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How to Make Authentic Italian Cheesecake

Updated on April 30, 2013

Most cheesecake made in the United States is made from cream cheese. Italian cheesecake is made from ricotta cheese which gives it a lighter, creamier texture. The following is an old traditional recipe that is truly Italian and truly delicious.

3.4 stars from 44 ratings of Italian cheesecake

Cook Time

Cook time: 2 hours
Ready in: 2 hours
Yields: About 8 slices


  • 3 lbs. whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 8 separated eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup rum (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. orange zest
  • butter
  • Graham crackers for crust (follow directions on box) (optional)
  • powdered sugar


  1. Separate the egg whites and yolks into 2 mxing bowls.
  2. Mix ricotta, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, rum and orange zest in a large mixing bowl until smooth.
  3. Beat the egg whites with a whisk or electric hand mixer until light and fluffy. Gently fold the egg whites into the mixture until thoroughly blended.
  4. Grease the entire inside of the springform pan with butter. If you opt for the graham cracker crust, cover the bottom of the pan with no more than a 1/4-inch crust.
  5. Pour the mixture into the springform pan and place it into a 350 degree oven. Bake for 1 hour. Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake set in the oven for another hour.
  6. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and gently loosen the sides with a knife or spatula. Remove the springform pan and liberally cover the top of the cheesecake with powdered sugar. Serve at room temperature. Chilling the cheesecake for a long period of time will cause it to dry out.


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