Italian (Ricotta) Cheesecake

Total Time
1hr 40mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr 10 mins

This is the recipe I have used for years to make "Italian" cheese cake. It is a wonderful, basic cheese cake which easily lends itself to "variations".

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Butter bottom and sides of a 12-inch springform pan.
  3. Sprinkle bottom and sides of well buttered pan with Graham cracker crumbs.
  4. In a large bowl, beat drained ricotta until very smooth.
  5. Gradually add 1 1/2 cups sugar and egg yolks, beating after each addition.
  6. Beat in flour, lemon rind, and vanilla.
  7. In a small bowl, beat cream until cream holds its shape, but is not too stiff.
  8. In a smaller bowl, beat egg whites with remaining sugar until stiff; combine with whipped cream and fold into ricotta mixture.
  9. Pour mixture into prepared pan.
  10. Bake for 10 minutes.
  11. Lower oven temperature to 350°F and bake 1 hour.
  12. Turn off heat and allow cake to cool in oven with door closed (about 3-4 hours).
  13. Remove cooled cake from oven, carefully remove sides of pan, store cake (well wrapped) in refrigerator.
  14. Before serving, lightly sprinkle top of cake with Confectioner's (powdered, 10X) sugar.
  15. Cake may be served chilled or at room temperature.
  16. Note: Center of cheese cake will be lower than the sides when it is cooled.
  17. This is not a defect!
  18. It is supposed to be this way (makes it easier to hold the topping if you choose to use one).
  19. VARIATIONS: Add raisins, chopped citron or chopped maraschino cherries to the batter.
  20. Top cheese cake with crushed sugared strawberries or cherries before serving.
  21. Cover bottom of crumbed pan with drained, sweetened crushed pineapple, applesauce or sliced apples before adding batter to pan.
  22. Pie crust pastry may be used instead of Graham crumbs to line pan.


Most Helpful

Thank you for this recipe. My sister used to make this years ago, but stopped now. This year my family is not going up to New York for Easter, so I needed this recipe, and she told me to use an Amercican cream cheese recipe and to sustiute ricotta. Luckely, we found your recipe. Thank you again, and we wish you a Buona Santa Pasqua. Joe Pedicini and Family.

Adriana Pedicini April 18, 2003

This is the best Italian Cheesecake recipe there is! Most ricotta cheesecakes are grainy and gritty in texture, but this one is light, creamy and fluffy. I am sure it is because of the special egg treatment: separating the eggs, whipping the eggwhites till stiff, and adding the yolks to the cheese, along with LOTS of electric mixing, give the texture a beautifully creamy consistency. Most other recipes just stir in whole eggs into the cheese, and don't use as many, so you end up with a heavy, grainy texture.

The lemon zest is bright and lovely. I want to try it with orange zest sometime as well. If only my Sicilian dad were alive to taste this, I know it would have made him so very happy!!!! I make this for my father-in-law everytime he is in town because it is his favorite. Thank you for a fantastic recipe!!!

flappergirl425 September 29, 2010

The cake turned out lovely and delicious (though I might have let it get a little too brown on top). The flavor was great! The texture was a little grainier than a cream cheese cheesecake, but according to what I've read, that's how ricotta cheesecakes are supposed to be. This recipe's definitely a keeper!

StitchedPigeon January 14, 2012

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