If ever there was a cake that had the right to call itself creamy, this chocolate ricotta cake is it.
This chocolate ricotta cake is so rich and creamy that I almost don't want to call it a cake. The texture reminds me of chocolate mousse. It's rich but not overly sweet and surprisingly light.
And, because the cake uses almond flour instead of wheat flour, it's naturally gluten-free.
Ingredients Needed to Prepare this Recipe
- White granulated sugar. There's just enough sugar in this cake to make it sweet without even approaching cloying. This cake is a rich and creamy kind of dessert, not a sugary sweet one.
- Butter. I like to use salted butter, but if you want your cake to have less salt, use unsalted.
- Salt. Salt is essential in all sweet treats, but is especially great with chocolate. The trick is to use just enough to boost the chocolate flavor without making the cake taste salty.
- Vanilla extract and almond extract.
- 4 large eggs + 1 egg yolk. That extra yolk makes this cake even more rich and creamy. It's important that the eggs be at room temperature before adding them to the batter. Cold eggs will not emulsify into the batter as well as those that are at room temperature. Here's how to bring eggs to room temperature quickly.
- Whole milk ricotta. It's important to use whole milk ricotta and not skim milk in this cake. By the way, save that leftover ricotta to make ricotta pasta, a super easy dish that, it goes without saying but I'm saying it anyway, is the perfect thing to serve for dinner when chocolate ricotta cake is the dessert.
- Almond flour, ground extra fine or super fine. Almond flour is simply almonds that have been ground to a powder. For the smoothest, creamiest texture in this cake, use almond flour that's ground to a very fine consistency. I used Bob's Red Mill Super Fine Almond Flour.
- Dutch process cocoa powder. Dutch process cocoa, or "dutched" cocoa, has been treated with an alkalizing agent to lessen its acidity, creating a smoother chocolate flavor than natural cocoa which is more acidic and sharper tasting. I prefer the flavor of Dutch process cocoa in this cake, but if you only have access to natural cocoa, feel free to use that instead.
- Blanched almonds, cut into slices or slivers.
What To Serve with Chocolate Ricotta Cake
This creamy chocolate ricotta cake is perfectly delicious eaten all by itself with no extra adornment. But, I think it's even better with one or more of the following toppings:
- Easy Berry Sauce, made with fresh or frozen berries. It doesn't get any easier than this delicious 10-minute berry sauce! Use whatever kind or combination of berries you like, fresh or frozen.
- For that classic chocolate-raspberry combination, top this cake with a layer of raspberry cream cheese frosting.
- Powdered sugar. Dusting the top of this cake with a thin layer of powdered sugar is a simple and elegant way to dress it up that will take all of 2 minutes.
- Sweetened whipped cream. Beat a couple of tablespoons and about a teaspoon of vanilla extract into a cup of heavy whipping cream and serve each slice with a generous spoonful of whipped cream.
- Chocolate and orange is a delicious flavor combination that can be achieved by garnishing this cake with a ring of easy Candied Orange Slices.
- Ice cream. A scoop of vanilla ice cream is a no-brainer here. But, honestly, pretty much any flavor of ice cream would be delicious with this cake.
- Hot Fudge, Salted Caramel Sauce, Butterscotch Sauce, Caramel Rum Sauce, Whisky Sauce, or Cherry Sauce. A drizzle of any one of these decadent dessert sauces is luxuriously delicious on this cake. Make it even more indulgent by adding ice cream or whipped cream.
Step-by-Step Photos and Instructions
Separate the eggs so that the yolks are in one bowl and the whites are in a seperate bowl.
Use an electric mixer to beat sugar, butter, salt, almond and vanilla extracts until the mixture is light in color and fluffy in texture. This will take between 3-5 minutes. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice.
Add the egg yolks to the batter one at a time. After each addition, beat on medium-high speed to completely incorporate one before adding another.
Add the ricotta cheese and mix until blended.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the almond flour and cocoa powder and mix on low speed just until everything is blended.
Use an electric mixer/ whisk to beat the egg whites until they are frothy. Slowly sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar into the egg whites and continue beating them until they can hold their shape.
Very gently, fold the beaten egg whites into the batter. Mix just enough to barely incorporate the whites. Some streaks of white in the batter is ok!
Spread the cake batter into a springform pan and sprinkle the almonds over the top, distributing them in an even layer.
Time to bake!
How to Know When This Cake is Done Baking
The creamy texture of this cake can make it tricky to know when it's done baking and ready to come out of the oven. Here are a couple of tips:
- When the cake is done, it will be starting to pull away from the sides of the pan.
- Give the pan a gentle tap or shake (very gentle!). If the center moves in a "sloshing" motion that seems to reflect liquid under the surface, it needs more time to bake. If there is some movement in the center of the cake, but the movement appears "set", kind of like how a thick pudding or custard might move, the cake is done and can be removed from the oven.
Set the cake on a wire rack and let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes.m Carefully run a knife or a flat spatula around the outside of the cake to ensure none of it is sticking and release the side of the pan.
Allow the cake to cool completely before serving.
This cake will slowly sink after you take it out of the oven. Don't worry! This is supposed to happen and is one of the reasons for its rich and creamy texture.
Make Ahead and Storage Information
This cake will stay creamy and delicious for up to 3 days. Keep it wrapped or covered to prevent it from drying out and store it at room temperature.
The cake also freezes well. Wrap it in a double layer of plastic wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil before placing it in the freezer to protect it from freezer burn. Freeze the cake for up to 3 months. Allow it to thaw at room temperature for about 12 hours before serving.
More recipes for chocolate lovers
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- 4 large eggs + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
- 1 cup (200 grams) + 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar, divided
- ½ cup salted butter (4 ounces; 113 grams), at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon table salt OR ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups (284 grams) whole milk ricotta
- 1 ¼ cups (120 grams) of super-fine almond flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
- ½ cup (42 grams) Dutch process cocoa powder (See note)
- ½ cup (57 grams) blanched almond slices or slivers
- For Serving: Easy Berry Sauce, Powdered Sugar, Whipped Cream, or Ice Cream
- Heat the oven to 325 degrees F (162 degrees C). Prepare a 9 or 10-inch springform pan as follows: Spread a thin layer of vegetable shortening or softened butter inside the pan, coating the bottom and sides. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan, press it inside the pan, and cover it with a thin layer of vegetable shortening or butter. Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of cocoa powder inside the pan and shake it around to coat the inside bottom and sides of the pan. (More about how to prevent cakes from sticking to the pan.)
- Separate the eggs into two bowls, placing the egg yolks in a small bowl and the egg whites in a medium size bowl.
- Use an electric mixer to beat 1 cup (200 grams) of the sugar, butter, salt, and almond and vanilla extracts until lightened in color and fluffy in texture; about 3-5 minutes. Beat the egg yolks into the mixture, adding them one at a time, and blending completely before adding the next.
- Mixing on medium-low speed, beat in the ricotta cheese. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the almond flour and cocoa powder. Beat on low speed just until blended.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until frothy. With the mixer running, slowly sprinkle in the remaining 2 tablespoons (25 grams) of sugar and continue beating until a stiff peak that holds its shape forms if you lift the beater from the bowl.
- Add the beaten egg whites to the cake batter and very gently fold them into the batter. Be careful to not over-mix. It's ok if there are still some white streaks of egg whites visible in the batter.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top into an even layer. Sprinkle the sliced almonds over the top and place the cake in the center of the oven. Bake for 55 - 65 minutes. When done, the cake will be starting to pull away from the side of the pan, and if you gently shake the pan, there will be very slight movement in the center of the cake, but the movement will appear "set". If you gently shake the pan and the movement looks like it might reflect liquid under the surface of the cake, it needs more time to bake.
- When done baking, set the pan on a wire rack and let it cool for 10 minutes. Carefully slide a knife or flat spatula around the sides of the cake, then release the side of the pan and remove. Allow the cake to cool completely before turning it out onto a serving platter. If not serving immediately, cover the cake to prevent it from drying out.
- To serve: sprinkle the top with some powdered sugar or top it with fresh berry sauce. Or serve with sweetened whipped cream, a scoop of ice cream, or any of these dessert sauces.
- Dutch Process Cocoa powder is less acidic than natural cocoa powder. Its smooth, mild, slightly earthy flavor is perfect for this creamy, light, delicate cake.
- As it cools, the cake will sink slightly - don't worry! This is supposed to happen and will contribute to the cake's super creamy and mousse-like textrue.
- Nutrition information does not include toppings.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 461Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 135mgSodium: 341mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 4gSugar: 26gProtein: 14g