This flourless Chocolate Cream Cake with a luscious ricotta filling is the perfect dessert for any holiday celebration. A gluten-free cake with a chocolate ganache frosting… simply irresistible!
What would you say if I told you that this is a gluten-free cake?
Would you also be surprised if I told you that there is no actual cream in the filling?
Three layers of flourless chocolate cake brushed with a rum syrup, with layers of whipped ricotta cheese all covered with a thick chocolate ganache.
I can’t wait to share one of my favorite ricotta cheese recipes will all of you today!
It tastes as good as it looks and it makes the perfect dessert for any special occasion.
- Eggs. We need to separate them.
- Vanilla extract. No imitation.
- Cocoa powder. Dutch-processed.
- Sugar. Just to sweeten things up a little.
- Rum. Just a touch.
- Ricotta. The perfect pairing with chocolate.
- Light cream. Just a couple of tablespoons.
- Chocolate chips. Regular or the mini ones.
- Whipping cream. A little bit of decadence for the ganache.
- Chocolate. Semi-sweet or dark.
- Butter. Just a pat.
Using a stand mixer facilitates the whisking of the egg whites. You need a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Although there are four parts, the recipe comes together rather quickly.
Part 1: The batter
Line a 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan with parchment paper and set it aside.
Separate the 6 eggs. Place the egg whites in the bowl of your stand mixture; place the egg yolks in a separate bowl.
With the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until you get to the soft peak stage.
Meanwhile, add the vanilla extract (1 teaspoon) to the egg yolks. Combine and set aside.
Whisk together the cocoa powder (2/3 cups) with the granulated sugar (1/3 cup). Set aside.
Once the egg whites have reached the soft peak stage, slowly add the sugar (1/3 cup) and whisk until they are stiff and glossy.
Add the cocoa/sugar mixture to the egg yolks and combine. Please note this is a stiff batter.
Add about a cup of egg whites to the batter and mix. Notice the batter getting a little lighter.
Slowly incorporate the rest of the egg whites by folding gently.
Spread the batter in the prepared jelly roll pan and bake in a preheated oven (350ºF/180ºC) for about 20 minutes or until it springs back when the top is gently pressed.
In the meantime, prepare the rum syrup and the ricotta filling.
Part 2: The rum syrup
Whisk together the sugar (1/3 cup) and water (1/4 cup) in a small saucepan.
Bring the solution to a boil while stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add the rum (2 tablespoons).
Transfer to a shallow bowl and set aside.
Make sure to cool to room temperature before brushing on the individual layers.
Part 3: The ricotta cream
Place the drained ricotta (400 grams) in a bowl and whisk for a couple of minutes. Add the light cream (2 tablespoons) and the sugar (2 tablespoons) and whisk to incorporate together.
Fold in the choco chips (1/3 cup). Set aside.
Part 4: The ganache topping
This easy ganache recipe might be familiar to you. It is the same one I used for this banana cake recipe.
Super easy and quick to put together – just heat the whipping cream (3/4 cup) with the butter (1 tablespoon) and once it’s nice and hot, add it to the chocolate (8 ounces) and whisk. Use a heatproof bowl.
After it melts, and then it’s just a matter of waiting 5 minutes and whisking it briskly to get the right consistency.
If the ganache does not firm up, place it in the fridge for about 5 minutes.
Once the cake has cooled for about 5 minutes, loosen the sides and invert on a clean tea towel that has been sprinkled with icing sugar.
Remove the parchment paper by pulling it back.
Cut into thirds.
Place one of the pieces on your serving platter. Brush the rum syrup over the entire surface.
Spread 1/2 of the ricotta cream on this bottom layer.
Place the second piece on the ricotta cream and brush with the rum syrup. Spread the rest of the ricotta filling.
Place the third piece over the ricotta filling and if desired brush with the rum syrup.
Whisk the ganache one more time and spread over the entire surface.
Keep refrigerated and covered until ready to be served. Can be made 24 hours in advance.
- Drain the ricotta. You risk getting a wet mixture that will “leak” if the ricotta has too much moisture.
- Use good quality chocolate. If you want to create an intense flavor you need to use the real thing. Chips will not do.
- Allow the cake to come to room temperature after it is baked. Since both the layers of ricotta and the topping are heat sensitive, do not start assembling until it is at room temperature.
What is the soft peak stage?
When placing the egg beaters upright, the egg whites will curl downwards.
What are stiff peaks?
When lifting the egg beaters the egg whites stand straight upright forming a stiff peak.
What can I use to replace the rum?
A teaspoon of vanilla extract is a great replacement.
How do you store this dessert?
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
Easy chocolate desserts we love
- Italian Ricotta Chocolate Tart
- Dark Chocolate Pudding
- Gluten-Free Brownie Recipe
- Chocolate Surprise Cupcakes
- Marshmallow Fudge
- Chocolate Pizza
- Italian Chocolate Spice Cookies
- Chocolate Bark Recipe
In what seemed like a very long time ago, I used to subscribe to a Canadian Magazine called Homemaker’s.
The “cake part” of this recipe is adapted from the Jan/Feb 1999 issue.
The original recipe had a whipped cream filling which I swapped for a ricotta-based filling. Sometimes, I use this cannoli dip recipe as a spread.
You and your family will love everything about it.
THANKS SO MUCH for following and being part of the She Loves Biscotti community where you will find Simple & Tasty Family-Friendly Recipes with an Italian Twist.
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Ciao for now,
★★★★★ If you have made this flourless chocolate layer cake, I would love to hear about it in the comments below and be sure to rate the recipe!
Chocolate Cream Cake
The Flour-less Cake:
- 6 eggs separated
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract pure
- ⅔ cup cocoa powder, dutch processed 55 grams, sifted, unsweetened
- ⅔ sugar granulated (separated)
The Rum Syrup:
- ⅓ cup sugar granulated
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoons Rum
The Ricotta Cream:
- 400 grams ricotta drained
- 2 tablespoons light cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ⅓ cup chocolate chips dark, mini
The Chocolate Ganache Frosting:
- 8 oz semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon butter unsalted
- Grated chocolate for garnishing.
- Line a 15 x 10-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180 °C)
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks and vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, combine cocoa and 1/3 sugar. Set aside.
- With an electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
- Gradually add the 1/3 cup of sugar and continue to beat until stiff peak forms. Set aside.
- Add the cocoa-sugar mixture to the egg yolks. Whisk together until smooth.
- Add a couple of tablespoons of the egg whites to this mixture and stir together (this will lighten the batter).
- Add the remainder of the egg whites and fold together.
- Spread batter evenly in jelly roll pan.
- Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly pressed.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes.
- Invert on a tea towel that has been sprinkled with icing sugar.
- Peel off the parchment paper.
- When completely cool, cut into thirds.
The Rum Syrup:
- Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan.
- Over medium heat, bring to a boil and stir to dissolve sugar (boil for about 1 minute).
- Remove from heat and add the rum.
- Cool to room temperature.
The Ricotta Cream:
- Combine all the ingredients for the filling.
- Set aside.
The Chocolate Ganache Frosting:
- Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set aside.
- In a small saucepan,over medium heat, heat butter and cream together.
- Bring to just under a boil. Remove from heat.
- Immediately combine with the chocolate and let stand for about 5 minutes. In the meanwhile, start assembling the cake.
- Place 1 section of cake on your serving plate.
- Brush the rum syrup over top.
- Spread 1/2 of the ricotta filling.
- Place another section of cake on the ricotta layer.
- Brush more rum syrup over the top.
- Spread the rest of the ricotta filling.
- Place last layer of cake on the ricotta filling.
- Brush the top layer off with syrup.
- Whisk together the ganache filling until smooth.
- Spread over cake.
- Decorate with shavings (optional).
- Store leftover cake in the refrigerator,
- Drain the ricotta. You risk getting a wet mixture which will "leak" once you put your cake together if the ricotta has too much moisture.
- Use good quality chocolate. If you want to create an intense chocolate flavor you need to use the real thing. Chocolate chips will not do.
- Allow the cake to come to room temperature after it is baked. Since both the layers of ricotta and the chocolate topping are heat sensitive, do not start assembling the cake until it is at room temperature.
This post was originally published on February 14, 2016, and republished on April 14, 2019, with updated content, photos, and a video. Thanks for watching and sharing!