Ricotta Cake with Dark Chocolate, Pomegranate & Citrus {Gluten-Free}

Layers of crustless ricotta cake create an unconventional layered cheesecake with bursts of citrus and sweet pomegranate arils. 

Ricotta Cake with Dark Chocolate & Pomegranates {Gluten-Free} // www.WithTheGrains.com

Since it’s the first time I’ve had a Christmas tree in ages, I’m not sure where I stand on proper removal time, so for now, it’s still glowing cozily in the corner of the bedroom. My professional work as a stylist is already pointing toward swimsuits, sourcing sand for faux beaches and warmer times, but all I want to do is stay inside, hibernate, bake and read. It’s the time of year I could easily be convinced to move to a house in the country. Just ship me some sort of fancy espresso machine, add another dog, and I’ll be set.  

Ricotta Cake with Dark Chocolate & Pomegranates {Gluten-Free} // www.WithTheGrains.com

I shared this crustless ricotta cake on Christmas day, and it’s a bit of a secret. I added it to the dessert table, and the Rustbelt Farmer’s father exclaimed, “Q, you are an artist!” But really, I’m a cake con-artist. The original recipe for this crustless ricotta cake called for a bigger springform pan, and mine had betrayed me and leaked ages ago. Instead, I used three smaller pans. The timer sounded, and three, crinkly little bastard cakes emerged from the oven. I debated benching them and scrambling to make brownies, but I believe in salvaging.  

Ricotta Cake with Dark Chocolate & Pomegranates {Gluten-Free} // www.WithTheGrains.com

I believe in salvaging old buildings, vintage pieces, rocky relationships and cake (maybe cake above all else). Three sad layers or ricotta cheesecake became a passable layer cake, and I set to smoke-and-mirrors trickery: dark chocolate drizzles, pomegranate arils, chocolate dipped citrus and even the pomegranate shell (?), which was too intricate and pretty to meet the compost bin just yet. 

Ricotta Cake with Dark Chocolate & Pomegranates {Gluten-Free} // www.WithTheGrains.com

So when the pans are wrong, Pinterest fails, and you feel like giving up, remember chocolate goes a long way (that’s really a life philosophy if you ask me).  


Ricotta Cake with Dark Chocolate, Pomegranate & Citrus {Gluten-Free}

Adapted from The Food Network.

About this Recipe: The original recipe calls for a 9-inch springform pan, which you can use if you want to simplify this recipe and stick to a more traditional cheesecake presentation. For the layered approach, I used a 7-inch and two 6-inch springform pans. 


avocado oil or coconut oil for greasing 
6 large eggs, separated (free-range/organic)
2/3 cup organic coconut sugar
2 teaspoons organic vanilla extract
Two 15-ounce containers whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 Tablespoon grated orange zest (~ 2 organic oranges)


confectioners sugar (optional)
1/3 cup extra dark chocolate chips (such as Guittard)
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
arils from 1-2 pomegranates
fresh rosemary sprigs
orange slices


Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease the springform pan(s) with avocado oil or coconut oil.

Separate the eggs, placing the whites in one of the large bowls and the yolks in the work bowl of a food processor.

Add the sugar and vanilla to the work bowl of the food processor and process until thick and light yellow, about 1 minute. Add the ricotta and zest and process until smooth, another 30 seconds. Scrape the mixture into the other large bowl.

Beat the whites on high speed with the mixer until they hold stiff peaks. Fold the whites into the ricotta mixture and scrape into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the spatula.

Bake until the cake is deep golden brown and the sides begin to pull away from the pan, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Transfer to the rack to let cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 6 hours and up to 1 day.

To serve a single layer cake:

Release the sides of the springform pan, dust with confectioners’ sugar using the strainer, and cut into wedges.

To assemble the layer cake:

Release the sides and base of the springform pans. Stack the layers on a serving platter/plate. 

In a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the dark chocolate and coconut oil, stirring constantly, until combined. Dip 3-4 orange slices in the chocolate, transfer to wax paper, and set aside to chill (speed up this process by placing the slices in the refrigerator or freezer until chocolate hardens).

Generously drizzle the chocolate mixture over the cake, pooling any extra chocolate in the center. While the chocolate is still melted, top the cake with the pomegranate shell, rosemary sprigs and orange slices. Fill the center with pomegranate arils. Chill until garnishes are set in place and you’re ready to serve. 



This Post Has One Comment

  1. Marilena

    Superr .. I can’t wait to make it. Thank you.

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