This chocolate ricotta cheese cake is rich, yet light. Dense, but creamy. A cheesecake made with ricotta cheese, dark chocolate and almonds. It’s gluten-free.

Dark Chocolate Ricotta Cake with Almonds on parchment

When it comes time to celebrate the kids’s birthdays one of our traditions is to let the kids pick out the cake they want. It can be the craziest, most elaborate combination they can think of… as long as I think I can make it (there have been a few that were just beyond my abilities), I will make it. Gav has a thing for cheesecake and he’s still brainstorming this year’s cake. Last year it was this beauty.

chocolate ricotta cheese cake

While I’m waiting for him to make up his mind for this year’s cake, I’m expecting something with caramel sauce (this kid is so, so after my heart 🙂 ????`???? ) – but in the meantime I wanted to share this beautiful alternative to cream cheese based cheesecakes – this Dark Chocolate Ricotta cake. Ricotta makes for a rich, yet light and fluffy cake. A cake that doesn’t leave you feeling heavy and sleepy afterwards – like cheesecakes sometimes tend to do.

chocolate ricotta cake ready for baking

This crustless cheesecake is gluten-free. Ground almonds add body and texture.  For the topping I used whole almonds and just roughly chopped them. I like the texture and contrast of the almonds with the skins still on. It’s rough and a little rustic. You can use blanched and sliced almonds for a more uniform (and perhaps, fancy?) cake if you like.

a slice of dark chocolate ricotta cake on a plate with cocoa

This cake is fine made a day ahead. Serve it at room temperature or cooled, it doesn’t really matter. Once cake is completely cool, just store in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped and still in the spring-form pan. For serving, remove the outer ring of the spring-form, place on your serving platter and dust with cocoa powder. Serve with berries or fresh whipped cream. And with coffee. This cake needs coffee.

Dark Chocolate Ricotta Cake with Almonds

A light and creamy cheese cake made with ricotta cheese, dark chocolate and almonds. This cake is gluten-free.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Servings: 10


for preparing the cake pan:

  • softened butter or cooking spray for greasing the pan
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder for dusting the pan approximate

for the cake:

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 4 oz dark chocolate minimum 50% cocoa
  • 1 454g container ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups ground almonds
  • 1 tablspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped whole almonds
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9" spring form pan with cooking spray, or lightly butter inside of pan. Using a very fine mesh seive, dust pan with 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder. Turn pan upside down and tap to remove excess. Set aside.
  • In a small sauce pan, melt butter and chocolate on low heat. Stir constantly and remove from heat as soon as most of the chocolate is melted. Continue to stir until chocolate and butter mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • In the bowl of standmixer, or a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, beat ricotta, eggs, egg yolk and sugar on medium speed for 2 minutes. Mix in cooled, melted chocolate and butter.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together ground almonds and baking powder.
  • While running standmixer on low speed, or stiring gently by hand with a rubber spatula, gradually add almond mixture to the cheese and chocolate mixture.
  • Spread batter into the prepared pan, sprinkle with chopped almonds and bake for 40-50 minutes. Cake will crack on top and will spring back when you lighly press the top when done. Top will form a crust. Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack. To serve: unmold cake and sprinkle with remaining cocoa powder. Serve warm or cold. Can be made a day ahead. Refridgerate once cooled if not serving immediately.
Trish Cowper |

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