Ina’s Limoncello Ricotta Cheesecake

Just this year I fell in love with the Italian liqueur Limoncello. I noticed it online, in cookbooks such as Ina Garten’s latest, and then I found it at my favorite Italian grocery.  It’s also good as an aperitif if you are in to that kind of beverage. Me, I love the flavor it imparts in recipes – just a lovely sweet lemon taste.

For a few more Limoncello recipes see Limoncello Cookies of Sorrento,  Ina’s Fruit Salad With Limoncello and Limoncello Vinaigrette. Guess what? Ina likes Limoncello too 🙂

I also liked that the cheesecake was in pan form so you could have a square piece instead of a thick wedge. I did add a topping, instructions are in the recipe below. It looked much better as I had a few cracks and a few brown spots. The topping covered up any imperfections and added another layer of flavor.

Ina's Limoncello Ricotta Cheesecake, Adapted

For the crust:

  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 15 crackers)
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 lb. unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Then I always take a paper towel and spread it around the pan and take away any excess.

Combine the graham crackers, sugar and butter in a bowl and mix until combined. Press the mixture evenly in the pan and 1/4-inch up the sides. Bake for 8 minutes and set aside to cool.

For the filling:

  • 16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk ricotta (12 oz.) I like Calabro hand dipped ricotta
  • 1/2 cup limoncello, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest, grated
  • 5 extra-large eggs, room temperature

Place the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium for about 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the ricotta and beat for another minute while scraping down the bowl. Turn the mixer to low and add the limoncello, vanilla and lemon zest; continue to beat another minute. With the mixer on medium-low, add the eggs, one at a time until combined; pour over the crust. You can also use an electric mixer.

Place the baking pan in a roasting pan large enough to hold the baking pan completely flat. Place the pan in the oven and carefully pour enough of the hottest tap water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until almost set in the center.  Turn off the heat and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 15 minutes to prevent the cheesecake from cracking. This did not seem to work for me and I was not happy with the small cracks.

So I made my topping that I use on my Irish Cream Cheesecake. I removed the cheesecake with the pan of water and turned the oven back on to 350°F. I spread the sour cream mixture over it and baked another 10 minutes.

Next time I will omit the step of turning the oven off; remove the cheesecake after 50 minutes of cooking; allow to cool 10 minutes; then add the topping and cook an additional 10 minutes. This will cover up any cracks or imperfections.

I added this Topping: 1 cup sour cream plus 1/4 cup sugar; mix well and spread over cheesecake.

Prior to serving sprinkle with extra grated lemon zest, if desired. Cut into 12 pieces with a hot and dry knife and serve cold. Garnish with fresh berries.

Recipe by

I used my meat pounder (gently) to make the crust even – it works great!

The cheesecake freshly baked and with my topping of sour cream and sugar.


I  have two other cheesecakes: Irish Cream Cheesecake With Mixed Berries and Chocolate-Orange Cannoli Cheesecake.

Linking to Fiesta Friday and the two co-hosts Suzanne @ apuginthekitchen and Ginger @ Ginger and Bread

33 thoughts on “Ina’s Limoncello Ricotta Cheesecake

  1. Oh wow! This sounds amazing, Judi! We were in Italy this summer and fell in love with Limoncello too! I have saved your recipe and am very excited to try it! Can’t wait! 😀


    • Thanks Julie – it was too good. I can get in trouble with this kind of dessert LOL! Ina has some great recipes and to think I have all 10 of her cookbooks and have only scratched the surface at making her recipes. So little time… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Brilliant recipe! I found a recipe to make your own limoncello a while ago but was wondering how long it would take us to actually drink it. You’ve provided me with the answer!!! Thank you for bringing these along to Fiesta Friday!
    Ginger x


    • Thanks a bunch Ginger – yes, you can make your own liqueur. I have a great Italian grocery near me and can get the best of so many ingredients like Limoncello. If you made this cheesecake – there goes 1/2 cup and it is well worth it 🙂 The cookies I made are very popular too!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A fabulous dessert and presentation Judi, well done! I did not make my limoncello dessert again, because there was no limoncello left in the bottle 🙂 Now I’m just going to have to go to the liquor store and treat myself to another bottle and will also get to try your recipe. Cheers!


    • Thanks very much Loretta! You better get another bottle as you will need 1/2 cup for this recipe – you need to quit sipping it LOL! It’s funny how one ingredient can get your attention as I am certainly enjoying it in different recipes. It just has a wonderful flavor…


  4. I really like the idea of using a sheet pan for your cheesecake. I do like limoncello and I’m sure this cake won’t last long in our home.


  5. If I had to choose between a cake and a pie, I’d choose pie any day, except when it comes to cheesecakes! And this one sounds incredible, with limoncello and all. Btw, I find that I get less cracks when I hand-mix my batter with a fork. Obviously, not feasible when making a large amount, but for a small cake that’s what I’ve been doing. And so far, no cracks!


    • It’s the best cheesecake I’ve ever made (except I say that about so many recipes). Cracks can occur for a number of reasons but I certainly would not mix the batter with a fork – strange! The topping serves two purposes – to cover up any imperfections and it also added an extra layer of flavor. You should try that instead!

      Liked by 1 person

      • What I meant to say was that I sometimes manually hand mix my batter to avoid overbeating especially when I just make a small amount, that’s all. Please don’t take it as a criticism of your recipe. I was just sharing my experience with a friend 😄


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