Creamy Italian Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe

One of my favorite Easter traditions is baking a creamy ricotta cheesecake for my family! It’s the perfect recipe to share with a crowd, and it’s make-ahead friendly, meaning you can bake it well in advance and just pull it out of the freezer the night before you plan on serving it! Delicious on it’s own, but outrageously good with a fresh berry sauce on top!

Ricotta Cheesecake

Easter is less than a week away! Do you have your menu set?

I’m hoping you still have a little wiggle room because this creamy ricotta cheesecake definitely deserves a spot on your holiday table! Made with ricotta cheese AND cream cheese it’s the perfect combination of creamy yet dense. And they flavor? Out-of-this-world delicious!

One of my favorite Easter traditions is baking a creamy ricotta cheesecake for my family! It's the perfect recipe to share with a crowd, and it's make-ahead friendly, meaning you can bake it well in advance and just pull it out of the freezer the night before you plan on serving it! Delicious on it's own, but outrageously good with a fresh berry sauce on top!This is definitely a great gateway cheesecake for folks who prefer a classic new-yolk style cheesecake or extra rich and creamy cheesecake, but want to shake things up a little! The taste and texture are pure and classic, and I’m certain one bite will make you a believer in this recipe!

One of my favorite Easter traditions is baking a creamy ricotta cheesecake for my family! It's the perfect recipe to share with a crowd, and it's make-ahead friendly, meaning you can bake it well in advance and just pull it out of the freezer the night before you plan on serving it! Delicious on it's own, but outrageously good with a fresh berry sauce on top!

Make the Graham Cracker Crust

This part is so easy! Especially if you use the pre-crushed graham cracker crumbs! But fret not if you can’t find them, because you can always buy sheets of graham crackers and pulse them in the bowl of a food processor until they’re fine crumbs.

After that, it’s as easy as combining the crumbs with melted butter and sugar! And then pouring the mixture into an aluminum foil wrapped (more on that below) 9-inch springform pan that’s been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. You’ll want to press the crumbs in the middles and slightly up the sides of the springform pan. Then pre-bake for 10 minutes. This helps ensure you won’t have a soggy crust!

One of my favorite Easter traditions is baking a creamy ricotta cheesecake for my family! It's the perfect recipe to share with a crowd, and it's make-ahead friendly, meaning you can bake it well in advance and just pull it out of the freezer the night before you plan on serving it! Delicious on it's own, but outrageously good with a fresh berry sauce on top!

Make the Cheesecake Batter

The most important rule for making cheesecake batter? Room temperature ingredients!!! In fact, this is one of the few times I like my ingredients a little warmer than room temperature. Especially the cream cheese, because cold cream cheese is a nightmare to try and evenly blend!

But once your ingredients are at the right temperature, assembly is a breeze! Simply blend your ricotta cheese and cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth, then toss in the sugar, then the eggs one at a time, and egg yolks, and finally, toss in the flour.

Make the Water Bath I promise, it's not as scary as it sounds! To make a water bath, you'll need heavy duty aluminum foil, a large roasting pan, hot water, and a little patience! The first step is wrapping the spring form pan with the foil. I recommend doing this before you make your crust so it's ready to go. The great thing about using the heavy duty foil I recommend above is that the sheets are so large they completely cover the entire pan! No holes or gaps = no water spilling in. But just to be safe, I always do 2 to 3 layers of foil. Make sure you wrap it all the way up the sides of the pan! When you're ready to bake, you're going to place this pan into a large roasting pan, pour freshly boiled water halfway up the side of the pan (into the roasting pan/outside of the cheesecake pan) and carefully slide into the oven.

Make the Water Bath

I promise, it’s not as scary as it sounds! To make a water bath, you’ll need heavy duty aluminum foil, a large roasting pan, hot water, and a little patience!

The first step is wrapping the spring form pan with the foil. I recommend doing this before you make your crust so it’s ready to go. The great thing about using the heavy duty foil I recommend above is that the sheets are so large they completely cover the entire pan! No holes or gaps = no water spilling in. But just to be safe, I always do 2 to 3 layers of foil. Make sure you wrap it all the way up the sides of the pan!

When you’re ready to bake, you’re going to place this pan into a large roasting pan, pour freshly boiled water halfway up the side of the pan (into the roasting pan/outside of the cheesecake pan) and carefully slide into the oven.

How to make a water bath

Don’t Over bake!

This cheesecake needs 1 hour and 15 minutes to bake! It will still look quite wobbly in the center, but that’s ok! Because it’s going to sit in the oven, with the door shut, for 30 minutes. And then chill completely! If you decide to disregard my baking advice and bake until the cheesecake looks firm and completely set, it will be dry and not creamy.

Cheesecake MUST cool overnight

The hardest part of this entire recipe? Waiting for the cheesecake to cool completely and chill overnight! I really do recommend 8 hours of chill time, but you must wait at least 6 before slicing. Otherwise you will have a cheesecake lava cake, instead of a firm but creamy cheesecake.

Make the Water Bath I promise, it's not as scary as it sounds! To make a water bath, you'll need heavy duty aluminum foil, a large roasting pan, hot water, and a little patience! The first step is wrapping the spring form pan with the foil. I recommend doing this before you make your crust so it's ready to go. The great thing about using the heavy duty foil I recommend above is that the sheets are so large they completely cover the entire pan! No holes or gaps = no water spilling in. But just to be safe, I always do 2 to 3 layers of foil. Make sure you wrap it all the way up the sides of the pan! When you're ready to bake, you're going to place this pan into a large roasting pan, pour freshly boiled water halfway up the side of the pan (into the roasting pan/outside of the cheesecake pan) and carefully slide into the oven.

How to Make ahead of time:

The good news? You can totally make this cheesecake in advance! It will keep, covered with plastic wrap and stored in the fridge, for up to 5 days! Or cool completely, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then foil, and pop in the freezer for up to 2 months!

I suggest allowing the cheesecake to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before slicing, when serving from the fridge. And you’ll need to bring your cheesecake out of the freezer the night before you plan on serving it, and let it thaw in the refrigerator.

One of my favorite Easter traditions is baking a creamy ricotta cheesecake for my family! It's the perfect recipe to share with a crowd, and it's make-ahead friendly, meaning you can bake it well in advance and just pull it out of the freezer the night before you plan on serving it! Delicious on it's own, but outrageously good with a fresh berry sauce on top!

Fresh Berry Sauce

This part is optional, but oh-so-delicious! You can use any berries you’d like, or use a combination like I did! You’ll simply cook them down with a little sugar and lemon juice, strain, cool, then spread on top of the cheesecake. And of course, you can top that with more fresh berries for a showstopper dessert!

One of my favorite Easter traditions is baking a creamy ricotta cheesecake for my family! It's the perfect recipe to share with a crowd, and it's make-ahead friendly, meaning you can bake it well in advance and just pull it out of the freezer the night before you plan on serving it! Delicious on it's own, but outrageously good with a fresh berry sauce on top!

More Ricotta Cheesecake Recipes:

One of my favorite Easter traditions is baking a creamy ricotta cheesecake for my family! It's the perfect recipe to share with a crowd, and it's make-ahead friendly, meaning you can bake it well in advance and just pull it out of the freezer the night before you plan on serving it! Delicious on it's own, but outrageously good with a fresh berry sauce on top!

Creamy Italian Ricotta Cheesecake

Prep

Cook

Inactive

Total

Yield 9″ Cheesecake

One of my favorite Easter traditions is baking a creamy ricotta cheesecake for my family! It’s the perfect recipe to share with a crowd, and it’s make-ahead friendly, meaning you can bake it well in advance and just pull it out of the freezer the night before you plan on serving it! Delicious on it’s own, but outrageously good with a fresh berry sauce on top!

Ingredients

For the Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 2 cups (225 grams) graham cracker crumbs 
  • 1/3 cup (67 grams) sugar 
  • 8 tablespoons (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted

For the Creamy Italian Ricotta Cheesecake:

  • 4 blocks (920 grams) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature 
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (341 grams) whole milk ricotta cheese, at room temperature 
  • 1 and 1/3 cups (266 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs plus 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) heavy cream 
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour 

For the Fresh Berry Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup (57 grams) fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated 
  • 12 ounces (340 grams) mixed berries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 1 Tablespoon Grand Marnier (optional) 

Instructions

For the Graham Cracker Crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Lightly spray a 9″ springform pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Wrap the bottom and sides of the pan with heavy duty tinfoil. I recommend doing several diligent layers here to ensure no water creeps through when you place the pan in the water bath. Set pan aside. 
  3. In a large bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter; stir well to combine.
  4. Firmly pat the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Place partially baked crust on a cooling rack and set aside while you prepare the filling. 
  5. Reduce oven to 325 degrees (F).

For the Creamy Italian Ricotta Cheesecake:

  1. In the body of a high power blender, food processor, stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a very large bowl using a hand held mixer, beat the softened cream cheese and ricotta cheese until completely smooth, scraping the bowl as needed. 
  2. Add sugar and vanilla and beat smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom of bowl as needed. Add in the eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  3. Add in the heavy cream and gently stir until it’s evenly combined. Finally, fold in the flour. 
  4. Pour filling into prepared crust and, using a silicone spatula, smooth the top. 
  5. Place the cheesecake pan into a large, deep pan. Fill the pan with 2 inches of hot water. This is your water bath and will help ensure your cheesecake comes out crack free.
  6. Carefully place the pan in the oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  7. Turn oven off and let the cheesecake sit, undisturbed, for 30 minutes, inside the oven with the door shut. The cheesecake should be still slightly wiggly.
  8. Remove cake from oven and gently run a knife very around the edge of the cake. Place the cheesecake on a cooling rack and cool completely, then loosely cover the pan with saran wrap and chill for at least 6 (preferably 8) hours.
  9. Cheesecake will keep, covered in the fridge, for 5 days. Cheesecake may be frozen for 2 months. Thaw overnight before slicing.

For the Fresh Berry Sauce:

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring lemon juice and sugar to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar has completely disintegrated into the mixture. 
  2. Add lemon zest and berries and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking, stirring occasionally and slightly mashing down the berries, for 10 minutes. 
  3. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract and Grand Marnier. 
  4. Pour sauce into a bowl and cool to room temperature. 
  5. Spoon over cheesecake right before serving. 

Courses Dessert

Cuisine Italian

The post Creamy Italian Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe appeared first on Baker by Nature.