Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake

/// February 25th, 2015

Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Rich, creamy, and ridiculously smooth, this lemon ricotta cheesecake is like a slice of sunshine! Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Hello my friends! I don’t know about you, but lately all I want to do is snuggle up and hide under 400 billion blankets until Spring calls and lets me know it’s safe and sunny outside. It has been a hideously cold (and windy!) week here, so I’m using my one free pass to complain about Winter today.

The silver lining? This wicked weather inspired me to bust out the citrus (so fresh, so bright, so vibrant) and bake it up – cheesecake style!

Bold statement right here, but um… this might be my new favorite cheesecake. First, I love lemons. They’re my favorite form of citrus as of late. Bright, easily available, and totally affordable – what’s not to love?

In Case You Want To Know: I used meyer lemons in the last test-run of this recipe and found them to be a delightful choice! They’re a little trickier to hunt down, but I highly recommend using them if you can easily get your hands of em. If not – regular lemons will work perfectly! I tested this recipe twice using the standard lemons found in any produce section and the results were dreamy. I’m really only tossing the meyer lemon thing out there because they’re in season right now (you should see how many I swiped at the store yesterday!) and a nice detour from the classic lemons we get to enjoy year-round.

Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Second, this cheesecake combines vibrant citrus with creamy Italian Ricotta cheese… I mean —-> YES PLEASE!!! This cheesecake has a serious amount of flavor going on – without being overly sweet or tart. All about balance, you know?

Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake I have a deep love for cheesecake, and I just know you’re going to LOVE this fresh and exciting Lemon Ricotta version! It was an instant hit at a brunch we hosted last weekend, and there wasn’t a slice left to wrap up. That’s how I measure recipe success 😉

HEY YOU: If you’ve never made a cheesecake before and are feeling a little nervous… my ear is yours. Please feel free to shoot any questions my way (preferably before you actually start making the recipe so I have time to respond) and we’ll walk through this baking adventure hand in hand. I’ve also added some (hopefully) helpful notes below the recipe, so be sure to read over everything before you get started. Once you know your way, making a creamy, crack-free cheesecake is as easy as 1-2-3. xoxo.

Need help choosing a springform pan? Below is a link to the one I love and use every time I bake a cheesecake! It’s a winner.

Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake

Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: (1) 9" Cheesecake, About 12 slices (depending on how you cut them)

Serving Size: 1 Slice of Cheesecake

Sweet and creamy, this easy-to-make Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake is the perfect addition to any dessert table!


  • For the Crust:
  • 2 cups Graham Crackers, pulsed into crumbs
  • 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 7 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
  • For the Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Filling:
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages Full-Fat Cream Cheese, very soft
  • 1 cup Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3 large Eggs + 2 Egg Yolks, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 3/4 cup Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 teaspoons Fresh Lemon Zest
  • Whipped Cream, for serving (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees (F).
  2. For the Crust:
  3. In the body of a blender or food processor, combine graham crackers, sugar, and salt; pulse until the crackers have been completely transformed into fine crumbs. Add melted butter; stir well to combine. Press down into a lightly greased 9-inch springform pan; set aside.
  4. For the Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Filling:
  5. In the body of a high power blender, food processor, stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand held mixer, beat the softened cream cheese and Ricotta cheese until smooth.
  6. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom of bowl as needed. Add in the eggs and yolks; beat until smooth. Stir in the flour, mixing just until combined.
  7. Quickly stir in the lemon juice and zest, mixing just until it's incorporated in the batter.
  8. Pour filling into prepared crust, and spread the top smooth.
  9. Wrap the bottom of the pan in tin foil (I highly recommend doing several diligent layers here; no one wants a wet/soggy crust).
  10. Place the cheesecake pan into another large pan (it should be wide enough to comfortably fit the springform pan holding the cheesecake and deep enough to hold a few inches of water without risk of a spill) . Fill the pan up with very hot water; it should rise half way along the cheesecake pan. This is your water bath and will help ensure your cheesecake comes out crack free. Be sure to pour the water in slowly, as you don't want any of it to splash up and get into the actual cheesecake!
  11. Place pan into the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake sit, undisturbed, for 45 minutes inside the oven with the door shut. The cheesecake should be still slightly wiggly.
  12. Remove the cheesecake from the oven, run a knife very gently around the edge of the cake, and let it sit in the pan for another 15 minutes before covering loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerating for at least 6 hours. When ready to serve, top with a dollop of whipped cream and enjoy!


*It is very important to bring your ingredients to room temperature when baking cheesecake - especially the cream cheese. I recommend sitting the blocks of cream cheese out on the counter for at least 2 hours prior to baking. *Full-Fat cream cheese and Ricotta Cheese is what was used for this recipe and what I find yields the best results. Using reduced-fat or non-fay versions will alter the taste and texture of this recipe. *Meyer lemons may be used in place of regular lemons (In fact, that is what I used the final time testing this recipe). *Cheesecake (without the whipped cream on top) may be sliced and frozen for up to one month. *If you have any questions about the water bath prior to baking, please feel free to ask and I will walk you through it. *Table salt may be used in place of kosher salt.


Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake

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48 thoughts on “Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake

  1. Farah.F

    Hi there. This cheesecake looks gorgeous, just want to dive in.
    So i baked a cheesecake in a water-bath few days back and guess what?! even after several layers of foil around the tin, the water managed to seep in and the crust was soggy in few places. SIGH.
    is there a sure shot version of avoiding that?

    much thanks.

    1. bakerbynature Post author

      Hi Farah,
      I have had this happen to me too :( Unfortunately the only trick I know is to just really wrap it well and make sure there’s no holes in the foil wall that will let water leak through.

  2. Beste

    My last cheesecake was tasted a bit bland. I’m definitely trying this asap. Do you think this recipe needs sour cream? I just love the taste of New York cheesecake but I’m not sure if it would work with this particular recipe.

      1. Marcia

        Thank you, I’m making it for Easter Sunday. If just seemed like a lot of liquid. Do you strain the lemon juice?

        1. bakerbynature Post author

          I used a little lemon squeezer to get the most juice out of each and get rid of any pesky seeds; other than that I did not strain the juice 😉 You can cut it back to 1/2 cup for a much more mild lemon flavor.

  3. terry

    I need to make a cupcake size version of this….do u think it will work as a cupcake…with no water bath ?
    thanks for your help !

    1. bakerbynature Post author

      Hi Terry. Oh boy… I really can’t say :( I’ve never tried this as cupcakes so I don’t want to steer you wrong. If you do try it, you’ll need to decrease the bake time by maybe half (?) so keep an eye on them, as they’ll cook much faster than a whole cheesecake.

  4. patti

    this is heaven!! so delicious! i did not do the water bath since i dont care if my cheesecakes have a crack in them…i’m always worried about a leak more. this cake actually had no cracks and was the best cheesecake i’ve ever made..thank you!

  5. Marcia

    I did make it for Easter & it was absolutely the best. I did have a problem with running the knife around while warm, but survived. No need for whipped cream or anything else, tasty with all 3/4 c of lemon juice too. Just wonderful!
    Thank you again.

  6. Amber

    Hi! I was wondering if I can make this in a 13×9 glass dish to make more of a cheesecake bars verison..? Any recommendations on the bake times and temperature? Oh and I will be using chocolate graham cracker for the crust. Any advice would help. Thank you!

    1. bakerbynature Post author

      Hi Amber. I have never tried this recipe as bars, so I honestly have no clue if it would pan out… That said, if you do experiment, definitely cut the baking time by at least 25 minutes, and really watch it while it bakes. As for the chocolate crust, just swap out the plain graham crackers for chocolate ones 😉

  7. Angela

    I made this cake on the weekend and it turned out perfect. It was creamy, moist and had a perfect balance of sweetness and tartiness. I used less sugar than suggested (under 1 cup) and used Marie biscuits instead of graham crackers as we don’t have them in Australia, My guests loved it and have requested the recipe, Thank you

  8. Grace W

    Do you strain the ricotta beforehand? And should I prepare the entire mixture in the food processor or just the ricotta & cream cheese? When I make cannoli I place ricotta in food processor to cut the grittiness, but I prepare the rest of the ingredients in my stand mixer. Just wondering if it’s th same concept.

  9. Keith S.

    I’ve tried different recipes and stratagems, but this was the first time I’ve ever had a cheesecake come out free of any cracks–awesome!! I swapped crystallized ginger for the lemon, and that came out fine: I think the ingredients here are so well balanced that it’s in that small pantheon of recipes…truly adaptable. The water-bath is a little work intensive, but worth it. Thanks so much for this, BBN.

  10. Brad

    I have a potted lemon tree in my dining room (I live in Colorado) and got my first ripe lemon from it this weekend. I had to do something special with this home made lemon. I found your recipe, and it sounded great! I made the cheese cake yesterday and tried it for thr first time today, everyone loved it. Your lemon cheese cake recipe was the perfect dish for my special lemon. This reminds me of those thick rich cheese cakes you can find in a NY bakery. I have 4 more lemons ripening on my tree, and know at least one of them will be used for another cheese cake using your recipe.Thank you Excellent!!!

    1. bakerbynature Post author

      Hi Brad. Having a lemon tree in my dining room sounds like a dream! I am so happy my recipe was the special choice for your very first ripe lemon – and that everyone enjoyed the cheesecake. Thank you for letting me know :)

  11. Laurel

    Just wanted to let you know that I made this cheesecake, and it was spectacular. Thank you for sharing the recipe. This is definitely a keeper.

  12. Mariah

    Hi! Was was just wondering what you used to top the cheesecake which looked so beautiful in the picture? Was it a pretty glaze on top and whipped cream spots? I tried it out and it tasted amazing! But I want to serve it looking the same as yours!:)

    1. bakerbynature Post author

      Hi Mariah! I did not use a glaze, but a I did add fresh whipped cream and then sprinkled on a little fresh lemon zest :) I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe.

  13. Gina

    Made this for Easter. Topped it with lemon curd because it cracked… The cheesecake is AMAZING!!!!! Incredibly creamy. Totally delicious. Everyone loved it!

    1. bakerbynature Post author

      Hi Gina. I’m so happy this was a hit! But very surprised it cracked… did you use a water bath? A lemon curd topping sounds incredible, by the way :)

  14. San Barton

    Came across this recipes and I thought I would love to give it go ..
    The only problem is , what is graham biscuits, coming from the UK I don’t think we have them here ..
    What can I use instead.
    Thank you .

  15. Dee

    Hi, absolutely LOVE this cheesecake, I made one last year (and we have a meyer lemon tree!), it was such a hit, I want to make 2 this year for Christmas!
    My question is: can I bake 2 at one time? Or is it better/safer to make one at a time and bake separate? ( theses are times I dream of having a double oven!)
    Thank you so much for the delicious recipe!!!

    1. bakerbynature Post author

      Hi Dee! So happy you’re enjoying this cheesecake! I would recommend baking one at a time, since the water bath takes up a lot of space in the oven, and doing both at once could result in both being under baked in parts.

      1. Dee

        Thank you so much!! Am making it as I type.
        Just a note, I do bake the crust a little first (about 10 minutes at 350, we like our crust a bit crunchy as opposed to not….SO DELICIOUS!!!!
        Thank you and Merry Christmas 2016!!!


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