Italian Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe


italian cheesecake

Italian Ricotta Cheesecake

By: Gigi Howe

I never met a cheesecake that I didn’t like.  Not sure if that’s a good thing, or a bad.  😉

My grandmother used to make an traditional Italian cheesecake with ricotta.  My mother made this recipe that I am sharing today.  I actually prefer this one to the one my grandmother made.  It is easy to make and tastes great, a good combo!  This cheesecake has ricotta, cream cheese and sour cream, there is no crust.  Its not as heavy as a cheesecake made with cream cheese.  This recipe has become an Easter tradition for my family.

I serve it with a bowl of fresh sliced strawberries so everyone can add their own if they like.  Everybody loves this cake.  I hope you do to!

Italian Ricotta Cheesecake


–  1 lb ricotta
– 1 lb cream cheese
– 4 eggs, slightly beaten
– 1 tablespoon lemon juice
– 4 tablespoons flour
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– 4 tablespoons cornstarch
– 1 stick butter, melted
–  1 1/2 cups sugar
– 16 ounces sour cream


1. Preheat oven to 325.
2. Cream ricotta and cream cheese until smooth.  Slowly add beaten eggs.  Then add lemon juice, vanilla, cornstarch and flour, beat until smooth.
3. Add melted butter, sugar and sour cream beat until completely combined.
4. Pour batter into a 9-inch round springform pan and bake for 1 hour.  You may need to bake it longer depending upon your oven.  I usually have to bake it for 1 1/2 hours.
5. Turn off oven and leave the cake in the oven with door closed for 2 more hours.  Chill before removing from pan.  Garnish with fresh fruit.


Printable Recipe:

Italian Ricotti Cheesecake

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Gigi Howe

Italian Ricotta Cheesecake

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  • Ludo

    the recipe looks delicious and just like the cheesecake I was looking for. I was wondering how do you know when the cake is done cooking. Do you open the oven and stick something on it to see if it comes out clean as it is done many other times to check?
    Cant wait to try the recipe.
    Thank you!

    • Gigi

      Hi Ludo, the top of the cheesecake will brown slightly. You can stick a knife in the center and see if comes out dry. And as Rosemarie said, the cheesecake will be somewhat firm, not giggly.

  • Rosemarie Marzorati

    From what I learned, the cheesecake is done when is is brown and the center is firm not giggly. Check by gently pushing down in the center of the cheesecake. It should be firm to the touch.

  • carol garrison

    i have had this receipe for over 40 years, i got it in the newspaper “the boston globe” it is awesome and i make it many times a year

    • Pete

      I tried making it with a water bath and may have beat the batter too long… Baked it for an hour and a half and it rose well above the pan and sides fell off 🙁 when it cooled it sank back into pan but looked really bad, but tase was good… Any suggestions?

      • Gigi

        Hi Pete, I have never used a water bath when making a cheesecake. Don’t feel bad, I have made this recipe over the years and there are times when it comes up over the sides. The cheesecake doesn’t aways look pretty, but it always tastes good. Some years, I split the batter.. put a little in a smaller pan and bake both.

      • Charles H Rooney

        Hello Pete! I believe that you might have over beat your batter. If it is beaten too long the batter will have a lot of air bubbles. When it is baked the batter will rise quite a lot and as it cools it will fall and crack. As far as the water bath I also use a water bath out of habbit.

  • Yasemin Kirimca-Imirzalioglu

    I have been using a very similar recipe for at least 15 years. It is quite delicious. The difference in my recipe is I use 3 tablespoons flour, 3 tablespoons corn starch and I stopped using the butter and it is unnoticeable. I tend to use Neufchatel (cream cheese) and low fat sour cream. I once substituted Greek yogurt for the sour cream and it turned out wonderful.

    • Gigi

      Hi Yasemin, I’ve used neufchatel in the past too. I’m not sure about skipping the butter but that sounds interesting.

    • Charles H Rooney

      Hello Yasemin! The cheese that you have used is good but it is a lower fat content. Still it is going to taste good. I also have used Greek Yogurt on occasions and the results was still pretty good. I also do not use any butter in my batter when I am making a cheesecake. The only time I use the butter is if I am making a “cookie crust”. Then I just crumble a bunch of cookies and add butter to it and place it at the bottom of my Spring-Form Pan and then cover with my batter. I have used Oreo’s, graham crackers, Marie crackers.

  • Donna

    Are the measurements right for the cornstarch and flour? I just made this cheesecake it is in the oven cooling down. Just hoping it is going to firm up. Followed your recipe. Usually make NY Philadelphia Cheesecake which is great but wanted to try the Italian Ricotta cheesecake., and always use a waterbath for my cheesecake which makes it very creamy! Just wanted to make sure recipe was printed right. Thanks Donna

    • Gigi

      Hi Donna, it should have firmed up and I hope it did! I made this recipe yesterday and it did take a long time to bake before it was ready. I am going to do some recipe comparisons because I do wonder why it takes so long to bake; maybe if the flour or cornstarch is increase it may not have to take as long. I hope you enjoyed your cheesecake. I’m going to have to give the waterbath a try one of these days. 🙂

  • Ashley Robinson

    Can you use a sugar substitute? My brother has diebetes.

    • Gigi

      Hi Ashely, I am not familiar with cooking with sugar substitutes. I would think it would work but I can’t say for sure. If you try it, let me know.

  • Karen

    making this cheesecake tomorrow for guests on Saturday I am using a water bath as I usually do for all my cheesecakes keeps the cake from cracking I am hoping for a good cake I am also using a vanilla wafer crust

  • Natalie Bella Dionisio

    Would it bake ok with a graham cracker crust?

    • Gigi

      Hi Natalie, I honestly do not know. Sorry! If you try it that way, please let me know.

  • Boo

    Can you use any other pan if you don’t own a springform pan?

  • Deborah Tannenbaum

    i like a cakier cheese cake i found that
    going from 3tbs flour to 1/3rd cup helped create a better cake like texture. If I added half cup flour how
    would it affect the rest of the ingredients in terms of the chemistry ratios

  • Karen

    Once again the Holiday season is upon us, this cheesecake recipe is my favorite, I make it for my sisters Christmas eve celebration and for my Christmas day family. I was in Florida for Easter this past year took the recipe with me and made it for our friends there. Everyone loves it!