orange and almond ricotta cheese cake slice with orange slices
Desserts, Gluten free

Orange and almond ricotta cheesecake

11 comments

Hints of orange, ginger and toasted almonds await you in each bite of this creamy but not too heavy cheesecake. Gluten-free ginger snap cookies are used for the graham-cracker style crust.

orange and almond ricotta cheese cake slice with orange slices
Orange and almond ricotta cake

I’ve been on a mission lately to increase my skills and repertoire of gluten-free cakes and desserts. I love cheesecakes and their rich creamy fillings. I also adore Italian food. It’s one of my cooking specialties. Italian ricotta cheesecake is moist and creamy without being over powering, overly sweet or heavy.

While reading Lidia Bastianich’s cookbook Lidia’s Italy, I found this delicious recipe for Torta di Mandorle e Ricotta (Orange and almond ricotta cheesecake). This dessert sounded divine and I wondered how it would fair with a gluten-free ginger snap cookie base. I’ve used this base before in making pumpkin cheesecake pie and was successful. You never know until you try, so off to the kitchen I went to experiment.

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Overhead view of the full round orange and almond ricotta cake. Orange slices all around.
Orange and almond ricotta cheesecake

I’m happy to say, it worked quite well. The ginger, orange and almond flavors were a very nice combination in every bite.  You can also substitute regular ginger snap cookies as well, if being gluten-free is not a concern for you.

You’ll need a 9 inch spring-form cake pan, stand mixer and whisk attachment.

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Pressing the cookie mixture into the pan for the crust.
Preparing the crust

Preparing the crust for this gluten free orange and almond ricotta cheesecake is just like making a regular graham cracker crust for pie or cheesecakes. The main difference is using crushed gluten free ginger snap cookies and ground almonds for the base.

Pouring the cheesecake filling into the crust and pan for baking.
Preparing the filling

The filling for this cheesecake is easy to prepare. You’ll need a stand mixer or hand held electric mixer for a smooth consistency.

The baked cheesecake out of the oven.
The baked cheesecake out of the oven

Bake the cheesecake for approximately an hour or until the cake top is golden brown and springs back when pressed.

A slice of orange and almond ricotta cheesecake from above.
A delicious cheesecake for Easter or a party

Orange and almond ricotta cheesecake

Hints of orange, ginger and toasted almonds await you in each bite of this creamy but not too heavy cheesecake. Gluten-free ginger snap cookies are used for the graham-cracker style crust.

To line the cake pan

  • 1 1/2 tbsp soft butter
  • 1/3 cup gluten free bread crumbs

Crust

  • 1 cup gluten-free ginger snap cookie crumbs (use food processor to pulse cookies to crumbs)
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds (use food processor to pulse almonds)
  • 1/4 cup butter (melted)

Cake batter

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 16 ounces whole-milk ricotta (drained)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp orange zest (finely grated)
  • 1 cup heavy (cream)
  • 1 cup sliced almonds (lightly toasted)

To line the pan

  1. Place your oven rack in the lower to mid-range area of the oven (not at the bottom). Pre-heat the oven to 350 F. Butter the inside of the springform pan and coat it with the bread crumbs.

Crust

  1. In a large bowl combine the cookie crumbs and ground almonds. Add the melted butter and mix gently until incorporated. Add the crust mixture to the springform pan and gently press the crumb mixture into the bottom and partway up the sides of the pan. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes. Cool the crust on a rack.

Filling

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F. Add the eggs and egg yolk to the mixing bowl and whisk at a low speed. Gradually add the sugar and whisk at a high speed for 2 to 3 minutes. Lower the speed and add the ricotta in batches. Then whisk for 3 minutes more on a high speed until the mixture is smooth and thick. Scrape the bowl as needed. Add a pinch of salt, orange zest and then add the cream gradually whisking at a high speed for several minutes until the batter is smooth and light. Set the springform pan into a jelly roll baking sheet. Scrape the batter into the prepared crust.
  2. Bake for approximately one hour or until the cake top is golden brown and springs back when pressed. The sides of the cake should be starting to shrink away from the pan. Cool on a wire rack, then remove the springform.
  3. When it is completely cool, top with sliced almonds and dust the cake with confectioners sugar.
Special equipment:  Food processor, 9 inch springform cake pan, stand mixer and whisk attachment.

Recipe is courtesy of northwestspoon.com
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11 Comments

  1. This cheesecake sounds delicious! I love almond and ricotta together!

     
  2. I bet this is delicious

     
  3. Orange and ricotta pair perfectly together!

     
  4. I love Lydia! And I love how you made this gluten free! Great crust – I will have to try it next time I make a dessert like this~

     
  5. I’m intrigued because I’ve never used ricotta in a cheesecake. Do you find the cheesecake forms cracks on the surface? Ever tried baking it in a water bath?

     
    • Michelle Barsness

      Hello and thank you for visiting! I did have a few small cracks on the surface. They are so small, that they are easily disguised with the final decoration of your choice such as powdered sugar or nuts. I have not tried it in a water bath. But a smooth surface was not a concern for me. It’s different than a New York style cheesecake. It is less sweet, yet creamy, light and satisfying.

       
  6. I’ve never made a ricotta cheesecake. I’ll start with yours because it looks fabulous.

     
    • Michelle Barsness

      Thank you! I think you’ll love the flavors in this. It’s a little lighter than other cheesecakes, but still creamy and delicious.

       
  7. This was my first time using Ricotta Cheese to bake a cheese cake. I wasn’t sure how it would work for me. I ended up with a soft, moist light cake. I didn’t have almonds on hand and cake was plain. On each piece served, I drizzled Hershey’s Butterscotch syrup. I’ll definitely make this cheese cake again. Yummy.

     
  8. Dorothy Natoli

    Hi
    From the photo it looks like you added some sugar to the cookie crumbs, but no mention in the instructions. Do I need to add some sugar?

    Thanks!

     
    • Hi Dorothy, Thank you for your comment. You can add a tablespoon of sugar if desired, but it is not necessary because the cookies are already sweetened. In my experimentation in making this recipe several times, I likely did include a tablespoon of sugar to see how I liked it. End result for my taste, it’s not necessary.

       

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