Ricotta Cheesecake

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Torn between an American or Italian-style cheesecake? This dessert offers the best of both worlds, combining the creamy richness of American cheesecake with the lighter, drier texture of Italian ricotta-based cheesecake, all nestled in a ground almond crust.

ricotta cheesecake on platter

Doesn’t this cheesecake look like it belongs in an Italian pastry shop window? The recipe is adapted from the “Obsessive Ricotta Cheesecake” in Gina DePalma’s Dolce Italiano, Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen, one of my favorite dessert cookbooks of all time. Made with cream cheese, ricotta cheese, and a ground almond crust, the cake is a hybrid between an American NY-style cheesecake and an Italian-style cheesecake. The fruit topping is my addition; the jam and fresh raspberries perfectly complement the cake, which isn’t overly sweet. The best part is how easy it is to make. Unlike most cheesecakes, you don’t have to worry about the top cracking (or fuss with a water bath) because it all gets covered with fruit anyway.

What You’ll Need To Make Ricotta Cheesecake

ingredients for ricotta cheesecake

  • Slivered Almonds: Adds a nutty flavor and slightly crunchy texture to the base.
  • All Purpose Flour: Provides structure to the crust.
  • Granulated Sugar: Sweetens the crust and balances out the tangy flavor in the filling.
  • Egg Yolk: Binds the ingredients together and adds richness.
  • Butter: Helps bind the crust.
  • Vanilla Extract: Infuses the crust with a hint of vanilla flavor and adds aromatic richness to the filling.
  • Cream Cheese: Adds a rich, creamy texture and tangy flavor.
  • Whole Milk Ricotta: Provides a smooth, light texture. Full-fat ricotta is best for giving the cheesecake its creamy texture.
  • Eggs: Bind the filling and add richness.
  • Amaretto: Infuses the batter with a subtle almond flavor (alternatively, rum or Grand Marnier can be used).
  • Cornstarch: Helps stabilize the filling and absorbs liquid.
  • Orange Zest: Adds a subtle bright, citrusy note.
  • Seedless Raspberry Jam: Adds a sweet, fruity layer on top of the cheesecake
  • Fresh Raspberries: Provide a beautiful finish to the cake and a fresh, fruity flavor.
  • Confectioners’ Sugar: Gives the cheesecake a finishing touch of sweetness.
  • Jump to the printable recipe for precise measurements

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Make the Crust

Start by spraying a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Dust with flour and tap out any excess. Combine the almonds, flour, sugar and salt in a food processor.

crust ingredients in food processor

Process until the nuts are finely chopped.

blended crust ingredients in food processor

In a separate small bowl, combine the melted butter with the vanilla and egg yolk.

melted butter, vanilla, and egg yolk whisked in bowl

Add the liquid mixture to the nut mixture.

adding wet ingredients to crust mixture

Process until the mixture is well combined. It will look moistened and crumbly.

moistened crust mixture

Dump the mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer. Chill the crust in the freezer for about 10 minutes, then bake at 325°F for 10 to 15 minutes, until lightly golden.

baked crust in springform pan

Step 2: Make the Filling

Add the cream cheese, sugar and salt to the bowl of a food processor.

cream cheese and sugar in food processor

Process until soft and creamy, about 1 minute.

cream cheese and sugar mixed in food processor

Add the ricotta.

ricotta added to cheesecake filling mixture

Process until the mixture is smooth and light, another 2 minutes.

blended cheesecake filling mixture

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for about 10 seconds after each addition.

adding eggs to filling in food processor

Add the vanilla, amaretto, cornstarch and orange zest.

cornstarch, vanilla, amaretto and orange zest added to ricotta cheesecake filling

Process for a few seconds to combine.

blended ricotta cheesecake filling in food processor

Pour the filling on top of the baked crust.

cheesecake batter in pan; ready to bake.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the outside is set and the center is jiggly but not liquid. It will sink and crack a bit as it cools—that’s okay since it all gets covered with fruit anyway. Let it cool completely, then chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.

baked ricotta cheesecake

Step 3: Add the Topping

Spread the raspberry jam over top of the cheesecake, leaving a small border around the edges.

spreading jam over ricotta cheesecake

Arrange the raspberries neatly on top, then dust lightly with Confectioners’ sugar.

dusting ricotta cheesecake with confectioners sugar

Serve and enjoy!

sliced ricotta cheesecake

You May Also Like

Ricotta Cheesecake with Fresh Raspberries

Torn between an American or Italian-style cheesecake? This dessert offers the best of both worlds, combining the creamy richness of American cheesecake with the lighter, drier texture of Italian ricotta-based cheesecake, all nestled in a ground almond crust.

Servings: one 9-inch cake, about 12 servings
Prep Time: 50 Minutes
Cook Time: 50 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 40 Minutes, plus at least 6 hours to cool and chill


For the Crust

  • ¾ cup slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Filling

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature (preferably Philadelphia brand)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 (32-ounce) tub (about 4 cups) whole milk ricotta (do not use low-fat)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon amaretto (rum or Grand Marnier may be substituted)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest, from one orange

For the Topping

  • ⅓ cup seedless raspberry jam, best quality
  • 8 ounces (about 2½ cups) fresh raspberries (you'll need a pint but you'll have extra)
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray; dust it evenly with flour and tap out any excess.
  2. To make the crust: place the almonds, flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process until the nuts are finely chopped and the mixture looks sandy. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, cooled melted butter and vanilla. Add the liquid mixture to the nut mixture and pulse several times until the ingredients are well combined, moistened and crumbly. Dump the mixture into the prepared pan and, using your fingers or the bottom of a measuring cup, press into an even layer. Place the pan in the freezer for 10 minutes (or the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes) to chill; then bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden. Let cool on a wire rack.
  3. Meanwhile, make the filling: Combine the cream cheese, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process until soft and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the ricotta and process until the mixture is smooth and light, another 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, processing for 5 to 10 seconds between each addition. Add the vanilla, amaretto, cornstarch and orange zest and process until mixture is just combined (do not overmix).
  4. Pour the filling into the crust, smoothing the top with a spatula. Bake the cheesecake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the top is lightly golden, the edges are set and the center is quite jiggly but not totally liquid (it will continue to cook as it cools). Carefully remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack. It will sink a bit—that's okay. Once cool, If necessary, run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the cake to make sure it's not sticking to the sides (which can cause cracks as it cools), then cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to cool for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  5. For the topping: After the cake has chilled, spread the raspberry jam evenly over the top of the cheesecake, leaving a ¾-inch border around the edge of the cake (essentially, the jam goes on the sunken part of the cake). Place the raspberries evenly over top. Using a fine sieve, dust the top of the cake with Confectioners' sugar. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  6. For serving: Remove the sides of the springform pan. Serve the cheesecake right from the base of the pan; or, to transfer it to a serving platter, run a long, thin spatula between the crust and the pan bottom, and then use two large spatulas to carefully transfer the cheesecake to a serving dish. Slice with a sharp knife, wiping the knife clean between slices. The cake keeps well for several days.
  7. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The cheesecake may also be frozen without the topping for up to 3 months. To freeze: place the cake in the freezer briefly, unwrapped, to firm it up. Then double-wrap it tightly with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap, or place it in heavy-duty freezer bag. Thaw in the refrigerator the night before you plan to eat it. Prepare the topping prior to serving the cheesecake.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (12 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 382
  • Fat: 23g
  • Saturated fat: 12g
  • Carbohydrates: 32g
  • Sugar: 22g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 13g
  • Sodium: 207mg
  • Cholesterol: 126mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  • Jenn, re cake doneness, rather than visual, isn’t there an internal temp that would be a reliable indicator? I have seen 150 155 160…with a good instant read thermapen I would feel confident to aim for a temp rather than visual. Would you suggest temperature as a guide or do you prefer the visual only. I wonder if ricotta cheesecakes vs all cream cheese cakes might have different indicators? Thank you for any insight you can provide.

    • — Den M. on May 28, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Den, I don’t use a thermometer, but you’d be aiming for 150 to 155 degrees. Hope that helps and that you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 28, 2024
      • Reply
  • Are people having success preventing cracks without a water bath or steaming mechanism of some sort? I had 3 scary cracks in the middle that was…a bit difficult to hide even with all the jam. I do not know what I may have done wrong. Please help!

    • — Sarah A on March 22, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Sarah, so sorry you had a problem with this cracking! It sounds like either your oven runs a little hot or it was a bit overbaked.

      • — Jenn on March 26, 2024
      • Reply
  • Dolce Italiano is possibly my favorite dessert cookbook of all time! I really love Italian desserts, especially Italian-style cheesecake. This version is fabulous. Jenn hits it out of the park, again!

    • — Og on March 1, 2024
    • Reply
  • Loved this recipe. I served it tonight for New Year’s Eve and everyone was very impressed. The flavors were delicious and it is a little bit lighter than regular traditional heavy cheesecake. I used my 10 inch pans which worked out just fine. Thank you once again.

    • — Newman Ruth on January 1, 2024
    • Reply
  • Hello Jenn,
    Thank you for sharing; I enjoy so many of your recipes. I made the Ricotta Cheesecake with Fresh Raspberries for our Italy travel group dinner last night. It was a huge hit! Having read some of the comments before making it, I was extra diligent to follow the recipe exactly. However, I also found the filling to be quite liquid. It was in the oven for just a few minutes before a small amount of filling leaked into the sheet pan underneath the springform. In order to get the desired “jiggle,” I extended the baking time first to 75 minutes and then checked at 5 minute intervals to a total of 95 minutes. While the top was more golden than your photos, the cake was very moist and the center was creamy and delectable. When I make it again, I will definitely strain the ricotta. Thanks so much! It’s a keeper!

    • — Shannon on November 13, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn…this looks amazing! I want to make it for my daughter’s birthday on Saturday and wonder if you’d recommend straining the ricotta beforehand? Thank you!

    • — Donna on September 14, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Donna, I don’t strain the ricotta – I recommend using Galbani whole milk ricotta for best results. Happy birthday to your daughter!

      • — Jenn on September 14, 2023
      • Reply
  • Soooo good! Could a graham cracker crust be used with this?

    • — Samantha on May 14, 2023
    • Reply
    • Sure (and glad you liked it)!

      • — Jenn on May 15, 2023
      • Reply
  • Hello Jenn,
    What can be substituted for the amaretto? I hate to buy a bottle of it just for 1 Tbsp. Could I simply omit it? Or use 1/4 tsp almond extract? I’m looking forward to trying this cheesecake.
    Thanks, mpw

    • — MP W on April 27, 2023
    • Reply
    • Sure – either 1/4 tsp of almond extract or omitting the amaretto would be fine. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 28, 2023
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I see conflicting responses from other people’s comments. If I don’t have a food processor, can I make this with a stand mixer or hand mixer instead?
    I love all your recipes so I hope I can!
    Thank you.

    • — LH on March 26, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi LH, Yes I think it should work fine; just be sure the cream cheese is at room temp.

      • — Jenn on March 28, 2023
      • Reply
  • Jen, every one of your recipes is always perfect. I want to make a cheesecake using Amaretto
    liquer & almond extract. Can I adapt that to this recipe? Thanks

    • — carol oneill on December 29, 2022
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes! This cheesecake already contains amaretto and if you’d like to use almond extract, I’d add 1/4 teaspoon (a little goes a long way). Hope you enjoy it!

      • — Jenn on December 29, 2022
      • Reply
  • Overall a bit disappointing. The ricotta to cream cheese ratio was just too much, and left it tasting quite bland. Also, not enough base, and I’m not sure why you need corn flour as well as 3 eggs?

    • — Bel on November 7, 2022
    • Reply
    • Bel, I make this with 750g of Ricotta (about 3/4 of suggested amount) and it’s perfect! I too found the original amount a bit too much.

      • — Allana on December 19, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hmm it appears like your blog ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any suggestions for first-time blog writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.

    • — Joanne Leys on July 29, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Joanne, This is great advice from one of my favorite bloggers. Hope you find it helpful!

      • — Jenn on July 29, 2022
      • Reply
  • Reading through the comments I considering baking this cheesecake longer as many had suggested but only ended up adding 5-10 minutes and also left it in the oven to cool after shutting it off. Unfortunately the entire middle of the cake still came out raw and just pooled out after cutting. This was after letting it cool/set overnight in the fridge. The recipe itself is tasty, a really good ricotta cheesecake recipe. But please listen to the advice of everyone else and add at least 20-30 minutes cooking time if you want a cake that is actually edible!!!

  • Hi, I only have almond meal. Can you please tell me if I can substitute this instead of the slivered almonds and amount needed please.

    • Sure, Rachel, that’s fine and I’d use the same amount (3/4 cup). Enjoy!

  • This cheesecake recipe turned out to be a real keeper. Our friends all loved it.

  • This was really good.
    I used almond flour instead of the almonds, and mixed it up by hand instead of in the food processor. I also omitted the amaretto because I didn’t have any, and halved the recipe and baked it in a small pie dish. It still came out really good. My super picky husband also loved it.

  • I made this over the holidays & it was a hit! It was delicious. It’s my second attempt at making a cheesecake (the first time it was a flop). I will keep this recipe & make it again.

  • Would it be okay to substitute Arrowroot in place of the cornstarch?

    • Hi Maria, I’ve never worked with arrowroot but I think it should work. You could also use an equal amount of flour in place of the cornstarch. Hope that helps!

      • I just made this cheesecake. I used plain cookies for the base. Followed your instructions. The kitchen smells so good. I replaced orange rind with lemon. The baking did take over 1 hour (75 minutes). Did not sink. Split at edge, but looks sooo good.

  • So easy to make. It’s much less dense and more moist than traditional cream-cheese only cheesecakes–AND wayyy more delicious. (Reminds me of the ricotta cheesecake from Veniero’s Pastry in Manhattan.)

    • Or Villabate in Brooklyn! It was a very easy cake to make and so tasty! Another great hit!

  • I am attempting this for thanksgiving! Is the food processor necessary? I only have a small food processor… why can’t I use a stand mixer or hand mixer?

    • Unfortunately, you won’t get the right blending/texture without a food processor — sorry!

    • Hi Tiffany, That should be fine. Enjoy!

  • Made this without the amaretto. Baked in the oven at 150 degrees Celsius fan forced for about an extra 20 minutes. Topped with some blueberry jam and fresh blueberries as that is what’s in season now. Really delicious everyone loved it!

  • Almond flour is sold I have always assumed this was just finally ground almonds. Is this the case or is it finally ground almonds mixed with flour. If the latter is the case would you need to add the flour suggested in the recipe for this cheesecake crust.

    • Hi Rose Marie, you are correct – almond flour is just finely ground almonds. It does not have any flour in it.

  • Hello Jen,
    Do you think I can make the crust from crushed up cannoli shells, butter and sugar? I have made this crust in a different cheese cake recipe, but I like this filling recipe. I had topped my cheese cake with powder sugar and shaved chocolate.

    • Sure, Debbie, I think that should work. Enjoy!

  • It turned out really well, I used homemade ricotta, it was very moist, the recipe is a keeper!

  • Hi Jen
    I only have 2 c ricotta to make this cheesecake. Could I “ up” the cream cheese ( add 16 oz ) to compensate?
    Princess Barb

    • Sure, I think that should work. Please LMK how it turns out!

  • I have some almond flour and almond meal on hand, can I use those for the crust instead of the slivered almond & all purpose flour combo? Do you have any recommendations as how to substitute one for the other?

    • Hi Claire, I haven’t tried it but I think you could. Maybe you could replace the slivered almonds with an equal amount of almond flour. And I’d replace the all-purpose flour with an equal amount of almond meal. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

  • This is the best ricotta cheesecake that I have tasted. Gourmet flavor, delicious. I will certainly keep the recipe.

  • Can I use almond extract in place of amaretto? If so, how much extract? Thank you 🙂

    • Hi Mary, You could use 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (it’s very strong in flavor). Hope that helps!

  • Hi Jenn! I got my recipes mixed up and thought this cheesecake only had to set for four hours. Can I get away with letting it come to room temp and chilling it for four hours, or does it really need the full 8 hours in the fridge?

    • Hi Jessica, Erg! I’m afraid 4 hours is definitely not enough. I’d aim for at least 6 hours.

  • Cheesecake was very good! I used the metric measurements and halved the recipe, which worked perfectly with a 6 inch springform pan. It took about 1 hour to cook.

  • Good morning Jenn!

    Quick question:

    Do you think I could swing using your cheesecake filling in a traditional pie crust? If not, do you have suggestions?
    Thank you ahead of time ☺️


    • Hi Lisa, I haven’t tried it, but I think it should work. 🙂

  • I’d love to try this – ricotta cheesecake is def my fav – hubby’s more a fan of the cream cheese style – this sounds like a brilliant compromise! But it’s just the two of us and while we could devour an entire one by ourselves we know we Mustn’t!

    Any tips for halving the recipe; maybe using a 6″ cake tin?

    Or does this freeze well (guessing not due to the ricotta)?

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Halimah, I think you could use a 6-inch tin and halve the recipe. The bake time may be a bit different though, so keep a close eye on it. It also freezes nicely, so you could go that route. Hope you enjoy!

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