Ricotta Cassata Cake (Chocolate Sponge Layer Cake)

    5 hours 10 minutes

    This is a layer cake with a rich filling made from ricotta cheese and rum syrup. A chocolate glaze tops it off.

    39 people made this

    Serves: 12 

    • Sponge Cake
    • 1 1/2 cups (215g) self raising flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 5 eggs
    • 1/2 cup (120ml) cold water
    • 1 1/4 cups (250g) white sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
    • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
    • Ricotta Cheese Filling
    • 900g whole milk ricotta cheese
    • 2 1/4 cups (270g) icing sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla essence
    • 60g dark chocolate
    • 120g glace lemon peel
    • Rum Syrup
    • 1/3 cup (65g) white sugar
    • 1/4 cup (60ml) water
    • 2 tablespoons light rum
    • Ricotta Cheese Filling
    • 170g dark chocolate, chopped
    • 1/3 cup (80ml) heavy whipping cream
    • 50g unsalted butter, cubed

    Preparation:45min  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Extra time:4hours chilling  ›  Ready in:5hours10min 

    1. Sponge Cake: Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C. Grease and line with baking paper two 23cm round layer cake tins.
    2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.
    3. Separate the eggs and set the egg whites aside. Beat the egg yolks together on medium-high speed until very thick, about 4 minutes. Gradually add the cold water. Slowly add the white sugar and beat well for about 3 more minutes. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Sift the flour mixture over the egg yolk mixture and fold in.
    4. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together until stiff peaks form. Fold this into the yolk mixture. Divide batter between the cake tins.
    5. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool on rack for 10 minutes and then invert and cool completely.
    6. Ricotta Cheese Filling: Beat the ricotta cheese well then add the icing sugar and cinnamon. Add the vanilla and grate the chocolate in using the coarse side of a grater. Stir in the candied lemon peel and mix. Chill until ready to use.
    7. Rum Syrup: Place the sugar and the water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil for 1 minute and then remove from heat and add the rum. Cool to room temperature.
    8. Chocolate Glaze: Melt the chocolate and the cream in the microwave, whisk smooth. Add the butter and whisk until dissolved. Cool the mixture until spreadable.
    9. To Assemle: Cut each cake layer in half. Place one of the 4 halves on a cake board or plate and sprinkle with a little of the rum syrup. Spread about 1 1/2 cups of the ricotta cheese filling over this layer. Add a second layer of cake and repeat this procedure. Top the cake with the last layer of cake. Chill at least 4 hours.
    10. Before serving spread the chocolate glaze over top of cake.

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    Reviews in English (33)


    This recipe is GREAT as I said in my first review. Perfect cassata cake that is even better than any NYC Italian bakery I have ever tasted because it is not sickly sweet and made with fresh filling rather than bagged pre-made filling. ***BUT*** DO NOT use the chocolate glaze for the top...I always use the whipped cream frosting (made with a teaspoon of gelatin) from this website. I have never seen nor have I had Cassata cake with chocolate glaze. The combination of this cake with that frosting is PERFECT!!! =)  -  23 Oct 2004  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    This was a fantastic cake. Every year I purchase a cassata cake from a local italian bakery for my dad for father's day. This year I decided to give it a try on my own. He absolutely loved it. I did make a few substitutions based on the cassata cakes that we have enjoyed in the past. I substituted mini chocolate chips instead of the grated chocolate & I omitted the candied lemon peel. I also left off the chocolate glaze (I have never seen this on a cassata cake) and instead substituted a whipped cream frosting, also from this website. I also used a vanilla flavored light rum for the filling. My entire family loved this one, I'll definitely make it again.  -  04 Jul 2005  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    If you put a circle of icing around the edge of the cake before you add the filling it will not ooze out. I usually fill a freezer zip bag and clip one of the ends. Run a big enough edge to prevent the filling from coming out.  -  22 Jun 2009  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)