Rich, creamy, and ridiculously smooth, this lemon ricotta cheesecake is like a slice of sunshine! 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.
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?
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.
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)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees (F).
- For the Crust:
- 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.
- For the Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Filling:
- 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.
- 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.
- Quickly stir in the lemon juice and zest, mixing just until it's incorporated in the batter.
- Pour filling into prepared crust, and spread the top smooth.
- Wrap the bottom of the pan in tin foil (I highly recommend doing several diligent layers here; no one wants a wet/soggy crust).
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.