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Italian Ricotta Cheesecake

This decadent crustless Italian cheesecake is light and fluffy, made with ricotta cheese and cream cheese, is without a crust but instead surrounded by a sweet caramelized shell from baking in the oven.

Introducing my go to cheesecake recipe, this lovely Italian Ricotta Cheesecake, which in my humble opinion, is the best cheesecake ever. Like really truly the best kind of the best.

a slice of ricotta cheesecake topped with berries and sauce on a small plate

What is Italian Cheesecake

This crustless Italian cheesecake is a recipe from my dear friend Diane, who got it from her Italian family. Diane used to make this all the time when we were roommates, and this ricotta cheesecake recipe is what made me fall in love with cheesecakes.

This has been my go-to cheesecake recipe ever since whenever the cheesecake craving hits!

Key marks of this delicious Italian cheesecake:

  • It is crustless, which is typical of traditional Italian cheesecake. There is no graham cracker crust, but instead is surrounded by a caramelized layer formed after sugar and butter is baked in the oven. That sweet browned caramelized layer is my favorite part of this cheesecake – it brings a ridiculously beautiful texture and taste to contrast that creamy richness of the Italian cheesecake. And let’s be honest here, because it’s a crustless cheesecake, it’s one less thing to make!
  • Uses ricotta cheese so it has a rich flavor yet it is not overly heavy or dense. It is creamy, fairly light and slightly airy.
  • Incorporating sour cream gives it a slight citrus-y flavor, making the flavor more well-rounded, and balances out the richness and the creaminess.
  • Served with berries on top to balance out the rich and creamy ricotta cheesecake. You can serve it plain without the berries if you prefer, it is up to you.

There are so many versions of what you would call an Italian cheesecake, and this is one of them. Think of this as my take on Italian cheesecake, with notes and components from it, but it is not necessarily fully authentic.

Italian cheesecakes are usually lighter, fluffier, and ricotta is involved compared to a New York Cheesecake, which is creamier and denser.

That lighter texture and the use of ricotta is what made me fall in love with Italian Cheesecake. And this crustless Italian ricotta cheesecake definitely pays tribute to that.

A whole crustless Italian ricotta cheesecake

What you will need

My Italian ricotta cheesecake recipe calls for pantry-friendly, and a fairly shortlist of ingredients. And since it is crustless, I honestly think that makes it even more straight-forward!

Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • whole milk ricotta – you can use skim or non-fat ricotta but I think whole milk ricotta tastes better because it’s creamier.
  • cream cheese – yes! we are using both ricotta and cream cheese! Make sure to leave it out so it’s softened a few hours before use
  • sour cream
  • granulated sugar
  • eggs
  • all-purpose flour
  • pure vanilla extract
  • unsalted butter 

In terms of kitchen tools, you will also need a 9-inch round springform pan – so that you will be able to release the sides once the cheesecake is done, instead of having to dig the cheesecake out from the pan (Yeah, don’t do that…). These springform pans are fairly cheap and you can find them anywhere!

I highly recommend wrapping the springform pan with aluminum foil to prevent any leakage of liquid into the oven while it is baking. See picture below.

aluminum foil wrapped around spring foam pan
Wrap springform pan with aluminum foil to prevent any leakage while baking

How to make crustless ricotta cheesecake

While this crustless cheesecake recipe is pretty easy to make and has a short list of ingredients, note that it does requires some time and a little bit of planning in advance.

In other words, if your cheesecake cravings hit and you hope to have your crustless ricotta cheesecake in the next hour, you are kinda out of luck.

It does take a few hours for this ricotta cream cheese cheesecake to cool and refrigerate. But trust me, the patience IS ALL WORTH IT once you bite into this life-changing, as-good-as-gold, delicious cheesecake!

Step 1: whisk ricotta cheesecake mixture

Let’s bring together the filling of our crustless ricotta cheesecake by whisking all the ingredients (ricotta, softened cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, eggs, flour, vanilla extract) in a large bowl until it is very smooth.

It is recommended to whisk this for 20 minutes. It does seem like a long time, but we really want the remove any clumps and our Italian ricotta cheesecake needs to be smooth with a capital S.

Pro tip: if you have a stand mixer, it will make this part of the process a whole lot easier!

whisking cheesecake filling in a large bowl with a hand electric mixer

Step 2: Bake & Rest

Once the ricotta cream cheese cheesecake filling is whisked well together, pour the filling into a spring foam pan that has been greased with butter.

Bake Italian ricotta cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour.

And here’s a unique part of the process: when it is done, switch off the heat in the oven but do not open the oven door, and let cheesecake sit in the oven for 2 hours.

Cooling the cheesecake slowly (not dropping the temperature drastically while it cools), will lessen the cracking.

Step 3: Refrigerate and wait some more…

Remove from the oven and gently release the crustless cheesecake by removing the sides of the spring foam pan.

Your Italian ricotta cheesecake should have a nice golden brown exterior and be slightly soft and jiggly on the inside.

Keep the bottoms of the spring foam pan stuck to the crustless cheesecake and transfer to a cake stand or container, and refrigerate crustless cheesecake for up to 4 hours or overnight, until your Italian ricotta cheesecake forms up.

A whole cheesecake without crust topped with raspberries and powdered sugar

Step 4: Top with berries (or not…)

If you are a cheesecake purist and don’t do berries or toppings on your crustless cheesecake because it will hinder your Italian ricotta cheesecake experience, I actually kinda understand and see where you are coming from. Especially when this cheesecake is amazing enough to stand by itself!

However, if you want to bring another layer of texture and flavor to further enhance the Italian ricotta cheesecake, top it with some fresh raspberries and make this incredible yet simple raspberry sauce recipe that goes perfectly with the cheesecake. It takes it OVER THE TOP.

Also, if you experience some cracking on the crustless cheesecake (because we are all humans, and cracking the cheesecake just happens!), the raspberries are the perfect way to hide it! 😉

Tips for making cheesecake

A few tips and tricks when making this crustless Italian ricotta cheesecake:

  • a springform pan is a must! In addition, make sure to grease it with butter so that your crustless cheesecake doesn’t stick to it.
  • combine the ricotta cheesecake ingredients in a large bowl and take the time to beat it up well so that the mixture achieves the perfect consistency. To ensure the cheesecake texture comes out smooth, fluffy and creamy, use a stand mixture or electric hand mixture, whisk the cheesecake ingredients on medium high speed for 20 minutes. Yes, it is a little time consuming and a lot of beating. But again – WORTH IT! 😉
  • we are reducing the cracking by letting the Italian ricotta cheesecake sit in the oven for 2 hours after it is done baking to not drastically drop the temperature in the cheesecake while it cools. However, cracking is still likely to happen on the cheesecake after it bakes. I will admit, I am not cheesecake expert, have made this multiple times, and it almost always crack slightly on top. So if your cheesecake cracks a little bit, don’t fret over it! Top some berries on there and call it a day ;). Or just eat it as is, because I promise you, it will still tastes glorious.
A slice of Italian ricotta cheesecake on a plate topped with raspberries and raspberry sauce

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to bake this in a water bath?

You can but it is not necessary. Water bath helps the cheesecake to be creamier and smoother, and also reduce cracking. In this recipe, we are whisking it thoroughly for 20 minutes to ensure the cheesecake is smooth and creamy, and letting the cheesecake sit in the oven for 2 hours after baking to reduce cracking.

How should I store this crustless cheesecake?

Store it in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to 7 days.

Can I freeze cheesecake?

Absolutely. Cheesecake freeze very well and the consistency shouldn’t change after freezing.

With the holidays coming up, Italian ricotta cheesecake is the PERFECT holiday dessert! Make this for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years eve, holiday parties!

But seriously, you don’t need a reason for craving for this delicious crustless Italian ricotta cheesecake. If it is not the holiday season and you need some cheesecake in your life…I say make it anyway!! 🙂

DID YOU ENJOY THIS RECIPE? Please comment below and give us a 5-star rating! This will help others find this recipe on Google and Pinterest. We very much appreciate your help! 🤍

The Best Cheesecake Ever

More delicious desserts

Since we are in fact in November, a.k.a. holiday season, check out these other fun desserts to make this holiday!

A slice of crustless cheesecake with raspberries on top

Italian Ricotta Cheesecake

Rich, smooth, creamy and fluffy, this crustless cheesecake recipe is Italian inspired and made with ricotta, cream cheese and sour cream.
4.89 from 97 votes
Print Pin
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Italian
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Cooling and refrigerating time: 6 hours
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 554kcal
Author: MinShien



  • 16 oz whole milk ricotta
  • 16 oz cream cheese softened
  • 16 oz sour cream
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter melted


  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup raspberry sauce
  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar


  • Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees F.
  • Bring whole milk ricotta, softened cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, eggs, flour, vanilla extract, 1/2 cup melted butter into a large bowl. Mix well and beat on medium high speed (using a hand-held mixture or standing mixture) for 20 minutes.
  • Butter springform pan with the other 1/2 tbsp of melted butter and wrap aluminum foil around the pan to prevent leakage. 
    Wrap aluminum foil around spring foam pan for making The Best Cheesecake Ever
  • Pour cheesecake mixture into springform pan. Bring to oven and bake for 1 hour.
  • Turn off oven and let cheesecake sit in oven for 2 hours. Do not open oven – we want to cool the cheesecake slowly.
  • Remove cheesecake from oven. Cheesecake might be slightly jiggly in the middle. Gently release the sides of the springform pan from cheesecake. 
  • Refrigerate cheesecake in the fridge for another 4-5 hours, or overnight, until cheesecake is firm.
  • Optional: top cheesecake with fresh raspberries, then sprinkle raspberries with powdered sugar. Slice and drizzle with raspberry sauce.
  • Serve and enjoy!


Calories: 554kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 157mg | Sodium: 209mg | Potassium: 197mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 1247IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 172mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Take a pic and tag me at @joyous.apron, or hashtag #joyousapron on Instagram!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Would this still work with 32 oz of whole milk ricotta instead of 16 oz whole milk ricotta and 16oz cream cheese?

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      The consistency would not be the same without the cream cheese so I would stick to 16 oz whole milk ricotta and 16oz cream cheese.

  2. can i use / or put the graham cracker crust from your other cheesecake recipe in the bottom of this? will it taste as good?

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      I have not tried that and would make this crustless for the time and temperature suggested!

  3. 5 stars
    I am a huge cheesecake lover! I have not tried making cheesecake with ricotta cheese before. Sounds like it would be delicious and creamy!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      I love the texture ricotta brings! Light and fluffy 🙂 I hope you love it!

  4. 5 stars
    I love basic cheesecakes and this one did not disappoint!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      That’s wonderful to hear! Thank you! 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    Such a delicious cheesecake recipe. My new favorite!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Yay! So glad!

  6. 5 stars
    Freakin delicious! Simple, smooth and creamy and everything I love in a cheesecake.

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Thank you! So glad you love it!!

  7. 4 stars
    baked it yesterday, really distinctive taste, especially the ricotta, thanks.
    the only issues I have are:
    1). a bit too sweet for some, how much sugar can I take down (without affecting the taste n integrity of the cake)?
    2). the ricotta is still a bit lumpy, quite hard to dissolve despite have machine churned for 30minutes or so….

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed the taste of it! I think you should be able to reduce the sugar by a few tbsp without compromising the integrity of the cake. In my experience the cheesecake should be nice and smooth if it is mixed together using an electrical mixture. The only thing I can think of is perhaps the type of ricotta you are using. Let me know your thoughts when you give it a try again!

  8. Amanda Dixon says:

    5 stars
    This cheesecake is fabulous! The ricotta gave the filling a nice lightness while still being super creamy and decadent.

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Thank you so much! That’s totally why I love ricotta in cheesecakes! 🙂

  9. Sandhya Ramakrishnan says:

    5 stars
    I am in love with this cheesecake! Love the ricotta for the airy texture and I had a hard time waiting for the cheesecake to set.

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Thank you so much! I am so happy to hear you enjoyed it. I love the airy texture as well!

  10. Katie Crenshaw says:

    5 stars
    My cheesecake turned out rich, creamy, and delicious! It was so easy to put together. I highly recommend.

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      That’s wonderful! Thank you so much!

  11. 5 stars
    Amazing! I’m such a fan of the crustless style and you can never go wrong with the classic raspberry topping! Divine. Everyone loved it.

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      I’m so glad to hear that everyone loved the cheesecake, Jessica!

  12. 5 stars
    This is my new favorite cheesecake recipe! I loved the combination of flavors and textures with the raspberries, it was so light and creamy.

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      I’m so happy to hear that, Amy! Thank you for sharing!

  13. AustinTxGal says:

    What size springform pan did you use?

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      9.5 inch!

  14. 5 stars
    This cheesecake is so enticing and absolutely yummy! Everything about it is perfect, especially the texture and the fluffiness! Loved it!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Thank you, Jamie! I LOVE the fluffiness too!

  15. 5 stars
    The best I ever had, creamy yet fluffy and extremely easy to make. Topped it with cherry pie filling, excellent, next time I will try blueberry filling for the top. Thanks for the recipe.
    Just a note I purchased 2 containers a 16 oz and a 32 oz I ended up using 1/2 of the larger package it was creamy and the other was gritty. It does make a difference, they were both the same brand!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Thank you for the kind review, Judy! It is definitely my favorite cheesecake recipe ever!

  16. 5 stars
    YUM! Such a delicious cheesecake recipe. Our favorite.

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Thank you!!

  17. veenaazmanov says:

    5 stars
    Very delicious! I like how it is light and fluffy, and has a tint of sour flavor. Will be making again.

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      That’s awesome!

  18. 5 stars
    I made this cheese cake yesterday for a social gathering. It was amazing. I made it exactly as recipe started. It didn’t crack, was so creamy. I cut it in 16ths with plain dental floss for perfect looking slices, it was the first cake that disappeared, some guests scrapped the bottom plate just to get a taste.
    I will be making this again and again

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Thank you so much for the glowing review, Lisa! I am so happy to hear that you love it as much as I do!

  19. I tasted Italian cheesecake at a Michelin star Italian restaurant and I fell in love now I’m searching to make it I hope I don’t mess it up thanks so much for the recipe!!!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      I hope you loved it! Let me know how it goes!

  20. This recipe looks amazing, but I need to make this gluten free. I plan on substituting 3 tbsp of corn starch for the 1/2 cup of flour. Is the flour just used to stabilize the cake? Do you think this will work and do I need to reduce wet ingredient to accommodate the 1/4 c. reduction in dry ingredients? Thanks!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Yes, the flour is there mostly to stabilize the cake and to give it a more cake-y texture. Unfortunately I have not baked this with corn starch and hesitate to comment on how it will work. If you do try it I would love to hear your feedback and thoughts!