With just a few simple ingredients and freshness from orange and lemon rind, these Mini Ricotta Cheesecakes are a naturally sweet treat to share this spring. We love them for Easter—we actually eat them for breakfast!—and that they are sweetened with just a little honey. Plus: You simply stir the batter together, no fancy equipment needed!
mini ricotta cheesecakes with lemon on blue tea towel

Ricotta Cheesecake

For as long as I can remember, Ricotta Cheesecake has been part of my life each spring. In my family, we actually call them “ricotta pie” and they’re a recipe that is a staple on our Easter table. This sort of ricotta cheesecake is a classic Italian treat, though they vary slightly. And fortunately, the one that my family makes is so simple—and has such fresh flavors from the addition of citrus.

These mini cheesecakes have freshly grated lemon and orange rind in them, which adds a lot of flavor. This lemon-ricotta flavor is such a nice note in the mix of the cheese and honey. It’s paired here with a simple mini graham cracker crust so each one is small, sweet, and fun for kids and adults alike.

Healthier Cheesecake

The original version of my family’s recipe had a lot more sugar than this one does and while that is great, I actually prefer it less sweet since you can taste the other flavors more easily. I also like the subtle honey flavor in the mix, rather than just straight up “sweet”. We sometimes have this cheesecake with regular pie crust, but for simplicity’s sake, I like to use pre-made store-bought ones instead.

Ingredients

To make these cheesecakes, you’ll need:

  • Ricotta cheese
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract: Use real or pure vanilla extract, rather than imitation, for the best flavor.
  • Honey: I use honey to add just enough sweetness.
  • Fresh lemon and orange rind: Use a microplane to zest the fruit, avoiding the white part which can be bitter.
  • Cinnamon
  • Mini graham cracker crusts: I use the pre-made ones from Keebler which are fairly widely available at regular grocery stores.

TIP: I strongly recommend using whole milk ricotta for better flavor and texture if you can find it.

how to make ricotta cheesecake step-by-step

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at the simple process involved in making these cheesecakes. Scroll down for the full recipe.

  1. Gather your ingredients. (photo 1)
  2. Preheat the oven. Add all ingredients except the crusts to a blender. Blend! (photo 2)
  3. Divide the filling among the crusts and bake. (photo 3)
  4. Remove from oven and let cool fully. (photo 4)
  5. Serve or refrigerate for until ready to serve.

TIP: We like this dessert cold. And often serve it for Easter!

mini ricotta cheesecake sliced with raspberries on a white plate on tea towel

Can I make these Ricotta Cheesecakes ahead of time?

You can make these up to two days ahead. Simply let cool, then cover with plastic wrap or store in an airtight container in the fridge. We actually prefer these served cold, so this works well!

What should I serve with these cheesecakes?

If you want to serve them for breakfast like my family does, a simple side of fruit or hard-cooked eggs is all you need. If you’d rather have them for dessert, you can top with some whipped cream, lemon curd, or fresh fruit. They’re pretty versatile!

Best Tips for Success

  • When grating the fresh citrus peel, try to avoid getting too much of the white part because it can be bitter. Just do a few strokes with the microplane as you move your way around the orange and lemon.
  • Plan to make them at least 2 hours before you want to serve them so they have time to fully cool.
  • Look for the mini graham cracker crusts near the jello and puddings in your grocery store.
  • You can do this batter in a 9-inch graham cracker crust. The baking time will be closer to 1 hour.
  • The raspberries are purely decoration and for a little additional flavor. You can skip them and use whipped cream on top if you prefer, or try blueberries, diced strawberries, or another favorite fruit.
  • You may also like my favorite Easter Recipes and my Whole-Wheat Pie Crust.

I’d love to know what you think if you make this recipe so please chime in below in the comments!

mini ricotta cheesecakes with lemon

Mini Ricotta Cheesecakes

Kids tend to love having their very own little cheesecake, but you can do this batter in a 9-inch graham cracker crust if you prefer. The baking time will be closer to 1 hour.  
4.5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 34 minutes
Total Time 44 minutes
Cuisine Italian
Course Dessert
Calories 221kcal
Servings 10

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese (I prefer whole milk ricotta)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange rind (from about ½ of a medium orange)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon rind (from about ½ of a medium lemon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 10 mini graham cracker crusts (I used Keebler)
  • Raspberries (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Add all ingredients except the crusts to a blender. Blend to combine.
  • Brush the rim of each crust with egg white. (This helps to prevent the edges of the crusts from cracking as they bake.)
  • Divide the filling among the crusts, filling each one just about full. Bake for 34-36 minutes, or until the centers are firm to the touch and slightly glossy. Remove from the oven and let cool fully.
  • Serve or refrigerate for up to 2 days, covered with plastic wrap, before serving with optional berries on top.

Notes

  • When grating the fresh citrus peel, try to avoid getting too much of the white part because it can be bitter. Just do a few strokes with the microplane as you move your way around the orange and lemon.
  • Plan to make them at least 2 hours before you want to serve them so they have time to fully cool.
  • Look for the mini graham cracker crusts near the jello and puddings in your grocery store.
  • You can do this batter in a 9-inch graham cracker crust. The baking time will be closer to 1 hour.
  • The raspberries are purely decoration and for a little additional flavor. You can skip them and use whipped cream on top if you prefer, or try blueberries, diced strawberries, or another favorite fruit.

Nutrition

Calories: 221kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 72mg, Sodium: 142mg, Potassium: 98mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 276IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 109mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

    1. I’m not sure that they would—I know regular cheesecake usually does but I worry a little that the texture of the crust might get soggy

      1. Thanks for the response! I am going to make them for breakfast this weekend so I might brave it and freeze one. I’ll report back!

      2. I’m back! They freeze perfectly!!!

        I made a batch and then chilled a day or two in the fridge. I used plastic wrap and smoothed it down over the surface then wrapped in the plastic and then wrapped in foil. Put them all in a bag and then when I want one (toddler didn’t like them but I sure do!) I take it out the night before and put it in the fridge. It’s PERFECT the next morning! No change in taste or texture! This is a winner— thank you!!!

  1. Hi. Recipe calls for 3 eggs plus one egg white. Does the egg white go into the blender or is it the egg white mentioned in step 3? Do I need one or two egg whites total? Thanks!