Sweet Ricotta Gâteaux

Sweet Ricotta Gâteaux closeup

May 12, 2023

I always need a little something sweet to end a meal, especially dinner. These individual gâteaux are Jacques Pépin’s version of an icebox cake and make the perfect post-meal treat. There is no cooking involved which makes it ideal for the summer when you’re avoiding the oven.

Unlike a traditional icebox cake that requires eight hours to set, this dessert can be served immediately. However, if you place them in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes, the filling will firm up and the graham crackers will have time to soften.

Sweet Ricotta Gâteaux - overhead

Pantry staples

It’s likely you have some of the basics for this recipe in your pantry – graham crackers, jam, nuts. Pick up some whole-milk ricotta cheese, a lemon, and some berries on your way home from work and you can whip up this recipe in no time.

Single serving of Sweet Ricotta Gâteaux


  • If you don’t have fresh lemon juice, you may substitute with vanilla extract but in a much smaller quantity (see recipe for details)
  • If you are serving this to children, substitute water for the liquor used to thin down the jam.
  • Use whatever nuts you have on hand – hazelnuts, pecans, etc. – but take the time to toast them to bring out their flavor.
Serving platter of Sweet Ricotta Gâteaux
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Sweet Ricotta Gâteaux closeup

Sweet Ricotta Gâteaux

  • Author: Julie
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This easy dessert is modified from Jacques Pépin’s recipe in More Fast Food My Way. It takes a few ingredients, most of which are probably in your pantry. It makes a perfect last-minute dessert.



4 graham cracker sheets, snapped in half

For the filling

3/4 cup whole-milk ricotta

2 teaspoons lemon juice*

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

For the topping

6 tablespoons jam

12 tablespoons Grand Marnier, cognac, rum, or water

6 walnut halves, toasted and chopped

Berries, for garnish


For the filling

In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, lemon juice, and sugar until light and fluffy. Set aside.

For the topping

Thin the jam with enough Grand Marnier, cognac, rum, or water to allow it to easily coat the crackers.

To assemble

Place a small dollop of filling on a small plate (to hold the dessert in place) and top with one half cracker. Spread one quarter of the filling on the cracker then top with another half cracker. Repeat with the remaining crackers and filling.

Spoon one quarter of the jam mixture over each stack, top with chopped walnuts, and garnish with fresh berries. Place in the refrigerator until it’s time for serving.


*If you don’t have a fresh lemon, substitute the lemon juice with 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: French-American


  • Calories: 191.50
  • Sugar: 23.49 g
  • Sodium: 74.86 mg
  • Fat: 2.39 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 34.26 g
  • Fiber: 0.67 g
  • Protein: 4.52 g
  • Cholesterol: 7.38 mg

Keywords: ricotta, graham crackers, jam

You May Also Like…

Lemon Ginger Parfaits

Lemon Ginger Parfaits

I love the combination of lemon and ginger - whether it's in a comforting tea or in these cute desserts. These...

Ube Mochi Donuts

Ube Mochi Donuts

In Hawaii we love mochi in all forms. From traditional forms like ozoni (mochi soup served on New Year's Day to bring...


Submit a Comment

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

Recipe rating