Chocolate Almond Ricotta Cake (Low Carb and Gluten Free)


A little while ago, I read an article about the growing trend of keeping backyard chickens. At the time, I thought it was a mild curiousity, but now I am beginning to think these people are on to something. I eat a lot of eggs. I mean A LOT of eggs. In my efforts to control my blood sugars through diet and exercise alone, I eat a two-egg omelet almost every morning. How nice would it be if those eggs came from my own backyard? I can just imagine walking in to the warm henhouse every morning, amidst the indignant clucking of my very own chickens, to steal a few fresh eggs for breakfast. Alas, my little pastoral vision is unlikely to happen any time soon, as we are not quite rural enough for backyard poultry of any kind.

When I get a little sick of my eggs, I like to have some sort of low carb baked good on hand to go with my morning coffee. My recent post of a marble cheesecake (not low carb) has had me dreaming of a marbled coffee cake of sorts. So I set about creating one. A google search turned up several variations of an almond meal pound cake that seemed like it might make a good basic guide for my recipe. As I am generally the main consumer of these things in my household, I decided to half the recipe and bake it in two mini-loaf pans. This way, I wouldn’t be wasting too many expensive ingredients if it didn’t work out, and if it did work out, I could freeze one of the little loaves for a future date.

I also had ricotta cake on the brain. I’ve come across many lovely-looking recipes that include ricotta and I happened to have a large container of it in my fridge. Since the basic recipe for the almond meal cake included cream cheese, I thought I could sub in ricotta with minimal adjustment to the other ingredients. For the chocolate marble effect, I simply mixed melted butter and cocoa powder, and then added it to some of the batter. And at the very last minute, I decided to swap the vanilla extract for almond extract, to complement the chocolate flavour.

The Results: I am thoroughly enjoying my little break from omelets with this lovely cake. I was a little concerned about how much it would rise, since the chocolate portion of the batter was a bit thick and sticky, but it turned out quite well. The mini loaves are adorable (why are things so much cuter in mini size?) and I could see giving them out as little holiday presents. I won’t be freezing the second loaf, because the first is already gone and I want to eat this for breakfast for the next few days.

My only real complaint about this cake is that I couldn’t really get it to swirl and marble. It may be a result of the small pans or it may because of how adding chocolate to half the batter made it too thick to swirl, but I ended up with alternating globs of light and dark batter. It looks fine and tastes fine, but it isn’t quite as pretty as I had in my head.

One more small note – since I intended this as a breakfast loaf, I kept the sweetener to a minimum. I like it this way, but if you like your breakfast on the sweet side, consider adding more erythritol or stevia, or your preferred sugar substitute.

Chocolate Almond Ricotta Cake

*This recipe makes to 3×5 mini loaves. Double it for a 9×5 inch loaf pan or a bundt pan and increase baking time.

1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 1/4 cup almond flour
2 tbsp erythritol
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp xanthan gum (optional)
1/8 tsp salt
3 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
1/2 tsp almond extract
8-12 drops stevia extract

Preheat the oven to 325F and grease 2 mini-loaf pans. Line bottom and long sides of pans with parchment paper, and grease paper.

In a medium, microwave-safe dish, melt butter. Stir in cocoa powder until smooth. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, erythritol, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt.

In a larger bowl, beat eggs with electric mixer until frothy. Beat in ricotta, almond extract and stevia until smooth. Add dry ingredients and beat until thoroughly combined.

Place half of batter into chocolate mixture and mix until thoroughly combined. Alternating between light and dark mixtures, spoon dabs of batter into prepared pans until they are 2/3 full. Place pans on a baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes or until top is set and a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Serves 8. Total carbs per serving is 8g, but only 7g if you subtract erythritol.

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  1. baking.serendipity says

    My husband loves eggs for breakfast, but I definitely lean more toward a cake like this one. What a delicious thing to wake up to!

  2. Karen says

    Wonderful cake! I'm not a huge ricotta fan, so I have to disguise it a bit in things, and this is definitely a good use. Love the flavor combo here…it's like having dessert for breakfast. Yum!

  3. Kim - Liv Life says

    Super intriguing… You can call it a "chocolate wave" cake instead of marble! I haven't worked with Almond Flour, and I'm unfamiliar with a couple of the other ingredients… I'm trying to work my way over to your way of cooking (not that it shows in my blog posts!!), my mom and MIL are both diabetic, and well, I just feel better when I eat this way. Will have to do some exploring!

  4. Cajun Chef Ryan says

    My dad has ciliac disease and this is a perfect cake that he could eat. Love the holiday wrap and bow!

    Bon appetit!

  5. briarrose says

    What a wonderful bread for breakfast. I've never used ricotta cheese in bread but I might have to try it out….I tend to lean towards the plain yogurt addition. 😉

    Mmmm…fresh eggs from your very own chickens. That would be awesome. I couldn't get it by my husband though. I'm still trying to convince him some goats would be both excellent to keep the grass short and provide material for cheese…ehehehe.

  6. Pretend Chef says

    Just got done with my morning cup of coffee and that would have gone nicely with it. I am like you and have taken an interest in the possibility of raising chickens for eggs because I too eat eggs on an almost daily basis. I can't get enough egg whites! Hopefully when we settle into a home in the country this will become a reality. Have a great weekend!

  7. The Cooking Photographer says

    Carolyn this is a lovely cake. I have so many people ask me about GF and I have nothing to offer them, but I'll start sending them here.

    I've thought about my own chickens, but then realized at a point that I could get farm fresh eggs here in town, either from a local farmer or my Co-Op and at $3.50 a box it i far cheaper than feeding chickens, caring for chickens, building a hen house, then there is time spent taking care of them and cleaning the hen house (which gets nasty).

    So as cool as it is, for me it didn't work. For many other's though it's a wonderful experience and a worthwhile one.


  8. Amy Bakes Everything says

    I would love to have my own chickens! Fortunately, we have enough neighbors with chickens who are happy to share their bounty!
    Cakes are gorgeous, as usual!

  9. Stella says

    Hey Carolyn, I love eggs too. I was just telling another blogger that they are the reason I just can't go vegan. I love them! I've given up a lot too, so I'm kind of done…
    Btw, I'm about to ask my landlord if I can have a few hens. I started my garden, and now I just need/want some chickens. I know he's going to say no though, but I'm still going to ask.
    Anyway, this cake looks great! I would totally eat it with an omelet for breakfast too…

  10. Emily Z says

    Mmmm, my husband and I love ricotta so this is sure to be a hit. And perfect for the holidays! You did such a good job!

  11. Kristen says

    I'd like to have some chickens, too, but I am not sure I am really up to the responsibility. Your bread turned out so well. It looks like a great treat.

  12. Mary says

    If this tastes just half as good as it looks you have a sure-fire winner on your hands. I could eat this three times a day. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings…Mary

  13. Jessica says

    Would I be able to use more erythritol rather than stevia extract? If so, how much? Thank you, looks delicious. Can’t wait to make this for the weekend!

  14. Diane says

    Just getting into the low carb way of eating. Most baked goods use almond flour and I have been hearing to only eat a small treat once week because it’s equivalent to eating 90 almonds and too much fat and calories. Comments? Thank you!!

    • Carolyn says

      A low carb diet is also a high fat diet, so you should not be concerned with fat intake. Actually, you SHOULD be concerned…with getting more healthy fat. As for calories, many people don’t count them at all, they just count carbs. I don’t ever consider my calories. Something that is high fat is going to fill you up faster and you will eat less of it anyway. So it usually evens out.

  15. Emma says

    Hi I love your posts, I’m just wondering if coconut flour can be used instead of almond flour? Just because I’m obsessed with coconut 😀

    • Carolyn says

      In this recipe you’d need to increase the eggs by 3x and the liquid by 2x. It’s very hard to swap coconut flour for almond flour.

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