Ricotta cheesecake recipe with ricotta cheese, heavy cream, and lemon.

lemon ricotta cheesecake recipe #gourmetproject
baked ricotta cheesecake without cream cheese #gourmetproject

This is the authentic Italian ricotta cheesecake recipe, a ricotta pie made of shortcrust and filled with ricotta cream.

Please note that this is not a traditional Italian ricotta cheesecake: it’s a reinterpretation of the Anglo-Saxon cheesecake.

It is a baked ricotta cheesecake without cream cheese, as we don’t use it frequently.

The ricotta cheesecake filling is made by mixing ricotta with heavy cream, sugar, and egg yolks, all ingredients common to Italian cuisine.

And, as it is a lemon ricotta cheesecake, the filling includes lemon, both juice, and zest.

If you are looking for a traditional Italian ricotta cheesecake recipe, then you should check out the Sicilian ricotta cheesecake recipe here.

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ricotta cheesecake recipe with ricotta cheese

Ricotta cheesecake with ricotta cheese, heavy cream, and lemon.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
resting time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 25 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 377 kcal
Author Claudia Rinaldi


for the shorcrust:

  • 5.3 oz 0 flour 150 gr or 1 cup + 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon
  • 2.7 oz butter (fridge-cold) 75 gr or 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2.7 oz confectionary sugar 75 gr or 1/4 cup + 6 tablespoons
  • 1.5 yolks or 1 from a large egg
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

for the filling:

  • 8.8 oz ricotta cheese 250 gr
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2.5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • the lemon and zest of 1/2 lemon


for the shortcrust

  1. Place butter (cut in pieces), sugar and honey in the stand mixer and mix, (low/medium speed – kneading hook on) for a minute or less.

  2. Mix egg yolks and salt in a cup, and pour them in the mixer bowl. Mix a few seconds.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and the lemon zest to the bowl. Again, mix a few seconds.

  4. Sift the flour twice and add it to the bowl.
  5. Mix the ingredients for a few seconds, just the time to get a dough that won’t stick to your hands.

  6. Cover the bowl with plastic and refrigerate it for 2 hours (or freeze it 30 minutes).

for the filling

  1. Meanwhile beat the ricotta, the egg yolks, the heavy cream, and the sugar until well amalgamated. Add cornstarch, the lemon zest and juice, and a pinch of salt. Mix well.

to finish the ricotta cheesecake pie

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C (340°F).
  2. Roll out the shortcrust into a circle big enough to cover the bottom of the cake mold (springform pan would be better), or larger, if you want to line walls as well.
  3. Prick the pastry with a fork and bake it 10 minutes.
  4. Take it out of the oven, pour in the ricotta mixture and bake 40-45 minutes, or until a knife or a wooden skewer come out clean when you insert them into the center of the cake.
  5. Let the temperature decrease before unmolding it.
  6. Serve it cold or at room temperature with the garnishing of your choice. I added syrupy cherries and fresh mint leaves.
authentic Italian ricotta cheesecake recipe #gourmetproject
flowers while baking #gourmetproject

Italian ricotta cakes

Ricotta cake is kind of a complicated matter here in Italy: for every Italian region, there’s a different recipe (sometimes a few).

But I’ll try to summarize the topic…

The two most popular recipes are the Neapolitan Pastiera and the Sicilian Cassata (both dessert recipes are on the Palermo Issue).

Pastiera has a shortcrust base, while Cassata has a pan di Spagna (sponge cake) one, although sometimes it’s just a very thin disc.

You can distinguish them by the covering of the Cassata, which is in marzipan (often green colored).

Apart from the classic Cassata, there’s another Sicilian ricotta pie, the oven baked Cassata, that resembles more a cheesecake.

Aside from these traditional recipes, there’s cheesecake, which is nothing but the way we make the American classic here in Italy.

You’ll find innumerable cheesecake recipes, some featuring just ricotta, others with both ricotta and cream cheese, or heavy cream, or mascarpone… all modern recipes.

more ricotta recipes


Delicate and delicious spinach and ricotta “naked” ravioli.


The easiest dessert you’ll ever make.


Grilled cherry tomatoes skewers and ricotta cream bruschette.

Enjoy your ricotta cheesecake!


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