

Ricotta icing recipe whipped into frosting piped on cupcake.

Yield: 2 cups

Ricotta Frosting

Ricotta frosting in a clear glass bowl.

Creamy, fluffy whipped ricotta frosting for cakes, cupcakes and more!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 2/3 cup ricotta cheese, at near-room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt


  1. Ensure all ingredients are softened or at near-room temperature. Add the ricotta and butter to a large bowl. Ricotta and butter in glass bowl.
  2. Beat with an electric mixer on HIGH until fully combined and fluffy. Beat butter and ricotta in a bowl.
  3. Add the powdered sugar. Beat the powdered sugar until combined by starting on low speed and gradually increasing it to high, so that it doens't fly out of the bowl. Powdered sugar in frosting bowl.
  4. Next, add the orange zest and vanilla. Orange zest in frosting bowl.
  5. Beat until fluffy. Give it a taste, and add a pinch of salt, if you think it needs it. Salt balances the flavors out lovely, in my opinion. Frost cupcakes, cakes or cinnamon rolls with this ricotta frosting. Whipped ricotta frosting in clear glass bowl.


Ricotta: Full-fat whole-milk ricotta makes the best ricotta frosting.
Butter: Unsalted butter is the best since we can add salt to our own taste.
Powdered Sugar: Also called confectioner's sugar or 10x.
Orange Zest: Orange, lemon or grapefruit zest are all amazing here.
Vanilla Extract: If you want to sub almond extract, use half the amount.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 481Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 167mgCarbohydrates: 85gFiber: 0gSugar: 81gProtein: 5g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram