An authentic recipe of Sicilian Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake baked in the air fryer. It is similar in style to the American Cheesecake, but it is without the biscuit base and we will use ricotta cheese instead of cream cheese. It is much lighter and fluffier than the traditional cheesecake. It is perfect for dinner parties or holiday desserts!
What comes to your mind when you think about Sicily? I think I know what, but for me, Sicily means a great vacation and ones of the most delicious foods possible.
A few examples will be delicious cannoli, granita, cassata, or pasta di mandorla, and I’m talking here only about desserts.
Also, in Sicily, you may find one of the most fragrant and juicy lemons.
As you understood, today, I want to share with you a very simple and creamy Italian lemon cheesecake that is lighter and have a slightly grainy texture.
Take into consideration that as with all the cheesecakes, you need to let it cool down before you will decorate and will serve it on the table. If you want an even better taste, let it into the fridge for about 5 hours to stabilize the cake. Or even better, leave it overnight.
Take this into consideration if you’re looking for a quick dessert.
One of the secrets of making the ricotta cheesecake extra creamy is to add mascarpone into the mix. Another key in this recipe is to use lemon zest in the filling. It will add a nice and lovely bright flavor of Sicilian freshness.
Are you ready? Let’s get started!
🥰 Why You Will Love This Recipe?
- If you are a lover of cheesecakes but you worry about the amount of fat they contain, I have great news for you. The Sicilian version also contains a lower amount of fat because it is based on ricotta but not cream cheese as we can find in the traditional American recipes.
- Thanks to the lemon, you will get a fresh and balanced taste.
- You can make this Sicilian cheesecake even if you don’t have too much experience with desserts. You just have to mix all the ingredients and to bake it in the oven or air fryer. I used the second because it is quicker and it does not heat the whole kitchen.
- This cheesecake keeps very well in the refrigerator. This way you will have a delicious dessert at hand for a few days.
🏆 Tips for Success? How to Make It Better?
- Have all the ingredients at room temperature. For that, remove them all from the fridge an hour before you will start to mix the ingredients. Thus, the risk of separating composition is lower.
- Use the highest quality ricotta that you will find. High-quality ricotta is one of the secrets to a successful cheesecake. For an authentic Sicilian result, use sheep milk ricotta. If you will use the sheep milk ricotta, skip the mascarpone.
Pro Tip: Because I couldn’t find a high-quality sheep milk ricotta, so, I used cow’s milk ricotta instead. Because it is less creamy than sheep’s milk ricotta, I added creaminess by adding mascarpone into the mix.
🍰 Looking for More Desserts? Check Those:
🥧 How to Make Low-Carb Ricotta Cheesecake?
As this authentic Italian recipe of cheesecake does not contain biscuits at the base, you need only to replace the sugar with a sweetener that you prefer, and you will get a delicious, Sicilian low-carb ricotta cheesecake.
🤔 How to Scale the Recipe Up and Down?
Divide or multiply the ingredients proportionally to your needs. You will need only to adjust the baking time.
For example, on another day, I made a double portion of this cheesecake, and it needed an extra 15 minutes of baking.
Pro Tip: If you will notice that the top of the cake was browned well already but the center of the cake still needs more time, cover the cheesecake with aluminum foil. By doing that, the top of the cake would not burn.
🥘 Ingredients Needed for This Recipe
Before you start, make sure that all the ingredients are at room temperature. This will lower the risk of separating the composition.
- Ricotta. I used cow’s milk ricotta, but if you can find sheep’s milk ricotta, it will taste even better.
- Mascarpone. You could use cream cheese instead of mascarpone, or omit it altogether if you use sheep’s milk ricotta.
- Cream. You can replace it with sour cream.
- Flour. You can replace it with 1: 1 cornstarch.
- Lemon. You can use another citrus instead.
- Ricotta Cheesecake With Chocolate Chips. If you like the chocolate, another authentic Sicilian alternative is to use chocolate chips instead of lemon zest.
- Ricotta Cheesecake With Lime. If you like the lime in the desserts, you can easily replace the lemon with the lime in this recipe.
- Ricotta Cheesecake With Oranges. If you’re looking to get a warmer taste that is suitable for cold weather, try to use orange zest instead of lemons.
- Ricotta Cheesecake With Fruits. If you prefer using fruits in the desserts, you can decorate the top of this Sicilian dessert with peaches, or berries like raspberries and strawberries.
🥐 Baking the Ricotta Cheesecake in the Oven
You can follow the same steps, just bake the ricotta cheesecake in the preheated oven at 325°F (160°C) for about 45 minutes or until the cheesecake is set. Also, if you’re baking it into the oven, you can use a springform pan for the ricotta cheesecake. This will allow you to extract easier the cake from the pan.
🍽️ Serving Suggestions
This cake has a soft and creamy texture and because of that, you can add a little contrast between the textures. I decided to serve the lemon cheesecake next to some crushed almond biscotti.
Pro Tip: I will recommend serving the lemon ricotta cheesecake cold from the fridge. If this cheesecake is hot, you will get a waterier texture. But if you will serve it from the fridge it will have a creamier consistency.
Just take a look at what nice texture it has.
👩🍳 Step-by-step Directions
Step 1. Preparing the filling.
Take a large bowl in which it is convenient for you to mix all the ingredients with an electric mixer or with a whisk.
Pro Tip: In this type of cake you should try to mix as little as possible so as not to separate the fats from the liquid. Mix just enough to incorporate the ingredients.
- Start by mixing the cheeses, cream, and sugar.
- Incorporate eggs. One by one. After the first has been incorporated, add the second.
- After you have incorporated the eggs, add the lemon zest or other flavors that you have decided to use. Mix the composition well.
- Right after that, incorporate the melted butter.
- Add the all-purpose flour and mix well all the ingredients for the last time. Make sure there are no lumps left.
- In the end, you should get a uniform composition for the filling.
Step 2. Baking.
Preheat the air fryer for about 5 minutes at 300°F (150°C). Cover the bottom of the baking pan with baking paper. Pour the filling evenly into the baking tray.
Bake the filling at 300°F (150°C) for about 30 minutes.
Quick Note: Please take into consideration that the timing is only approximative because the timing may differ from the size of your air fryer, its power, and your model. They may differ from one air fryer model to another one. Because of that, in the last minutes, I recommend being with an eye on the cake and adjusting the timing if needed.
In the end, you should get a golden-brown color, and the cake should be baked evenly.
Step 3. Decorate the Cheesecake
Let the cheesecake cool down on the table, then put it in the fridge for about 5-6 hours to stabilize if you want to get the best results for your cake.
After that, before serving, you can decorate it with powdered sugar on top, and in my case, I added thin slices of lemon peel. Also, you can add some fresh fruits on top.
Quick Note: Be careful not to use too much powdered sugar because the cheesecake is already sweet enough.
♻️ Make Ahead and Storage:
Can I Prepare It Ahead?
Yes! You can totally make this Sicilian cheesecake in advance. Follow the recipe, then wait until will cool down and cover it with plastic wrap you can keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days or put it in a well-closed container and you can keep it in the freezer for up to two months.
How Long Does it Last in the Fridge?
Up to 3 days if you cover it with plastic wrap or if you will keep it in an airtight container.
Can You Freeze it?
Yes, you can. Wait until it will cool down and then wrap the cake in plastic wrap foil and place it in an airtight container in the freezer. When you will want to eat eat, remove it one day before and let it defrost in the refrigerator.
🤔Answering Your Questions:
What Is the Difference Between Ricotta and Cream Cheese Cheesecake?
Ricotta has about 3 times less fat than cream cheese. Therefore, the ricotta-based dessert will be less fat but instead will have a little grainier texture.
Why the Filling for the Ricotta Cheesecake Is Too Wet?
Because you beat for too long ricotta with the sugar and the water separated from the ricotta.
How to Avoid Burning the Top of the Ricotta Cheesecake?
Use aluminum foil. When you are satisfied with the golden-brown color that the top of the cheesecake obtained, cover the cheesecake with aluminum foil to stop browning it further.
📋 Recipe Card:
Sicilian Ricotta Cheesecake in Air Fryer
- Mix the cheese, cream and sugar.1 cup Ricotta, ⅓ cup Mascarpone, ⅓ cup Cream, ⅓ cup Cane Sugar
- Incorporate eggs. One by one.2 pieces Egg
- Add the lemon zest.1 piece Lemon
- Add the melted butter.2 tablespoons Butter
- Add flour and incorporate it well to avoid forming lumps.⅛ cup All-purpose Flour
- Preheat the air fryer to 300°F (150°C) and put a baking paper at the bottom of the baking pan.
- Pour the filling into the pan and bake it for 30 minutes at 300°F (150°C) or until it is done.
- Let it to cool down in the pan. Then if you have time, and want to get the best results, let it in the fridge for 5-6 hours to stabilize.
I highly recommend reading the entire recipe to find more tips and notes about this recipe. Read Full Recipe ⇑
- Don’t mix for too much filling because you will risk separating the fat from the liquids.
- I will recommend preparing it a day before the moment when you need to serve it. For the best results, let the cheesecake to rest one night in the fridge.
- It is better to eat it directly from the refrigerator.