This magic Italian ricotta cheesecake is similar to the classic cheesecake, it's light and soft and calls for just 3 ingredients.
This crustless Italian ricotta cheesecake is halfway between the classic New York cheesecake and the popular Burnt Basque cheesecake.
The main difference is that this easy gluten-free cheesecake doesn't call for cream cheese.
But do not worry, ricotta cheese makes this cake super fluffy, creamy, and light! So, if you're looking for a healthier cheesecake, that's the one.
I made this recipe without a crust, but if you prefer some added crunch, I’ve left a few crust recipes suggestions below.
I love my cheesecake plain topped with fresh berries, but if you like, serve it with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, or strawberry compote.
This Italian ricotta cheesecake is proof that you don't need many ingredients to make a delicious dessert. In fact, you just need three!
- Fresh ricotta cheese
Ricotta, eggs and sugar. That’s it! I told you, it’s magic!
In case you haven't tried it yet, ricotta cheese is a popular creamy Italian fresh cheese.
Ricotta is so-called because, in Italian language, it literally means "re-cooked", and it's made with milk and whey.
It's light, spongy and fluffy and absolutely delicious.
You can easily find it in large grocery stores, and in Italian delis, where you can find good quality ricotta from the cheese counter.
You can even make homemade ricotta cheese at home!
In Sicily, we use ricotta for both savoury and sweet recipes. From stuffed pasta or vegetarian lasagna, to the famous cannoli and cassata.
I love swapping cream cheese with ricotta in lots of recipes, and one of the most delicious ways to make the most of it is definitely this Italian dessert.
It's very similar to the New York cheesecake but the ricotta adds such an amazing flavour, and a very unique and light texture.
This magic 3-ingredient gluten-free baked cheesecake recipe is truly one of the easiest!
- Simply mix all of the ingredients together in a large metal bowl - you can use a whisk or electric mixer. Make sure to mix until you reach a creamy batter, but don’t overmix it.
- Line a springform cake pan with parchment paper, pour in the batter, and bake for about 50 minutes.
- Let the cake cool completely, refrigerate for a few hours, decorate with powdered sugar and fresh berries if you like, and serve.
I love the simplicity of this baked ricotta cheesecake, but here are some suggestions to make it extra special:
- Lemon zest - instead of orange zest, you can use lemon zest or a mix of the two.
- Chocolate chips - You can add a handful of dark chocolate chips into the batter (freeze them for 30 minutes for best results).
- Vanilla - For extra flavour, add a scraped vanilla pod into the batter (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract).
- Berry sauce - Top the cake with homemade berry sauce for a delicious note.
If you want some extra crunchiness, add a base or crust to your ricotta cake.
Pasta frolla (sweet shortcrust pastry) or a classic cheesecake base made with crushed graham crackers or digestive biscuits are all great options.
- Pasta frolla - Roll it out with a rolling pin until it is about 3 millimeters thick, then place it over the base of the cake tin. Make it adhere perfectly to the edges and prick it with a fork. Pour the cake batter and bake following the directions.
- Graham Crackers - Follow this super easy 3-ingredient graham crackers crust recipe. Bake it for 10 minutes, leave it to cool, pour the cake batter and continue to bake following the directions.
- Digestive Biscuits - Mix 200 g finely crushed digestives with 100 g melted butter, spread the mixture over the base of the cake tin. Bake for 10 minutes, leave it to cool, pour the cake batter and continue to bake following the directions.
See my New York Cheesecake recipe instead if you're looking for a classic cheesecake.
You don't need any professional equipment to make this easy ricotta cake, here are the kitchen tools I use:
- 7-inch springform cake pan - a small cake pan makes a taller cheesecake, but you can also use a larger one, although it won't result in a tall cake. You may double up the ingredients in this case, and bake the cake for 15-20 minutes longer.
- Hand mixer - You can also use a stand mixer or a simple whisk. Just make sure to not overman the batter.
Let the cheesecake cool completely, then wrap it with cling film and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
You can safely freeze a baked cheesecake. Cut it into individual slices, place them on a tray and freeze for 30 minutes, then transfer them into individual ziplock bags.
You can safely store cheesecake slices in the freezer for up to 1 month.
The recipe is pretty straight-forward but these useful baking tips will ensure the best results:
- Drain the ricotta cheese over a fine-mesh sieve lined with a cheesecloth. Leave it to drain for a few hours before using it. This will result in a thick and creamy cheese texture. Watery ricotta will affect the cake texture.
- Not necessary, but if you want a lighter texture you can add the eggs in two steps. Add the yolks following the recipe, then whip the eggs whites until soft peaks form and fold them into the batter.
- Although not necessary, you can bake the cheesecake in a water bath (bain-maire).
- The cheesecake should be taken out of the oven when the edges are set but the center is still jiggly, the middle should wiggle like Jell-O.
- You can check whether the cheesecake is ready, with an instant-read thermometer. When the cheesecake inside reaches 65°C/150°F, it's ready.
- Let the cheesecake cool completely before removing the cake from the pan.
- Cover the cake and refrigerate for a few hours before serving. It tastes even better the next day!
HOW TO MAKE A WATER BATH FOR CHEESECAKE
Double wrap the bottom and sides of the cake pan with two pieces of foil.
Place pan inside a roasting pan, then pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to cover halfway up the sides of the cake pan.
Bake the cheesecake for about 60 minutes at 170°C/340°F.
Note: Baking the cheesecake in a water bath will help you to avoid cracks over the surface.
I often just bake this cake without bain-marie and have the same result, but it highly depends on the oven you have.
To be on the safe side, I suggest going for the water bath method.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?
Please let me know how you liked it! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram tag @thepetitecook!
Looking at your pictures always makes me smile *and super hungry*!
Ricotta Cheesecake - Just 3 Ingredients!
- 600 g fresh ricotta cheese, well drained
- 150 g confectioner's sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest, (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C with the fan option off. Arrange the baking tray onto the middle shelf of the oven. Line with parchment paper a 7-inch springform cake pan.
- Using a hand mixer, beat the drained ricotta cheese on medium-low speed until smooth and lump-free, 1-2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until fully combined and you reach a creamy lump-free batter. Do not overmix.
- Pour the batter over the prepared cake pan. Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes. The cheesecake should be taken out of the oven when the edges are set but the center is still jiggly You can check whether the cheesecake is ready, with an instant-read thermometer. When the cheesecake inside reaches 65°C/150°F, it's ready.
- Let the cheesecake cool completely before removing the cake from the pan. Cover the cake with cling film and refrigerate for a few hours before serving. It tastes even better the next day!
- Drain the ricotta cheese over fine-mesh sieve lined with a cheesecloth. Leave it to drain for a few hours before using it. This will result in a thick and creamy cheese texture. Watery ricotta will effect the cake texture.
- If using a fan-forced oven, as a general rule, drop the temperature by 20°C to imitate conventional.
- Although not necessary, you can bake the cheesecake in a water bath (bain-maire).
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Hi it’s me again; I just need some clarification to know if it’s REAL TABLE SUGAR you used or POWDERED (CONFECTIONER’S) Sugar; since in the printable version it says to use Powdered and I’ve honestly never had a recipe in which powdered sugar was used to bake with as opposed to sugar.
Hi Toni, I make this ricotta cheesecake using powdered sugar, because it dissolves easily and provides a smooth and denser consistency. If you use regular sugar, my advice is to mix it very well with the ricotta until it is dissolved.
Where is the recipe?????
Hi Jan, the full printable recipe is just above the comment section!
can you make this using 1/2 cream cheese and 1/2 ricotta? I am excited to try it. Thanks!
Hi Kathi, I have not tried it by mixing the two different kinds of cheese, so not sure about the outcome. But if you do give it a try, let me know how it goes!
Helen K says
Excited to try this for Easter. Is the baking time increased if I add the mixture to a 9” round pan and double or triple the recipe?
Hi Helen, yes, I would adjust the baking time. Although I have not tried it myself yet, I would suggest at least 10or 15 min more baking time. Let me know how it goes 🙂
Lissett Crenshaw says
Can Monk fruit be substituted for the sugar in this recipe?
Hi Lissett, I have not tried it, so unfortunately I'm not able to recommend it. But if you do give it a try please let me know how it goes!
Hi, love all your recipes! They are the best online! I’ve been searching for this exact recipe for quite some time - so many different versions but this seems like the one (my aunt used to make!!)
I am a bit confused tho on the ingredients - it says to add « confectioner’s sugar” was that a possible error cus I’m pretty sure you meant real white sugar no? Please correct me if I’m wrong!!
Thanks so much for the awesome recipe shares!!
Hi Toni, thank you for the lovely words! Confectioner's sugar is just powdered sugar, also called icing sugar 🙂
Hi, yes I know lol thanks for clarifying anyway; but are you using powdered sugar in the mix (with eggs and ricotta) or real white sugar?) and using the powdered sugar just to sprinkle on top?
Just want to be sure of ingredients before I make it !
Thanks for quick reply!!
Are you saying power sugar or reg white sugar. Let me know I want to make this today.
Hi! That's a great recipe! Can you suggest should I double or triple up the recipe if I'm using 9" spring form pan?
I just used mink fruit and it work perfectly. Same amount as the recipe.
I came across this recipe when I had some leftover ricotta from making lasagna. It was so easy and turned out delicious! Thanks!
Jane Cullen says
My comment should have 5 stars, not one!
Jane Cullen says
What a brilliant recipe! Thank you! My cheesecake did crack but I dusted it with icing sugar and decorated it with orange slices which hid the defects perfectly!
LA Paylor says
just made this, half recipe as we had some leftover ricotta, plus our ricotta doesn't come in 600 gram package. We baked it in a small pyrex baking dish, no parchement but a bit of butter on bottom. Used fresh orange zest, and some vanilla extract, and have to use egg whites only because of my allergy to yolks. It smells and looks great.
It made 4 pieces but I'm making sure to let it cool. We (dh, poodle, and myself) want to have it now but read your comment about refrigerating it. Maybe it becomes dessert for after dinner tonight. If it is good, I'm listing it as one of my Thursday likes on the blog Not Afraid of Color
Hello. Should I measure the ricotta before or after draining? I'm assuming before but just checking to be safe. Thanks.
Hi Jake! Most ricotta you get from the shop have some liquid in the container, I recommend that you first drain the liquid, then weigh the ricotta, then you drain the ricotta following the recipe.
I made this with smooth ricotta instead of fresh and added 75 grams of cocoa powder. Really good! The smooth ricotta is more watery do I'd add 2tbs of flour or almond meal next time.
daiden Laermur says
good idea Ricotta cheese with orange
Eileen Calderon says
i would love to make this, but can you convert the measurements to cuos, tbsp, etc.
It’s easy enough to find a measurement converter online, I had to do that too
Hi! I just made this cheesecake, followed everything exactly. In 52 minutes the center has reached the temperature of 150 degrees so I’ve taken it out of the oven, but the colour hasn’t browned at all. It’s a pure yellow!! Don’t know what happened?! Any advice would be very useful, if only for the next time. It was such a easy and uncomplicated recipe that I’d like to make it again, but I do want it to look like yours!! Thanks so much! Warm regards from Arati (India)
Hi Arati, so happy to hear you tried my ricotta cheesecake. Next time, try to bring the temperature of the oven up by 10-20 degrees in the last 10 minutes of baking time, this should help brown the cheesecake over the top. over, the browning is not necessary, it doesn't particularly change the final taste 🙂
Thank you for the recipe. It was delicious. I made the double batch and used 1 can of condensed milk in place of some sugar , also added was rind from 2 lemons and Tbsp of vanilla and 1/2 cup of corn flour to help stabilise.