Amazingly good on it’s own or topped with blueberry sauce and berries, this baked ricotta cheesecake is made with ricotta and cream cheese, giving it a lighter flavour and texture than your regular cheesecake.

  • It’s incredibly easy to make
  • So creamy and soft
  • The perfect combination of rich yet light
  • Italian style pastry crust
  • No water bath required!

Another recipe that’s been on my list for a very long time, this baked ricotta cheesecake moved up in priority when I had readers place their requests (see, I really do listen).

Well I’m so glad it was because it’s divine. It has a lighter flavour than a traditional all cream cheese cheesecake due to the addition of the lighter flavoured ricotta. It has the most divine creamy texture and just a little tang of lemon that fits right in. I hope you’ll try this crowd pleasing dessert.

If you think you don’t like baked cheesecake, I promise you’ll love this. I’ve converted 2 non baked cheesecake lovers and counting! It’s perfectly creamy and rich without being overwhelming.

Here’s a more classic baked cheesecake which I know you’ll love too.

A baked cheesecake with half cut into slices.

Ingredients you’ll need

Ingredients for baked ricotta cheesecake on a marble surface.

Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.

  • Flour: This cheesecake has an Italian style pastry crust which you’ll need plain flour / all purpose flour for.
  • Sugar: Just white granulated sugar is all you’ll need for this recipe.
  • Baking powder: There’s a touch of baking powder in the crust giving it a little lift.
  • Butter: Use unsalted butter in the crust.
  • Milk: You can use any milk here, which rounds out the crust ingredients.
  • Ricotta: You must use whole / full fat ricotta and it should be firm. If you can only get ricotta that’s quite liquidy, you’ll need to strain it well through some cheesecloth, before weighing it out.
  • Cream cheese: Use full fat cream cheese. It will add a little flavour and creamy texture without giving an overpowering flavour.
  • Eggs: I use large free-range eggs.
  • Lemon zest: The lemon zest adds a lovely tang to this cheesecake. You could also swap this for orange zest.
  • Sour cream: The sour cream adds so much to this cheesecake – tang, creaminess, lightness.
  • Vanilla: Please use pure vanilla extract as vanilla essence is not a natural flavouring.

How to make ricotta cheesecake (step-by-step)

First things first, make sure everything is at room temperature. This is so important as it will determine how smooth and creamy your cheesecake becomes. Once you’ve got that part sorted, ricotta cheesecake is incredibly simple to make. The best part? No water bath required!

A collage showing how to make baked ricotta cheesecake.

Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.

  1. The crust: In a food processor, blend together the flour, sugar, baking powder, butter and milk. The mixture will look a bit like cookie crumbs. Press that into the base of a spring form pan and bake for 12 minutes.
  2. The filling: Blend the ricotta, cream cheese and sugar in a food processor until smooth. Add the eggs until they’re well blended. Now add the sour cream, lemon zest and vanilla and blend until everything is smooth.
  3. Bake: Pour the cheesecake batter over the base and bake for around 45 minutes.
  4. Cool: Cooling the cheesecake happens in 3 stages. First, with the oven turned off and the door ajar. Second for a little while at room temperature then finally in the fridge until completely cold.

Because of it’s rich and creamy flavour, this cheesecake is just gorgeous served with a berry coulis or loaded with fresh berries or fruit. Try my blueberry compote, raspberry compote or homemade strawberry topping or you can find more sauces here.

Tips and tricks

Room temperature ingredients

A must have for smooth cheesecake is room temperature ingredients. This way they’ll blend up easily while cold ingredients are near on impossible to get all the lumps out of

Scrape down the sides

As you’re blending your filling ingredients together, stop every now and then to scrape down the sides so you can make sure everything is blending together.

Don’t overbake!

This cheesecake takes 45 minutes to bake (give or take a couple either way depending on your oven). When it’s ready the centre will still be wobbly – that’s perfectly fine, so long as the edges about 2 inches wide are set. If you bake until the centre isn’t wobbly, you’ll end up with a very dry cheesecake.

Give it a long chill

This cheesecake needs plenty of time to chill and finish setting up. I recommend a minimum of 6 hours but overnight is even better.

A closeup of a slice of baked cheesecake.

Making it ahead of time

The bonus with this cheesecake is it’s technically best if you make it at least the day before you need it but it will sit quite happily in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Yield and storage

Baked ricotta cheesecake, while lighter than the traditional variety, is still rich so this will easily feed 12 people.

The cheesecake should be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Let it sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving.

It can be frozen too. Wrap the cheesecake twice over with plastic wrap, then place it into an airtight container in the fridge. You can slice it prior to freezing, just wrap the individual pieces. It will last for up to 2 months and you’ll want to thaw it in the fridge overnight.

A slice of baked cheesecake on a dessert plate.

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Top down view of a cheesecake cut up and some slices on dessert plates.

Baked Ricotta Cheesecake

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This baked ricotta cheesecake is easy to make and has a lighter flavour than a regular cheesecake. It’s soft, creamy and sweet with the tang of lemon and it’s make ahead friendly, so it’s perfect for a crowd.

Ingredients

FOR THE PASTRY CRUST

  • 130 g plain flour (all-purpose flour)
  • cup sugar (66g / 2.3oz)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 75 g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1-2 tablespoons whole milk

FOR THE CHEESECAKE FILLING

  • 500 g whole milk fresh ricotta cheese (firm), room temperature (1.1lb)
  • 250 g full fat cream cheese, room temperature (8.8oz)
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 150 g white granulated sugar (¾ cup / 5.3oz)
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • cup full fat sour cream, room temperature (80ml)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Equipment

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced. Grease and line an 8 inch round spring form pan with baking paper.
  • In a food processor, process together the flour, sugar and baking powder, just to mix it. Add the butter and process until it’s in fine pieces but still visible.
  • With the processor running on low, slowly dribble in 1 tablespoon of milk. Slowly, add just enough more for the dough to just start clumping and look a little like cookie crumbs.
  • Press the pastry into the base of your prepared pan, using your hands until flat and level. Bake 12 minutes while making the filling.
  • Scrape any pastry residue out of the food processor bowl and off the blade.
  • Now add the ricotta, cream cheese and sugar to the food processor and process until smooth – you may need to scrape down the sides from time to time.
  • Turn it off and scrape down the sides again. Add one egg and turn the processor on low. While it’s running add the last two eggs.
  • Finally, add the sour cream, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Process until combined.
  • Pour the filling over the top of the pastry base and give it a gently tap on the benchtop to smooth it out.
  • Bake for 45 -50 minutes. It's done when roughly 2 inches around the edge looks set (the centre should still be wobbly – important).
  • Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake cool in the oven for one hour with the door ajar. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool another hour, then transfer to the fridge to cool completely (minimum of 6 hours or even better overnight).
  • Serve with something like this blueberry compote or fresh cherry sauce.
  • Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.

Notes

  1. Make sure the cold ingredients are at room temperature before starting – I take them out of the fridge up to 2 hours prior. If they’re cold they won’t blend nice and smooth. The butter in the crust is an exception and must be cold.
  2. Make sure to blend the cheesecake filling until smooth.
  3. Don’t overbake, or it will turn out dry and grainy. When it’s ready the centre will still be wobbly but there will be a 2 inch thick ring around the outside that is firm.
  4. If you prefer, you can make a cookie crust for this cheesecake. Combine 200g / 7oz of cookie crumbs (from digestives or graham crackers) with 85g / 3oz melted butter and bake for 10 minutes before adding the cheesecake filling.
  5. If you don’t have a food processor, you can make the pastry by cutting the butter into the flour mixture and you can use an electric mixer to beat the cheesecake filling in a large bowl.
MORE CHEESECAKE RECIPES!
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