Please follow & like us :)

Italian Cheesecake with Ricotta and Mascarpone Cheese

Italian Cheesecake is truly a special dessert. It is surprisingly light and creamy with hints of citrus and almond. This really is the best Italian-style cheesecake recipe!

Italian Cheesecake with Ricotta and Mascarpone has risen to the top of our list of favorite cheesecake recipes, along with Nutella Swirl Cheesecake and Salted Carmel Cheesecake. It regularly graces our dessert table on special occasions. Orange zest, lemon zest and almond extract give this Italian cheesecake recipe a refreshing springtime vibe which make it perfect for Easter or Mother’s Day.

A slice of cheesecake topped with powdered sugar and berries on a white plate.

The mild flavor of the ricotta and mascarpone create a lighter texture than New York style cheesecake, so you can enjoy a bigger piece! I like to make it in a traditional graham cracker crust and top it with fresh berries for a truly elegant alternative to American cheesecake.

A photo of all of the ingedients needed to make a cheesecake made with ricotta cheese and labels on each ingredient.

What you need to make this ricotta cheesecake recipe and notes

  • Whole milk ricotta cheese that has been drained of as much liquid as possible. If you can get ricotta impastata, by all mean use it in this recipe. It is a drier, very low moisture ricotta which is really great for baking and desserts, but unfortunately, it is not usually available in our local grocery stores. I do not recommend using low-fat ricotta for this recipe. It has too much liquid and may not set properly. You can also use homemade ricotta cheese if you like to make your own.
  • Mascarpone Cheese is a soft smooth Italian cheese similar to cream cheese, but with a more delicate flavor.
  • Large eggs that have come to room temperature.
  • Lemon and Orange zest give the cheesecake a lovely citrus flavor without letting one overpower the other. You can also just use one of these fruit zests if you just want a lemon or orange flavored cake.
  • Corn Starch is optional but I find that it helps the cheesecake set, especially if my ricotta is on the moist side.
  • Almond and Vanilla extract. Again you don’t have to use both but I think that they balance each other beautifully so that neither one is too strong.
  • Graham crackers that have been been crushed to a fine crumb. I like to put them through the food processor so the crumb is an even consistency.

Step by step instructions for making this classic Italian cheesecake

  1. Prepare the crust: Stir the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a mixing bowl until the mixture resembles wet sand. Pour it into a springform pan and press it evenly along the bottom and sides of the pan.
  2. Make the batter: In a large bowl, beat the ricotta and mascarpone with an electric mixer, until smooth. Add the sugar, corn starch, orange zest, lemon zest, almond extract, and vanilla extract and mix until creamy. Then with the beater on a low setting, add the eggs one at a time, beating each one completely into the batter and scrape down the sides between addition. Transfer the batter to the graham cracker crust
  3. Bake the cake: Prepare a hot water bath, by covering the outside of the baking pan with large sheets of aluminum foil and setting the pan in the center of a large roasting pan or cake pan. Carefully pour enough hot water in the roasting pan to come half way up the sides of the springform pan. Place it on the lower rack of a pre-heated 325F oven and bake for 90-100 minutes. The cake is done if center jiggles a little when the pan is tapped lightly. The cake should not slosh around.
  4. Cool the cheesecake completely: When the cake is done, turn off the oven and leave the cake in the oven with the door closed for 1 hour. Then remove the cake from the oven and place it on a wire rack and allow it to come to room temperature before covering it and placing it in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.
A cheesecake covered in powdered sugar with a pile of fresh berries in the center on a white background.

Baking tips

After having made this several times I have developed a recipe that produces a beautiful and delicious dessert. This really is an easy recipe. But one thing that is a must for the absolute best results when making this Italian-style cheesecake, is to be patient! Here are a few tips to help you make the best cheesecake.

  1. If you can’t find ricotta impastata (which is very low moisture ricotta cheese) then you will need to remove as much liquid as possible from the ricotta. You can do this by placing the ricotta in a fine mesh sieve that has been lined with a tea towel. Set the sieve over a bowl and refrigerate it over night. The next day press the ricotta in the tea towel to get any additional liquid out of it. Now the ricotta is ready for your dessert. Do not skip this step.
  2. Ricotta cheesecake batter is looser then a traditional cheesecake with a cream cheese base, so it requires an extra long baking time. If the top of your cheesecake is getting too brown, cover it loosely with a piece of aluminum foil.
  3. A hot water bath maintains a low baking temperature and moist environment so that the top of the cake does not crack and the cake bakes evenly. Although a hot water bath feels like a pain, it really does work, so I highly recommend doing it if you want to avoid cracks on the top of your cheesecake.
  4. Cooling it slowly further ensures that your cheesecake is crack free and that the center does not sink. A sudden drop in temperature can cause both. With all of the effort you have put into making this cake, I would make sure to follow the directions above to cool your baked cheesecake properly.
  5. When you remove the cake from the oven, run a butter knife along the edge of the cake to loosen it from the sides and then release the rim of the springform pan.
  6. Allowing it to set completely in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours will make sure you have a perfectly set cheesecake.

How do you serve Italian Cheesecake?

This cake is quite tasty all on it’s own and it really does not need any toppings or accompaniments but here are a few ways that I have served this dessert in the past:

  • Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top of the cake for a pretty effect. This is a great remedy if your cheesecake is a little darker then you would like.
  • Top the cake with fresh fruit for a simple but beautiful presentation.
  • Add a dollop of whipped cream or mascarpone cream
a cheesecake with a slice cut out topped with powdered sugar and berries on a white plate..

FAQ’s

How do you store cheesecake?

When you are cooling the cheesecake, tighten the ring around the cake and cover it with cling wrap or foil. Leaving it in the baking pan will help protect the cake while it sets up. Any leftover cheesecake can be covered loosely with plastic cling wrap and refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Do you need to grease the springform pan when baking cheesecake?

I usually don’t recommend greasing the sides of the springform pan when making a cheesecake. This cheesecake will rise higher if it has something to cling to. Other recipes may direct you to grease the pan and if that is the case then I would follow those directions.

More beautiful and delicious cakes you will love

The Best Orange Cake

Moist Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

The Best Almond Cake Recipe

Chocolate Mocha Cake with Mascarpone Cream

I love to get your feedback so if you tried this Italian Cheesecake or any other recipes on this website, please leave me a comment below.  I hope you enjoy our recipes and look forward to hearing from you!

You can also follow me on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest for more recipes your family will love!

A slice of cheesecake topped with powdered sugar and berries on a white plate.

Italian Cheesecake

An elegant Italian version of cheesecake made with ricotta and mascarpone cheese and delicately flavored with hints of lemons, oranges and almonds. This cheesecake will be the show stopper and your next gathering!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cooling and refrigeration 9 hrs
Total Time 10 hrs 50 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 10 servings
Calories 592 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Springform pan 9" or 10"
  • 1 Large roasting pan

Ingredients
  

Crust

  • 2 cups Graham cracker crumbs about 15 whole crackers
  • 4 tbsp Sugar
  • 7 tbsp Butter melted

Filling

  • 4 cups Ricotta cheese Whole milk or Impastata
  • 1 cup Mascarpone cheese
  • cups Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Corn starch
  • 1 tbsp Orange zest
  • 1 tbsp Lemon zest
  • 1 tsp Almond extract
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 6 Eggs large

Instructions
 

Crust

  • Boil hot water. Pre-heat the oven to 325°F. Wrap the spring form pan in two large sheets of aluminum foil so that water cannot seep into the pan.
  • Mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter in a bowl until it looks like wet sand. Pour the mixture into the prepared springform pan. Use a flat bottomed glass or measuring cup to press the mixture evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan.

Filling

  • Using an electric mixer or an stand mixer, beat the ricotta and mascarpone cheese until it is creamy. Add the sugar, corn starch, orange zest, lemon zest, almond and vanilla extract to the cheese mixture and beat on medium speed for a minute or two.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating on low speed until each egg is completely blended into the batter. Scrape down the sides between additions.
  • Pour the batter into prepared crust and place the springform pan in the center of the roasting pan. Carefully pour the hot water into the roasting pan until it comes half way up the side of the springform pan.
  • Bake for 90-100 minutes or until only the center of the cheesecake jiggles when the pan is tapped lightly. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door closed for one hour. Take the cheesecake out of the oven and place it on wire rack. Run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake to loosen it from the pan and release the rim of the pan. Allow it cool to room temperature. Tighten the rim of the pan, cover it with foil and place it in the refrigerator for 8 hours.

Notes

  • If you can’t find ricotta impastata (which is very low moisture ricotta cheese) then you will need to remove as much liquid as possible from the whole milk ricotta. You can do this by placing the ricotta in a fine mesh sieve that has been lined with a tea towel. Set the sieve over a bowl and refrigerate it over night. The next day press the ricotta in the tea towel to get any additional liquid out of it. Now the ricotta is ready for your dessert. Do not skip this step and do not use part skim or low fat ricotta.
  • Ricotta cheesecake batter is looser then a traditional cheesecake with a cream cheese base, so it requires an extra long baking time. If the top of your cheesecake is getting too brown, cover it loosely with a piece of aluminum foil.
  • A hot water bath maintains a low baking temperature and moist environment so that the top of the cake does not crack and the cake bakes evenly. Although a hot water bath feels like a pain, it really does work, so I highly recommend doing it if you want to avoid cracks on the top of your cheesecake.
  • Cooling it slowly further ensures that your cheesecake is crack free and that the center does not sink. A sudden drop in temperature can cause both. With all of the effort you have put into making this cake, I would make sure to follow the directions above to cool your baked cheesecake properly.
  • When you remove the cake from the oven, run a butter knife along the edge of the cake to loosen it from the sides and then release the rim of the springform pan.
  • Allowing it to set completely in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours will make sure you have a perfectly set cheesecake.

Nutrition

Serving: 10servingsCalories: 592kcalCarbohydrates: 52gProtein: 17gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 21gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 192mgSodium: 307mgPotassium: 176mgFiber: 1gSugar: 39gVitamin A: 1143IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 268mgIron: 2mg
Keyword ricotta, mascarpone, citrus, almond, graham cracker crust, Easter, Mother’s Day
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


error

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)