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Chocolate-Ricotta Icebox Cake

Preparing this mouthwatering chocolate cake takes only 30 minutes; you can make it up to two days ahead.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 10
Chocolate-Ricotta Icebox Cake

Source: Everyday Food, July/August 2006


  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 14 ounces semisweet chocolate (do not use chips)
  • 2 containers (15 ounces each) part-skim ricotta cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 package (9 ounces) chocolate wafers (about 44 cookies)


  1. Prepare pan: Remove sides from a 9-inch round springform pan (see note, below). Place a sheet of waxed paper over bottom, leaving an overhang; lock sides onto bottom, firmly securing paper. Spray inside of pan with cooking spray; line sides with a strip of waxed paper 28 inches long and 4 inches wide.

  2. Make chocolate-ricotta mixture: Break 12 ounces of chocolate into pieces. Place in a heatproof medium bowl set over, not in, a pan of simmering water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chocolate has melted, 8 to 10 minutes.

  3. In a food processor, blend ricotta until very smooth, about 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl. Add warm chocolate; blend until smooth. In a large bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in chocolate-ricotta mixture.

  4. Assemble cake: Arrange half the cookies in an overlapping pattern to cover bottom of pan. Spoon half the chocolate-ricotta mixture on top of cookies; smooth top. Cover with remaining cookies; top with remaining chocolate-ricotta mixture, and smooth top. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 6 hours and up to 2 days.

  5. Before serving, release sides of pan and remove waxed paper from sides. Using bottom piece of waxed paper, pull cake onto a platter; with a metal spatula, lift cake and remove waxed paper. Using a vegetable peeler, shave remaining 2 ounces chocolate over top of cake. With a knife dipped in hot water, cut cake into 10 slices (wipe off knife, and dip in hot water after each slice).

Cook's Note

The right pan: A springform pan has a clamp or spring that releases the sides of the pan from the bottom. It's ideal for cakes and tarts that would be hard to remove from a regular pan.

Reviews (45)

  • jodles 20 Jun, 2011

    I made this for Fathers Day 2011 and it was YUMMY! We are all chocoholics so we thoroughly enjoyed this. It is really easy to make although you do make some dishes dirty :) I used a blender to mix the ricotta cheese, although I almost burned out the engine... next time I'll try a stick mixer in a bowl or something, definitely worth smoothing out the ricotta... got half of it in the freezer now for next weekend! enjoy!

  • JaneRW 2 Apr, 2011

    A bite of banality. Ennui on a fork. I could tell it was turning out flavorless, so i even steeped by wafers in orange liqueur and added coffee to my chocolate mix. Was a waste of my time and ingredients. Nothing can save this horrible, boring recipe. Make something different instead!

  • Gia2 6 Sep, 2010

    I did not like the cake as written above and neither did anyone in my family. It waa lacking any flavor. I'm sure the suggestions below would help improve it but I will not be making this again.

  • camamaof4 4 Sep, 2010

    After adding the chocolate to the ricotta, it was so thick there was no way to fold in the whipped was a chocolate brick. Might mix in some marscapone cheese next time?

  • JaneRW 28 Aug, 2010

    as prepared, this cake was a dud. however, i improved it... added vanilla and instant coffee to the chocolate mixture and a pinch of salt (brings out choc flavour). i tossed the wafers in a scant amount of liqueur to add bite and soften slightly. i used triple sec, but you could use any of: irish creme, fra'angelico, starbucks, port, brandy, cognac, cointreau, or grand marnier. tea-totallers or those avoiding alcohol could use espresso.

  • USWLisa 24 Aug, 2010

    I made this for a very small family gathering. It was a big hit. My husband says it needs to go into the lineup of deserts for gatherings. It does take slightly longer than 30 minutes to prepare but is very simple. Nothing complicated about this recipe.

  • carrie130 16 Aug, 2010

    BTW - to make pretty chocolate shards, melt the remaining 2 oz chocolate in the microwave. THINLY spread the chocolate onto a sheet of wax paper

  • carrie130 16 Aug, 2010

    personally, i thought this cake was VERY DENSE! I used whole milk ricotta, 1 cup heavy cream, added vanilla

  • gerhartl 16 Aug, 2010

    Just remember - chocolate chips contain shortening - changes the texture and flavor from simple semisweet chocolate.

  • AuntieNMS 15 Aug, 2010

    Big hit and so simple. I topped it with fresh raspberries. Splendid! :)

  • AllAroundBaker 15 Aug, 2010

    This is a very good recipe. It was gone instantly and what I like is that it's easy to make, a last minute dessert. Not baking anything saves time and in the summer, heat.

  • ArtistaRaquel 13 Aug, 2010

    I used the above ingredients in the specified amounts to make two cakes (one for a dinner party we're going to tomorrow, and another for a birthday in a couple of days) and used crushed oreos instead of chocolate wafers. Additionally, I did a chocolate ganache topping to really raise the chocolate factor by boiling 3/4 c heavy whipping cream and 2 T butter, pouring over 8 oz

  • ArtistaRaquel 13 Aug, 2010


  • deecrosby 12 Aug, 2010

    Is it really only about 60 calories per slice? I'm on weight watchers and I'd love to make this.

  • jasper58 12 Aug, 2010

    Re the low-fat cheese: A substance is alwaays added to low-fat products to try to duplicate the texture of the original product. In our culture low-fat consumption can also be achieved by eating a portion, not half the cake! Save some for tomorrow or share it with neighbours.

  • jasper58 12 Aug, 2010

    Areb: Whole biscuits provide support for the cheese mixture, don't crumble them. No fat is added to hold crumbs together. The moisture from the cheese will make it easy to cut through these layers and also cause the crumb seen in the photo.
    Cheese with its original fat will be smoother and tastier. A substance is always added in the manufacture of low-fat products to duplicate the original product.

  • areb 11 Aug, 2010

    I have not tried this recipe yet but want to soon. Questions for anyone who will answer: the recipe doesn't say to crush the cookes but obviously that's what I would do after seeing the picture. Correct?
    Also, couldn't you just spray the whole spring form pan with Pam Spray and when set after 3 hrs or so just go around it with a knife (like with a cheese cake) and release the spring and presto...ready to serve? thanks for your responses.

  • dlossi 11 Aug, 2010

    To tropicalchica:
    You said you "beat" the ricotta. If that means you used a mixer instead of the food processor as stated in Step 3, that would certainly have an effect on the texture.

  • snowmoonelk 11 Aug, 2010

    Tropicalchica, did you use low fat Ricotta? It is a bit grainy - I always use full-fat Ricotta. Anyone else find the texture too grainy?

  • ReneeWright 11 Aug, 2010

    Actually, the nutritional value comes in at 300 cal. I read the wrong line :-)

  • ReneeWright 11 Aug, 2010

    I purchased a program called Living Cookbook ( When you enter the ingredients you get the nutritional values. This comes out to 61 cal per slice based on 10 slices.

  • ellasc 10 Aug, 2010

    I guess we might not want to know the nutritional analysis? I think I will just make it. Lo

  • Marthafan4years 10 Aug, 2010

    Im not sure what the fear of using chopped chocolate can now buy chocolate chunks in the grocery store, but i just use very good cooking chocolate, as the better the chocolate, the deeper the flavor in the cake..chop it on an old clean dish towel (keeps it from flying all over, plus you can use the towel to pick up the chocolate and add to the bowl)..i added a teaspoon of vanilla to the whipped cream and if you like a mocha flavor, add a tablespoon of ground instant espresso..

  • robinbrady11 10 Aug, 2010

    Has anyone tried making this with some high quality cottage cheese?

  • pfauhaus 10 Aug, 2010

    can you melt the chocolate in the microwave instead of over the stove?

  • jakesgrammy1 10 Aug, 2010

    I love this recipe just as it is. Can't even tell you how many times I have made it.
    It is a 10.

  • jan1949 10 Aug, 2010

    How about using an already made chocolate cookie crumb pie crust, not layering with additional cookies, and add roasted chopped nuts to the chocolate shavings on top?

  • elsinore51 10 Aug, 2010

    For people asking about using chips instead of a bar of chocolate...the chips are designed NOT to melt easily....which you want in cookies but not in a recipe like this ;)

  • elsinore51 10 Aug, 2010

    For people asking about using chips instead of a bar of chocolate...the chips are designed NOT to melt easily....which you want in cookies but not in a recipe like this ;)

  • VernaB 18 Apr, 2010

    This is delicious! Just to change it up, I'm going to bake a batch of brownies in 2 (9") pans to use in place of the 2 layers of chocolate cookies, The chocolate ricotta mixture should be awesome with a brownie! It would also be great with chocolate cake, maybe using the chocolate ricotta to thickly fill between layers, and top with chocolate ganache. YUM!!!

  • tjohnson431 16 Aug, 2009

    I crush double-fudge oreos instead of wafers and it adds extra texture and depth to the cake. Also adds a little extra richness. This is so easy and such a great crowd pleaser! Have made it twice now in 2 weeks! :D

  • tropicalchica 13 Aug, 2009

    don't know what I did wrong...even after beating ricotta for 15 mins. the
    result had a terrible texture. Any ideas?

  • Alexie 6 Aug, 2009

    This cake was so delicious! It was so creamy and the cookies give it an extra chocolately taste! An easy dessert to serve for guests...

  • KrystynaInSydney 25 Nov, 2008

    this is 4 Larain - I too live in Australia and I lived in USA. Try using Arnott's "Golliwog" biscuits or any plain choc. bikkie finely ground - will give you the same result

  • TFelix 12 Nov, 2008

    I made this receipt and everyone loved it including me, I used parchment paper instead of waxed, Mr. Christie chocolate thins, for the bottom and middle layering and wasn't worried about the shape I did'nt own a spring pan so I improvised and used a deep casarole dish instead

  • Larain 26 Sep, 2008

    living in australia can you explain the type of choc cookies to use

  • ecbbear 25 Sep, 2008

    Just a is very difficult to create chocolate shavings from chocolate chips. This might be the only reason it says to not use the chips.

  • Abeem 24 Sep, 2008

    to someone who made this: could you please let me know what kind of chocolate you used? Thanks! Also, did you have any problems with the springform pan and the wax paper? Anyone use any other type of pan? Would love to get this right the first time. Thanks all.

  • tinarieder 24 Sep, 2008

    Do you think that you could use chips if you added some unsalted butter when you melt the the chocolate? I might try it when I have time.

  • smfdel 23 Sep, 2008

    Even better, try it with sliced bananas in between layers! Sooo Good!

  • leepers 23 Sep, 2008

    This looks yummy! I love creamy desserts. I think I will add berries (blue/rasp/straw) and a dollop (or two...:)) of creme fraiche! I cannot wait to sample this recipe!

  • katherkath 17 Aug, 2008

    Loves it!!! I found blending the ricotta was easier with a mixer, my food processor just couldn't handle the job. This also cut down on clean-up at I whipped the cream, blended the ricotta, and mixed in the chocolate all with one machine!

  • jammiejulie 14 Aug, 2008

    I liked this! It was even better the next day. Next time I will make it the day before I need it.

  • fatcat 25 Mar, 2008

    I was curious too - says it's because the chips contain less cocoa butter than other chocolate. When melted, it becomes thick, muddy and grainy and is very difficult to use due to the reduced amount of cocoa butter (25 - 30%).

  • annie2116 25 Mar, 2008

    Just curious...why can't semi-sweet chocolate chips be used?

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