Made with hearty nut flours, this incredibly moist ricotta cake is infused with almond flavor and features a subtle sweetness that makes it perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack.

Made with almond and cashew flours, this gluten free fig cake is infused with almond extract and kept super moist thanks to ricotta. It's subtle sweetness makes it perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack.
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

There are a handful of recipes on here (like this paleo strawberry almond galette and these Christmas morning muffins to name a couple) that no matter what words I write or how perfect the pictures are, trying to accurately convey the flavors, taste, texture or experience of eating it is just impossible.

This ricotta cake is one of those recipes.

When figs make their way onto the summer scene, I feel a sense of giddiness that’s almost embarrassing. It’s a fruit, Gina, get a hold of yourself.

If I’m not eating them by the handful, I’m enjoying them in things like this fig frozen yogurt or making fig preserves to slather on all the things like easy oat bread.

But figs embody this mid-late summer perfection that makes me feel like I live a way more exotic, European life than suburban New York actually affords.

When a pint of them is in my hands, I can imagine I’m sitting cafe side somewhere in Italy with an afternoon espresso in front of me listening to the beautiful cadence of the Italian language being thrown around by locals while I pick up every tenth word or so and pretend to know what’s going on.

They’re just such a romantic, transportive fruit.

The first pint that didn’t cost more than a plane ticket to Italy itself therefore made its way into my shopping cart as grand ideas swirled around in my head.

The outcome became this ricotta cake recipe studded with fresh figs.

It’s tempting to call it a breakfast or snack cake even. Light and fluffy, moist and not overly sweet, it lends itself very well to either of those meals alongside a cup of coffee or tea.

That said, a scoop of melting vanilla ice cream for a more decadent dessert would do it no disservice either.

This is where words will fail me; the almond extract and ricotta do something indescribable in this cake. The aroma that fills the house from the almond extract as it bakes is just magical. Its strong perfume permeates the cake and pairs so incredibly well with the figs.

The ricotta keeps the entire cake light, fluffy and so perfectly moist. Pairing it with the denser nut flours really does wonders for the texture.

If you’ve only explored using ricotta in savory recipes (like my go to ricotta pasta with lemon) I highly encourage you to try baking with it too!

Gluten Free Ricotta Almond Fig Cake is the perfect summer breakfast or afternoon snack.

Ricotta Cake

Ricotta cake is a traditional Italian dessert made with ricotta cheese. It originated in Sicily and is known for its fluffy texture. You’re probably most familiar with Italian cheesecake which uses ricotta in place of cream cheese like New York style cheesecake recipes for a much light and airy dessert.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Gluten-free recipe: The combination of almond and cashew flours gives this cake a unique and nutty flavor, while being naturally gluten-free

Delicate but bold flavors: The infusion of almond extract adds a delightful aroma and taste to the cake. It’s one of the easiest ways to bring lots of flavor with limited effort in baking.

Light and airy texture: Using ricotta cheese as the base of the cake keeps it plenty moist but incredibly light at the same time.

Versatile cake: The subtle sweetness of the cake makes it versatile, suitable for a breakfast treat or a satisfying afternoon snack.

Best summer dessert: This cake captures the essence of summer with the use of fresh figs, adding a burst of fruity flavor to every bite.

Enjoy a slice of this Ricotta Almond Fig Cake with your morning cup of coffee.

Ingredients You’ll Need For This Ricotta Cake

Almond Meal: Adds nutty flavor and texture to the cake. You can substitute it with almond flour.

Cashew Meal: Contributes to the richness of the cake. If not available, use cashew flour or almond flour as alternatives.

Spices: Cinnamon and cardamom add warm aromatic flavor to the ricotta cake.  

Dried Figs: Provide natural sweetness and chewy texture to the cake. Dates or raisins can be used as substitutes.

Maple Syrup: Adds sweetness and moisture. Honey or agave syrup can be used instead.

Ricotta: Adds moisture and richness to the cake while creating its signature light and fluffy texture.

Milk: Provides moisture and helps bind the ingredients. Almond milk, cashew milk, or any other non-dairy milk can be used.

Eggs: Bind the ingredients and provide structure. I don’t suggest using an egg substitute like a flax or chia egg in this recipe.

Coconut Oil: Melted unsalted butter or ghee can be used instead.

Vanilla Bean Paste: Adds flavor and aroma to the cake. Vanilla extract can be used as an alternative.

Almond Extract: Enhances the almond flavor in the cake and really complements the figs and nutty flavor from the flours.

Fresh Figs (for garnish): Adds visual appeal and extra sweetness. 

Optional Add-Ons

  • Whipped Cream — use fresh whipped cream for topping a slice of this cake before serving.
  • Chocolate Chips — chocolate lovers can add in a handful of chocolate chips to the batter before baking the cake.

How To Make Ricotta Cake

  1. Prep Your Ingredients: Gather your flours, spices, dried figs, ricotta, eggs, and other ingredients. Preheat your oven and line your baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients: Combine the almond meal, cashew meal, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and cardamom in a large bowl.
  3. Prepare Figs: In a small bowl, mix chopped figs with maple syrup and boiling water. Let them sit for a few minutes to soften.
  4. Combine Wet Ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together ricotta, non-dairy milk, eggs, melted coconut oil, vanilla bean paste, and almond extract until smooth.
  5. Assemble: Add the softened fig mixture to the dry ingredients, then pour in the wet ingredients. Mix until everything is well combined.
  6. Bake: Transfer the batter to the lined baking pan, spreading it evenly into the corners. Press quartered figs into the top of the batter. Bake until the middle is set, about 30-35 minutes.
  7. Cool and Serve: Once baked, let the cake cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. Optionally, garnish with powdered sugar before serving or top with whipped cream.

My Pro Tips

Recipe Tips

Use Quality Ricotta: Opt for whole milk ricotta cheese for a richer texture and flavor profile in your cake.

Don’t Overmix: When combining wet and dry ingredients, mix until just combined. Overmixing can result in a dense cake texture.

Properly Measure Flour: For accurate measurements, spoon flour into measuring cups and level off with a knife. Avoid packing the flour into the cup.

Check for Doneness: Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake before removing it from the oven. If it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, the cake is ready.

Almond and cashew flours make this Ricotta Almond Fig Cake the perfect summery gluten free treat!

Other Topping Options

Lemon Glaze: For an Italian lemon ricotta cake variation, drizzle a lemon glaze made with fresh lemon juice over the cooled cake. Mix powdered sugar with lemon zest and lemon juice until smooth and pour over the cake.

Fresh Berries: Add a burst of freshness by topping your ricotta cake with a variety of fresh berries such as strawberries or raspberries. Their vibrant colors and juicy sweetness complement the almond flavors of the cake beautifully and are a good substitute when fresh figs aren’t in season.

How to Store Ricotta Cake

To maintain freshness and flavor, store the cooled ricotta cake at room temperature for up to two days. For longer storage, transfer any leftover cake to an airtight container to prevent it from drying out and absorbing other odors from the fridge. 

If you need to store it for an extended period, wrap individual slices or the whole cake tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil before placing it in the freezer. When ready to enjoy, thaw the frozen cake in the refrigerator overnight. Allow it to come to room temperature before serving for the best texture and flavor.

Try These Other Cake Recipes Too

Our upside down nectarine basil cake is a stunner during stone fruit season. The combination of nectarines and basil is unexpected and surprisingly fresh and delicious.

Apple almond cake has a similar flavor profile to this ricotta cake recipe and is one of my favorite things to bake up in the fall.

Topped with a sweet and refreshing orange glaze, this cardamom cake wins for the easiest preparation and ingredients while offering a stunningly delicious taste. If you need something to impress, this recipe is always a good choice.

Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
5 from 6 votes

Ricotta Cake

Servings: 12 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Moist ricotta cake made with nut flours, infused with almond extract and studded with fresh figs. Perfect for breakfast or a snack, this cake is light, fluffy, and naturally gluten-free, with a delightful aroma.

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup cashew meal
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried figs, dates or raisins will work just as well
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk, I used macadamia nut milk but almond, cashew or any other nut milk will work
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3-4 figs, quartered

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×9 or similar baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Combine the almond and cashew meals with the cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and cardamom in a large bowl.
  • Stir the chopped figs, maple syrup and boiling water together in a small bowl and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Combine the ricotta, milk, eggs, coconut oil, vanilla bean paste and almond extract together in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth.
  • Add the fig mixture to the large bowl with the dry ingredients.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the large bowl as well and mix until everything is thoroughly combined.
  • Transfer the batter to the parchment lined baking pan and spread evenly into the corners.
  • Press the quartered figs into the top of the batter.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes until middle of the cake is set.
  • Remove from oven and using the sides of the parchment, pull the cake out of the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
  • Garnish with powdered sugar if desired before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 107kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 4gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 92mgFiber: 1gSugar: 7g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
TRIED THIS RECIPE?COMMENT + RATE BELOW!

Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

You May Also Like:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




33 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Someone gifted me figs and I wasn’t sure what to do with them so I made this cake and it was so good!!! Such a fun and different dessert. Loved it.