This delicious Gluten-free Almond Ricotta Chocolate Cake is perfect for any special occasion. It’s moist, dense, flavourful, and healthy. It’s filled with healthy ricotta and almonds, has very little sugar and no oil or butter. It’s also naturally Gluten-Free.
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Do you have a snack drawer? You know the one where you keep all those left over Halloween candy, boxes of chocolates that someone brings over, candy that you get on sale, gum, mints, crackers. I have a big drawer like that, full of delicious and not so healthy snacks.
One of my favourite things about Holiday season is the Christmas stocking that I get from my parents-in-law. They fill it with all the crunchy, minty, sticky, sweet, and salty foods that we would not buy on our own.
There are usually boxes of Pocky sticks (pizza flavour is my favourite), bags of dried salted squid that we have to eat hiding in the bathroom since our cats go absolutely crazy for the smell, and other snacks, many of them Japanese since my mother in law is from Japan.
Then there’s usually a huge box of Russian chocolates that I get in December every year from my step aunt and uncle. And I really mean huge, it’s about 5 or 6 pounds of delicious individually wrapped wafer chocolates.
I also photograph for a local bakery that keeps sending me their delicious product of cookies and cupcakes a few times a year (or a few times a month as it happened this January).
It’s no wonder that I have not been baking much recently. It’s actually a puzzle how I still am able to fit in my clothes. So, past few months weren’t filled with sticky and sweet and spicy and warm aromas of winter baking.
I still baked, but very little. I made my traditional Gingerbread Cheesecake for Christmas dinner. I made Chocolate Crackle Cookies when I had a few people over. I baked Brown Butter Peanut Butter and Jam Cookies for my husband’s work dinner. And I made an Almond Cake from dairygoodness.ca for my New Year’s Eve dinner.
The cake was good. Really good. Still it could have had a few modifications. I found it a bit too oily, so I removed all the butter from the recipe. There’s enough natural oil in almonds to keep the cake moist.
I felt it was too sweet and reduced the sugar a little bit. I added some cocoa powder for even more chocolate flavour and then poured a splash of my absolutely favourite secret ingredient that makes any dessert that much special. What is it? Here you go: Pure Orange Oil!
I add a splash of it to almost any chocolate dessert that I make and everyone asks me about it. If you can’t find this oil (and I highly recommend you do as it lasts for a long time and is just, oh, so amazing), then add some orange zest. (on a side note: that same brand’s lemon oil did not work for me at all unfortunately).
With all the changes that I made to this Gluten-free Almond Ricotta Cake, it actually became healthy, well, almost healthy. The cake has almonds, ricotta, egg, milk or cream, some chocolate, a bit of cocoa, and a little bit of sugar. If this is not healthy, then what is?
It’s so fast and easy, that you can make it any time. If you don’t believe me that it’s easy, watch the video of me making the cake!
How to make Almond Ricotta Chocolate Cake
The Gluten-free Almond Ricotta Chocolate Cake is really easy to make as there’s no creaming or whipping or separating or chilling or folding required. The batter comes together in a cinch; all the ingredients just need to be mixed well with a spatula and then baked. It’s perfect for a Valentine’s Day dinner or any special occasion.
Yes, it’s that easy, you really only need to combine all the ingredients and mix. It’s another true one-bowl recipe!
Do you need butter in this almond cake?
Original recipe had melted butter mixed into melted chocolate. It made the most luscious and silky chocolate sauce that mixed in beautifully into the batter.
Now that I removed butter, melted chocolate doesn’t mix well into the ricotta and sort of seizes a bit, which is totally fine! It’s still mixed into the Gluten-Free Almond Ricotta Chocolate Cake and when you take bites there are pieces of chocolate that melt on your tongue.
I added a little bit of cocoa powder to colour the batter. However, if you really are worried about that chocolate not fully mixing in, then just add a tablespoon of melted butter or oil to melted chocolate. I personally don’t think it’s needed, but it wouldn’t hurt. It will, however, make the almond cake a little bit more oily.
How sweet is the Gluten-Free Almond Ricotta Chocolate Cake?
Another note I’d like to make is on the amount of sugar – original recipe had little sugar and I reduced it even more. I don’t like desserts that are too sweet and for this cake this amount of sweetness is just right for me.
My best friend who had a chance to test taste the Gluten-free Almond Ricotta Chocolate Cake agreed, but if you have a sweeter tooth, then increase sugar a little bit.
This is a small almond cake and it is perfect for a mid-week celebration or treat. I use 5″ springform pan to bake it. This size pan is not very common but I use it surprisingly relatively regularly and I recommend having it in your collection.
Baking with almonds
Made with ground almonds and ricotta this cake doesn’t have a traditional smooth crumb, it’s sort of grainy, which is not the most appetizing description, but it’s accurate. If you ever had any almond desserts you’ll know what I mean by that.
I actually absolutely love almond baking and almond texture, and to me it’s the beauty of the cake. But when I looked up the original recipe I read a few comments that people complained about the texture.
Gluten-free Almond Ricotta Chocolate Cake
- 45 g semi-sweet or bitter-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (about 1/4 cup)
- 150 g smooth ricotta (half container)
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup milk or half&half cream
- 1 tablespoons cocoa powder (+ more for dusting the pan)
- 1 teaspoon orange oil or orange zest (optional but highly recommended)
- 1 cup ground almonds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Melt the chocolate.
- In a large bowl whisk together the ricotta and egg. Add milk (or cream) and sugar and mix well.
- Add melted chocolate and mix to incorporate it into the batter. If the melted chocolate seizes and hardens, don’t worry, just mix to distribute it evenly.
- Add cocoa powder and mix well.
- Add ground almonds and baking powder. Mix well.
- Add orange oil if using and mix.
- Butter or oil 5-inch pan, sprinkle with cocoa powder and shake to cover it with cocoa.
- Pour the batter into the pan and bake at 375F for about 50 minutes. Test with a dry toothpick to make sure that it’s baked through.
- Let cool in the pan. This is important as the cake will crumble if not cooled.
- Once cooled, sprinkle with more cocoa powder and serve.
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CAKE LOOKS DELICIOUS. I WILL CERTAINLY TRY IT. CAN IT BE FROZEN?
Used Bob’s Red Mill fine almond flour, Califa brand French Vanilla Creamer (lactose intolerant) and additional vanilla paste instead of orange extract/peel. Tastes great!
Followed the recipe and turned out delicious. I used Kirkland almond flour and maple syrup instead of sugar. It’s a keeper! Thank you!
Ruth Whetsel says
Worked perfectly. Will make again. Thanks for the very nice recipe.
Hello Julie, can you bake this in an airfryer? if so for how long & what temp? My oven isn’t crash hot so using air fryer for most baking. Just a learner.
Brilliant recipe. However I did some modifications.. 1) I added extra sugar. 2) I added an extra egg 3) I added a splash a grand Mariner (for the orange flavour). 4) I baked it for 40mins 5) I used a 6” pan. Will be making his over and over and over again…this needs to be served warm and a dusting of icing sugar makes you look like a professional chef… thank you for this!
Love this easy, delicious and healthy recipe. My cake turned out a little bit moist inside, maybe I added too much of Ricotta cheese. I had only 2 spoons of sugar and a little bit more of chocolate instead:)
Thank you for the recipe
You said the original recipe contains butter. May I know how much do I need to put because I like to have butter in it. Please also include as to when to incorporate it in the mixture. Thank you and stay safe.
Here’s the original recipe: https://dairyfarmersofcanada.ca/en/canadian-goodness/recipes/ricotta-cake-dark-chocolate
This recipe is a winner that will definitely be part of my repertoire. I doubled the recipe and baked it in an 8″ pan. It was ready in 45 min. Its equally good for breakfast the next day:)
I’m so glad you liked it! It is my goto recipe if I have to make a gluten-free cake for someone!
Rakia alzayani says
I tried this recipe today and I followed all the instructions carefully but when baking at 375 oven my cake was done within 40 minutes. I am thinking if this is has anything to do with my oven. I have electric oven and I used the fan and 375 ??
All ovens are different and some bake faster and some slower. In your case, however, it’s the fan. Fan distributes the hot air around and makes everything cool faster. I very rarely use the fan because of that
So delicious. Made it true to recipe and will make it many more times. Thankyou
I am really glad you liked it!
Can I use almond flour? Would I use the same measurement was ground almonds?
I’m almost positive that almond flour is the same as ground almonds. I’ve seen packages with both names in stores and whatever is inside looks the same
Meg S says
Almond FLOUR does not have any of the ‘grit’ of the ground almonds. Recipes turn out quite differently; one chewy and one smooth as if made with regular white flour. Almond flour does indeed add a more moist texture as well. Hope that helps.
That is actually untrue. There might be some brands of almond flour that are fine like white flour but I personally have not seen any yet. All the almond flours I have tried are exactly the same texture as ground almonds. I specifically just went to check the package that I use to make this cake and it says “almond flour” yet the texture is “gritty” and not fine.
Almond flour has been defatted, so if you use ground almonds. It is a finer texture than ground almonds. I believe that in the US the names are often used interchangeably.
Katie Barr says
I just made this and it was perfect. I did add some butter to the melted chocolate to make it a little more free-flowing.It was cooked in just 35 minutes! I particularly like the fact that it’s not too sweet. I put a little 7o% chocolate ganache on the top with a few almond flakes. A great little cake!
I am glad you liked the recipe! It is delicious!
Can you make this cake sweeter? 1 cup sugar
Sure. Why not?
Ruth Rosensky says
Can this recipe be doubled to make a larger cake?
Yes. You can use 9″ pan. You might need to increase baking time a little bit
Looks great! I was thinking of using some ground hazelnuts I have but they’re not super finely chopped like almond flour, would that work?
Thank you. The ground almonds that I use aren’t as fine as regular flour so I think ground hazelnuts would also work. If they are a bit too coarse then the cake might fall apart a bit, if that’s the case then just pile it in a bowl and eat it with some ice cream like a pudding 🙂
I made this cake last night. It was so good. I didn’t have enough ricotta so i used Siggi’s vanilla yogurt (50g) to make up for it. I also used orange peel in place of orange oil. Thanks for the recipe. Definately will be making it again.
I am so glad you loved the cake and thank you for letting me know that Siggi’s yogurt (it’s a greek yogurt, right?) works in place of Ricotta!
Hello, Great recipe for someone on low carb diet but I don’t have a 5 inch pan, can I use a small loaf pan?
Also I can just grind the almonds or do I have to take the husk off?
Oh, these are both good questions and I wish I could give you a definite answer but I can’t. I am going to take a guess and say that you should be fine with a loaf pan but line it with parchment paper. You might also need to adjust the cooking time… as for grinding your own almonds… I wouldn’t because of their skins… the skins might create a very strange texture. I just don’t know how they would work in the batter.
Is it possible to sub the maple syrup for the sugar?
I haven’t tried myself. My guess is that if you do so, you’d need to reduce cream a bit since otherwise there might be too much liquid. But it’s just a guess. If you try and it works, would you let me know?
You said to use half a container of ricotta. Is that a small container? So that would be 4 oz?? Correct?? Just want to make sure what size you were using.
Our containers of ricotta here are usually 300g, so I used half a container. 150g is just over 5 ounces according to my calculator.
plasterers bristol says
Don’t think i’ve ever tried this cake. Sounds so good. Thanks for sharing this recipe. will be giving this a go.
I hope you liked it. I just made it again last week
I LOVE this cake!!! I’ve made it twice in two days! Haha I added coffee grinds (tbsp) to enhance the choc. It’s just something my gran has always done. So since you shared your secret, I’ll share mine! Haha. I may have slipped a couple extra chocolate chips in too. I have been on the GF baking journey for about a year and this is by far the best cake I’ve had/made. It’s even better than "Normal" cake I think. Such an easy and approachable recipe. This is definitely a go to for my sons bday cake and I can see a lot of versatility with flavors! Love the orange!! Well done!!
Oh, I am soooo glad you liked it!!! My friend made it recently and for some reason hears didn’t hold well, so I was worried. But I made this one a few times myself. I keep meaning to try adding coffee to enhance the chocolate flavour but I haven’t done it yet. Do you grind the coffee or use instant?
Hi it’s Kelly haha I don’t know how to respond directly to your response. Anyway. I just use ground coffee. There is enough liquid and heat to make the the ground unnoticeable but espresso or instant would work too. I’m just leery of instant because I don’t care for the bitterness it has. Mine held up great! I’ll admit the middle on the one today sunk a bit and I was nervous upon taking it from the oven but it’s was perfect! Honestly I’m so impressed. Haha. My husband is a Michelin chef and grew up in England and has made many a pastry/baked good. He couldn’t believe this was gluten free!
This cake looks divine!!
I love Ricotta cakes and the combination of orange oil to that has me wanting to get my baking things out. Fabulous job and love the photos 🙂
Thanks, Ginni! I love anything with ricotta and this cake is really good. I hope you try it!
Mark, CompassandFork says
This looks really inviting. I love ricotta and also the idea of that orange oil or zest sounds superb. Great photos!
Thank you Mark. Orange flavour really adds to the cake.
Molly Kumar says
Oh Goodie!!! This is so pretty and must be tasting AAAAhmazing!!! On my list to make – thanks for sharing.
I hope you try it and you like it. It’s one of my favourites now!
This sounds like it was MADE for enjoying with my morning cup of coffee…
This cake looks and sounds wonderful. I’ve pinned it to make for my mom; I think she’ll love it. Unfortunately, she can’t have chocolate, so I’ll replace that with carob. Carob comes fairly close, and I think with all the other flavors of ricotta, almonds, and orange oil she”l just taste the chocolat-y-ness of this cake. Thanks!
I hope the cake works well with carob. I’ve never tried it myself but I heard good things about it.
This cake looks absolutely divine and I just love the almond and ricotta combination
Thank you, Ange. I love ricotta and almonds too.
Sofia | From the Land we Live on says
Ha that’s so funny that you have to hide the dried squid from your cats. My dog goes crazy for dried fishy things as well… drops them on the floor and rolls his body in them….then eats them. So gross and funny. Anyway, random pet things aside, I love this cake and am imagining a slice with my morning coffee! I have orange extract – would that be the same as the orange oil?
Ha, this is funny about your dog. I wonder if he rolls over the dried fish because he doesn’t want you to eat it and wants it all for himself? Maybe he’s just really smart!
I haven’t used extract, so I don’t know, but I imagine it would work. Maybe just use less since extracts are usually more intense than oils. Still, if you are ever in Mississauga, I’d recommend going to Golda’s Kitchen to get that oil. The bottle will last for a very long time in the fridge.
Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy says
This sounds like a great recipe. I have some friends that I need to make gluten free desserts for when they come over for dinner (or I go there) so this will come in handy for our next get together.
Thanks, Gloria! Just remember this recipe makes a small 5-inch cake. I think it can safely be doubled.
This looks heavenly! I love anything almond, so this is lovely. And I will have to keep a lookout for orange oil!
I love anything with almonds too! Frangipane and marzipane are some of my favourite things. This orange oil is one ingredient I could not live without. I can talk about it for hours! It’s pricey, especially if you have to buy it online, but out of all the ingredients out there, this is the one I really recommend! Totally amazing! (not the lemon oil though. I bought lemon oil from the same brand it was bad)
Mel @ The Refreshanista says
Ohhh this cake looks delicious and super flavourful! I totally have to try this 🙂 also- do you have a recipe for the gingerbread cheesecake? It sounds amazing!
Thank you 🙂 As for the gingerbread cheesecake recipe, here it is. My "signature" cheesecake: http://www.kraftcanada.com/recipes/gingerbread-cheesecake-120899
I use less butter in the crust and I don’t put chocolate glaze over it. The rest is the same. I find that Philadelphia Kraft recipes make the best cheesecakes.
Mel @ The Refreshanista says
Awesome, thank you!
Amanda Cortens says
Orange oil? Now that is a new ingredient to me! Now strong of a flavour does it add to baking? I would love to play around with that!
Great, beautiful photos!
I usually add about 1-2 teaspoons. Each teaspoon of oil is equivalent to a teaspoon of orange zest, but I love oil more than zest. It’s totally natural with no additives. It really tastes like orange and elevates each dessert into something amazing and elegant. No-one can usually put their finger on what it is and people always ask about it. The moment I say it’s Orange, they light up!
Olivia B says
Your snack drawer sounds WAY better than my snack drawer! Haha. This cake looks and sounds AH-mazing!! Seriously, what a stunner. I love how easy it is too make too — the video helped show that off. Love it!
Haha! yeas, I have a pretty good snack drawer – love it! Thanks for the compliments for the cake – it’s really really good. One of those little wonders that aren’t really complicated, aren’t super fancy and fabulous, but just plain ol’ good!! And I’m glad you liked the video 🙂
Lily @GastroSenses says
Oh, I love this healthy and easy upside-down cake! Love the modification you made to the original recipe. And now I need orange oil too 🙂
Are you close to Mississauga? I venture there once a year to stock up on this Orange Oil. It’s sold at Golda’s Kitchen – heavenly kitchen store. Like… seriously! Heaven!!! Imagine a mix of HomeSense kitchen section and Kitchen Stuff Plus and Williams-Sonoma (but cheaper) all in one place!