Italian Chocolate Ricotta Cake Recipe (Single Layer)

If you’re a chocolate fan, then you will absolutely love this one-bowl single layer cake recipe! This Chocolate Ricotta Cake is a double chocolate chip ricotta cake with a rich flavor and tender crumb. It’s perfect for a special occasion and is the best cake for a last-minute get-together. Everything comes together easily, and it’s truly foolproof. Serve this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you have my favorite dessert! 

A slice of chocolate ricotta cake with whipped cream and fresh basil leaves on a white plate with a fork.

Paragraph – personal aRicotta chocolate cake is creamy and moist. The best part? This new chocolate cake recipe is just one chocolate cake layer! And it’s such a rich chocolate cake that there is no need for frosting. All you need are some simple ingredients (most are pantry staples) and a whisk! No stand or electric mixer is needed, which means no digging through your drawers for a paddle attachment. You also do not need a springform pan, thanks to my flawless lining method. This cake will come out perfectly. Also, if you are a fan of ricotta and cake, check out my lemon ricotta cake, blueberry lemon ricotta cake, or strawberry ricotta cake recipes! 

A slice of chocolate ricotta cake with whipped cream and fresh basil leaves on a white plate with a fork.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Rich chocolate flavor. This cake has a delicious rich chocolate flavor thanks to the 100% cocoa cocoa powder! You don’t need to use melted chocolate for this super easy recipe, just powder. 
  • One bowl, nothing else! All you need for this original recipe is one large bowl. You don’t need to sift the dry ingredients or even combine them before adding to the wet ingredients. Trust me, I’ve made this cake recipe over 50 times! 
  • Foolproof baking without a springform pan. Trust me, do NOT skip the parchment paper. I will walk you through how to line your cake pan perfectly so that you won’t worry about taking your chocolate ricotta cake out! 

Ingredients

Ingredients for chocolate ricotta cake.

  • Granulated Sugar – Sugar not only sweetens the cake but also helps to keep it moist and adds to the cake’s tender crumb. For a smoother texture, make sure your sugar is fresh and free of lumps.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Olive oil provides moisture and a subtle, rich flavor. It’s a healthier fat option compared to butter. Choose a mild extra virgin olive oil to avoid overpowering the cake’s chocolate flavor.
  • Vanilla Extract – Vanilla enhances the overall flavor of the cake and balances the chocolate.  Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor. Artificial vanilla can leave an off-taste.
  • Brewed Coffee – Coffee enhances the depth and richness of the chocolate flavor without making the cake taste like coffee. Use freshly brewed coffee for a more pronounced flavor. It doesn’t need to be hot, but it should be fresh.
  • Eggs – Eggs provide structure and stability to the cake, helping it rise and maintain its form. Bring eggs to room temperature before using to ensure they mix more evenly into the batter.
  • Egg Yolk – The additional egg yolk adds richness and contributes to a tender, moist crumb. Save the egg white for another recipe, like meringues or an egg white omelet the next day. 
  • Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese – Ricotta cheese adds moisture, richness, and a slight tang, making the cake incredibly moist and flavorful.  Use full-fat (aka whole milk) ricotta for the creamiest texture and best flavor. Avoid low-fat or part-skim versions.
  • Baking Powder – Baking powder helps the cake rise and become light and fluffy. Ensure your baking powder is fresh for optimal rising. Old baking powder can result in a dense cake.
  • Baking Soda – Baking soda ensures the cake has the right texture and volume. It works with the acidic ingredients in the cake batter to help the cake rise.
  • Cocoa Powder – Cocoa powder provides the rich, deep chocolate flavor essential to this cake. Use high-quality unsweetened cocoa powder for the best chocolate flavor. The best type to use is dutch process cocoa powder! 
  • Cake Flour –  I love to use cake flower in this simple chocolate cake recipe!  It gives the delicious cake a soft, light texture that’s perfect for delicate cakes. Cake flour has a lower protein content than all-purpose flour, which helps create a tender crumb.
  • Kosher Salt – Salt enhances the flavors of all the other ingredients, balancing sweetness and highlighting the chocolate. Kosher salt dissolves quickly and evenly, making it a great choice for baking.
  • Chocolate Chips – Chocolate chips add bursts of chocolatey goodness throughout the Italian chocolate cake. Choose high-quality chocolate chips, or chop up a good-quality chocolate bar for a more decadent addition. 

Substitutions and Additions

  • Olive Oil – You can replace extra virgin olive oil with melted coconut oil or vegetable oil in equal amounts. Coconut oil will add a subtle tropical flavor, while vegetable oil will provide a neutral taste. Make sure the coconut oil is melted but not hot to avoid cooking the eggs.
  • Ricotta Cheese – You can substitute ricotta cheese with Greek yogurt (full-fat) or mascarpone cheese. Greek yogurt will add a slight tanginess and similar moisture, while mascarpone will make the cake even richer and creamier. Ensure that Greek yogurt is also at room temperature for a smooth mixture.
  • Orange Zest – Add 1-2 teaspoons of orange zest to the batter for a fresh, citrusy note that pairs really well with chocolate.
  • Nuts –  Fold in 1/2 cup of chopped nuts such as almonds, walnuts, or hazelnuts for added texture and a nutty flavor. Lightly toast the nuts before adding them to enhance their flavor and crunch. You could also add some almond extract to give this great cake a bit more nuttiness! 

Step by Step Instructions

A greased and lined round cake pan.

Preheat and Prepare: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Cut an extra strip of parchment paper, about 2 inches wide and as long as the pan’s diameter. Place it in the bottom of the pan with some overhang on two opposite sides, ensuring it’s well-greased. This will help you lift the cake out easily after baking.

Wet ingredients in a bowl for a chocolate ricotta cake.

Mix Wet Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, olive oil, vanilla extract, brewed coffee, eggs, and egg yolk. Whisk until well combined and smooth.

Wet ingredients mixed in a bowl with ricotta for a chocolate ricotta cake.

Add Ricotta: Stir in the ricotta cheese until fully incorporated and smooth.

Chocolate batter in a bowl for a chocolate ricotta cake.

Add Dry Ingredients: Add the baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt, cake flour, and cocoa powder directly to the wet mixture. Gently fold until the dry ingredients are just combined and evenly distributed.

Chocolate batter in a bowl for a chocolate ricotta cake with chocolate chips dumped ontop.

Add Chocolate Chips: Gently fold in the chocolate chips.

Chocolate ricotta cake batter in a round pan, before being cooked.

Bake: Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the top is set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Rotate the pan halfway through baking to ensure even cooking.

Chocolate ricotta cake in a pan out of the oven ontop of a cooling rack.

Cool: Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then, use the parchment paper overhang to lift the cake out of the pan and transfer it to a wire rack. Let it cool completely for about 30 minutes.

Chocolate ricotta cake on top of a cooling rack.

Serve: Slice and serve your delicious chocolate ricotta cake with fresh whipped cream or ice cream. If serving the next day, wrap the cake in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container and leave it on the counter. The flavors meld beautifully overnight!

A slice of chocolate ricotta cake with whipped cream and fresh basil leaves on a white plate with a fork.

Tips and Notes

  • Room-Temperature Ingredients –  Using room temperature eggs and ricotta cheese ensures they incorporate more smoothly into the batter, resulting in a uniform texture. Take the eggs and ricotta out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you start baking.
  • High-Quality Cocoa Powder – The quality of your cocoa powder significantly impacts the flavor of your cake. Choose a high-quality, unsweetened cocoa powder for the best chocolate flavor. Dutch-processed cocoa will give a richer color and smoother taste.
  • Measure Ingredients Accurately – Baking is a science, and precise measurements are crucial for the perfect texture and flavor. Use a kitchen scale to measure ingredients by weight, especially the flour and sugar, for consistent results.
  • Proper Mixing Technique –  Overmixing the batter can lead to a dense cake, while undermixing can result in uneven baking. Mix just until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Use a spatula to gently fold the batter, especially after adding the chocolate chips, to maintain a light texture.
  • Cool the Cake Properly –  Proper cooling helps set the cake’s texture and makes it easier to slice. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then use the parchment overhang to lift it out onto a wire rack. Let it cool completely before slicing.

A slice of chocolate ricotta cake with whipped cream and fresh basil leaves on a white plate with a fork.

Serving Suggestions

  • Fresh Berries – Serve the cake with a handful of fresh berries like raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries! 
  • Whipped Cream –  Light and airy whipped cream adds a creamy texture that complements the dense, moist cake. Whip heavy cream with a touch of vanilla extract and powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Dollop generously on each slice just before serving.
  • Vanilla Ice Cream –  What’s better than cake and ice cream! Serve some vanilla ice cream with this Italian chocolate ricotta cake recipe for a delicious desert. 
  • Chocolate Sauce – You can never have too much chocolate! A drizzle of warm chocolate sauce enhances the chocolatey goodness of the cake. Melt dark chocolate with a bit of butter or cream until smooth and glossy. Drizzle over the cake slices just before serving.
  • Espresso Martinis – Serve this cake with a vanilla espresso martini for a boozy dessert pairing. 

Storage Instructions

  • Room Temperature Storage – Keep any leftover cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. For extended freshness, store the cake in the refrigerator, but let it come to room temperature before serving to ensure optimal texture and flavor.
  • Freezing – For longer storage, you can freeze the cake. Wrap it securely in plastic wrap and aluminum foil or place it in an airtight container. Thaw the cake in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it! Tag @seasonedandsalted on Instagram and leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review below!

Chocolate ricotta cake on a plate with a fork.

Italian Chocolate Ricotta Cake Recipe (Single Layer)

Allie Hagerty
Satisfy your chocolate cravings with this decadent Chocolate Ricotta Cake. It's easy to make and guaranteed to impress your guests. The best part about this cake is that it's made in just one mixing bowl! Garnish with fresh fruit or whipped cream!
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Cooling 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 people
Calories 483 kcal

Equipment

  • 8×8 inch square baking pan
  • parchment paper
  • mixing bowls
  • whisk
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • cooling rack

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar 275 grams
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 88 grams
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup brewed coffee
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups full-fat ricotta cheese, room temperature 276 grams
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour 176 grams
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder 45 grams
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Instructions
 

Preheat and Prepare:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°Fahrenheit (175°Celsius).
  • Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Cut an extra strip of parchment paper, about 2 inches wide and as long as the pan’s diameter. Place it in the bottom of the pan with some overhang on two opposite sides, ensuring it’s well-greased. This will help you lift the cake out easily after baking.

Make the Batter:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, olive oil, vanilla extract, brewed coffee, eggs, and egg yolk. Whisk until well combined and smooth.
  • Stir in the ricotta cheese until fully incorporated and smooth.
  • Add the baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt, cake flour, and cocoa powder directly to the wet mixture. Gently fold until the dry ingredients are just combined and evenly distributed.
  • Gently fold in the chocolate chips.

Bake the Cake:

  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the top is set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Rotate the pan halfway through baking to ensure even cooking.

Cool the Cake:

  • Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then, use the parchment paper overhang to lift the cake out of the pan and transfer it to a wire rack. Let it cool completely for about 30 minutes.

Serve:

  • Slice and serve your delicious chocolate ricotta cake with fresh whipped cream or ice cream.
  • If serving the next day, wrap the cake in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container and leave it on the counter. The flavors meld beautifully overnight!

Notes

Room-Temperature Ingredients –  Using room temperature eggs and ricotta cheese ensures they incorporate more smoothly into the batter, resulting in a uniform texture. Take the eggs and ricotta out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you start baking.
High-Quality Cocoa Powder – The quality of your cocoa powder significantly impacts the flavor of your cake. Choose a high-quality, unsweetened cocoa powder for the best chocolate flavor. Dutch-processed cocoa will give a richer color and smoother taste.
Measure Ingredients Accurately – Baking is a science, and precise measurements are crucial for the perfect texture and flavor. Use a kitchen scale to measure ingredients by weight, especially the flour and sugar, for consistent results.
Proper Mixing Technique –  Overmixing the batter can lead to a dense cake, while undermixing can result in uneven baking. Mix just until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Use a spatula to gently fold the batter, especially after adding the chocolate chips, to maintain a light texture.
Cool the Cake Properly –  Proper cooling helps set the cake’s texture and makes it easier to slice. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then use the parchment overhang to lift it out onto a wire rack. Let it cool completely before slicing.

Nutrition

Calories: 483kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 10gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0.004gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 246mgPotassium: 201mgFiber: 3gSugar: 38gVitamin A: 265IUCalcium: 138mgIron: 1mg
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