The Classic Lemon Cheesecake

written by Dajana 24. August 2018

Desserts do not need to be complicated and very time consuming to prepare. This classic lemon cheesecake recipe is ideal for everyone planning to make a great dessert with minimal fuss. In addition to the cream cheese that is usually the main ingredient for the filling, we have used fresh ricotta to make the cheesecake extra light and creamy.

The ideal cheesecake base 

You will probably already have all ingredients for the cheesecake pastry at home: flour, sugar and butter. This pastry is prepared in less than five minutes. You can add a few drop of lemon juice or lemon extract to the pastry for some additional taste or fresh vanilla extract to make it a bit sweater. Another option would be to use biscuits, crush approximately 110g in a food bag with a rolling pin or in the food processor and combine it with butter to create the base for your lemon cheesecake. We prefer a simple base for this cheesecake: spotlight on the ricotta lemon filling!

The lemon cream cheese and ricotta filling 

When mixing the ingredients for the lemon cheesecake filling, use the cream cheese and ricotta at room temperature, which helps the ingredients to be well blended. If you have a food processor you can use it to combine all ingredients to a smooth filling, but it is absolutely no problem to simply use an electric mixer or even whisk to blend the ingredients smooth. It might just take a few minutes longer.  For this recipe we used cow’s milk ricotta that you can usually find at your supermarket next door. Optionally, you could also use fresh traditional Sicilian ricotta that is made from sheep’s milk and adds some extra taste to the cake. You might find this kind of ricotta at an (Italian) specialty food store in your area.

When life gives you lemons, make some lemonade, but also make sure to use the rest of the lemons for this fresh cheesecake! The amount of lemon juice in this recipe is ideal for everyone who likes the cheesecake to be tasty while not completely covering the ricotta flavor. If you prefer a stronger lemon flavor, you can simply add some more fresh lemon or lime juice or lemon extract. For everyone who wants to try something new: chop some fresh mint finely and add it to the filling. For a special twist you can also use some fresh finely chopped basil. The basil works perfectly with the lemon flavor of this cheesecake and gives the filling an unexpected touch.

Classic Lemon Cheesecake

Print recipe
Serves: 8-10 Prep Time: Cooking Time:


  • 1 cup (150g) plain all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (55g) caster superfine sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 330g cream cheese, softened
  • 500g ricotta
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (295g) caster superfine sugar
  • 1/4 cups (60ml) lemon juice
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp water
  • 1 cup (250ml) single pouring cream, whipped (optional)


How to make the pastry  Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Place the flour, sugar and butter in a bowl and rub with your fingertips to form a rough dough. Using the back of a spoon, press the mixture into a lightly greased 20cm round springform (or use baking paper). Bake the base for 30 Minutes or until golden and just cooked. Set aside. How to make the filling  To make the filling, place the cream cheese, ricotta, eggs, sugar, lemon juice and rind, and vanilla extract in a food processor and process until smooth. Place the cornflour and water in a bowl and mix until smooth. Add the cornflour mixture to the filling mixture and combine until smooth. Pour over the cooked base and bake for 1 hour or until light golden and just set. Turn the oven off and allow to cool in the oven with the door closed. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until cold. What to use for the topping You can enjoy the lemon cheese cake with a whipped cream topping or plain with a little bit of superfine sugar on top. Garnish with some fresh lemon slices and mint.

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