Chocolate Chip Ricotta Cake is a simple, tender cake that can be mixed by hand. No mixer needed. It’s easy enough for a weeknight but beautiful enough to serve to guests. Ricotta cheese gives the cake a super light texture while chocolate chips add a sweet finish.
I came across ricotta cake late this summer when I was looking for fruit-based cakes that were both simple and could be made ahead. This Fig-Ricotta Cake caught my eye because it was all of these things. It also used ricotta cheese, an ingredient I never would have thought to include in a cake. As it turns out, this is a pretty classic Italian cake – the ricotta keeps it both moist and light.
Once I started digging, I found that most versions of ricotta cake use similar ingredients. The flavors are where things get really fun. There are ricotta cakes with all types of fruit. Ricotta cakes with lemon and those with almond extract. But when I finally got down to baking this cake, Frank and I thought that the cake was reminiscent of cookie dough, and we wanted it with chocolate chips.
Not super traditional, but nonetheless delicious.
I baked this cake all summer for outdoor gatherings. Once I accidentally baked it with baking soda instead of baking powder (the first time I’ve ever done that!) and it still came out okay….thought not nearly as good.
Don’t make my mistake. But do make chocolate chip ricotta cake.
- Ricotta – This is a mild, spreadable cheese – look for it in a tub in the refrigerated section. The texture of this cake is the best when made with whole milk ricotta (not skim ricotta).
- Butter – Use unsalted butter if possible. If using salted butter, just be sure to skip the added pinch of salt.
- Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder, Kosher Salt, Pure Vanilla Extract, Eggs – Standard baking ingredients.
- Milk – A little bit of milk adds some moisture to the cake. Absolutely any type of milk will work.
- Chocolate Chips – I liked this with semi-sweet chocolate chips but it would be great with dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate.
- Powdered Sugar – Totally optional but a little dusting of powdered sugar adds a lot to the finished cake.
Variations on Ricotta Cake
- Lemon and Fig – Stir in lemon zest and top with sliced figs, like the recipe that inspired me to make this in the first place.
- Fresh Berries – Stir fresh berries into the batter in place of the chocolate chips.
- Almond – Use almond extract instead of the pure vanilla extract. Sprinkle some sliced almonds on top.
- Cinnamon Streusel – Make cinnamon streusel into the batter and then sprinkle some on top (like in this Cinnamon Crunch Bread)
More Cakes That Don’t Require a Mixer
- One-Bowl Chocolate Cake
- Easy Vanilla Snack Cake
- Applesauce Cake
- Semolina Yogurt Cake
- One-Bowl Chocolate Guinness Cake
Chocolate Chip Ricotta Cake
- 2 Mixing Bowls
- 9-inch Springform Pan
- 1 1/2 cups (187 g) All-Purpose Flour
- 1 cup (200 g) White Sugar
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- Pinch Kosher Salt
- 3 Eggs
- 1 1/2 cups Whole Milk Ricotta
- 3 Tbsp Milk (any type will work)
- 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 8 Tbsp (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled
- 2 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- Powdered Sugar, for dusting (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 177°C.
- Lightly spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and a pinch of salt.
- In a second larger mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, ricotta, milk, vanilla extract, and melted butter.
- Sprinkle dry ingredients over wet. Gently stir together just until no dry spots remain. (Be careful not to overmix.)
- Stir chocolate chips into batter. (You can reserve a few of the chocolate chips to scatter over the top before baking if you’d like.)
- Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Bake until lightly golden around the edges and a tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean, 38 to 42 minutes.
- Let cool completely in the pan. Dust with some powdered sugar, if you’d like.
- Slice and serve!
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