Recipe: Italian Cheesecake

“Mom, quick, I need a photo for my blog.”

Merry Christmas! This recipe is an old family favorite, handed down by my Great Grandmother Margaret. Actually, her name was Immaculata, but my Great Grandfather decided he preferred the name Margaret. I’m happy the name change happened before my birth since I was named after her. Immaculata Reyes Dempsey just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Grandma Margaret was quite the cook and took the handing down of the recipes seriously, apparently. My Mom had just arrived home from her honeymoon in 1964 when Grandma showed up to teach her how to make this cheesecake. The quickest way to a man’s heart… 😉

Originally, she made it at Easter time and it featured a crust and criss-cross strips across the top. However, none of us has been able to recreate Grandma’s tender touch with the dough required for that top. What should have been elevated train tracks over a ricotta cheese filling always ended up as a cheese cake with subway tracks below. However, being a gambling family, we had many a fun time peering through the oven window and wagering on just when those strips would begin sinking into the cheesecake. 🙂

Never fear, we’ve been making this version, sans subway tracks, for 46 years and for all occasions. It will be one of the two dozen desserts on our Christmas table, and it’s always a winner. Hope you enjoy it.


For best results, have ingredients at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 550 degrees.


1 dozen large eggs
1 – 48 oz. container ricotta
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 tbsp. each extract: vanilla, orange, lemon
1 tsp. anisette  


  1. Beat eggs until foamy and set aside.
  2. Beat ricotta with sugar until blended and add 4 flavors – beating until thoroughly mixed.
  3. Pour eggs into ricotta mixture and beat just until blended.
  4. Put mixture into a 2 1/2 qt. Pyrex dish or springform pan. (We prefer Pyrex.)
  5. Place in oven, and lower temperature to 325 degrees.
  6. Bake about 1 1/2 hours or until top seems firm except for center, which should be slightly soft.
  7. Leave cake in oven with door slightly ajar for about 1/2 hour after turning the oven off. This prevents the cheesecake from sinking.


  1. Joseph Hayes said,

    December 24, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    I just might make that. I’ve been wanting to make our own ricotta (how is that pronounced … riGUT?), this would be a good excuse. Merry Happy, Trixy, love you!

  2. Richard said,

    December 24, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Looks yummy, and different to the cheesecakes I know. I’d want to leave out the anisette. Not a fan.

    Great recipe, Imaggulata. You should post some more. 🙂

    • December 24, 2010 at 2:00 pm

      LOL, you’re getting those Italian “c’s” down.

      Not a fan of anisette? Could’ve fooled me the way you scoffed down my bag of taralli in Gaeta. Attack of the Bald Eagle. 😉

      • Richard said,

        December 24, 2010 at 2:09 pm


      • vickie said,

        November 27, 2012 at 4:39 pm is it if you leave out the anisette? not a fan either.

      • November 28, 2012 at 2:03 pm

        Vickie, I’ve had similar versions of this cheesecake with just vanilla flavoring and it was delicious. Give it a try with the flavors you enjoy.

  3. December 24, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Ah, no crust. Does it scoop out or consistency flan or pudding? Oven at 550! Reminds me of that Italian author and his work Dante’s “Inferno”

    • December 24, 2010 at 2:52 pm

      Nope, not pudding like at all. It can be sliced.

      Be sure to turn the oven down when you put the cheesecake in as indicated in recipe or you’ll go out in a blaze of ricotta. 😉

  4. December 24, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    […] Recipe: Italian Cheesecake « Conjuring My Muse Related Posts:Christmas Recipe: Penelope's Favorite Cheesecake Ingredients: 16 ounces cream […]

  5. girlboxing said,

    December 24, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Yum. ‘Can’t wait to try it.

  6. Jessica S said,

    December 27, 2010 at 10:32 am


  7. fordeville said,

    December 27, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    I love few things more than an Italian cheesecake but I’ve never made one myself. I’m definitely going to try this. Looks amazing.

  8. Zahara said,

    December 30, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    This looks delicious, it’s going into my recipe box. Thank you, Immaculata.

  9. January 17, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    […] Park, New York, just a few blocks away from my Aunt Margaret, the daughter of Grandma Margaret of Italian Cheesecake fame. Every night after dinner, we’d walk around the corner to have coffee. The Pyrex glass pot […]

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