This chocolate ricotta cake has a light and tender texture, packed with chocolate chips and very easy to make. It’s like cheesecake without all the work! Needs less than 10 ingredients and done in just 30 minutes.
(Wondering about the other uses for ricotta cheese? Check out this delicious collection of more than 70 recipes for leftover ricotta cheese.)
If you’re looking for an easy chocolate ricotta cake that you can whip up in a jiffy, you’ve come to the right place.
This recipe is based on my reader favorite strawberry ricotta cake and is similarly light, tender, and delicious.
But instead of fresh strawberries, it’s packed with dark chocolate. Let’s get to it.
Why you’ll love making this recipe
I love baking with ricotta cheese, an Italian cheese that has a soft, thick and creamy texture.
Although not as smooth and creamy as cream cheese (in fact it results to slightly grainier cheesecakes), I like that cakes made with ricotta are lighter and not as rich.
This chocolate chip ricotta cake has the consistency of cheesecake — tender, melts in your mouth, creamy — but without all the work that comes with baking one.
Fantastic, right? Also,
- You won’t need a mixer. All you need to do is whisk, fold, bake, enjoy.
- It’s also a very forgiving recipe. Unlike traditional cheesecakes where you worry about cracking and water baths, baking this cake is straightforward and meant to look charmingly rustic.
- Very chocolatey. Most important of all, it’s packed with chocolate flavor without being too sweet. Perfect with coffee or tea, as a snack, for dessert and even for breakfast!
How to make
You’ll need less than 10 ingredients and just 30 minutes to make chocolate ricotta cheesecake.
Most of the ingredients are pantry staples like flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
Important things to note:
- Eggs — make sure they’re room temperature. This means you’ll want to set them on the counter at least 30 minutes before you intend on using them.
- Ricotta cheese — for best results, I recommend using full-fat or whole milk ricotta cheese. I’ve been asked if I strain it and my answer has always been no because the cheese I get doesn’t really have a lot of excess moisture. If you think you need to strain yours, go ahead but be careful not to dry it out too much.
- Butter — we use melted unsalted butter. Make sure to allow time for the butter to cool so that it doesn’t crystallize once we add it into our cake batter.
- Dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips — I find that milk chocolate makes this cake too sweet. Using dark or semi-sweet chocolate achieves that perfect balance of chocolatey and sweetness. I use chocolate chips but you can also use mini chocolate chips or chocolate chunks.
You won’t need an electric mixer to make this cake, although I sometimes like using one just for convenience’s sake. I just make sure I don’t over-beat the batter.
You will need an 8-inch springform pan (see FAQs below for alternatives).
Step-by-step photo instructions
First, preheat your oven to 350F. Lightly grease the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan and line with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk all purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt.
In another bowl, whisk eggs, ricotta cheese and vanilla extract (if using a mixer, stay on low speed).
The mixture will look grainy and that’s ok.
Fold in your dry ingredients just until combined.
Careful not to over-mix. We’re looking for a crumbly, not smooth, cake batter.
Add the melted butter and chocolate chips.
Fold until combined.
Transfer to prepared pan, smoothen the top, gently tap the pan on the counter to help the batter settle, and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick or tester comes out clean or with minimal dry crumbs.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before removing from pan. Dust with powdered sugar or cocoa powder.
If you want a more cheesecake-like texture, chill in the fridge before serving.
Expert baking tips
Easy, right? Here are more baking tips for making the best chocolate ricotta cake every time.
- Use dark or semi-sweet chocolate. Using dark or semi-sweet chocolate tempers the sweetness of this cake.
- Use room temperature ingredients. Room temperature ingredients are easier to combine and incorporate and help you avoid over-mixing the batter.
- Don’t over-mix. Stop just as soon as the flour mixture is incorporated into the batter. Over-mixing will result to an unnecessarily dense and tough cake.
- Don’t over-bake. Remove from the oven as soon as a toothpick or a tester comes out clean or with minimal dry crumbs. If you see the edges getting too brown and the center is still underbaked, loosely cover with aluminum foil and continue baking until done.
I like using a springform pan because it releases the cake so easily. If you don’t have one, you can use a similar-sized round pan that’s greased and lined with parchment paper.
You can even use a square pan and make a mini sheet cake or dessert bars.
Again, just make sure to line the pans with parchment paper so you won’t have trouble releasing the cake later.
You definitely can! Just double the recipe, bake the batter in two pans and frost with the buttercream of your choice.
The cake layers will be heavy so I would recommend a light buttercream to balance it out, like Swiss meringue buttercream.
I don’t usually drain ricotta cheese before using it in my recipes. The ricotta cheese that I get is moist but not excessively so.
However, if you notice a ridiculous amount of liquid in the tub of your cheese, best to strain it before using but be careful not to dry it out too much.
Yes, you can make this cake up to 2 days ahead of when you’re planning to serve it.
Keep it in the fridge in the meantime and bring it down to room temperature before serving, though we personally love it chilled as well.
You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. They should be good for up to a week.
Other recipes made with ricotta
If you love baking with ricotta as much as I do, you’ll enjoy baking these — from lemon ricotta cakes to chocolate ricotta muffins.
Chocolate Ricotta Cake
- Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until combined.
- In another bowl, whisk eggs, ricotta cheese and vanilla until incorporated. It will be a grainy and that's OK. (If using a mixer, stay on low speed.)
- Fold in dry ingredients just until combined (do not over mix). We’re looking for a crumbly, not smooth, cake batter.
- Add the melted butter and chocolate chips and fold until combined.
- Transfer the batter into your prepared pan, smoothen the top, tap gently on the counter to help the batter settle, and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the cake starts to brown at the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with minimal dry crumbs.
- Cool for 20 minutes before removing from pan. Dust with powdered sugar or cocoa powder before serving.
- The yield depends on how big your cakes slices are. The estimated nutrition information is based on 12 servings.
- If you see the edges getting too brown and the center is still underbaked, loosely cover with aluminum foil and continue baking until done.
- If you want a more cheesecake-like texture, chill in the fridge before serving.
- See post for more tips, FAQs and step-by-step photos.
Nutritional information are estimates only.