Cakes, Chocolate, Desserts

Zuccotto is an easy showstopper of a recipe that comes together with just a handful of ingredients. Pound cake is formed around a whipped ricotta and left to set so when you unmold it  it makes a beautiful small dome of a cake.


I was reading this book called Cooking by Hand one night and came across a description of a recipe (there are barely any photos in the book) called zuccotto. I liked the name and said it like I was an old Italian man: “zuccccotoo!” V exaggerated, you know?


What is Zuccotto?

It sounded really interesting: a dessert made with slices of poundcake and put into a mold and stuffed with whipped cream. I did some googling and came across this really fun video of this man making his with lady fingers and flavoring the ricotta with amaretto, chocolate, marscapone and nuts and fruit. When he removed it from the bowl, it looked amazing!

I was sold, I made this with poundcake instead of lady fingers and I stuffed it with a few different flavored ricottas.

I ended up using my own pound cake recipe but have tested this with store-bought pound cake and it totally works! So if you’re looking for a crazy shortcut, look no further.


Tips and Tricks:

  • If you’re making it with pound cake and wanna go with the all homemade route, you’ll want to bake them up.
  • I did this the day before so they were a wee bit drier than they usually are. I ended up brushing the pound cake slices with a bit of rum and sugar mixture to make them more pliable.
  • If you have a very mischievous corgi, you may lose the top of your pound cake.
  • Yell at the corgi and then keep it moving. It’ll be ok.


What can you fill Zuccotto with?

I made three little cakes with three different types of fillings:

1. Ricotta with blood orange curd and hazelnuts.
2. Ricotta with dulce de leche that my friend Hourie brought back from Argentina.
3. Ricotta with sugar and sprinkles.

But you can add all sorts of things. Think chocolate, minced mint leaves and ricotta! Maybe tahini, honey and ricotta. Or lemon zest, sugar and ricotta. The possibilities are endless.


How to make a Zuccotto cake:

  1. Prep the bowls/molds. You’ll want to line a bowl (or bowls) with plastic wrap.
  2. Make the Ricotta. Choose whatever flavors/sweeteners you want and mix up the ricotta with the add-ins of your choosing.
  3. Cut up the poundcake. Slice the poundcake lengthwise. These slices are arranged like so in the lined bowl. You can super psycho with it, making it so lines exist and things are put in ever so carefully, or you can just put them in there and it’ll be delicious! (I did it both ways and the just putting slices in there and making it work was way easier and less stressful.)
  4. Add the Ricotta. Fill each one with the ricotta filling. And then topped with more slices of pound cake.
  5. Wrap it up to rest. After it’s filled, you wrap it REALLY tightly, push it down and stick it in the fridge for at least 8 hours.
  6. Finally, Unmold. And then…it’ll come out and look so beautiful and magical-looking.



I tried dusting it with cocoa but I think I like it without.




0 from 0 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 15 minutes
Serving Size: 1 to 3 small zuccottos
Calories: 2867kcal
Zuccotto is an easy showstopper of a recipe that comes together with just a handful of ingredients. Pound cake is formed around a whipped ricotta and left to set so when you unmold it  it makes a beautiful small dome of a cake.



  • 1 to 2 pound cakes, 1 to 2 pound cakes (store-bought or homemade)
  • 3 tablespoons rum + 1 tablespoons sugar,, whisked together

Filling #1:

  • 3/4 cup ricotta
  • 3 tablespoons blood orange curd
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 hazelnuts, diced

Filling #2:

  • 3/4 cup ricotta
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon sprinkles

Filling #3:

  • 3/4 cup ricotta
  • 2 tablespoons dulce de leche
  • Pinch of salt

Other Supplies:

  • Bowls
  • Plastic wrap


  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder, optional
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar, optional


  • This is a super loose recipe. The filling amount will vary depending on how big your bowl is. I used three soup-type bowls. Not serving size big. But you could make them that big, but of course you're going to need more filling and more pound cake.
  • Start by lining the bowl or bowls with plastic wrap, leaving enough slack so that you can wrap the pound cake at the end.
  • Slice the pound cake lengthwise. And then cut those big slices into strips. If the pound cake is a bit dry (you can test this by bending it slightly), you can brush the pound cake strips with a bit of rum and sugar mixture. This will add flavor and pliability.
  • Place the strips of pound cake into the bowl, creating whatever design you like. I ended up placing two strips on top of each other creating a X and then cutting the small square that's on top, creating an X that's completely flush to each other. Does this make sense? And then I added other triangles. There's no right way to do this, you just add, slice it up, add, until totally filled.
  • Add the ricotta filling and then top it with more slices of pound cake. Wrap the plastic wrap over the "bottom" of the cake and press it. Place it in the fridge to chill for at least 8 hours, ideally overnight. Repeat if you like, making as many as you like!
  • When you remove it from the fridge, unwrap it and turn it onto a plate. You may need to give it a few smacks to have it release from the bowl. Remove the plastic wrap and discard. Dust with cocoa powder or powdered sugar, if you like. Garnish with berries, if you like. Slice it up and enjoy.
Calories: 2867kcal | Carbohydrates: 338g | Protein: 88g | Fat: 132g | Saturated Fat: 62g | Cholesterol: 291mg | Sodium: 1949mg | Potassium: 1050mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 222g | Vitamin A: 2699IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1735mg | Iron: 9mg
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Looking for more desserts? Here are some of my favorites:

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Recipe Rating

  • Reply Ana @ Ana's Rocket Ship February 27, 2016 at 8:26 am

    And I thought this was going to be a recipe including zucchinis….

  • Reply Rahul @ samosastreet February 2, 2016 at 11:13 am

    I have never heard of this or seen this… but it looks so amazing… So pretty and delish

  • Reply Christy January 29, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    The most memorable version of this dessert was had at a small Bistro in Venice, years ago on my honeymoon. We loved it so much that we went back and ate at the restaurant three times in a week. One night we actually ordered it twice, it was so good. At the end of the week we were walking around the Lido and we heard “Zuccooootttooo!” Like a soccer cheer, behind us and there was the owner of the restaurant calling to us, he knew us as the couple that loved the dessert.

  • Reply Trina and Tina January 29, 2016 at 11:17 am

    What a clever recipe. We’ve never tasted anything like it can’t wait to give it a go. If course we each need our own! No sharing tolerated when treats are involved! Thanks!

  • Reply cynthia January 28, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    T-h-i-s THIS. This is amazing. I want OCD patterns on everything I eat! PS That shot of Amelia made my day. Also, the other day we watched Youtube videos of corgis jumping into water and laughed until we cried and then I had to scroll through your Instagram for like an entire year to find that perfect photo of Amelia in mid-leap into the pool.

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme January 29, 2016 at 12:26 pm

      HAHAHHA. True story: When I’m having a bad day I watch that video of her over and over and over…it helps.

  • Reply Caroline @ Pinch Me, I'm Eating! January 27, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    This looks amazing! I’ve recently been introduced to sweet ricotta fillings and I’m in love with them. And I love obscure authentic Italian desserts! So beautiful and looks delicious!

  • Reply Michelle January 27, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    An excuse to eat a bowl of ricotta. Count me in.

    Your OCD is beautiful!

  • Reply Megan | Hint of Vanilla January 27, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    Such cute little domes! 🙂 I love the combo of orange and dulce de leche, I made a cake last weekend with those flavours and it was aaaawesome.

  • Reply Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar January 27, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    I haven’t heard of anything like this before! This is so unique and beautiful!!

  • Reply Stu B. January 27, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Brings to mind a Gypsy John or Queen of Sheba Cake. Chocolate cake baked in a lined colander. Flat bottom cut off, cake hollowed out and filled with cocoa flavored whipped cream, reassembled and then raspberry glazed and chocolate frosted and pippings placed on in the shape of a Cinderalla wagon. So pretty, so unhealthy…but, how often do we actually eat like this..so, it’s ok.

  • Reply Kari January 27, 2016 at 11:20 am

    I’ve never heard of these but they are really cool looking!

  • Reply Madeline January 27, 2016 at 10:13 am

    What a beautiful and fun idea! Seriously this cake is stunning. And your little corgi is just the cutest! I would have a hard time saying no if he wanted some cake too! ; )

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme January 27, 2016 at 11:25 am

      Oh I didn’t have a choice! Haha. She tends to do that when I’m not looking. It’s sometimes cute but mostly infuriating!

  • Reply Laura (A Beautiful Plate) January 27, 2016 at 10:12 am

    This reminds me of a French Charlotte Royal! Really love this idea and so pretty! Also, those roses are perfection.

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme January 27, 2016 at 11:24 am

      OMG I’m so making one of those. It is very similar!

  • Reply Angela - Patisserie Makes Perfect January 27, 2016 at 2:35 am

    These look great – the man in the video is Gennaro Contaldo – he’s the guy Jamie Oliver credits with teaching him all about Italian Cookery.

    I had a similar dessert at Christmas which was slices of pandoro stuffed with ricotta, sugar and dark chocolate, it was made the night before and left to steep like this.

    I will definitely try making this – it’ll be great for a dessert for a dinner party as I love things you can make ahead!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme January 27, 2016 at 11:24 am

      Ahh! That makes sense. He’s very Italian and his desserts look amazing (and easy!).

      The dessert you’re talking about sounds so good. I love anything that has to “sleep.” 🙂

  • Reply Miranda | Miranda's Notebook January 27, 2016 at 12:48 am

    This look so sweet!!! And sound delicious…. I laughed over the dog incident….!! xxx