Cakes, Pies and Cupcakes/ Desserts

Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe – Lightened!

Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe - Lightened!! By

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Ricotta Cheesecake Lightened is amazingly smooth and delicious tasting. It is made mostly with ricotta cheese, cream cheese, and some light cream. With a lovely undertone of lemon flavor and a silky creamy texture, makes this the best tasting cheesecake ever! Similar to a New York cheesecake; only it’s incredibly lighter in texture, with half the calories and half the fat.



I decided to take our family’s ricotta cheesecake recipe, which has been in our family for over 40 years and experiment with it to recreate it, resulting in a lighter version.

Italian ricotta cheesecake is commonly heavy in weight, loaded with ricotta cheese, eggs, fruit and sometimes with wheat grains.  It is usually served on Easter Sunday, known as the Easter cake, along with chocolates, pastries and Italian cookies.



With 3 attempts, and 3 flops,  I finally achieved the smooth and creamy texture I was looking for in a cheesecake; and most importantly, I cut the calories and the fat than most cheesecakes out there.




Ingredients Needed for Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe Lightened:

For this ricotta cheesecake recipe lightened, you will need:

For the CRUST:

  • 1 + 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

  • 3 Tbsp. sugar, divided

  • 4 Tbsp. butter- melted

  • cooking spray

For the Filling:

  • 3 eggs

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose unbleached flour

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • zest of one large lemon (about 3 Tbsp.)

  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)

  • 8 or 11.5 -ounce container of (whipped) cream cheese

  • 2 cups whole milk Ricotta Cheese

  • 2 cups Half-and-Half cream

  • powdered sugar, to garnish



I used whole milk ricotta cheese (Polly-O or Sargento) along with Philadelphia whipped cream cheese and some half-and-half.  I believe these ingredients were the key to making this cheesecake very light and airy.


Interestingly, we noticed that “whipped” cream cheese actually contains less calories and less fat than the usual block of cream cheese.  Who knew!  Needless to say, a container of whipped cream cheese is very light in texture, so that makes sense.



This cheesecake recipe is an easy one to follow.  You can make this cheesecake up to 2 days ahead, and the longer you refrigerate, the better it gets.

Just before you serve this ricotta cheesecake, I recommend dusting with some powdered sugar on top and some fresh berries on the side.

This Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe Lightened turned out fantastic!  Anyone who adores cheesecakes will fall in love with this recipe!

But don’t take our word for it, you’ll have to try it yourself!!





Italian Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe Lightened! by

For more delicious cheesecake recipes, you might also enjoy: 

Panna Cotta Cheesecake with Blueberry Sauce

Eggnog Cheesecake with Candied Pecans

Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake


Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe - Lightened!
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 7 to 9
Ricotta cheesecake is a smooth and creamy cheesecake that is made mostly with ricotta cheese, cream cheese, and some light cream. And, with a hint of lemon in it, it is considered to be light as a feather with every bite. It reminds us of a New York cheesecake; only its incredibly lighter in texture, with half the calories and half the fat.
Ingredients for the Crust:
  • 1 + ¼ cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar, divided
  • 4 Tbsp. butter- melted
  • cooking spray
Ingredients for Filling:
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Zest of one large lemon (about 3 Tbsp.)
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice ( about ½ lemon)
  • 8 or 11.5 ounce whipped cream cheese
  • 2 cups whole milk Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 cups Half-and-Half
  • powdered sugar to garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using a 10 inch spring form cake pan, lightly spray the sides with cooking spray.
  3. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 3 tablespoons of sugar and graham cracker crumbs. Press firmly on the bottom of the pan. Bake in a preheated oven for 5 minutes. Remove. Set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat eggs with an electric hand mixer on high speed.
  5. Beat until smooth. Then add in ½ cup sugar, along with the flour and vanilla extract. Beat until the cream appears light pale yellow in color.
  6. Add whipped cream cheese, beat until smooth.
  7. On low speed, slowly beat in ricotta cheese, half and half, and lemon juice and zest.
  8. Beat until very creamy and well combined. Slowly pour cheese mixture into crust.
  9. Place the cheesecake pan on top of a baking sheet, and place on the center rack of oven.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
  11. Carefully remove from oven and place on counter or rack to cool for 1 hour. The cheesecake will appear high like a souffle, but will shrink down as it cools. Allow to cool for at least one hour. Then cover and refrigerate. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving, or overnight is best.
  12. Before you serve, run a knife around the edges of the pan, then open the clip. Serve with fresh berries on top, or on the side. Garnish with some powdered sugar on top.
  13. Serves 7 to 9
Options / Additions:
  1. Stir in ½ cup of finely chopped almonds into the batter before baking. This will give a grainy texture to the cheesecake, similar to the Italian ricotta cheesecake.
  2. Try orange zest and orange juice instead of the lemon.

Hello friends! Are you baking with us?  If you make this wonderful ricotta cheesecake recipe, let us know and leave a comment and a star rating below.  We’d love to hear from you!

Also, snap a photo and hashtag it on Instagram @2sistersrecipes, and on Pinterest if you like. We’d love to share your photos.  You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by!

Anna and Liz

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  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    April 10, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Oh my, pinning this one immediately 🙂

  • Reply
    April 9, 2014 at 11:27 am

    I adore ricotta cheesecake so much more than cheesecake cheesecake! It somehow feels so much lighter.

    • Reply
      April 9, 2014 at 2:05 pm

      I hear ya!! We do too! Thanks Joanne!

  • Reply
    Dan from Platter Talk
    April 9, 2014 at 2:26 am

    I can't imagine how this could look (or taste) any better! I sure wish I was your taste-tester! Nice job and great sounding/looking recipe!

    • Reply
      April 9, 2014 at 2:04 pm

      Thanks Dan, you would be at the top of my list!! Have a great day!

  • Reply
    Roz Corieri Paige
    April 8, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    This would be so perfect for spring, summer, EASTER too! I love ricotta cheesecakes . . . nothing quite like their dreamy, creamy lightness yet so flavorful! I wanted to look you up in Charleston over last weekend while I was there for a cooking class at the new Southern Season (see my blog post), but my 87 year old mother wasn't up to much more activity. NEXT TIME THOUGH!!!! Maybe we can hook up and attend a class there together?

    • Reply
      April 9, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      I only wished I knew you had signed up for that class, I could have joined you. Absolutely- next time for sure! Have a great week!

  • Reply
    Kitchen Belleicious
    April 8, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    it looks amazing girls! I love cheesecake and I love lemon. Never tried them both together although I know that seems strange. Just never have but now i want to

    • Reply
      April 9, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      Thanks Jessica. iIf you like both, then you'll love this recipe! Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Carol Szafalowicz
    April 8, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Wow…….that's all I can say. Just finished eating your recipe Spaghetti with Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce……
    seriously, the house smells like the best restaurant I've ever been to and it tastes amazing.
    I did add caper's after it was finished and it brought it up to the next level……….. Love your recipes.
    They all turn out so wonderfully. Thanks so much. Warmly, Carol from Chicago

    • Reply
      April 8, 2014 at 8:02 pm

      Thank you Carol ! It's always a pleasure to hear from you.
      The addition of the capers
      sounds amazing, great idea!!
      Thanks again for the lovely comment. Xxoo Anna and Liz

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    April 8, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    I have always wondered about ricotta cheesecakes – and with half the fat and calories – what's not to love! I think this is a must try in my book. Thanks ladies!

    • Reply
      April 8, 2014 at 8:05 pm

      Thanks Tricia, I made it again today for a dinner party we're having tomorrow night. Have a great day !! Xxoo

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