Italian Almond Ricotta Cake is the perfect Italian dessert. This recipe is full of flavor and so simple to make with ricotta cheese and almond extract. Don’t miss this recipe perfected for the best Almond Ricotta Cake!

Almond Ricotta Cake on a plate with a slice in the background.

If you are looking for an Italian treat that’s great for snacking or taking center stage on your dessert buffet, then this is it! So moist and flavorful, you are going to fall in love with Almond Ricotta Cake, guaranteed!

There are a lot of different almond cake recipes out there, but what makes this one so amazing is the ricotta cheese. So, if you love almond cake, then I urge you to try this recipe made with ricotta cheese and it will surely become your new go-to recipe.

Almond Ricotta cake with slice almonds and powdered sugar on top.

Why use Ricotta in Baking?

You may think that cheese and baked goods don’t go together, but think again. Mild and creamy cheeses that are more milk than cheese-like make great additions to baked goods. Ricotta, marscapone, and cream cheese, are all perfect for baking without adding any cheese flavors.

If you are unfamiliar, ricotta is a creamy white, mild, fresh cheese with a soft texture. It has a mildly sweet flavor and is similar to a fine-textured cottage cheese.

Ricotta is especially perfect for baking cakes. When properly incorporated, ricotta can elevate a cakes flavor and texture without adding any flavor. I prefer to use ricotta in baking over mascarpone and cream cheese because it is fluffier and not as dense.

The trick to successfully using ricotta in baking is to whip it up prior to adding the dry ingredients. I recommend beating the ricotta along with butter and sugars so that you incorporate air into the dish. If you don’t cream it, you could be left with a dense cake lacking lift.

Lastly, when it comes to baking with ricotta, always use whole milk ricotta cheese. The part skim version is fine for pastas and fillings, but whole milk is necessary for baking. You need the fat and flavor from whole milk to keep the baked items moist.

Traditional Italian Ricotta Desserts

There are many common flavors that can be found in Italian desserts: coffee, anise, almond, orange, lemon, and pistachio are just a few of them. The focus in on the flavors, not the sweetness. In my experience, Italian desserts are never normally overly sweet as compared to their American counterparts.

Here are some of my favorite Italian desserts that use ricotta cheese:

  • Lemon Ricotta Bundt Cake will forever be my favorite Italian ricotta dessert recipe. This light and flavorful recipe is an instant hit for anyone who tries it. So simple and so full of flavor, this cake is perfect for any occasion.
Lemon Ricotta Bundt Cake with paradise candied lemon peel on top
Lemon Ricotta Bundt Cake
  • Probably the most well-known ricotta based dessert is cannoli: a pastry tube filled with a sweetened ricotta mixture and often sprinkled with mini chocolate chips. I think these Cannoli Cheesecake Bars are a great way to get the flavors you love in cannolis, without all of the work. Plus, you can make these ahead and freeze them.
  • Italian Ricotta Cookies are a traditional Italian Christmas cookie that’s delicious year round. Simple ingredients and an easy frosting make the most flavorful and mouth-watering Italian cookies.
  • And you just can’t go wrong with a ricotta cheesecake. This Italian Cream Cheesecake is a delicious take on traditional cheesecake using whole milk ricotta cheese. This tasty cake is simple to make and perfect to make ahead.

Almond Extract and Chopped Almonds

To really bring the almond flavor to this cake I use a combination of almond extract and chopped almonds. The combination gives the perfect amount of almond flavor without compromising the mouthwatering texture of the cake.

overhead photo of the Italian dessert on a plate.

My recipe for Almond Ricotta Cake is a true recipe perfected. I have made this cake with variations so many times and have finally got the perfect combination of flavors and ingredients.

There are many other variations of Almond Cake, most of which use little to no flour and substitute almond flour instead. I personally find that those recipes yield a slightly too dense cake. Also, I never seem to have almond flour on hand either.

That why this recipe is perfect. It is made with simple ingredients you probably already have. The almond extract gives the perfect amount of flavor to the cake, while the diced almonds provide texture.

Moreover, the ricotta cheese seems to bring out all of the flavors. It really is the perfect Italian Almond Cake recipe.

How to Make Almond Ricotta Cake

This recipe has simple ingredients and is easy to make. However, there is one key step that can’t be missed. Read along to see how to master this recipe.

Firstly, grease a 9-inch standard springform pan with butter. Dust with powdered sugar and tap out any excess sugar. Set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

overhead photo of springform pan buttered and dusted with powdered sugar.

Next, you will need to cream together the softened butter, sugar, and ricotta cheese. You can use a stand up mixer or handheld electric mixer for this.

Now, here’s the important part: Be sure to cream together the butter, sugar, and ricotta for 5 minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients. You need to whip the ricotta for this recipe so that you don’t end up with a dense, flat cake.

Then, beat in the eggs and almond extract. Add in the flour mixture and the finely chopped almonds. I like to use my hand blender’s mini food processor attachment for this. You could use your regular food processor or chop the almonds with a sharp kitchen knife.

italian desert cooling on a wire baking rack in springform pan.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes before removing the springform and cooling completely on a wire baking rack.

Easy Almond Ricotta Cake Topping

I like to keep the topping of this cake simple. Once cooled, just add a handful of sliced almonds the top of the cake. (You could also use these almonds for the cake batter, just finely chop before adding.)

Place the powdered sugar in a mini strainer and dust over the top of the cake. To do this, just slightly shake or tap the sugar until the top of the cake is covered.

powdered sugar and almonds on the top of the  Italian Almond Ricotta Cake.

You can make this cake up to a week in advance. Just store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Great served cold or at room temperature.

Love Italian desserts, be sure to sign up for the newsletter below. Also, check out my other fan favorites like Limoncello Ricotta Cake and the perfect cookie Italian Thumbprint Cookies.

Italian Almond Ricotta Cake.

Tried this recipe? Please comment below and let me know what you think!

Almond Ricotta cake with slice almonds and powdered sugar on top.

Almond Ricotta Cake

This Almond Ricotta Cake recipe is a traditional Italian dessert that's great served with a espresso, tea, or coffee.
4.97 from 180 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 2 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 289kcal
Cost: 8-10

Equipment

  • 9 inch springform pan

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened (one stick)
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 15 ounce container whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ cup almonds, finely chopped

Topping

  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Greasing pan

  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and position baking rack in the middle of the oven. Use 1 tablespoon of butter to grease a 9-inch standard springform pan. Add in one tablespoon of powdered sugar and move around pound, shaking out excess when coated. Set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl with handheld mixer or stand up mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together the stick of softened butter, sugar, and ricotta cheese until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add in the eggs and almond extract and cream together for another minute. Pour in the flour mixture and mix until combined. Fold in the finely chopped almonds.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Bake on center rack for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for at least 10 minutes before releasing springform and cooling on wire baking rack completely.
  • For the topping, sprinkle sliced almonds on top of cooled cake. Place the powdered sugar in a fine mesh sieve to shake on top of cake just until cake is just covered.

Video

Notes

Almond Ricotta Cake is a great make-ahead cake that stays perfectly moist. Just refrigerate until ready to serve, up to a week in advance. 

Nutrition

Calories: 289kcal
Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a comment below or pin it to your Pinterest account!
almond ricotta cake pinterest pin.

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Recipe Rating




277 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this cake in a 8 1/ 2 x 10 “ glass pan and turned out perfectly. I had to make the recipe and half it again so it would not be so thin and my sister loved it and asked for the recipe. I will be making this for my sons wedding in a large rectangle pan and cut into small pieces. Thank you so much for a great recipe😊👍

    1. Hi Carla! I’m so happy you loved it and I’m honored you’ll be making it for your son’s wedding! 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Perfect, moist cake! It was for a lunch potluck and forgot the toppings but did not need it. Only had 10 oz of ricotta and still worked. Anytime of day cake. Will make again for everyone I know.

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you, Angela, for this wonderful recipe!! It is my go to cake recipe!! I actually made this for an Italian friend for Christmas….she just raved about it and has asked me for the recipe….the ultimate compliment!!!

  4. I just love ricotta cookies, so I’m going to attempt the cake! Thank you for sharing. Is it possible to bake these as mini cakes in a muffin tin?

    1. 4 stars
      Always toast your almonds before topping them on the cake. Brings out their yummy flavor. I don’t think you have to have the nuts in the cake, maybe it’s optional.
      Love almond desserts & of course Italian desserts 👍🏻👏🏻😋

  5. 5 stars
    I am making this Almond Ricotta Cake for a Christmas potluck tomorrow. I have made this recipe a number of times, and have always had great feedback; so it was an easy choice for the upcoming luncheon. It is especially easy to take to an event, and doesn’t require refrigeration. No fuss, and delish!
    My husband just found out it isn’t for him. I think I will be making another!

      1. I always refrigerate to keep it fresh longer, but you can store covered at room temperature for three days. So happy you love it!

  6. I just made this and its cooled. How do you get the sliced almonds to stay on the top of the cake? Mine are falling off. Does this need a light glaze over it to stick the almonds to? And thank you for answering my flower question.

  7. 5 stars
    Absolutely a delicious, moist and most flavorful cake. It was a huge hit when served to guests. It’s a definite keeper.

  8. 5 stars
    I have made this cake using this recipe quite a few times. Everyone loves it and it is a frequently requested dessert.

  9. 5 stars
    A fabulous, easy recipe that was a big hit! I made this for a friend’s birthday this week and she absolutely adored it. As an avid baker herself, I was nervous to share a cake with her that I had never made before, but she absolutely loved it. I can’t wait to make this again, as wel as try out other recipes on your site.

  10. 5 stars
    I , and everyone I serve this to absolutely loves this cake! It is my new go to. I have forwarded the recipe to many people and everyone loves it!

  11. My springform pan is 10 inches. Will this still work, thinner I suppose and I probably need to watch the time in the oven?

    1. 5 stars
      This is a easy, delicious and moist cake and everyone loves it. Being Italian, I have tried other almond cakes and yours is the best by far. I have made this a few times and sprinkled the almonds on top before baking. If the top browns, I just place a foil sheet on top and finish baking. Putting the almonds before baking prevents almonds from coming off-just a suggestion-hope I’m not over stepping. Can’t wait to try your other delicious looking recipes. Was also wondering if this could be made in a square pan or 13 x 9 pan. Thanks

      1. Hi Carla! Thanks so much for the comment. That’s a great suggestion and tip about adding the almonds before baking. I’ll definitely have to try that. You could make this in a 13 x 9 pan, although it will come out thinner and you will need to adjust the baking time. Let me know how it goes 🙂

  12. Thanks for this recipe. I cannot wait to try it. I love the almond and ricotta combination. I was wondering if I could put the almonds on the top of the cake before putting it in the oven and bake them into the top?

  13. ***** I am not an experienced baker but I must say that this Ricotta Almond Cake recipe was easy to follow even for a beginner. The resulting cake was absolutely spectacular and almost every ingredient is one you would normally find in your pantry. Also, I LOVE that something this delicious and beautiful can be make ahead of time – days in advance! I just finished eating the last piece of cake- day 6 and it was still moist and very flavorful.

  14. Hi thanks for the recipe. Could i ask whether almond flour (pure grounded almonds) could be added to this recipe please? I know it tends to make cakes a bit more dense, hence asking whether it could be done and if so would you suggest it would be as a subsitute to somw of the flour or the chopped almonds? Thanks

    1. You could use it in place of the flour but the cake would be quite dense. You could also use the flour in place of the chopped almonds in the recipe.

  15. I’m in Canada and we use the metric system. Regarding the ricotta, a standard 2 cup container = 475 grams. When I try to convert 15 ounces it comes out to be less than 2 cups. Can I use 1 3/4 cups of ricotta? Also, our ricotta is labeled as soft white cheese, doesn’t say anything about “whole milk”. I’ve used ricotta in lots of baking but never seen it called “whole milk” ~ it’s the same isn’t it? Thanks

    1. Hi. Yes, 1 3/4 is the correct amount and the ricotta you have will work perfectly! Hope you love the cake!

  16. I’m making this now! Looks amazing! Can it sit out once cooled for several hours before eating or must it be refrigerated? Thank you!

    1. It can sit out for about 2-3 days. But for maximum freshness, you should cover and refrigerate. Enjoy!