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Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman

Cassata Zuccotto Cake

40 MINPrep Time
5 MINCook Time
8 to 10Servings
by Giada De Laurentiis
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman
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This delicious cake is inspired by the flavors of the Sicilian Cassata. It’s a celebratory cake in Sicily that has all the flavors of a cannoli, and it’s often made with bright colors of marzipan and decorated with candied fruit.

My favorite version of this cake I’ve ever tried was made in the style of zuccotto, meaning it’s assembled all in a bowl and turned out onto a platter after setting in the fridge. Trust me, it’s so easy – you don’t have to bake a thing! - and the result is always so fun to slice into.

If you love cannoli, you will seriously love this cake.

Cassata Zucotto Cake


Cassata Zucotto Cake

Rated 5.0 stars by 1 users

Prep Time

40 minutes

Cook Time

5 minutes


Giada De Laurentiis


  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 (14 ounces to 1 pound) loaf pound cake

  • ¼ cup Amaretto liqueur
  • For The Chocolate Layer:

  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup chilled whipping cream
  • For The Whipped Ricotta Cream

  • 1 ½ cups whipping cream
  • 2 cup whole milk ricotta
  • ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  • For Garnishing:

  • Reserved ricotta filling, for frosting
  • Amarena cherries, for garnishing
  • Chopped pistachios, for garnishing
  • Extra mini chocolate chips, for decorating, if desired


  1. Spray a 2 to 2 1/2-quart bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bowl with plastic wrap. Cut the pound cake crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Cut each slice diagonally in half, forming 2 triangles. Line the bottom and sides of the prepared bowl with the cake triangles. Brush some of the Amaretto liqueur over the cake triangles lining the bowl. Reserve the extra triangles.
  2. For the chocolate layer, stir the chocolate in a large metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until the chocolate melts. Allow the chocolate to cool slightly. Using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup of whipping cream in another large bowl until it is thick and fluffy. Fold 1/4 of the whipped cream into the chocolate. Fold half of the remaining whipped cream into the chocolate mixture, and then fold in the remaining whipped cream. Spread the chocolate cream over the cake, covering completely and creating a well in the center for the ricotta filling. Cover and refrigerate if not assembling cake right away.
  3. For the whipped ricotta cream, in a clean large bowl, add the 1 1/2 cups of cream, the 2 cups ricotta, and almond extract. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed and gradually add the powdered sugar. Beat until fluffy and thickened - this can take several minutes. Reserve about 1 and ½ cups of the whipped ricotta cream for decorating the cake later, and place in the refrigerator in an airtight container until ready to use. To the rest of the whipped ricotta cream in the bowl, fold in the mini chocolate chips. Spoon the cream mixture into the center of the well of the filling.

  4. Brush the remaining cake slices with Amaretto and arrange them, brushed side down, over the cake, covering the filling completely and trimming to fit if necessary. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 8 hours, preferably overnight. Cutting into the cake sooner can result in the ricotta filling not setting properly.

  5. Invert the cake onto a platter. Remove the bowl and the plastic wrap. Take the ricotta filling that was set aside for decorating, and using a spoon or a small offset spatula, cover the exterior of the cake in the mixture. Decorate as desired with cherries, chopped pistachios or chocolate chips.

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1 comment

  • Author's avatar image
    Yvonne Thomposn - Jun 21

    I made this cake and it was a wonderful presentation….right up until I cut it, then it became a big mess.
    The taste and combination of flavors was great. However, when I make it again, I will either use thinner slices of pound cake,
    or use a lighter yellow cake. Also, make a different pan might help? It looked great with the bowl, but, as I said, it did not create pretty slices.
    Maybe a pan where you pour the cake batter in one piece, then add the chocolate and cream fillings?

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