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Chocolate Ricotta Cakes with Pistachio Cream

This moist Chocolate Ricotta Cake with floral hints of orange finished with a Pistachio Cream and candied orange will turn heads! Rich decadent chocolate cake by Chef Emily Ellyn makes chocolate lover’s dreams come true!

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Servings: 24

Yield: 24 – 26, classic-sized cupcakes



Ricotta Cakes:

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ cup hot water
  • 1 cup natural cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoons espresso powder
  • 1 cup salted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons orange extract
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten at room temperature


  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 ½ cups marshmallow fluff
  • ½ cup salted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
  • ½ cup pistachios, chopped fine

Optional Garnish:

  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ cup candied orange peels
  • 1 cup pistachios, shelled and rough chopped


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two classic-sized cupcake tins with paper liners or spray and line two 8-inch spring form cake pans with cooking spray and parchment paper.

In a large bowl, sift flour, baking soda, and sea salt together.

In a small saucepot, set at medium high heat, vigorously whisk the hot water, cocoa powder, and espresso powder together until smooth. When heated to a simmer, remove from heat and reserve to the side.

In the bowl of a stand mixer on high speed, beat the butter and the granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add 1 cup Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese and orange extract and beat together on high for 1 minute. Add the eggs and mix until just combined.

With the mixer still on low speed, gradually add the warm cocoa powder mixture and the flour mixture in 2 batches, beginning with the cocoa powder. Beat until the ingredients are blended after each addition. Be sure to fully incorporate each of the additions, but do not over mix.

Scoop a ¼ cup of the chocolate cupcake batter into the prepared cupcake cups. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack. While the cakes bake, make the filling.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the confectioners sugar, marshmallow fluff, and butter together until well-combined, about 2 minutes. Add Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese and beat on high for another minute. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in pistachios. Reserve filling in refrigerator until ready to use.

Using the handle of a wooden spoon, make a hole in the top center of each cake by gently rotating the spoon handle in each hole to create a small divot in the center of the cupcake that’s slightly wider at the bottom than it is at the top.

Transfer the filling to a piping bag with a bottom corner snipped off. Pipe marshmallow mixture into each cupcake so the top of each cupcake is flat. Using the back of a spoon, tamp down any marshmallow peaks to ensure that the filling is even with the top of the cupcake.

Before serving the cupcakes, garnish with a light dusting of confectioners sugar, candied orange peels and/or pistachios.


Fresh Idea: Prepare a double layered cake by dividing cake batter between two 8-inch spring form cake pans and bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Finish the cakes by spreading the prepared filling between cooled cakes and garnish with a light dusting of confectioners sugar, candied orange peels and/or pistachios.