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Little Lemony Ricotta Cheesecakes

Little Lemony Ricotta Cheesecakes

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  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 2/3 cup purchased lemon curd

Recipe Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray eight 3/4-cup ramekins or custard cups with nonstick spray. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, lemon juice, and lemon peel in large bowl until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Add cream cheese and ricotta cheese; beat until smooth, about 1 minute (some small curds from ricotta may remain). Add eggs; beat until well blended.

  • Divide batter among prepared ramekins. Place ramekins on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until puffed, just set in center, and pale golden on top, about 18 minutes. Chill until cold, about 2 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep chilled.

  • Spread lemon curd over chilled cheesecakes and serve.

Reviews Section

Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Cheesecake

When you see the word "cheesecake," what's the first thing that comes to mind? If you're Google (or her little sister, Alexa), the first result that pops up in your data banks is "Cheesecake Factory." The restaurant's website tells us this chain dates back to the 1970s, and while they may well have played a significant role in popularizing the dessert in all its multi-flavored mutations over the past few decades, they were hardly the first to dream up the genius pairing that is cheese + cake.

According to, the very first cheesecakes may possibly date back some 4,000 years to the Greek island of Samos. The oldest surviving recipe was written down by the author Athenaeus in 230 A.D., and it consists of nothing more than wheat flour, honey, and cheese. Culinary Backstreets adds that the type of cheese used was most likely something called myzithra, a product that somewhat resembles ricotta. The Romans stole adopted the cheesecake recipe (along with so many other things) from the Greeks, with the significant addition of eggs, and their recipe spread throughout Europe during the Middle Ages. Finally, by the 18th century, cooking techniques had evolved to the point where cheesecakes somewhat resembled the ones we know today. It wasn't until the late 19th century, though, that cream cheese became canon due to the fact that this ingredient hadn't even been invented until the 1870s.

How to prepare your springform pan and remove the cake after it has set:

  1. Cut a rectangular piece of parchment paper that’s a little larger than the pan.
  2. Unclip the springform pan, separating the bottom from the edges.
  3. Place the parchment paper on top of the bottom of the pan.
  4. Place the sides back onto the bottom of the pan and clip it into place. The parchment paper should be held into place by the sides of the pan, and should be above the bottom of the pan.
  5. When the cake has set, unhinge the pan and slide the parchment paper off, while the cake is still on it.
  6. Transfer the cake via parchment paper to the desired plate or lazy susan. Hold the cake in place as you slide the parchment paper from underneath of it.

Another tool that’s always helpful in smoothing out any uneven cake edge is a bench scraper. I use a bench scraper for a variety of things in my kitchen (i.e: organizing ingredients, assisting with cleaning up my cutting board, etc.) and I think you will benefit from having one, no matter how you decide to use it. I’m linking some springform pans, bench scrapers and lazy susans (the elevated plate that rotates and spins around so you can have control of decorating your cake) below if you’re interested. I own two bench scrapers, and my favorite is the Amazon Basics one below because it also helps you measure the thickness of your cuts or crusts if necessary.

OK, now let’s get to work! As always, feel free to watch my demo on Amazon or DM me on Instagram with any questions!

Little Lemony Ricotta Cheesecakes - Recipes

This lovely and simple Italian recipe has its roots in Naples the place where you can find those gorgeous perfumed juicy lemons!

This cake is usually served during Carnival time and it is like a light cheesecake, made with semolina, ricotta, lemon, vanilla and no flour.. yes it does sounds and it is a fantastic combination of flavours indeed.

The traditional recipe has Limoncello liquor added as well but as I did not have any in the house I have just squeezed the juice of a lemon instead. Also you can add bits of candied lemon or orange to the cake mixture if you like.

My little sis Laura has just arrived from Italy and she is going to stay with me for some time I am over the moon! I am just so pleased to have her here with me and over the next few weeks we are going to cook some lovely recipes and Christmas party food ideas.


    - 250 g - 1 + 1/4 cup - 250 ml - 8 fluid oz - 500 ml - 17 fluid oz - 200 g - 1 cup - 250 g - 1 cup - 1 tsp - 1 - 4 - 2 tsbp - 60 g - 1/4 cup - to sprinkle


Put the milk and the water in a saucepan and bring them to the boil. Gradually add the semolina stirring constantly then add the butter. Cook the semolina over a low heat for 3 to 4 minutes until the mixture has thickened.

In a separate bowl mix the eggs with the ricotta, the vanilla essence, the sugar the grated lemon rind and the limoncello (if using). Instead of the limoncello I have squeezed the juice of the lemon.

Add the semolina to the bowl with the eggs and mix well to remove any large lumps. It is normal to have a few smaller lumps with semolina.

Pour the mixture onto a well greased springform baking tin measuring approx 22 cm or 8 inch diameter and cook for 40 minutes at 190C / 370F or until golden on top.

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Espresso martini cheesecake

Make this grown-up dessert for a celebration dinner, or as an alternative to Christmas pudding. Spiked with coffee liqueur, it’s sophisticated and luxurious

Rhubarb & gingernut cheesecake

What could be more cheerful than this vivid pink no-bake cheesecake? Rhubarb and ginger are merry bedfellows and make a stunning springtime dessert

Frozen banana & peanut butter cheesecake

A great standby dessert with that works well and will impress children and adults

White chocolate & ricotta cheesecake

This mouthwatering cheesecake is the perfect way to finish a large Sunday lunch, as it's incredibly light despite being made with chocolate

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We've turned this tangy Brazilian mousse pudding into a traybake cheesecake with biscuit base and gelatine to help with slicing

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Make a simple, creamy dessert for a dinner party with very little effort. Pairing this white chocolate cheesecake with fresh fruit offsets the richness

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Serve a slice of this sweet treat and find yourself in double dessert heaven - lemon meringue pie meets creamy citrus cheesecake

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Reader Jessica Creed shares her showy, no-fail chocolate dessert - it's perfect for entertaining

Yogurt cheesecake with honey-roasted apricots

Transform your desserts with a drizzle of golden nectar. Top this honeyed cheesecake with honey-roasted apricots or swap with any soft fruit or rhubarb

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How to make Mini Blueberry Cheesecakes

The descriptions below correlate with the photo collage underneath the text.

  1. Start by combining the room temperature cream cheese and granulated white sugar.
  2. Cream the sugar and cream cheese together slowly and evenly, until completely smooth.
  3. Add in the egg, vanilla extract, flour, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
  4. Beat together slowly and evenly until combined.
  5. Add the graham cracker crust mixture to the muffin tin and press down firmly.
  6. Add cheesecake batter right on top and then bake.
  7. When cheesecakes are finished cooling and chilling, add blueberry jam on top.
  8. Secure fresh blueberries to the blueberry jam.

Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies are zesty little, soft cookies to please any lemon lover! The lemon in these cookies sparkles in your mouth, elevating traditional Italian Ricotta Cookies to delicious perfection.

This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on one of these links, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. For additional information, please view the site Disclaimers here.

Italian Ricotta cookies are cakey, tender and soft. The ricotta cheese gives the cookies a soft, rich texture but the lemon lends a brightness to the flavor. While these cookies are tasty, they leave a bit to be desired in the taste area. Sweet, soft and cakey, there really are no complaints but they don’t really wow. But add a bit of lemon?? Now you are talking.

Love Italian Cookies? Check out these delicious Ricciarelli Italian Almond Cookies!

I absolutely love lemon anything, so I like to add 2 tablespoons of zest to this recipe, however customize to your liking, adding only 1 tablespoon if you prefer a lighter lemon flavor.


Sprinkles are a great way to bring texture and color to your baking!

If you want your cookies to wow, don’t go with the traditional rainbow Nonpareils sprinkles. Everyone puts rainbow sprinkles on Italian Ricotta Cookies….so get creative. At the holidays, go with Christmas colored sprinkles or if you really want to impress, out for gold star sprinkles. These pretty little edible gold stars will add a bit of sparkle to your delicious cookies!

Helpful Hints

  • Every well stocked kitchen needs a quality zester! A good microplane will change your zesting world!
  • A cookie scoop will ensure uniform size, so cookies bake evenly and look so pretty and round!
  • Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies freeze well, but sprinkles do not! They will tend to run their color into your glaze. If planning to freeze these cookies, freeze them prior to glazing and glaze and decorate prior to serving.

The lemony glaze is the crown on top of these yummy cookies! The lemon just pops in your mouth! You want the glaze to be the consistency a bit thicker than thick maple syrup to have the glaze not run off the cookie, but be thin enough to seep into the cracks and crevices.

You will love this cake because

  • It is simple and luscious, with the perfect balance of sweet-tart, that is great for any occasion.
  • It is a lovely citrus dessert, that can be enjoyed plain with a cup of tea or coffee or can be enjoyed as a dessert topped with some whipped cream or mascarpone or creme fraiche and berries.


Getting Ready: This recipe requires an 8- by 4-inch nonreactive aluminum pan, preferably a non-latching, two-piece style, such as this one. Otherwise, a traditional cake pan of those dimensions will work, with a touch more effort to unmold. Of course, cheesecake can be baked in any size or style of pan, but the volume of batter, target temperatures, and times will require individual adjustments, which have not been tested here.

If using a two-piece pan, wrap the bottom piece in foil before assembly, then tear away the excess so the pan sits flat. If using a traditional cake pan, line the bottom with a parchment round (explanation and tutorial here). In either case, lightly grease the pan.

For the Crust: Add the cookie crumbs, melted butter, and salt to the pan, and stir with a fork until well combined. If needed, season to taste with additional salt. With your fingers, compress into an even layer along the bottom of the pan. The mixture may seem drier than you might expect, but it will absorb moisture from the cheesecake as it bakes.

For the Cheesecake: Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 225°F. Combine cream cheese, ricotta, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, lemon oil, orange flower water, and salt in the bowl of a 14-cup food processor and process until smooth, pausing to scrape the bowl as needed to dislodge any pieces of cream cheese that do not initially incorporate. Once smooth, add the eggs and process only until well combined. Use immediately or refrigerate the batter in an airtight container until needed, up to one week. Please note that the volume of batter will overwhelm mini-choppers as well as food processors with a "thick liquid" max-fill line of less than 10-cups if this equipment is not available, the ingredients will need to be combined by hand or with great care on a stand mixer to avoid over-aeration.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and place on a baking sheet. Bounce a spoon across the surface to dislodge any air bubbles in the batter. If you don't see any, no need to continue. If you do notice a few rising up, keep bouncing the spoon until they're gone.

Bake until the cheesecake feels firm around the edges, though the innermost ring of cheesecake will wobble when you shake the pan. This softer zone should be no more than 3 inches across. The cheesecake will be done when the very center registers 155°F on a digital thermometer inserted into the very center of the cheesecake. Testing with a thermometer will not cause the cheesecake to crack cracking is the result of over-baking and nothing more. In an accurate oven, with an 8- by 4-inch aluminum pan, the cheesecake will bake in about 3 1/2 hours. Please be aware the bake time will vary, perhaps substantially, according to the accuracy of the oven's temperature, pan style, batter temperature, and other factors. Cool the cheesecake at least 1 hour (or up to 4) before covering it to refrigerate until cold to the core, at least 12 hours.

Unmolding the Cheesecake From a Loose-Bottom Cake Pan: Loosen the sides of the cheesecake from the pan with a thin knife or offset spatula. Place the pan on a large can of tomatoes or a similarly sized object something tall enough to lift the cheesecake 4 inches from the counter, and wide enough to form a stable base. With both hands on the sides of the pan, pull downward to drop the outer ring away from the bottom. Place the cake onto a flat work surface, loosen it from the bottom of the pan with an offset spatula, and transfer to a large, flat serving plate. Cover with plastic and refrigerate until needed, up to 10 days.

Unmolding the Cheesecake From a Traditional Cake Pan: Loosen the sides of the cheesecake from the pan with a thin knife or offset spatula. Stand the cake in a few inches of scalding hot water until the pan feels warm (a roasting pan works well for this). Drape the cake in plastic wrap to protect its surface and then invert onto a large, flat plate. Lift the pan to pull it away. It should slide free without any resistance if not, continue standing in hot water a few minutes more. After removing the pan, peel the parchment from the crust, and re-invert the cheesecake onto a serving plate. Cover with plastic and refrigerate until needed, up to 10 days.

To Serve: Top with candied lemon rind, jam, or homemade fruit syrup. Cut the cheesecake with a large chef's knife dipped in hot water for clean and tidy portions of cheesecake, pause to clean the blade under hot running water between each slice.

Serving suggestions

Why not make a meal of it? Surround the baked cheese with roasted tomatoes plus olives, raw or blanched vegetables, dried fruit, nuts, assorted charcuterie and bread. Such a crowd-pleaser but above all, that’s easy entertaining!

Roasted truss tomatoes are super easy! Firstly a drizzle of olive oil then a sprinkle of salt, before you bake tomatoes alongside the ricotta.

If you choose larger tomatoes, cut in half and place cut side up in a baking tray and roast exactly the same way.

If you need a quick and easy appetiser, then look no further because this is the recipe for you. This Baked Ricotta with Roasted Tomatoes ticks all the boxes and I know you’ll love it.

Watch the video: Ricotta and Honey Cheesecake Recipe