This Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe is lightened with a few swaps of ingredients. It is amazingly smooth and delicious tasting 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, fluffy version.
Classic Italian ricotta cheesecake is commonly heavy and dense in weight. It is loaded with ricotta cheese, eggs, fruit, and wheat grains. And 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.
Most importantly, I cut the calories and the fat than most cheesecakes out there. 🙂
Our Ricotta Cheesecake is made mostly with ricotta cheese, whipped cream cheese, and some light cream, resulting in a light and fluffy texture. Then it’s flavored with real lemon juice and zest. YUM!
Ingredients Needed for this Ricotta Cheesecake:
For this ricotta cheesecake recipe lightened, you will need:
For the CRUST:
1 + 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 Tbsp. sugar – divided
4 Tbsp. butter- melted
For the Filling:
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-ounces (or 11.5 oz.) container of “whipped” cream cheese
2 cups whole milk Ricotta Cheese
2 cups Half-and-Half cream
powdered sugar, to garnish
COOK’S Notes and Tips…
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.
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.
Interestingly, we noticed that “whipped” cream cheese actually contains fewer 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 Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe – Lightened turned out to be 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!!
For more delicious cheesecake recipes, you might also enjoy:
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Ingredients for the Crust:
- 1 + 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 3 Tbsp. sugar - divided
- 4 Tbsp. butter- melted
- cooking spray
Ingredients for 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-ounces (or 11.5 ounces) container of "whipped" cream cheese
- 2 cups whole milk Ricotta Cheese
- 2 cups Half-and-Half
- powdered sugar to garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176.7 C).
- Using a 10-inch springform cake pan, lightly spray the sides with cooking spray.
- 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.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat eggs with an electric hand mixer at high speed.
- Beat until smooth. Then add in 1/2 cup sugar, along with the flour and vanilla extract. Beat until the cream appears light pale yellow in color.
- Add whipped cream cheese, beat until smooth.
- On low speed, slowly beat in ricotta cheese, half and half, and lemon juice and zest.
- Beat until very creamy and well combined. Slowly pour the cheese mixture into the crust.
- Place the cheesecake pan on top of a baking sheet, and place it on the center rack of the oven.
- Bake at 350 degrees F (176.7 C) for 1 hour.
- 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 cooling for at least one hour. Then cover and refrigerate. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving, or overnight is best.
- Before you serve, run a knife around the edges of the pan, then open the clip. Serve with fresh berries on top or the side. Garnish with some powdered sugar on top.
- Serves 7 to 9
Options / Additions:
- Stir in 1/2 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.
- Try orange zest and orange juice instead of the lemon.
Yield:10 to 12 servings
Serving Size:1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 372Total Fat: 16.7gSaturated Fat: 9.5gCarbohydrates: 41.9gFiber: 1.2gSugar: 15.9gProtein: 14.6g