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Chocolate Ricotta Cake

This Chocolate Ricotta Cake is a no-bake dessert that can be prepared up to two days in advance. It’s incredibly rich and creamy and will delight any chocolate fan!

Overhead view of a slice of chocolate ricotta cake on a white plate topped with chocolate shavings with recipe title on top

(This recipe for Chocolate Ricotta Cake was originally published in October 2011, but was updated with new photos in 2019).

Here’s my big confession: I’m not a great cake baker. Sure, I’ve baked enough of them, but there’s something about cakes that I find so intimidating. Especially layer cakes. Cupcakes are much friendlier and way more forgiving. They don’t generally fall apart and if you bake one batch a bit too long, you can just pop another batch in the oven. Frosting cupcakes is also much more straightforward and if you mess up on one, just move on to the next. You don’t need a “crumb layer” of icing or to make sure everything is super smooth. Cake is much more of a commitment, too. I bake cupcakes for fun all the time, but I really never bake cakes unless it’s for a special occasion.

Like birthdays. While scouring the internet for a cake to make for my mom’s birthday last month, I landed upon this Chocolate Ricotta Icebox Cake from Martha Stewart. After my parents went to Italy a couple years ago, they came back raving about the ricotta pie they tried. Ricotta was once on the bottom of my “I love cheese” list, but when I tried the pie, I absolutely loved it, too. However, we are very much a chocolate family and that ricotta pie involved no chocolate whatsoever. So, when I spotted a chocolate ricotta cake from Martha, I knew it was going to be a winner. I made some alterations and added a couple ingredients to give the cake more depth (seriously, the original recipe only had 4 ingredients) and the final product was perfection. Enormous bonus points to the fact that this cake is SO easy to make. No baking; just waiting while it chills. No layering and no frosting. I can handle that.

CHOCOLATE RICOTTA CAKE RECIPE

The only hard thing about this cake is waiting for it to chill. It’s a no-bake cake, but does require at least 6 hours in the fridge. But I love a good make-ahead dessert because it means less stress the day of your gathering. And while this one requires 6 hours in the fridge, it can actually be made up to 2 days in advance! This chocolate ricotta cake can be done, in the fridge, and out of your mind long before your guests arrive.

Start by preparing your 9-inch springform pan. Remove the sides and place a sheet of waxed paper on the bottom, leaving an overhang. Lock the sides in to secure the paper and spray the inside of the pan with cooking spray. Then line the sides with a strip of waxed paper (28 inches long and 4 inches wide).

View of a round springform pan prepped with wax paper and cooking spray

If you have a double boiler, place your chopped chocolate in that. If you don’t have one, place the chocolate in a heat-proof pan over a pot of simmering water (if you want a good one, I’m in love with my Calphalon double boilerย [affiliate link], which was gifted to me. I recommend using a semisweet chocolate, but in bar form and not chocolate chip form. Chocolate bars and chips melt very differently and bars are always much nicer. I like these onesย (affiliate link) from Ghirardelli.

Overhead view of a double boiler with chopped chocolate in it

Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted.

Blend the ricotta in a food processor until it’s nice and smooth, about one minute. Add the melted chocolate and blend until smooth. Mix in the espresso and vanilla, too.

Collage showing process for making chocolate ricotta cake filling, including dark chocolate melted in double boiler, ricotta whipped in food processor, and ricotta and melted chocolate mixed together

In a large bowl, use a hand mixer (or whisk) to beat the cream until stiff peaks form. Then fold in the chocolate-ricotta mixer.

Place half the wafer cookies in an overlapping fashion on the bottom of the springform pan. Spoon half the chocolate ricotta mixture over the cookies and arrange the remaining cookies on top of the chocolate ricotta mixture. And put the remaining ricotta mixture on top, smoothing it out as much as possible.

Collage showing process for assembling chocolate ricotta cake, including layering chocolate wafer cookies in springform pan and chocolate ricotta filling layered on top

Now comes the waiting game. Cover the cake n plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 2 days. You see? It’s the best cake ever since you can make it 2 days ahead of time and not be stressing at the last minute!

When you’re ready to serve, release the sides of the pan and peel away the waxed paper from the sides of the pan. Lift cake onto a platter and remove the waxed paper from the bottom as you’re lifting it. To be honest, I was a little nervous about how the cake looked in the pan as a whole. But as soon as I sliced it, all my fears disappeared.

Oh, the chocolate shavings on top make it look extra pretty, too.

Head-on view of a slice of chocolate ricotta cake on a white plate topped with chocolate shavings

This cake ended up being absolutely incredible, especially considering how easy it is to make. But honestly, it was so goof that I’d make it again even if it was a whole lot more difficult.

The chocolate ricotta is delightfully creamy and rich; almost like chocolate mousse. And then you get a little bit of crunch from the cookies, taking the cake’s consistency to a whole new level.

Landscape head-on view of a slice of chocolate ricotta cake topped with chocolate shavings

You only really need a little slice of this as it’s super rich and satisfying. But you’ll definitely be tempted to eat more. Even if you’re not necessarily a ricotta cheese fan. I mean, who knew ricotta could make such a ridiculously amazing cake??

If you enjoy ultra rich chocolate cake with lots of depth, definitely try this chocolate ricotta cake. And don’t wait for a special occasion either. I mean, it wouldn’t hurt to just have this chilling in the fridge to help you get through a long week. Am I right?

Overhead view of a slice of chocolate ricotta cake on a white plate topped with chocolate shavings

Have you ever had a ricotta cake before?

If you like this Chocolate Ricotta Cake, try my Chocolate Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes or my Red Wine Chocolate Mini Layer Cakes. I also can’t wait to try this Chocolate Chip Cannoli Pie from The Merchant Baker!

Chocolate Ricotta Cake
Prep Time
30 mins
Chill Time
6 hrs
 

This Chocolate Ricotta Cake is a no-bake dessert that can be prepared up to two days in advance. It's incredibly rich and creamy and will delight any chocolate fan!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Eclectic, Italian
Keyword: Easy Cake, No Bake Cake, Ricotta Cake
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Sues
Ingredients
  • 12 oz. semisweet chocolate (not chocolate chips), roughly chopped (plus more for shaving on top)
  • 2 15-oz. containers part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 9-oz. package chocolate wafer cookies
Instructions
  1. Remove the sides of a 9-inch springform pan and place a sheet of waxed paper on the bottom, leaving an overhang. Lock the sides in to secure the paper and spray the inside of the pan with cooking spray. Then line the sides with a strip of waxed paper (28 inches long and 4 inches wide).

  2. Place chocolate in the bowl of a double burner or in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted.

  3. Place ricotta in a food processor and blend until itโ€™s smooth, about one minute. Add the melted chocolate and blend until smooth. Mix in the espresso and vanilla, too.

  4. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer (or whisk) to beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold it into the chocolate-ricotta mixture.

  5. Place half the chocolate wafer cookies in an overlapping fashion on the bottom of the springform pan. Spoon half the chocolate ricotta mixture over the cookies. Arrange the remaining cookies on top of the chocolate ricotta mixture and spoon the remaining ricotta mixture on top, smoothing it out as much as possible.

  6. over the pan in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 2 days.

  7. When ready to serve, release the sides of the pan and peel away the waxed paper from the sides of the pan. Life cake onto a platter and remove the waxed paper from the bottom as youโ€™re lifting the cake. Shave additional chocolate over the top.

Recipe Notes
Chocolate Ricotta Cake -- This Chocolate Ricotta Cake is a no-bake dessert that can be prepared up to two days in advance. It's incredibly rich and creamy and will delight any chocolate fan! | wearenotmartha.com #chocolate #ricotta #cake #nobake

35 Responses to "Chocolate Ricotta Cake"

  1. Marcie says:

    Definitely the Napa Springs Tulip Red wicker set

  2. Erica says:

    With an ingredient list like that, how could it not be amazing? Love ricotta

  3. Cassie says:

    OMG! the ricotta cake is what i NEED right now. need to make it soon.

  4. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic says:

    I love icebox cakes!! This sounds delicious and oh-so-eary (exactly my type of cake). I am already thinking of when I can make this – and I will probably garnish with some strawberries or raspberries… Yum!

  5. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic says:

    Oh and my favorite piece would have to be the Bradstreet Marzipan Cream Renu Loveseat – it actually fits my current decor right now and would be perfect for my apartment!

  6. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic says:

    Following on Twitter and Facebook too ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. tina says:

    I cannot wait to try this love ricotta, love chocolate and I’m so addicted to those expensive little wafer cookies how can I not try it possibly this weekend lol. My question I don’t like flat cakes lol so do you think doubling this would work to make it higher and fill up the pan more? I think this would be a wonderful addition to Christmas Desert this and Eggnog Cheesecake yum

  8. tina says:

    lol I was so excited by this recipe for having all my favorites in it plus looking easy I forgot to say I will probably use full fat ricotta well because i’m italian and my mother would never use low fat on any ricotta whether it be desert or pasta and I figure on desert its the one time you can have all the goodness of the full fat and not feel guilty and again can you tell how excited I am about this recipe. I have her cookbooks but I don’t remember seeing this one. hmmm off to look

  9. Lauren at Keep It Sweet says:

    That looks rich and delicious! Looks like you are a good cake baker to me:-)

  10. Katie says:

    this cake sounds soo good! and since my oven isn’t working at the moment, this is perfect!

  11. Emily @ A Cambridge Story says:

    Oh, this cake looks divine. I love the wafer cookies and the silky filling! I’m always interested in patio furnishings. The wicker chairs look super comfy!

  12. Danielle says:

    I am following Angelo on twitter and O.co on Facebook and twitter. I love almost every single piece. But I am in LOVE with the: HOME Modern Damask Black and White Chair. Both the arm chair and armless chair are beautiful.

  13. Erica @ In and Around Town says:

    WOW! That cake looks so good! Love the idea of the combination of textures with the wafers and the filling!

  14. Kelly says:

    I have an addiction to purple and green so I LOVE that purple chair. And how you feel about cakes is how I feel about pies. I’ve wanted to attempt one, but they always scare me off.

  15. Meghan@travelwinedine says:

    All of those chairs are fantastic! And that cake. . . adding it to my must-make list!

  16. kaylynn says:

    I cannot wait to try that cake.

    I’m a huge fan of teal right now, I can’t wait to get my hands on that chair.

  17. Susan says:

    Mmmmm, that chocolate ricotta cake sounds heavenly!

    Since I won’t be able to break away from the television and watching our Brewers play the Cardinals I can’t attend the Twitter party but what a great giveaway!

  18. Aubreylaine says:

    I love the angelo:HOME Grant Twillo Lotus Green Arm Chair. I also like them on facebook & twitter
    littlegray88 at yahoo dot com

  19. Lexi says:

    I’ve been to the Scharffen Berger Factory and done a tour! So much fun!

    Oh my goodness, and I want the Red Pyramid Trunk Coffee Table! LOVE!

  20. Kelsey says:

    Damask is extremely trendy right now, but I know if I had the Modern Damask Black and White Armless Chair I would die of happiness and never ever get rid of it.

  21. Monique says:

    YOWZA! the sight of that cake made me salivate! The money shot was that silken chocolate deliciousness right before the first layer. I imagined myself prematurely licking the spatula! oh good lord!

  22. Carol says:

    Love the red trunk table, perfect for my living room!

  23. Cya says:

    Love, Love, Love the teal trunk, I have a quiet and understated love affair with teal and this coffee table/trunk is beautiful!

  24. Judith Sharp says:

    The Harlow Clay Mango armchair!

  25. Judith Sharp says:

    Oh, and I love this chocolate ricotta cake recipe…yummy!

  26. Noel says:

    I like the Damask armless chair!

  27. Eliana says:

    This chocolate ricotta looks and sounds absolutely heavenly.

  28. Shannon says:

    i have a new appreciation for ricotta after trying some of the real fresh stuff! (sorry part skim, our days are numbered!!) sounds like a great recipe ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. NicoleD says:

    Now that looks like a fantastic cake! What a nice daughter you are for making this ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Robin says:

    Ummmm I’m obsessed with the turquoise chair!

  31. Jess says:

    AHHH!! Marlowe Bed in Brown Leather alongside the Davis Chair in Yellow and White floral!!

  32. Sharon says:

    This cake was very delicious and much appreciated by all who were lucky enough to share it for a fabulous Birthday party!!

  33. em says:

    cakes scare me, too. especially layer ones with lots of frosting.
    yours looks like it turned out pretty fantastically, though. i’d make that in a heartbeat!

  34. wishful nals says:

    follow o+co! love the ennis shoreline aqua blue sofa. so cute and looks comfy. also, that cake is calling my name. serious sweet tooth over here!

  35. Sharon says:

    I like the angelo:HOME Napa Springs Tulip Red Indoor/Outdoor Resin Wicker Arm Chair (Set of 2) ….and i am following O.co on twitter and facebook! Thanks.

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