Ellie Krieger’s Easy Light Ricotta Cheesecake with Fresh Berries

Light Ricotta Cheesecake with Fresh Berries

Creamy Light Ricotta Cheesecake with Fresh Berries

This yummy looking easy light ricotta cheesecake from Ellie Krieger immediately caught my attention when I came across it in her USA Weekend CookSmart column the Sunday before July 4th. She described it as “Luxuriously creamy and satisfying but with a fraction of the calories and saturated fat of a typical cheesecake, it’s the kind of dessert that lets you have it all.”

Using part-skim ricotta, reduced fat cream cheese, reduced fat sour cream and skipping a crumb crust all help to significantly lower the calories and fat.

I like being able to have it all so I decided to make it to enjoy on the 4th in all it’s red, white and blue glory.

Skinny on Light Ricotta Cheesecake

The verdict?  This light ricotta cheesecake with fresh berries was definitely easy to make. You just whizz everything together in a food processor, pour the mixture into a springform pan and bake for about an hour. Since it needs to chill for at least 3 hours, it’s best to make this cheesecake ahead. (I baked it on July 3 and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight before brushing with jam and topping with berries on the 4th.)

It’s light and creamy, but not as smooth as typical cheesecake. The ricotta makes it slightly grainy with the consistency of a sweet ricotta-filled cannoli.

My version turned out a bit softer than expected.  I baked it for the full 55 minutes suggested and it seemed set, but it might have been better with another 5-10 minutes of oven time. I also used nonfat Greek yogurt instead of reduced-fat sour cream, which could have had an effect on the texture.

This light ricotta cheesecake tasted really good, but it’s not going on my “make again” list.

According to my calculations of the nutritional information each generous slice has a  8 Weight Watchers PointsPlus.

Light Ricotta Cheesecake with Berries

Light Ricotta Cheesecake with Berries

I love Ellie but her recipes have been hit and miss for me. The next time I want a lighter healthier cheesecake I’m going to stick with a recipe from one of my tried and true favorite light dessert books, Enlightened Cakes: More Than 100 Decadently Light Layer Cakes, Bundt Cakes, Cupcakes, Cheesecakes, and More, All with Less Fat and Fewer Calories by Camilla Saulsbury or Perfect Light Desserts: Fabulous Cakes, Cookies, Pies, and More Made with Real Butter, Sugar, Flour, and Eggs, All Under 300 Calories Per Generous Serving by Nick Malgieri. They never let me down.


Ellie Krieger's Light Ricotta Cheesecake with Fresh Berries
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A creamy light ricotta cheesecake made less caloric with part skim ricotta and ⅓-less fat cream cheese.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
  • 15 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup reduced-fat sour cream (I used plain nonfat Greek yogurt instead)
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest (I used lemon zest)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup all-fruit seedless raspberry jam
  • 1 tablespoon orange liqueur or water
  • 6 ounces fresh raspberries
  • 6 ounces fresh blueberries
  1. Position an oven rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
  3. Place the ricotta in a food processor and process until smooth, several minutes.
  4. Add the sour cream, cream cheese, eggs, sugar, flour, vanilla, orange zest and salt and continue to process until well blended.
  5. Pour into the prepared pan and bake until the center is just set, 50 to 55 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool, then cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before removing it from the pan. (The cheese cake will only be about 1-1/2 to 2 inches tall.)
  7. In a small saucepan, bring the jam and liqueur to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Let cool slightly and then brush over the top of the cheesecake.
  8. Arrange the berries on top of the jam layer, alternating one row of raspberries (flat side down) with 2 rows of blueberries.
  9. Store the cake in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.
Cook's Notes
Nutritional Estimates Per Serving (1 slice): 300 calories, 12 g fat, 39 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 12 g protein and 8 WW PointsPlus value.

Next time I will bake an extra 5-10 minutes to be sure it is set and use the reduced-fat sour cream instead of yogurt to see if it turns out firmer.

*PointsPlus® for light ricotta cheesecake calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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