Italian ricotta cheesecake

This ricotta cheesecake comes from my sister-in-law’s Italian grandmother. The ricotta gives the cheesecake a light and airy texture. We paired our cheesecake with some fruit-based jam, which gave it some extra flavor.

Italian ricotta cheesecake

Over the holidays, I was fortunate enough to spend some time with my dad and my brother and his family. To be extra safe, we wore masks when we were around each other. Even though it wasn’t fun wearing masks all day long, our health and safety was most important. Thankfully, everyone remained healthy post-holidays so I’m glad we took the extra precaution.

I got to spend some quality time with my sister-in-law during the time. She and I rarely get to sit down and chat one-on-one so it was nice to be able to do that. While my husband was playing with the kids (with Addie and with my niece and nephew), my sister-in-law and I caught up on all kinds of things.

Italian ricotta cheesecake

As we were talking, she asked if I had ever tried a ricotta cheesecake. She mentioned that her grandmother had a recipe that yielded this light and fluffy cheesecake. I said no, and she shared a handwritten recipe card from her grandmother. She mentioned that she tried making her own ricotta at home for this recipe, and that it was super easy.

Italian ricotta cheesecake

While I chickened out on the homemade ricotta, I did make the ricotta cheesecake using store-bought cheese. My sister-in-law was right: the cheesecake was definitely soft and cloud-like. We liked it better after we paired it with some fruit jam. First, we tried some triple berry jam, and the next time we tried raspberry jam. Both were good and made the cheesecake better. You can also pair this with fresh fruit as well, but I like it with the intensity and sweetness of the jam. Even my family and I have a stronger preference for traditional cheesecake, this is a great, lighter alternative if you’re not into dense cheesecakes.

Thanks again to M for sharing your grandmother’s recipe, and I’m glad we got to catch up!

Husband’s rating: 3 out of 5
Addie’s rating: 3.5 out of 5
My rating: 3.5 out of 5

Italian ricotta cheesecake
Print Recipe
4.60 from 5 votes

Italian ricotta cheesecake

This ricotta cheesecake recipe comes to us from my sister-in-law's Italian grandmother. It's soft and fluffy and goes perfectly with some berry jam.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 10 minutes
Chilling time9 hours
Total Time10 hours 30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Cheesecake
Author: Eva Bakes

Ingredients

  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese softened
  • 1 pound ricotta
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs separated
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter melted

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F. Generously grease a 9" or 10" springform pan and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolks, corn starch, flour, lemon juice and vanilla on medium speed until well blended, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in the melted butter, sour cream and ricotta and mix well.
  • Transfer the batter to another large bowl and clean your mixing bowl. If you're using a handheld mixer, simply get out another large bowl. In the spotlessly clean bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed until you achieve stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the cheesecake batter until blended.
  • Transfer the batter to your prepared baking pan and smooth out the top. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to get out any air bubbles. Bake in your preheated oven for 70 minutes.
  • After the cheesecake has baked (it may have a slight jiggle in the middle), crack the oven door open and leave it in there for another 2-3 hours. Then take it out and let rest at room temperature. Cover and place it in the refrigerator to chill overnight.
  • After the cheesecake has thoroughly chilled, slice and serve. This tastes best with fresh berries or fruit jam of your choice (we enjoyed it with both raspberry jam and a triple berry jam blend).

Notes

Source: My sister-in-law, M, who got the recipe from her grandmother

24 Comments

  1. Denise Fissel
    September 29, 2021 / 9:52 am

    This looks similar to one my mum used to make. I will try this soon.
    Thank you!

    • evabakes
      Author
      September 29, 2021 / 12:59 pm

      You are lucky that your mum used to make this! Hope this recipe brings you good memories. 😄

    • Caroline Gonzales
      November 2, 2023 / 11:48 am

      Thank you for sharing the details. Someone gave me ricotta cheese n I had no idea what to do with it. I looked up a couple but no measurements. Thank you I will try to make as stated. 🎚️🙏👍♥️

  2. Ada
    December 14, 2021 / 9:56 pm

    I’m eager to make this! Just one thing, what do you mean by 1 pint of sour cream?

    • evabakes
      Author
      December 15, 2021 / 6:41 am

      1 pint of sour cream = 2 cups or about 16 ounces. I think they sell this size at the grocery store (if you live in the US).

      • Ada
        December 24, 2021 / 7:26 pm

        Thank you so much! Can’t wait to make it and eat it 🙂

        • evabakes
          Author
          December 24, 2021 / 10:07 pm

          Enjoy!

  3. Dennis Valentino
    February 6, 2022 / 5:04 pm

    Excellent Italian cheesecake! Being Italian and from Chicago this is reminiscent of Gionottis cheesecake in Forest Park… I changed only using marscarpone instead of cream cheese… Sinatra was not the only celebrity that had dinner there instead of my cousins Rosebud on Taylor street.

    • evabakes
      Author
      February 6, 2022 / 6:21 pm

      Ooh – I may need to try that substitution next, Dennis. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Marie Wolfe
    March 23, 2022 / 4:41 pm

    5 stars
    A friend’s Sicilian grandmother gave me this recipe more than 40 years ago. After baking for the 70 minutes, she said the middle should feel like a baby’s butt. I’ve never forgotten that.

    • evabakes
      Author
      March 24, 2022 / 8:19 am

      Hahaha – I ❤️ it!! It’s definitely memorable!

  5. Gigi Bau
    April 18, 2022 / 1:23 pm

    5 stars
    I made this for Easter dinner and it was a huge hit. Just before serving, I melted half a jar of raspberry fruit spread in the microwave, spread it over the top of the cake, placed fresh red raspberries all over the top of the fruit spread, and finally, using a pastry brush, I glazed the raspberries with the remaining fruit spread. It was beautiful and delicious! This one is going in my recipe box for future special events.

    • evabakes
      Author
      April 18, 2022 / 3:26 pm

      Oooh, the addition of raspberry fruit spread and fresh raspberries sounds PERFECT. So glad your family enjoyed it for Easter!

  6. Nadia
    November 7, 2022 / 6:59 pm

    5 stars
    Just made it for my family this weekend and everyone was amazed, my side of my family is Italian and it instantly brought them back to when they had it in little Italian bakeries, can’t thank you enough for posting this!!

    • evabakes
      Author
      November 8, 2022 / 6:09 pm

      Hooray! So happy that your Italian family loved this cheesecake, Nadia!

  7. Erin Crimmins
    December 4, 2022 / 8:07 am

    I’m wondering, after the cooking time, do you turn off the oven or leave it on with the door slightly open?? This looks just like my Mom’s old recipe that I’ve been looking for!!

    • evabakes
      Author
      December 4, 2022 / 8:34 am

      I turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake on there for 2-3 hours. Hope that helps!

  8. Tony
    December 29, 2022 / 12:31 pm

    This is the Kraft Italian cheesecake recipe

  9. May 16, 2023 / 7:05 pm

    The sour cream is not listed under the ingredients. How much?

    • evabakes
      Author
      May 18, 2023 / 3:06 pm

      Hi Betsy – it should be the first ingredient in the recipe. You’ll need 1 pint of sour cream.

  10. Sally
    November 13, 2023 / 10:32 am

    3 stars
    I used the 9 inch springform pan, since the recipe said you could. It spilled over the top of the pan during baking and made a huge mess of my oven. Why did it offer two pan sizes?? Honestly, I haven’t even tried it yet because it’s still baking, but now I’m concerned that the center will not be done. For such an expensive ingredient dessert, please be accurate on pan size.
    So, as a warning to others, do NOT use a 9 inch pan.

    • Lisa Taliento
      November 19, 2023 / 1:03 am

      Wow for this being a free recipe maybe try being a little bit nicer to the person who posted this recipe,Everyone wrote great things except for you who came across very rude.
      Try it first before coming across rude,my kitchen and oven gets messy when I cook but I’m not going to blame it on the person who gave me a recipe for free.
      Happy Thanksgiving!

  11. December 23, 2023 / 2:48 pm

    5 stars
    This is the best cheesecake on the planet, I make a graham cracker crust Xtra thick for mine, and halfed strawberries and lemon juice sugar topping OMG

    • evabakes
      Author
      December 24, 2023 / 9:04 am

      I’m so happy you loved the cheesecake, Michael. My sister in law will be thrilled to hear this!

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