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Published October 12, 2022. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Sink your teeth into this deliciously tempting authentic Italian Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe with Fresh Figs and Honey. You will love the amazing Ricotta cheese flavor in this tasty cake that is sure to quickly become a family favorite.
Cake is one of my favorite desserts and will all the different kinds, the possibilities are endless. If you are looking to try out some delicious homemade cakes, then you must try my Carrot Cake or my Angel Food Cake.
Ricotta cheesecake is a basic cheesecake recipe where the cream cheese in the cake has been replaced with ricotta cheese. This type of cheesecake has been in Italian cuisine since Roman Times. It’s a lighter more cake-like cheesecake, and with the combination of cream cheese and ricotta, it is creamy and very flavorful.
While most Italian cakes don’t feature fresh fruit or any toppings, they will commonly use candied citron instead. With that being said, I added fresh figs and honey as an added option. You do not have to add this, but the flavor combination is delicious.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Almond Meal – This is used for the crust of the ricotta cheesecake. This is also known as almond flour.
- Sugar – You will use regular sugar in the crust as well as the filling.
- Butter – always use unsalted butter in your cooking and baking so that you control the salt content.
- Cream Cheese – Use full-fat cream cheese.
- Ricotta – I prefer to use whole milk ricotta cheese. If you can get ahold of sheep’s milk ricotta, even better.
- Eggs – Whole large cold or room temperature eggs are used in the filling.
- Vanilla – A little vanilla extract helps to add some flavor to the filling.
- Cornstarch – A small amount of cornstarch is used to help combine and stabilize the filling of the ricotta cheesecake as it cooks.
- Lemon – A little zest and juice will brighten up the flavors in this cake.
How to Make a Ricotta Cheesecake
Place the almond meal, sugar, butter, and salt in a food processor and process on high until the butter is the size of rice. Next, you’ll want to form the almond meal mixture to the bottom of a 9” springform pan to make a crust. Set aside.
In a standing mixer with the whisk attachment on high-speed whip the cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Next, add in the ricotta and whip for 4 more minutes. Stop and scrape the bowl to make sure all the filling is getting mixed in. Add 1 egg at a time until completely mixed in. Stop and scrape the bowl again. Finish by adding in the vanilla bean seeds, lemon juice, lemon zest, and cornstarch, and mix until combined.
Pour the batter over the crust and transfer the springform pan to a 13×9 dish or 200 hotel pan. Next, you’ll want to place the pan on the rack in the oven and fill it with water until there is 1” in the pan. Bake for 90 to 100 minutes or until the center is slightly loose when gently giggling it. See the notes below on doneness.
Cool the cake to room temperature on a rack and then cool it completely in the refrigerator. Garnish the top of the cheesecake with fresh sliced figs, toasted almonds, and honey.
Baking in a Water Bath
Doing this will make sure it bakes evenly as well as assist in keeping the cheesecake moist since there will be moisture in the air from the water while baking it. This will also aid in keeping it from cracking on the top.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: You can make this cake up to 1 day ahead of time.
How to Store: Store this covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. I usually leave it in the springform pan when storing it. This will freeze well covered for up to 3 months. Thaw the cake in the refrigerator for 1 day before serving.
Chef Notes + Tips
- I like to use the backside of a measuring cup to press in the graham cracker crust.
- It will take about 4 to 5 minutes for the cheese to soften in the stand mixer.
- Eggs and fat don’t mix naturally, so when you mix in 1 egg at a time until it is completely mixed in, it guarantees that all your ingredients are mixing. Take your time with this process.
- You can also run a knife around the cake right after baking. If you are doing it after it is chilled, heat the knife, you are using under hot water.
- Cheesecake is usually done when the center reaches 150°.
More Cake Recipes
Italian Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe
- 2 ½ cups Superfine Almond Meal
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- pinch of salt
- 1 pound of cream cheese
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2 pounds of whole milk ricotta cheese
- 5 eggs
- seeds from 1 vanilla bean
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
- 1 pound of sliced fresh figs
- ½ cup of sliced toasted almonds
- ¼ cup of honey
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Place the almond meal, sugar, butter, and salt in a food processor and process on high until the butter is the size of rice.
- Form the almond meal mixture to the bottom of a 9” springform pan to make a crust. Set aside.
- In a standing mixer with the whisk attachment on high speed, whip the cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
- Next, add in the ricotta and whip for 4 more minutes. Stop and scrape.
- Add 1 egg at a time until completely mixed in. Stop and scrape.
- Finish by adding in the vanilla bean seeds, lemon juice, lemon zest, and cornstarch, and mix until combined.
- Pour the batter over the crust and transfer the springform pan to a 13×9 pan.
- Place the pan on the rack in the oven and fill it with water until there is 1” in the pan.
- Bake for 90 to 100 minutes or until the center is slightly loose.
- Cool to room temperature on a rack and then cool completely into the refrigerator.
- Garnish the top of the cheesecake with fresh sliced figs, toasted almonds, and honey.
This was the most amazing cheesecake!! Creamy and the lemon vanilla flair was so good!
It was also great to share with my boss was is gluten intolerant!
A win all the way around!!
You never disappoint Chef Billy Parisi!!
thanks for giving it a shot!!
I’ve been making Italian cheesecake since the 70s and this one is by far the best! So delicious and creamy.
Love hearing that.
This recipe was so easy to follow, and the results were great! I’ve made this cheesecake three times now and each time it was perfect and very much praised by my friends. Thank you 🙂
This was delicious. Loved the almond flavor of the crust, though I’ll use the tip to par-bake it next time for a touch of crispness. Fresh figs out of season now, but a few prunes on the side offset the creaminess and the honey/almond topping. Also lasted well in the fridge. Will have to revisit this when there are figs!
Amazing recipe! Made this last night using figs off my brother-in-law’s tree here in Sanremo, Italy and it was a huge hit. The best of both worlds between New York and Italian cheesecakes! Only issue I had is that the crust got a bit soggy, even if the rest of the cake was deliciously moist. Think prebaking the crust would help? Or placing the water bath on a lower oven rack, rather than immersing the pan directly? Grazie ancora for this stunning recipe!
Can I just skip the crust? Not a big fan of crusts.
Anyone try making this dairy free? Sounds so good, thinking of trying it.
This is a stunning cheesecake!! I am planning on making this for Christmas- how far ahead could I make the cheesecake prior to eating?
I mean you could do it a day or two before for sure.
Looks like a great recipe and easy to make. Can’t wait to make it.
Do I need to wrap the spring form pan with foil before placing in waterbath? At what point do I remove the spring form pan from cheesecake? Before or after cooling to room temperature?
Can I use vanilla bean paste instead? If so, how much do you recommend?
Thanks! You can wrap in foil if you’re worried your spring form pan leaks but just to be safe do it anyways. You remove the pan after it has completely cooled. You can use vanilla bean paste, but honestly I’m not sure on a perfect conversion for you, maybe 1/2 teaspoon?
Mmmm. Looks and sounds decadent. Cheesecakes and pies are my two favorites desserts to make. Pinning this for future inspiration! 🙂
Wow! This cake looks absolutely gorgeous. Pinning it.