Why should you be making this cheesecake recipe from Milk Street? For starters, a blend of whole milk, ricotta, and mascarpone provide plenty of flavor and a rich, creamy texture, while the whipped egg whites lighten the cake. Semolina flour gives structure to the cheese mixture and creates a “crust” on the exterior.

A fruit compote or citrus curd is the perfect partner to this barely sweet cheesecake. Give it a try; we promise you'll love it.

Ricotta-Semolina Cheesecake

Start to finish: 1 hour (20 minutes active), plus cooling and chilling


  • 3/4 cup white sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 16-ounce container (2 cups) whole-milk ricotta
  • 8-ounce container (1 cup) mascarpone
  • 1/4 cup semolina flour, plus more for pan
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2 tablespoons dry Marsala wine
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt


Heat the oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the middle position. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch spring-form pan with cooking spray, then dust evenly with semolina flour, tapping out the excess.

In a food processor, combine 1/2 cup of the sugar and the lemon zest. Process until moist and fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the ricotta and mascarpone and process until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the semolina, egg yolks, Marsala, lemon juice, and salt, then process until combined, about 10 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl.

In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium-high until light and foamy. With the mixer running, slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and continue to whip until the whites hold soft peaks, 1 to 2 minutes. Add a third of the egg whites to the cheese mixture and fold until combined. Add the remaining whites and fold until just incorporated. Transfer to the prepared pan, spreading into an even layer and tapping on the counter to release any large air bubbles.

Bake until the top is lightly browned and the cake is just set but still jiggles when shaken, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack, about 2 hours. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Run a knife around the inside of the pan and remove the pan sides before slicing. Don’t be surprised if the cake cracks as it cools. The whipped egg whites give the cake an incredibly light,