I love cheesecake, and this Sicilian Cheesecake is a dreamy ricotta cheesecake, similar in style to an American cheesecake, but light and fluffy. It’s amazing served with homemade lemon or mango curd, and perfect for any holiday or special occasion. We specifically love it served for Easter!

a slice of cheesecake

Looking for a dessert to wow your guests? We love our elegant Sicilian Cheesecake recipe so much. It’s even better when served with homemade lemon or mango orange curd! Of course you can use store-bought (we love Trader Joe’s lemon curd), but if you have the time, make your own curd—it’s easier than you may think.

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Sicilian Cheesecake

Luxurious, light, and some-what easy to make, our Sicilian cheesecake is perfect for holidays (Easter!), and every kind of celebration. We had cheesecake several times on our last trip to Italy, and we can’t stop talking about it. By the way, did you know that the BEST kind of cheesecake requires no water bath, because the top can crack, and the surface is supposed to brown to produce a delicious caramel flavor?

Read more: Sicilian Cheesecake
a serving of Sicilian Cheesecake

Why I love this recipe

  • It’s elegant, impressive, and more importantly, it’s light and loved by all.
  • No water bath is required, which makes it one step easier.
  • The flavor is amazing paired with a tart curd, jam, or drizzled chocolate.
  • It makes the best “special occasion” dessert.
a baked Sicilian Cheesecake with cracks

Gather these ingredients

  • Cream cheese
  • Ricotta cheese: full fat (use whole milk ricotta in this recipe, if you can, because it will help give the cheesecake the richness that we love , as well as a little tang)
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Eggs
  • White sugar
  • All purpose flour
  • Cornstarch
  • Kosher salt
  • Vanilla extract

Topping ideas

  • Curd – try our Mango Orange Curd recipe
  • Fruit-based toppings, like raspberry or blueberry compote
  • Strawberry coulis
  • Cherry sauce
  • Mango ice cream
  • Mascarpone cheese (cream)
  • Delicate chocolate curls
  • Fresh berries
how to make a Sicilian Cheesecake

How to make the best Sicilian Cheesecake

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Prepare a 9” springform pan. Use two large sheets of parchment, about 16’’x12, large enough for each to line about 2/3 of the pan and overlap in the center. Butter the pan, then press the paper into the bottom and pleat the sides to fit the inside of the pan—the paper should go about 1 1/2-2’’ above the pan. Lightly spray the inside of the parchment, then place on a baking sheet and set aside.  
  3. Strain the ricotta. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the ricotta cheese 1-2 times until smooth—this is important to achieve a creamy texture. Skipping this step will result in your cake having small ricotta curds (but of course, it will still taste delicious).
  4. Mix the batter. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (a hand mixer will also work), beat the ricotta cheese and sugar for 2-3 minutes, until thickened, smooth, and glossy. Transfer to a separate bowl and set aside. 
  5. Add the cream cheese to the stand mixer and mix on high until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, on medium-high. Make sure the eggs are fully incorporated before you add the next; this will take about 45 seconds in between eggs. In between eggs, be sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl down to ensure all the cream cheese is smooth. There should be no lumps in the mixture.  
  6. Reduce speed to medium-low and add the vanilla, salt, and ricotta sugar mixture and mix until fully incorporated.
  7. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once more, then reduce the speed to low and add the heavy cream. Mix until fully combined, then sift in the flour and cornstarch.  
  8. Pour batter into the prepared pan and place on the center rack in the oven. 
  9. Bake for 60-70 minutes—when gently shaken, the center of the cake will jiggle. If the cake is browning too quickly before baking time is up, gently place a piece of foil over the top to prevent further browning. 
  10. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cook and deflate for at least 30 minutes before removing the springform pan and cooling to room temperature. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill before serving with a tart curd, jam, or drizzled chocolate.
plate of Sicilian Cheesecake with a fork

Sicilian cheesecake or regular cheesecake?

The main difference between what we would consider typical New York American cheesecake and Italian cheesecake is that, in Italy, cheesecake is made with ricotta rather than cream cheese. It is a bit lighter and dryer, more cake-like and less cloying.

spooning mango curd onto slice of cheesecake

Tips & substitutions

  • It is important to strain the ricotta through a fine mesh strainer 1-2 times for a creamy, light texture.
  • Make sure all ingredients are room temperature. 
  • If you can, make homemade curd. It really is the best.
  • Line your parchment paper so that it hangs outside of your springform pan. It is way easier to lift out the cheesecake this way.
  • A cheesecake can become grainy due to overbeating the eggs, which incorporates too much air while you’re beating the mixture. 
  • Make ahead: You can make the cheesecake the day before and chill in the refrigerator overnight. 
  • Freeze: You can freeze the cheesecake without the topping for up to 1 month. Cut cooled cheesecake into slices, then wrap each individual slice with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil, and then store in an airtight container.
serving of cheesecake with strawberries

Serving suggestions

Transfer to the refrigerator and chill before serving with a tart curd, jam, or drizzled chocolate. We also love it served with mango curd or lemon curd and fresh strawberries.

For a holiday meal, serve this dessert with ham, green beans, this cake pan salad, and these potatoes. The ultimate Easter dinner!

Storage

Store any leftover Sicilian Cheesecake in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. 

cheesecake with curd and fresh strawberries

Check out these awesome cheesecake recipes while you’re here

a slice of cheesecake
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Sicilian Cheesecake

This Sicilian Cheesecake is loaded with flavor, a ricotta cheesecake, similar in style to an American cheesecake, served with mango curd.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
resting time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Yield: 12
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Ingredients
 

  • 1 ½ lb cream cheese, room temperature
  • 16 oz full fat ricotta cheese, room temperature, extra liquid drained
  • 1 ¾ c heavy cream, warmed to about 70 degrees
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 ¼ c white sugar
  • 3 ½ Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Mango or lemon curd for serving, plus fresh strawberries

Equipment

  • 9’’ springform pan

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  • Use two large sheets of parchment, about 16’’x12, large enough for each to line about ⅔ of the pan and overlap in the center. Butter the pan, then press the paper into the bottom and pleat the sides to fit the inside of the pan—the paper should go about 1 ½-2’’ above the pan. Lightly spray the inside of the parchment, then place on a baking sheet and set aside.
  • Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the ricotta cheese 1-2 times until smooth—this is important to achieve a creamy texture. Skipping this step will result in your cake having small ricotta curds (but of course, it will still taste delicious).
  • Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (a hand mixer will also work), beat the ricotta cheese and sugar for 2-3 minutes, until thickened, smooth, and glossy. Transfer to a separate bowl and set aside.
  • Add the cream cheese to the stand mixer and mix on high until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, on medium-high. Make sure the eggs are fully incorporated before you add the next; this will take about 45 seconds in between eggs. In between eggs, be sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl down to ensure all the cream cheese is smooth. There should be no lumps in the mixture.
  • Reduce speed to medium-low and add the vanilla, salt, and ricotta sugar mixture and mix until fully incorporated.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl once more, then reduce the speed to low and add the heavy cream. Mix until fully combined, then sift in the flour and cornstarch.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan and place on the center rack in the oven. Bake for 60-70 minutes—when gently shaken, the center of the cake will jiggle. If the cake is browning too quickly before baking time is up, gently place a piece of foil over the top to prevent further browning.
  • Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cook and deflate for at least 30 minutes before removing the springform pan and cooling to room temperature. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill before serving with a tart curd, jam, or drizzled chocolate.
Cuisine: Italian
Course: Dessert
Calories: 502kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 39g, Saturated Fat: 23g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 193mg, Sodium: 394mg, Potassium: 180mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 24g, Vitamin A: 1552IU, Vitamin C: 0.2mg, Calcium: 169mg, Iron: 1mg
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Sicilian Cheesecake