A new spin on a classic dessert, our Creamy Italian Cheesecake is made with a combination of cream cheese and ricotta cheese and it is divine! It has a silky-smooth and fluffy texture with a delicious citrus flavor, making this a delightful dessert to serve all year long. Simple, easy, and amazingly delicious. This creamy Italian cheesecake will surprise everyone who tastes it.
Holidays and special occasions always call for a luscious creamy cheesecake and this recipe is a keeper!
But our Italian cheesecake is different from what you would find in Italy.
This recipe for creamy Italian cheesecake has a lovely light and fluffy texture. The ricotta cheese makes this cheesecake lighter in texture, offering a combination of sweet and zesty flavors.
Simple Ingredients for our Creamy Italian Cheesecake…
1. For the CRUST: A simple crust is made with 3 ingredients: graham cracker crumbs, some brown sugar, and melted butter. No need to bake the crust ahead, we freeze the crust while we prepare the filling.
2. For the CHEESECAKE Filling: Cream cheese, ricotta cheese, along with half and half cream, a few eggs, sugar, orange zest, and lemon juice. Best of all, the filling is beaten in ONE bowl, making clean-up easy.
3. For the TOP: Italians love citrus fruits with their desserts, so we added some thinly sliced oranges on top as a garnish.
What makes Italian cheesecake different from American cheesecake?
- The Italian Cheesecake: in Italy, an Italian cheesecake is loaded with ricotta cheese, which offers a different texture and different flavors. Plus, some Italian cheesecakes do not bake with a crust.
- The American Cheesecake: is baked on a graham cracker crust and it is loaded with cream cheese, eggs, and a few more ingredients, making it very thick, and heavier in texture.
Can we make it more Italian?
You can add additional ingredients to make the cheesecake more Italian and to suit your taste.
- Add in more ricotta cheese if you prefer, and reduce the cream cheese to even it out.
- Add in some Italian liqueur, like Amaretto, or Limoncello instead of the lemon or orange juice. About 1 tablespoon of Italian liqueur would be enough, you don’t want to overpower the flavor.
- You can toss in 2 tablespoons of diced candied citron, for baking.
How to cover the cracks on top of the cheesecake?
Sometimes but not always, a baked cheesecake will form a crack on top after it cools down. You can easily cover the crack with some of these ideas:
- top with some fresh mixed berries.
- cherry pie filling and topping.
- powdered sugar
- with a layer of strawberry jam or lemon curd on top.
- thinly sliced lemons or sliced oranges, as we did with ours.
How to store and freeze Italian cheesecake?
- To Store: It is best to chill the cheesecake, uncovered if it is still warm. This will avoid any condensation to occur on top of the cake. Then cover your cheesecake with clear wrap, and then with a sheet of aluminum foil to double seal it. Keep it chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days, until you are ready to serve.
- Leftovers: Cover with clear wrap and keep it chilled in the refrigerator. Or freeze any leftovers if you prefer.
- To Freeze: Like most restaurants, they keep their desserts frozen in the freezer and thaw them in the morning before they open their doors for the dinner crowd. Best to wait until your cheesecake is completely cooled, not warm before you seal and double wrap it. Then freeze it for up to one month.
Notes and Tips!
- I prefer to use organic lemon and oranges in my recipes.
- I also give them a rinse with a fruit and vegetable wash before zesting.
- For this recipe, a 7-inch or 8-inch springform cheesecake pan will work perfectly. If you use a larger size, the cheesecake will appear lower in height.
- I also used a citrus zester to zest my lemons and oranges, it works like a charm.
- As always, you can adapt and use gluten-free crumbs for the crust.
Additional Cheesecake Recipes…
- Pear Maple-Pecan Cheesecake
- Lemon Raspberry Panna Cotta Cheesecake
- Holiday Cranberry Cheesecake (No Bake!)
- Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe- Lightened!
Additional Easy Recipes…
For the CRUST:
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 3 Tbsp. butter - melted
- 3 Tbsp. (packed) light brown sugar
- cooking spray
For the CHEESECAKE Filling:
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 Tbsp. orange zest ( zest of 1 large orange)
- 5 Tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1/3 cup)
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 packages of Philadelphia cream cheese (1 pound)
- 1 cup of half & half
- 1.5 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- thin slices of an orange, to garnish
- powdered sugar, to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180C). Lightly spray with cooking spray the sides and bottom of an 8-inch springform cheesecake pan. Set it aside.
- For The CRUST: In a small mixing bowl, stir together crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter. Transfer the crumbs to the prepared pan and press down on the bottom of the pan, using the bottom, of a small glass or a measuring cup. Transfer the pan to your refrigerator, or freezer to chill, and while you prepare the filling.
- For The CHEESECAKE FILLING: In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs with sugar, on high speed for about 2 minutes.
- Beat in the flour, and vanilla extract until the cream appears light pale yellow.
- Add in the cream cheese and beat until smooth and no lumps, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Beat on medium speed, and add in the half and half cream, ricotta cheese, orange juice, lemon juice, and zest. Beat until mixture is very creamy.
- Remove the crust in the cheesecake pan from the refrigerator. Slowly pour in the creamy cheese mixture over the crust.
- Place the cheesecake onto a baking sheet and place it onto the center rack in the oven.
- BAKE: at 350 degrees F (180C) for 1 hour.
- Remove from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack to cool for 1 hour. The cheesecake will appear high like a souffle but it will shrink as it cools.
- Then place the cheesecake pan into the refrigerator, uncovered, and chill for a few hours before removing the rim and serving. Chill overnight is best.
- Before you serve, run a clean knife around the rim of the pan, then open the clip and transfer the cheesecake onto a serving plate. Garnish with thin slices of orange and maybe a sprinkle of powdered sugar on top, and serve.
- Serves 10 to 12
Yield:10 to 12 servings
Serving Size:1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 337Total Fat: 22.7gCarbohydrates: 25.5gFiber: .6gSugar: 16.6gProtein: 9.1g
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Happy Baking! 🙂
thanks for stopping by!
xo anna and liz
Nutrition Facts: Serving size: 1 servingServings: 12, Calories: 337, Total Fat 22.7g, Saturated Fat: 13.5g, Cholesterol: 107mg, Sodium: 259mg, Total Carbohydrate: 25.5g, Dietary Fiber: 0.6g, Total Sugars: 16.6g Protein: 9.1g Vitamin D 6mcg, Calcium 146mg, Iron 1mg, Potassium 143mg.