Italian Ricotta Cheesecake is an easy no-bake cheesecake recipe. It has a chocolate cookie crust and a creamy, delicate filling. It’s so easy to make – the perfect summer dessert. Top it with fruit for a dessert everyone will love.
Maybe when you think of cheesecake you think of cream cheese, but in Italy we make ricotta cheesecake and it’s absolutely delicious.
It’s more delicate than cream cheese cheesecake and creamier, too. I love both, of course, but more often than not you’ll find me making this Italian ricotta cheesecake. Even better it’s a no-bake cheesecake recipe. You don’t have to turn on the oven making this a great summer dessert.
What I love about this no bake ricotta cheesecake is that it’s not fussy. You don’t have to do a water bath or worry about the cheesecake cracking like a classic cheesecake. Once it’s assembled just chill it in the fridge until it’s set.
I use gelatin in this recipe which helps give the cheesecake more structure and a nice texture. Ricotta cheese is soft and mixing it with gelatin helps hold the cheesecake together.
For the crust, I love a chocolate cookie crust but you can use any cookie crumbs that you like including graham crackers crumbs, wafer cookies, or other crispy cookies that you like.
Top your ricotta cheesecake with fruit, chocolate sauce, or even a little whipped cream for a dessert that is perfect for any occasion.
- Chocolate cookie crumbs – crush them in a food processor or in a bag with a rolling pin.
- Melted butter
- Heavy cream – whole, heavy or whipping cream, with at least 30% fat
- Ricotta cheese
- Powdered sugar – icing/confectioners sugar
- Pure vanilla extract
- Milk – I use 2%
Other add-ins: If you like citrus, try adding orange zest or lemon zest to the filling.
How to Make Cheesecake with Ricotta Cheese
Combine the cookie crumbs and butter in a bowl. Press the mixture into a springform pan. Chill the crust while you make the filling.
Beat the ricotta cheese, sugar, and vanilla in a mixing bowl, until combined and smooth.
In a separate large bowl, beat the cream until it holds peaks.
Pour the milk into a saucepan and sprinkle the gelatine over the top. Let it sit for one minute and then turn the heat to low. Stir and heat the mixture until the gelatine has dissolved. This should only take a minute or so. Don’t let it boil. Take the pan off the heat and add a couple tablespoons of the ricotta mixture and stir.
Next, fold the gelatine mixture into the rest of the ricotta mixture. Fold in the whipped cream until the filling is combined.
Spoon the ricotta batter into the chilled crust and spread it into an even layer. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator for about six hours or overnight.
This ricotta cheesecake is delicious all on its own, but why not add a topping to dress it up?
- I love fresh berries like strawberries. I toss them with some sugar first and let them sit. This draws out the juices creating a nice sauce. You can also do this with raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries.
- Chocolate sauce or chocolate ganache is great, too. Drizzle some over a slice before serving it.
- Or just some simple whipped cream and some grated chocolate on the top – that sounds good, too!
How to make Chocolate Ganache
In a small pan heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 1/4 cup (60 grams) of whole cream until hot but not boiling, remove from heat and add 3 1/2-4 ounces (110 grams) chopped chocolate stir until smooth, let cool and thicken before drizzling.
I prefer to use whole milk ricotta cheese – it’s dessert, afterall! I haven’t tested this recipe with low fat cheese and can’t say for sure how that will work.
It’s best to chill the cheesecake overnight in the refrigerator. This will ensure it has plenty of time to set up so when you slice it, you get clean slices.
Leftover ricotta cheesecake will keep in the refrigerator for a few days. I don’t recommend freezing it.
If you don’t have a springform pan, you can use a regular cake pan. I recommend lining it with plastic wrap so it’s easy to remove the cheesecake once it’s set and you’re ready to slice it.
We love this Italian ricotta cheesecake recipe – it’s the best dessert for a warm night or any time you’re craving a creamy slice of cheesecake. Enjoy!
More Dessert Recipes
- Magic Cookie Bars with Graham Cracker Crust
- Crumb Cake with Chocolate Chips
- Strawberry Semifreddo
- No-Bake White Chocolate Apricot Cheesecake
Italian Ricotta Cheesecake
- 1½ cups chocolate cookie crumbs
- ¼ cup butter (melted)
- 1 cup cream whole/heavy or whipping cream (at least 30% fat)
- 1 cup ricotta
- ½ cup powdered/icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon gelatine
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Mix the cookie crumbs and melted butter, press down on the bottom of a 7 or 8 inch (17 – 20 centimeters) springform cake pan (or line a regular cake pan with plastic wrap). Place in refrigerator to chill while making the filling.
- In a medium bowl beat together the ricotta cheese, sugar and vanilla, side aside.
- Beat the cream until thick peaks appear, set aside.
- In a small pot add the milk and sprinkle the gelatine on top, let stand one minute, then place the pot on low heat and heat just until the gelatine has dissolved, stirring often (1-2 minutes), do not boil, then immediately remove from heat.
- Add 1 -2 tablespoons of the ricotta cheese mixture to the gelatine mixture and stir gently to combine, fold the gelatine into the remaining ricotta mixture, then gently fold it into the whipped cream, mix until combined.
- Remove the cookie base from the fridge, spoon the ricotta filling evenly on top, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate approximately 6 hours or even better overnight. Before serving top with your favourite topping if desired. Enjoy!
Can I add pureed strawberries to the cheesecake? Would I need to use more gelatin?
Hi Darlene, yes you could add pureed strawberries, depending on how much you add, maybe 1 1/4 tablespoons would do. Let me know how it goes. Take care!
I made this yesterday for a party tonight so it is chilling in the fridge. Easy recipe – excited to taste it. A bit nervous about taking the sides off the springform pan – any tips for that?
Hi Karol, use a wet knife and go around the edges before removing the sides. I hope you enjoy it. 🙂