Almond ricotta cake is a naturally gluten free cake in the Italian tradition baked with almond flour and creamy ricotta for wonderful flavor and a light cheesecake texture!
almond ricotta cake is a hit!!
My husband and I snacked on this almond ricotta cake for days ~ I kept the cake under a glass dome on the counter and you could hear the tell-tale clink-clank of the glass every time ‘someone‘ went in for a sliver.
I can count on one hand the number of desserts I make on repeat, just because my job is to explore and find new recipes to share with you all. But this is definitely one of them. I adore almond flavor and I’m a big fan of interesting textures in my desserts ~ this cake delivers! Almond ricotta cake is now on my personal greatest hits list from this site 🙂 I really hope you try it.
ingredients for almond ricotta cake
This cake is gluten free and does not contain wheat flour. Almond flour provides the structure in this dessert. The lift comes from air beaten into the batter and the egg whites; the resulting texture is out of this world.
- almond flour
- almond flour is made from ground blanched almonds. You can now find extra fine almond flour, which I used. Look for it in the baking aisle of your supermarket. You could use almond meal, which is a bit coarser, but the texture of your cake will not be as refined. Be sure to keep leftover almond flour in the fridge for longer storage.
- ricotta cheese
- whole milk ricotta is best for baking. Ricotta is a very simple, fresh cheese; so simple that you can actually make homemade ricotta yourself!
- granulated sugar
- large eggs
- separated. We’ll beat the whites to stiff peaks and fold into the batter.
- almond and vanilla extract
- I’m a fan of using both of these flavorings together. The almond is the star flavor of this cake, but the vanilla tempers the almond and adds a beautiful background note.
- sliced almonds for the topping
- the sliced almonds will gently toast during baking and provide a wonderful element of crunch to the cake.
- powdered sugar for dusting
- coarse salt
How to make a flourless Italian almond ricotta cake
- Blend your batter together: cream the butter and sugar, then beat in each egg yolk separately, and finally the ricotta. Remember to scrape down that bowl!
- Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks and gently fold into the batter.
- Spread the batter into a prepared springform pan.
- Bake until the cake has puffed up, turned golden, and is no longer jiggly in the center.
- Cool briefly, then remove the sides of the pan.
- Dust with powdered sugar.
what to expect from this almond ricotta cake
This cake is ultra moist, verging on having a pudding-like or cheese cake consistency. But somehow it manages to be dense and light at the same time. If you love flourless chocolate cakes, or the fudgy texture of macaroons, Swedish visiting cake, or almond paste cookies I think you’ll be in heaven. Simply put: the texture is irresistible.
You get a really nice hit of almond flavor, tempered by the vanilla, and a definite crunch from the almond topping. It would be wonderful with a cup of coffee, tea, or an after dinner drink.
The consistency of this cake allows for slicing off very thin slivers, making it eminently snack-able!
tips for making almond ricotta cake
Bake this cake in a springform pan if you want to remove it for presentation and easier slicing. You can bake it in a regular cake pan, but plan on serving it right in the pan, it’s too delicate to flip out.
Room temperature ingredients are important, so think ahead. Here are my secrets for warming up cold ingredients quickly. Room temperature ingredients emulsify easily and create a beautiful batter. (The ricotta cheese doesn’t need to be warmed, but bring it out of the fridge first thing.)
There are no leaveners in this cake, it gets its lift from air that is beaten into the batter, and into the egg whites which are gently folded in. I find a stand mixer essential, but electric beaters can also be used.
This almond ricotta cake is moist and needs time to bake through. If yours seems to be browning too quickly toward the end of baking, lay a loose piece of foil over the top. A toothpick test is not completely reliable here, much like with brownies. Give the pan a gentle shake, if the center wobbles, keep cooking a bit longer.
For sharper slices, let the cake cool completely (something I am incapable of doing.)
more gluten free desserts
- Flourless Walnut Cake with Fresh Figs
- Flourless Belgian Chocolate Cake
- Warm Lemon Pudding Cake (gluten free, or not!)
- Gluten Free Cake Recipes for Spring
- Flourless Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Gluten Free Tangerine Cake
Almond Ricotta Cake
- 9" springform pan
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 tsp coarse salt
- 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature and separated
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk ricotta
- 1 1/2 cups extra fine almond flour (smooth out the lumps)
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- confectioner's sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 325F. Grease or spray a 9" spring form pan. Dust with flour or almond flour.
- Cream the sugar, butter, salt, and extracts until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. I do this in a stand mixer.
- Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as necessary.
- Add the ricotta cheese and continue beating for another minute or so until very smooth. Blend in the almond flour. Note: almond flour is naturally lumpy so I smooth out lumps with the back of a spoon before I add it.
- Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
- Gently fold the egg whites into the batter. I do this in two stages.
- Spread the batter into your prepared springform pan and smooth out the top evenly.
- Sprinkle sliced almond evenly over the top.
- Bake in your preheated oven for 50-55 minutes. The cake will be puffed, golden, and not jiggly in the center. Lay a piece of foil loosely over the top of the cake towards the end of baking if it seems to be browning too quickly.
- Let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then release the sides of the pan. Let the cake cool 15 minutes before dusting with confectioner's sugar.
Questions and Reviews
I began to make this cake today, using granulated sugar and the batter mix, wouldn’t beat to a smooth fluffy batter. I am a reasonable baker, and I was slightly puzzled why granulated sugar instead of caster sugar which is much finer and is generally the sugar of choice for sponge cakes, I decided to throw away my butter/sugar mix and start again using caster sugar. Would be interested to learn if granulated sugar, which is a course sugar usually used in melted mixtures or hot drinks usually works.
In the US granulated sugar is fine white sugar. It’s the equivalent of caster sugar, so that was the problem. I’ll clarify that in the recipe for non-US bakers!
This turned out so delicious…it has a custard consistency while it’s warm out of the oven…I did refrigerate it and that change it to more of a cake consistency…love the presentation…thanks for sharing your recipes…
I was looking for a Ricotta recipe and stumbled on this one. I had all the ingredients at home and made it. Delicious, loved it and saved the recipe to my Nona’s old cookbook. The only thing a did was to add some lemon zest. Will make it again
Sue, i have to admit that your site is one of the highlights of my day!
do I put in all 200grams of sugar in the beginning? Because the egg whites doesn’t have sugar to put in when beating!
You don’t put any sugar in the egg whites, just beat them until stiff peaks.
Thanks! does this need to be refrigerated? I made one 2 nights ago and dust a lot of powder sugar. my mom said there is mold on it, I only saw powder sugar
I did not refrigerate mine, and we finished it in about 3 days. I do think, however, that because of the cheese, it would be best refrigerated.
Can you freeze and use at a later date?
This cake is not a great candidate for freezing, sorry!
Just made this on a very snowy Denver afternoon- cooked for 50 mins but probably needed 5 more minutes. Had a problem releasing my springform but eventually it did. Absolutely delicious!!
Thanks for the speedy review Francis! I usually say in my springform recipes to run a knife around the edge soon after it comes out of the oven, that really helps if there’s any sticking.
It sounds delicious! Can I substitute cream cheese for the ricotta? I’d like to make it today but I don’t have any ricotta.
I don’t think that would work well Sharon, the texture would be way off. I’d wait to get the ricotta, it’s worth it!