Whipped Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake.
This whipped lemon ricotta cheesecake is rich and luscious and takes so little effort to make. Creamy whipped ricotta cheese made with lemon and honey and baked up in a flaky phyllo dough crust. This unique cheesecake is light, creamy, airy, a touch buttery, lightly sweetened, and perfectly hinted with fresh lemon and vanilla. The best part? There’s no fancy water bath required, just simple and delicious!
If you can believe it, this is my first ever cheesecake. Sure, I shared these blueberry cheesecake bars last year, but never before have I made a real cheesecake. Of course, this one’s not traditional either, but then isn’t that what you’ve come to expect from me by now? Putting my own little twist on a classic is kind of what I do…
Even though I second guess myself every step of the way. Will I ever stop this…probably not.
So with that, let’s talk about this cheesecake and how you should plan to make it this week. Don’t second guess yourself like I do, this is so easy and delicious. No matter whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day or not, your week needs this creamy ricotta cheesecake.
It really does.
For starters, the inspiration for the cheesecake was drawn solely from the fact that cheesecake is one of the few desserts I’ve never made. Cheesecake wasn’t something I grew up eating. And while I know that most people really enjoy it, I was always under the impression that it wasn’t for me. Why? Well, because both my parents are chocolate only kind of dessert people, and never once shared cheesecake with their kids.
Of course, now that I’m older, I realize just how delicious a good cheesecake can be. BUT I do have a few requirements when it comes to what makes a good cheesecake…
It’s must not be overly sweet, it must be extra creamy, and it has to have good flavor.
Enter this ricotta cheesecake…lightly sweetened with only honey, with hints of lemon and vanilla for extra flavor. Whip the ricotta cheese before baking for an extra creamy filling. And, to add one more layer of flavor and texture, I ditched the boring graham cracker crust and instead used flaky phyllo dough.
I was inspired to use ricotta, instead of the more traditional cream cheese, mainly due to the fact that I had two containers in my fridge. But also because I just really love ricotta cheese when used in a sweet way (cc: this Dutch Baby). I knew that in order to achieve that silky smooth cheesecake texture, I’d need to whip the ricotta up in the food processor. What’s great is the entire batter is all made in the bowl of the food processor (you could also use a blender).
It’s pretty much as simple as it could get.
And that crust? Well, I’ve never really enjoyed a graham cracker crust, so I brainstormed a few ideas until I landed on phyllo dough. The phyllo dough ended up being the perfect light and flaky crust. It not sweet and doesn’t over shadow the delicious ricotta filling.
As mentioned above, this cheesecake requires no water bath. Yes, I may get called out for this. But I’m going to be honest, I tested the recipe both with a water bath and without. Truly I couldn’t tell the difference between the cakes. Sure, you may have a crack or two on the top of your cake, but who really cares when you’re just going to top the cake with fresh berries and a dusting of powdered sugar, you know?
Trust me, the water bath is not worth the extra effort.
The hardest part about this cheesecake? Waiting for it to actually chill. Which I will not lie, I snuck in a few bites while the cake was warm. I’m not the biggest fan of cold food, so I personally found it delicious. But of course, it’s a little creamier once it’s fully chilled and set.
My tip…bake this cheesecake up today or tomorrow. This will give it proper time to chill before Thursday night (which is v-day). Then enjoy as a special after dinner treat. Bonus? This also makes a great brunch item for the weekend…just a thought.
If you make this lemon ricotta cheesecake, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Whipped Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake
Creamy whipped ricotta cheese made with lemon and honey and baked up in a flaky phyllo dough crust. This unique cheesecake is light, creamy, airy, a touch buttery, lightly sweetened, and perfectly hinted with fresh lemon and vanilla.
- 4 tablespoons salted butter, melted
- 12 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
- 2 pounds (32 ounces) whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup honey, plus additional honey for serving
- 1/4-1/2 cup granulated sugar (optional* please see note)
- 4 whole eggs + 2 egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice, preferably Meyer lemon
- powder sugar and fresh berries, for serving
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch spring form pan.
2. Place 1 sheet of phyllo dough on a clean counter and brush with melted butter. Repeat, layering 1 more time, placing the sheets of dough over top of each other. Carefully transfer the buttered phyllo to the prepared pan, gently pressing it to fit inside. Repeat, over lapping each layer 3 more times until you have completely covered the bottom and sides of the pan to create the crust (see above photo) and have used 8 sheets of dough. Don't stress about making this perfect, just cover the pan with phyllo and all will be good.
3. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the ricotta and cream. Pulse until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the honey, sugar, if using, eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, and lemon juice, pulse until combined and no streaks of yellow egg remain, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
4. Transfer to the oven and bake for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake sit in the oven another 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Transfer to the fridge to chill completely, at least 2 hours or serve at room temperature. We prefer room temp.
5. Release the cake from the mold. Serve with fresh berries, a drizzle of honey, and a dusting of powdered sugar, if desired.
*This is not meant to be a sweet cheesecake and we do prefer this with only 1/2 cup of honey and no additional sugar. That said, if you like a sweeter cake, 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup granulated sugar can be added with the honey.
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