Light as a Cloud Ricotta Cheesecake

Light as a Cloud Ricotta Cheesecake

A few pointers: 1) Separate the eggs in advance. It’s easier when they’re cold but it’s best to use them at room temperature. 2) You can use the same mixing bowl for the egg whites and then the cheese mixture by transferring the beaten egg whites to another holding bowl. 3) If you can’t get the crumbs to coat the bottom of the pan evenly, sprinkle a little extra on the bare spots. - Jenny Jones

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Makes: 12 servings

Light as a Cloud Ricotta Cheesecake


  • 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

  • 4 egg whites

  • 2 pounds ricotta cheese (I use part-skim ricotta, which has less fat)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • zest of one large or two small lemons
  • zest of one orange


  1. Preheat oven to 325° F.
  2. Generously grease bottom & sides of a 9-inch springform pan with butter.
  3. Add crumbs & tilt the pan to coat the bottom & sides. Leave loose crumbs on the bottom.
  4. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form and set aside.
  5. Drain cheese in a fine mesh strainer to eliminate water. Place in a food processor and process for 2 minutes until smooth.
  6. Transfer cheese to a mixing bowl. Beating on medium-high speed, add eggs one at a time. Slowly add sugar and vanilla. This process takes about 5 minutes.
  7. Reduce mixer speed to low & stir in flour and zests.
  8. Using a spatula, gently fold in egg whites.
  9. Pour into pan, smooth the top and bake for one hour or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  10. Cool completely in the pan (2 hrs.) on a wire rack. Refrigerate before serving.

Notes: For more on this recipe in my blog click here.

43 Comments on "Light as a Cloud Ricotta Cheesecake"

  1. Gosia

    I made it today. Amazing! I love the taste and texture. Great recipe, thank you!

  2. Jennie

    Can I make it without the graham crust?

  3. SAC

    So good! I wasn’t sure how it would turn out because I made my own ricotta from 2% milk, but a half gallon of milk didn’t make the full 3.6 cups. By a whole cup, really. But I soldiered on, and used drained nonfat cottage cheese that I had on hand. I was pretty worried that it was too soupy when I finished the food processor, since processed ricotta is usually much thicker. I added about 2 extra tablespoons of flour and baked about 10 minutes s longer. Critically, it’s still just a little wet in the middle, but that’s my fault. Even so, there won’t be any going to waste and next time I’ll make a full gallon batch of ricotta. Thanks!

  4. Pati

    My Italian friend makes the traditional ricotta cheese cake but adds mini chocolate chips to the bottom. It has a pastry crust. I should try your version since her recipe uses up to 18 eggs. Wondering how I could incorporate the chocolate chips though.

  5. Lynne Schoen

    I live in Colorado. Have issues baking with the altitude. I reduced sugar by 2 Tablespoons and flour by 1/2 Tablespoon. I also had to increase from 325 to 350 degrees.

    Cake is delicious but not light as a cloud! I will try a water bath next time.

    Any suggestions are welcome.

  6. Sabrina

    My husband loves cheesecake. He’s a difficult person to make dessert for because he has an allergy to both citrus and chocolate! 😐

    Any suggestions on what I could use for flavour to replace the citrus in this one?

    Thank you, you are amazing and I’m so happy to have found your website! (As is my family)

  7. christian

    I was so excited to make my first cheesecake with all this ricotta since my family. doesn’t want lasagna. It’s baking now and I just realized I put in half the ricotta ! Fingers crossed its not too bad. will update
    christian Portland OR

    • christian

      Even with accidentally putting in half of the ricotta the cake was delicious!

  8. Sharon

    Jenny you made my husband’s birthday while we are stuck in for the covid 19 virus! I had only one 15oz. Container of ricotta so I halved everything and since I was afraid to use a big springpan I had a prepared graham cracker crust or you could use a pie pan. He is on a very low fat diet so I used two egg whites instead of the yokes and a little less than 1/4 of sugar. He said it was better than his cheesecake from our favorite Italian restaurant! Thank you. This will be our go to recipe from now on!

  9. Isa cooper

    I’ve been watching my sugar and replaced the sugar for this cheesecake with Swerve. It did take longer than an hour but I kept a watchful eye on it. It was done and voila! It came out delicious. Because of the longer time to cook the edges got a little overcooked. I carefully sliced them off. The trimmings Turned out to taste like a delicate cookie. Topped it with berries and my tennis friends loved it. I look forward to looking at other recipes on your site.

  10. Joanne

    I made this cheesecake and was not sure how it was going to turn out.
    I loved it! My neighbor loved it..she could not believe it was ricotta cheesecake…she also mentioned it was light and fluffy…its a keeper.
    Thank you Jenny…

  11. Constance

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. My Mom used to by a cheese cake from the Italian bakery that was light and airy and so good. I have search for the recipe one close to the cake. This sounds like it might be. Though the cake my Mom brought was shaped like a loaf! That you for sharing.

  12. Joanne

    Jenny..I’m looking forward to making this recipe today!
    I love cheesecake so this would be a great substitute for the regular, you know what I mean, cheesecake.
    Would adding half the amount of sugar alter the recipe negatively?
    Thank you,

  13. Chris

    I have followed recipe to the letter… 325 for 1 hour….checked with knife but does not come out clean…middle of cake wiggly still…have used a 9” springform pan cake batter comes to top …turns off oven and let sit in for 1/2 hour ….this my third try last night put back into oven to bake some more ended up burning top and over baking…..?

    • Jenny Can Cook

      I’m sorry to hear this. There must be a reason why your cake has too much moisture. Maybe your brand of ricotta cheese needs a longer draining time, or maybe the egg whites were not beaten stiff enough. If you make no changes in the ingredients and follow the steps exactly, it should turn out. It always does for me.

  14. Pauline abran

    Jenny do you make chicken egg rolls

  15. Pb18

    I cut down to 3/4 c of sugar and it tasted just as good and more fresh.

  16. Cindy

    I can’t wait to try this! Your recipes look so easy. Ty

  17. Debbie

    Just tried making it. Waiting for it to cook.wondering how many calories and sugar count

  18. Anita L

    I love this recipe, my holistic chiropractor also loved it, asked for the recipe

  19. colleen

    HI Jenny. love all your recipes do you have a recipe for cranberry jello salad

  20. Heather

    Putting a sheet pan on top of the cheesecake pan like a lid can also help with cracks.

  21. Terry

    I don,t have a spring form pan, can I use an 8” round cake pan, if not I will buy one at Home Goods, my go to place in the Northeast, would love to make it, Hubs loves the lemon brownies, keep them on the counter 1 day then refrigerate them, as you suggested, do not want them to mold, too good to have that happen, tx for recipes

  22. Lauren D Harvey

    Hi Jenny,

    Can I make this recipe with no sugar? I am trying to make this cheesecake that my boyfriend and I had in France… it was beautiful – a farm cheese & ricotta cheesecake with no sugar except for in the biscuit/ graham cracker crust and the blueberry compote on top. It has been impossible to find a recipe with no sugar/ sugar substitute! I am hoping to surprise him on Valentines day.

    Look forward to your input 🙂

    Thank you,

  23. Brenda T.

    Jenny, I have a question about the cheesecake. Do you cool in the pan two hours, or remove from pan and cool? Thanks for clarifying. Thanks for all these wonderful recipes!

  24. Shirley

    This looks like a very nice cheese cake. I’m wondering if you’ve tried (or if anyone has) Stevia instead of sugar (either in total or part)?

  25. Patty Cirillo

    My husband is from Italy and his mother always made her ricotta cheese “pie” with anisette in place of the vanilla extract. Also, she would cook a half cup of white rice, let it cool, then add to ricotta mixture. Although she is deceased, her recipe is made annually at Easter and Christmas. I’m looking forward to making your version Jenny with the addition of our beloved anisette and rice. I have recently discovered your website and excited to try so many of your recipes but having a difficult time deciding which ones first. Thank you for taking the time to do what you do. God has blessed you with a wonderful talent and now you are a blessing to others. Sincerely thanking you with a greatful heart.

  26. Jody

    Hi Jenny, I made this wonderful cheesecake but it cracked on the top for me. What did I do wrong? Was it overbaked?

    • Jenny

      It’s not unusual for cheesecakes to crack but there are a few reasons: baked too long, the pan not greased enough, cooling it too fast, etc. You can find lots of tips online on avoiding the cracks if they bother you, like using a water bath, but when my cheesecake cracks, it doesn’t bother me – it still tastes the same.

  27. J R

    On your Ricotta Cheesecake, can you substitute almond extract instead of vanilla, or will that change the taste? I am Italian, and my family love ricotta, and this is such a healthier version of regular cheese cakes.
    Thank you

    • Jenny

      It will definitely change the taste and it’s not a spice that I would use with this recipe but I see there are other recipes that use almond extract with cheesecake.

      • Domenick Marinaro

        In response to the Almond extract.. Using Amaretto is the better alternative since it does have a hint of Almond.It is used in many italian pastries and cakes.

  28. Fauzia

    Hallo Jenny,

    Can you help me out please? How much is 2 pound part ? Do you mean 2 pound of ricotta? Sorry, i live in Holland and would like very much to make this cake.

    • Jenny

      I see the confusion. It’s two pounds of ricotta cheese. The one I use is called “part-skim” ricotta because it’s lower in fat.

      • Fauzia

        aha! 🙂 thank you for explaning. im going in my kitchen now!
        p.s. love your recepies!

  29. BarbA

    Just got this in the oven and can’t wait to share with my loved ones tomorrow. Thanks Jenny and have a great Holiday.

  30. Aasha

    Can I use cream cheese instead of Ricota Cheese???
    Is it must to make cheesecakes in springform pans??

    • Jenny

      I have never used cream cheese but it’s heavier than ricotta so it’s probably better to look for a regular cheesecake recipe since they mostly use cream cheese. And without a springform pan, it would be almost impossible to remove a cheesecake from a regular pan.

  31. Judit Armstead

    I make this cheesecake every month. My family, friends are just love it. Easy, quick to make.
    The cake is light as a cloud.
    Thank you Jenny a lot!

    JA, Orlando, FL

  32. Solmarie Rodriguez

    My co-worker made this cheesecake and gave me a piece today. It was AMAZING! So light, and tasty. Can’t wait to try making it myself. 🙂

  33. Paola Mirella Wright

    Great ! and ricotta is available in many types here in …BUT I still prefer to see this in video !!

    Thanks anyway,

    Paola Mirella in Rovigo, Italy

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