Salt & Wind Travel

{La Torta Ricotta e Pere di Sal De Riso} Amalfi Pear Ricotta Hazelnut Cake Recipe

The Amalfi coast might be the dreamiest place on earth.

The colors of the buildings, veneered wood boats zipping between the coves, and the towns built into the sides of the cliffs. It made Talented Mr. Ripley that much more amazing as a film. The appeal of the picture-perfect towns tucked into the coastline and the blue topaz waters go well beyond Hollywood hype. I’m heading there later this year for a family vacation and am already dizzy researching things to do and places to eat.

So, when I came across this Amalfi Pear Ricotta Hazelnut Cake that Emiko Davies shared, I had to try it. A recipe of Sal De Riso inspires it—a celebrity pastry chef from the region, and my family now requests it for special occasions.

The recipe combines a light hazelnut cake with fresh ricotta and pears for a combination we’re very much into!

I’ve found it’s super adaptable—I like it frozen rather than refrigerated, and I switch the fruit (from pears to berries) based on the season. Like me, I hope this {La Torta Ricotta e Pere di Sal De Riso} Amalfi Pear Ricotta Hazelnut Cake recipe takes you to the Amalfi Coast.

Now, go stock up on all your cooking essentials, head into the kitchen, make this, and share it with us by tagging @saltandwind and #swsociety on social!

{La Torta Ricotta e Pere di Sal De Riso} Amalfi Pear Ricotta Hazelnut Cake Recipe

{La Torta Ricotta e Pere di Sal De Riso} Amalfi Pear Ricotta Hazelnut Cake Recipe

This recipe is inspired by a famed bakery in the Amalfi Coast town of Minori. It's everything we love about Italian desserts, not too sweet, easy to make, yet elegant.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 12 servings
Calories 451 kcal


For The Hazelnut Sponge Cake Batter:

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 7 ounces whole hazelnuts blended and sifted (or use hazelnut or almond meal)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter melted and cooled, plus more room temperature butter for lining the cake pan

For The Pear Filling:

  • Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small ripe Forelle or Seckel pears cored and small dice
  • 1 vanilla bean cut in half and seeds scraped 
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Splash pear Williams brandy or Spiced Pear Brandy or Kirsch (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 pound whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup chilled heavy cream

For Garnish:

  • powdered sugar for garnish


  • For The Hazelnut Sponge Cake Batter: Heat an oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat a 7-inch cake pan with butter, line with a circle of parchment paper, top with more butter, dust with flour then tap out any excess flour.
    Combine 2/3 cup of the sugar and all eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and beat until the mixture becomes very pale and fluffy and triples in size, about 5 minutes. Fold in the hazelnut meal, flour, and butter until just incorporated.
    Pour the mixture on the prepared cake pan and bake until browned and springy on top, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. 
    TIP: Cake can be made up to three days ahead. Once completely cooled, cover tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature until ready to use.
  • For The Pear Ricotta Filling: Meanwhile, drizzle a few spoonfuls of olive oil in a small frying pan and warm over medium heat. Add the diced pear, 1/3 cup of the sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and liqueur, if using. Stir occasionally until the pears begin to cook and release liquid and soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl, and cool completely.
    Whip the ricotta and remaining 1 cup of the granulated sugar together until very smooth and creamy. Fold in the whipped cream and then the cooled pears, along with some of their syrup. Save a couple of tablespoons of the syrup to drizzle on the top and bottom layers of cake.
    TIP: Filling can be made up to three days ahead. Store refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use.
  • Assemble The Cake: Line the same cake pan you used to bake the cake with parchment paper (or use a 7-inch springform pan if you have it). Slice the hazelnut sponge horizontally so you have two discs. (Be gentle: It is a bit of crumbly cake).
    Place the bottom half in the cake pan, cut side up. Drizzle 1 to 2 tablespoons of pear syrup evenly over the cake then spoon over the ricotta mixture and smooth over with a spatula. Drizzle the rest of the reserved pear syrup over the cut side of the top layer of sponge and carefully place it on top of the ricotta filling, cut side down. 
    You can chill the cake for several hours in the fridge but I prefer to freeze it so that it's almost like an ice cream cake. Remove the cake from the pan, dust with powdered sugar, then cut carefully into slices with a sharp knife and serve.



Serving: 1servingCalories: 451kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 9gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 54mgPotassium: 216mgFiber: 3gSugar: 37gVitamin A: 627IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 116mgIron: 1mg
Keyword amalfi coast, italian cake
Tried this recipe?Mention @saltandwind or tag #swsociety!

Travel Planning Resources

This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to our privacy policy.

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


We'll help you taste Italy Mexico California Hawaii Mexico France Spain the world

We specialize in food-focused experiences in the most interesting culinary regions of the world.

We host unique small group trips to California, Italy, and Mexico from Sicily to Oaxaca.

Our tailored-to-you trip planning services help you make the most of your trip.