Thursday, November 9, 2023

Italian Gluten-Free Almond and Ricotta Cake Recipe

Rich and decadent Italian ricotta and almond cake
Quick, easy to make, and naturally gluten-free!

For all the almond lovers out there, here is a cake that is bound to send your taste buds into a state of pure bliss!
This almond ricotta cake takes decadence, flavor, and deliciousness to a whole new level. This dessert combines the rich, soft creaminess of ricotta cheese with the irresistible almond and lemon notes. Almond flour and almond extract join the party, while crunchy sliced almonds on the top before baking.
And the best part? It only has almond flour (no all-purpose flour) so it's naturally gluten free.

What gives this cake this moist and rich crumb:

First of all, almond flour, while generally not very light, becomes an essential component of this cake, giving it body and that delightful almond flavor.
But in this dessert, we are adding whipped ricotta cheese and whipped egg whites which truly elevates this dessert to a whole new creamy level. The result: take a look...

Check out the ingredient list in the recipe below.

Nothing unusual, but the classic eggs, sugar, butter and extracts for extra flavor. 

You will need ricotta cheese: if possible use whole milk ricotta cheese: super creamy and delicate ricotta will give this cake a rich and gooey texture. Remember to drain the ricotta to remove the extra water that might be in the package.

For this recipe, I just use almond flour and no regular flour. 
Any finely ground almonds (from blanched almonds) work. You can substitute with an almond meal (from unblanched almonds) but the resulting texture might be a little different. Almond flour is more finely ground and lighter than almond meal. If you can't find almond flour, you can make it yourself: buy whole, blenched almonds and blend/blitz until you get fine, powdery flour. Do not over-blend or you will end up with almond butter instead.
In this recipe, I use 4 large eggs. You will need to divide the egg yolks and the whites. Use the yolks right away and mix well with the sugar and butter. I use a hand electric mixer for this step, but you can whisk by hand or use a stand mixer too.
Whip the egg whites until firm and fold into the cake batter at the end. Add a small portion of the egg whites to start, maybe a fourth or so. Using a spoon or spatula, move around the edges of the bowl, under the batter, and fold it to the middle of the bowl. Continue rotating the bowl. Add more whipped egg whites and continue folding until incorporated in the batter. This motion will make sure the egg white will not deflate and the batter is airy and soft.

How to make this Almond and Lemon Ricotta Cake: (full recipe below!)

1. Preheat your oven to 350F,  and grease or line an 8 or 9-inch springform cake pan.
2. In a large bowl, cream together butter, and sugar until incredibly smooth.
3. Add egg yolks.
4. Beat in ricotta cheese, lemon zest (no lemon juice), and extracts, then add almond flour and a pinch of salt.
5. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, and then fold into the ricotta almond cake batter.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, sprinkle it generously with sliced almonds, then bake it until it's a beautiful golden brown on top and mostly settle. Don't overbake or the cake might dry up!
7. Let cool at room temperature, remove from the pan, and sprinkle with powdered sugar for that perfect finishing touch.

To ensure the best results, remember these tips:

- Use room temperature ingredients to encourage smoother mixing and easier rising.

- Opt for whole milk ricotta to enhance the cake's thick, creamy texture. Remember to drain the ricotta to remove the extra water. 

- Use a springform pan, for easy removal if po
ssible. Line the bottom with parchment paper and/or grease the sides 

- Choose thinly sliced almonds for the top (not slivered or whole almonds), so slicing the cake will be easier.

- Don't overbake the cake (might still be a little wiggly in the middle), to maintain the moist and decadent texture. 

- Allow the cake to cool completely before removing from the pan and cutting the first slice. This cake can be a little delicate and you don't want to break it when removing from the pan.

How to store this Gluten-Free Cake:

Refrigerate this cake once at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Serve all by itself, or with whipped cream, fresh berries, fresh fruit, or creme anglais if you like!


Other gluten-free dessert recipes you might like:

Are you ready to try this too?!? Here is the recipe for you.

PRINTABLE RECIPE CARD: Italian Almond Ricotta Cake

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