Apple Ricotta Cake (Gluten-Free Cake)

An apple sitting on top of a wooden cutting board, with Cake

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Apple Ricotta Cake is a delicious way to celebrate apple season. Although lemon is the traditional flavour for a ricotta cake, the apples worked beautifully. This cake is moist and tender, and not too sweet, with loads of apple flavour.

Apple Ricotta Cake topped with Apple Slices

What is Ricotta Cake?

A ricotta cake is an Italian dessert, usually made with semolina or almond flour. My best description is that it’s somewhere between a cheesecake and a pound cake. Its texture is dense, yet tender, and has a nice crumb, so it slices beautifully into perfect wedges.

A close up of a cake on a table

Using Almond Meal

You can certainly make this cake with all-purpose or semolina flour, but this recipe is using almond meal, which is simply finely ground almonds. I like the flavour that the almond meals gives the cake, and it means that this apple ricotta cake is gluten-free.

A bowl of apples sitting on a table, with a Cake

What does Ricotta Cake Taste Like?

This apple ricotta cake tastes, obviously, like apples and cinnamon. Along with the almond flavour from the flour, there is a creamy, cheesy flavour from the ricotta. All in all, it’s a beautiful combo.

A cake on a plate with a slice cut out

What is Ricotta?

Ricotta is a mild, creamy white cheese with a texture like a very fine curd cottage cheese. It is a common ingredient in savory Italian recipes, like this Perfect Meat Lasagna, but also in dessert recipes, like cannoli. In desserts, ricotta goes well with chocolate, fruit, and honey.

And did you know, it’s really easy to make your own homemade ricotta? Check it out here: How to Make Homemade Ricotta.

Apple Ricotta Cake with a Slice Taken Out

Can You Substitute Cottage Cheese for For The Ricotta in This Cake?

For this cake, I prefer not to substitute cottage cheese for the ricotta. Although it tastes similar, ricotta is richer and creamier than cottage cheese. However, you can substitute cottage cheese in this recipe, if you want to. But because it has a much larger curd than ricotta, put the cottage cheese into the blender for a few seconds before using it.

A cake on a table, with a slice of cake on a plate

How To Enjoy Apple Ricotta Cake

This simple cake is perfect just as is with coffee or tea, and because it isn’t overly sweet, you can even have it for breakfast. The almonds and cheese pack a nice protein hit to start the day.

As a dessert, you can drizzle the cake with salted caramel, honey, or top it with macerated fruit.

And, if you love apple desserts, you may also want to try Apple Walnut Spice Cake or Skillet Caramel Apple Crisp.

A close up of a slice of cake and a cup of coffee

How to Store Your Cake

Store your cake well wrapped at room temperature for up to two days. It will last longer in the fridge, but the texture will become denser. You can also freeze the cake for up to three months if properly wrapped. It’s nice to freeze some in individual portions for coffee breaks.

Slice of Apple Ricotta Cake on a Plate with Cup of Coffee


An apple sitting on top of a wooden cutting board, with Cake

Apple Ricotta Cake

Apple Ricotta Cake is a delicious but simple, not overly sweet, and gluten-free cake. Perfect for breakfast, snacking, or dessert.
4.7 from 20 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Cakes
Cuisine Italian
Servings 12
Calories 380 kcal


  • 4 eggs large
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cups ricotta cheese whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups almond meal or almond flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 4 apples
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350° and prepare a 9" spring form pan by spraying with cooking spray
  • Slice the apples into thin slices
  • Combine eggs, sugar, ricotta and vanilla in a large mixing bowl
  • Stir in oil, salt, and cinnamon
  • Gradually stir in almond meal and baking powder, mixing until combined
  • Fold in slices of three of the apples
  • Spread the batter evenly in the prepared baking pan
  • Arrange slices of the fourth apple on top of the cake, then sprinkle with brown sugar
  • Bake in center of oven 60 minutes, or until apple slices are browned, and a butter knife inserted into the center comes out clean.


Serving: 1gCalories: 380kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 8gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 90mgPotassium: 213mgFiber: 4gSugar: 23gVitamin A: 203IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 144mgIron: 1mg
Keyword apple desserts, apples, gluten free cake, ricotta cheese
Tried this recipe? What changes did you make?Let us know how it was!

26 thoughts on “Apple Ricotta Cake (Gluten-Free Cake)

  1. Made exactly as written with Gala apples and LOVED it! So apple-y! 😉 And the olive oil flavor came through nicely. My only change for next time will be to coarsely chop the apples that go in the cake. Even thinly sliced, the apples in the cake were big and bulky looking and hard to cut through. Thanks for sharing this keeper. As someone with Celiac I’m always on the lookout for a good gluten free recipe….I also found the cherry clafoutis recipe on your site and am looking forward to trying that one day. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Janice. I’m so happy that you loved this cake. It’s a favorite at my house. Great tip about chopping the apples. I use a mandolin to slice them super thin, but not everyone has one. You will love the cherry clafoutis recipe, and you can find a lot of gluten-free recipes here. Thanks for coming back to drop a note. 😊

  2. Great looking cake Colleen…so perfect for any fall celebration. Ricotta cakes really have a wonderful texture to them.

  3. This looks absolutely decadent, Colleen! I would have never thought to combine these seasonal ingredients in this way — what an inventive recipe. Beautiful work!

  4. Looking forward to trying but seriously – why do people rate a recipe they haven’t made?? Makes it really hard to figure out what people think of the recipe.

  5. This cake sounds delicious! I know I’d love it as I made a similar cake yesterday but not with ricotta! I wish I had some left and I’d love to try this one too.

  6. Loved enjoying this with my cup of coffee! It is delicious and moist, and love that it is gluten-free so my whole family can enjoy it.

  7. I have never tried ricotta cheese for baking desserts, although I have swapped ricotta for cottage cheese and it seems to work just as well. Thanks for the tip.

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