I love this cake. Since I found it, I have prepared it three times. The first time was in January, when I made it for a dinner with a man I was seeing. I spent the entire weekend cooking this and an abundance of other dishes, but all of this preparation wasn’t really to try to impress him. Rather, I was trying to work something out of my system and cooking and baking for two days was the only way I could think to do it. The cake was more of therapy than anything else. I even made the ricotta that went into the cake – and the cheese to make the whey that I needed for the ricotta. I served it with an orange blossom ricotta ice cream (that I also made) and a pumpkin seed brittle (yep, I made that too – I was really working on something). Anyway, the cake was good – it was easy and tasty and adaptable and it became the one item that I made in the mania of that weekend that I would make again with some regularity.


The second time was for my friends, as I told you in my story, Cake & Friendship in Three Parts. I won’t retell the backstory here, but it was lovely to celebrate with those two over a bit of freshly baked cake and lot of laughs and a few happy tears.


The third time was here, in my kitchen in Bra. I was joined by a new friend I made here who had an itch to bake as well. I changed the recipe this time, to suit this new place I am in. I substituted a bit of hazelnut flour for the regular (or Tipo ’00’) flour, folded a bunch of mini dark chocolate chips into the batter and topped the cake with thin slivers of pear and a bit of local honey. I also used a very nice buffalo milk ricotta from a local cheesemaker. This time was my favorite. Something about the hazelnut flour, pears, honey and chocolate made it particularly irresistible. I hope you try this easy cake out a few times and adapt it your own way as well – at least three times.


The Cake of Three (Dolce del Tre) Part 3


  • The original recipe for this cake is by Emiko Davies, an Australian expat blogger living in Florence. The original recipe can be found here: The Cake of Three. I’m only including my modified recipe here.
  • This cake is easy and it keeps a long time well wrapped at room temperature. However, I did freeze some already cut in slices for later.
  • Again, this cake is crazy adaptable – you can add zests, flavorings, fillings, glazes – honestly the list is endless. You can even add pumpkin or cocoa (or, wait for it, both).
  • Use a creamy full-fat ricotta here – it makes a big difference.


300 grams (or 10 1/2 oz) best quality fresh ricotta (you don’t have to make it, unless you like that kind of thing)

300 grams (1 1/3 cups) sugar

3 large eggs

200 grams (1 2/3 cups, minus 1 T.) all-purpose flour or Tipo 00 flour

100 grams (2/3 cup, plus 2 T.) hazelnut flour

11/2 tsp. baking powder

100 (2/3 cup) grams mini dark chocolate chips

1 small pear, cored and sliced thinly

1-2 T. good quality honey

Demerara Sugar for sprinkling, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F, 175 with a rack in the middle. Line and butter a loaf pan.
  2. Combine dry ingredients (flours and baking powder) in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Mix together ricotta and sugar until well blended. Add eggs and mix again.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Add batter to prepared pan, smoothing out the top. Arrange pears on top in a pretty pattern. Brush or drizzle top with honey and sprinkle on a bit of the demerara sugar, if using.
  6. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until golden and cracked on top and a cake tester in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Let cool for 20 minutes in pan, then remove and let cool on a wire rack.

Makes 8-10 servings. Great with ice cream, just saying.