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 179 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


  • 9 inch springform pan


  • 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


  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Greasing pan

  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar


  • 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.



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. 


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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. Hi there! My springform pan just broke. Can I use a bundt pan? I worry that because this is a moist cake, it might stick to the nooks and crannies.

  2. 5 stars
    So easy and delicious. My mother always made this during the holidays and our family looked forward to it. This brought back pleasant memories and my husband loved it! Thank you!

  3. Sounds delicious, but I try to avoid using butter in cakes wherever possible. Do you think I could substitute the butter for a light olive oil?

    1. That would work! Although, I’d recommend using a neutral flavor oil like canola or vegetable oil, so you don’t overpower the flavor of the cake. Enjoy!

  4. Just wondering if when made in other than spring form pan the cake is removed from the pan to serve (i.e. turned upside down??)

    1. Line the pan with parchment and you’ll be able to lift it straight out of the pan without having to turn it upside down. Enjoy!

  5. 5 stars
    Delicious cake. I won’t be serving it till next Thursday, Thanksgiving day. Can I freeze it or just keep it refrigerated? Thanks.

  6. 5 stars
    This is the best cake I have made in a long time and I bake regularly. My springform pan recently sprung a leak so I made this in a 9 inch cake pan, it looked like it was going overflow for a minute but it didn’t. With the buttered/sugared pan it came out easily. I made a whiskey glaze and poured it over while cake was still warm. I often don’t eat what I bake but with this cake, I can’t stay away. Delicious!

  7. 5 stars
    It’s been a few years since I made this. It’s in the oven now. Before the almond slices and powdered sugar, thinking of brushing it with an Amaretto syrup/glaze. The extra bonus aside from the flavor pop is it will help hold the almond slices in place.

    1. Hi I have just made this for the first time, like your idea of the Amaretto, it’s just cooling at the moment, going to try
      it… Thanks Richard. Thanks Angela for the great recipe!

    1. Thanks for this recipe, can’t wait to try it! I’ll be making it for New Year’s Day, using the Amaretto idea posted above. Happy New Year!

  8. I made this cake and followed the recipe to the letter. I tasted it after it cooled and thought it was one of the best cakes I’ve tasted. My problem is when I stored it in the refrigerator it became hard and on the dry side. (It was only in there for a couple of hours). Any thoughts?

    1. You need to cover the cake and/or store it in an airtight container. Also, it should soften up as it comes to room temperature. Hope this helps!

  9. I am making this cake for the second time for a group. It was a hit the first time and I am sure it will be again. I love to bake and this recipe is so simple and soooooo delicious.

      1. Yes, especially if it appears really wet. Either way, it’s a good idea to strain before using. Enjoy!

      2. It was insane how delicious this was! Going to be added to my list of cakes to make especially for the holidays!

    1. 5 stars
      Made this cake and it is absolutely delicious. Everything I want in an Italian dessert. It is dense but very rich so cut your serving portions a little smaller than normal.

  10. 5 stars
    Just back from a trip to Italy and was craving a cake similar to those we were able to buy over there. This is terrific. Good flavor and a denser cake, like those we enjoyed. I did add some lemon zest to the batter for a bit of brightness. Will certainly make again.

  11. 5 stars
    This cake was awesome! I did use half almond flour, half all purpose flower. I also use emulsified Almond flavoring.

    1. Many times I have eaten a ricotta spice cake at a small local Italian restaurant who has since closed. Could you make this cake into a spice cake? The recipe looks delicious!

      1. Absolutely! You could add some cinnamon and nutmeg to the recipe for sure. Let me know how it works for you.

  12. 5 stars
    This cake was very easy to make and it tastes delicious. I love ricotta and almonds but seldom see the two ingredients combined. Thanks for the great recipe!

  13. I want to make this cake. How many cups of ricotta is required? I don’t have a kitchen scale. Why is powered sugar used to prepare the cake pan versus flour; I’m not familiar with this method. Thank you.

    1. You will need a 15 ounce container of ricotta which is just a little less than 2 cups. I like to use the powdered sugar to give it a bit of a sweet finish, but you can dust the pan with flour too. Enjoy!

      1. You can but they may burn. I’d suggest tenting the pan with foil before baking if you place the almond slices on top ahead of time.

  14. Would this recipe work in mini paper loaf pans for gift giving? One recipe = 3 mini loaves? Thank you!

  15. 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😊👍