Made with rich, airy cheesecake, a classic crust, and topped with a sweet orange glaze, these mini orange ricotta cheesecakes are bite-sized dessert perfection.
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Table of Contents
- About Mini Orange Ricotta Cheesecakes
- What’s in mini orange ricotta cheesecakes?
- Why use ricotta in a cheesecake?
- How to prevent cracks in cheesecake
- Can you make these cheesecakes in advance?
- How long are mini cheesecakes good for?
- Can you freeze orange ricotta cheesecakes?
- Notes & tips for orange ricotta cheesecakes
- More delicious cheesecake recipes
- How to make mini orange ricotta cheesecakes
- Recipe Details
About Mini Orange Ricotta Cheesecakes
Perfect for parties or as a quick snack, these deliciously right and airy mini ricotta cheesecakes have the perfect combination of traditional cheesecake flavor with a dash of orange sweetness.
What’s in mini orange ricotta cheesecakes?
- Graham cracker crumbs and butter – For creating the golden crust along the bottom.
- Sugar – For sweetening the crust and the cheesecake batter, plus as a little garnish on top of the orange glaze.
- Cream cheese – For a dense, rich texture.
- Ricotta – Helps make the cheesecake batter more fluffy.
- Eggs, vanilla, salt, water – Classic baking ingredients.
- Orange juice – For flavoring the cheesecake batter and adding a dash of color.
- Orange marmalade – The base for creating the glaze on top.
Why use ricotta in a cheesecake?
In the dessert world there are many different ways to make cheesecake, but two of the most popular are:
- American style – Also called “New York-style”, this type of cheesecake uses cream cheese as its main ingredient. These cakes have a rich, dense texture due to the ingredients of the cream cheese (milk and cream).
- Italian style – Similar in look and presentation to American cheesecake, only this variety uses ricotta as its main ingredient. And because ricotta is made from only milk, the texture is lighter and airy than its American cousin.
As for these mini cheesecakes, they’re a hybrid of the American and Italian styles, as the recipe includes both cream cheese and ricotta. This means these cheesecakes have the best of both worlds: they are both rich and light.
This also means that if you prefer one texture over the other, you could substitute the cream cheese or ricotta for an equal portion of the opposite ingredient.
How to prevent cracks in cheesecake
These cheesecakes have a glaze topping that will cover common imperfections like cracks, so the preparation instructions follow a simple make-bake-serve style that’s common for most desserts. However, if you are concerned about presentation and texture of the cheesecake, there are some things you can do to ensure that these mini cakes will have a smooth, pristine top:
- Do not overmix the cheesecake batter. This will add more air to the batter, which can make the cheesecake bake unevenly, raising the risk of cracks. This becomes more of a concern because the liquid ingredients are incorporated into the batter, like the heavy whipping cream. Whenever you can, get as close to the recommended mixing times as possible.
- Have a bowl of water in the oven while the mini cheesecake bake. The goal is to create the same effect as a water bath (where a standard-sized cheesecake is baked with the springform pan surrounded by water.) Having the water in the oven creates steam, which helps a cheesecake bake and rise evenly, ensuring a smooth, even top.
- Let the cheesecake “rest” in the oven for 25 minutes. This recipe only bakes the cheesecakes for five to ten minutes, and after that, the heat is turned off and they are left in the oven (with the door closed) for 25 minutes. This step is important for gradual cooling, reducing the risks of cracks.
- Allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature before chilling. Keeping with the gradual theme, be sure to let the cheesecakes cool to room temperature on a wire cooling rack (so air can access both the top and bottom) before transferring them to the refrigerator to chill.
Can you make these cheesecakes in advance?
Certainly! These cheesecakes are best served chilled or at room temperature, so they’re ideal for preparing in advance and serving when you’re ready.
For the best presentation, I recommend making them no more than 24 hours in advance.
How long are mini cheesecakes good for?
Once prepared and cooled, these mini ricotta cheesecakes can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to three to five days.
Can you freeze orange ricotta cheesecakes?
Yes, you totally can! Cheesecakes freeze very well.
To freeze these mini cheesecakes:
- Bake and chill mini cheesecakes per recipe instructions. You can either glaze the cheesecakes now or wait until after they’ve thawed; it’s up to you.
- Once completely cooled and chilled, wrap mini cheesecakes in plastic wrap. You can either wrap them individually or arrange the cheesecakes in a group (single layer) and wrap them together.
- Place wrapped mini cheesecakes in a freezer bag or a storage container with a sealable lid.
- Mini cheesecakes can be frozen for up to three months.
Notes & tips for orange ricotta cheesecakes
- When whipping the cream cheese, make sure there are no clumps before moving on to the next step. If needed, you can use a spoon or a spatula to press any stubborn clumps against the side of the bowl to get them mixed in.
- For best results, the ricotta used in this recipe should be fresh and without excess moisture. If you do notice that your ricotta has extra liquid or isn’t a firm, you can use cheesecloth to help drain any excess liquid from the ricotta. If you’re unsure how to do this, check out this tutorial on how to strain ricotta cheese.
More delicious cheesecake recipes
How to make mini orange ricotta cheesecakes
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 1 – Prepare the graham cracker crust by mixing together graham cracker crumbles, sugar, and melted butter.
Step 3 – Bake!
Step 4 – While crusts bake and cool, prepare the cheesecake batter. Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), whip together the cream cheese, ricotta, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, orange juice, and salt until smooth.
Step 5 – In another bowl, whip the egg whites together until stiff peaks form.
Step 6 – Use a spatula to slowly fold in the whipped egg whites with the cheesecake batter until fully incorporated.
Step 7 – Top off each cavity in the muffin tin with the cheesecake mixture, filling them almost all the way full.
Step 8 – Bake again!
Step 9 – While cheesecakes bake and cool, prepare the orange glaze. Add marmalade and water to a small saucepan, then cook and whisk until ingredients are incorporated and bubbly. Remove the saucepan from heat and allow the mixture to cool a bit.
Step 10 – Spoon the marmalade glaze on top of each of the mini cheesecakes, leaving a small edge around the sides. If desired, garnish with orange slices or sprinkle more granulated sugar on top of the glaze (both optional).
Step 11 – Let cool completely, then chill for at least two hours.
Step 12 – Serve and enjoy!
Mini Orange Ricotta Cheesecakes
Graham Cracker Crust
For the Graham Cracker Crust
- In a medium bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs and sugar.1 cup graham cracker crumbs, 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- Add melted butter to bowl and stir until all ingredients are damp and lightly clumping.4 tablespoons salted butter
- Spoon about 1 tablespoon of crust mixture into prepared muffin pan. Use your fingers or a spoon to firmly press the mixture to the bottom of each cavity in a firm, even layer.
- Bake graham cracker crusts for 5-10 minutes or until firm.
- Transfer muffin pan to a wire cooling rack to cool while preparing the filling.
For the Orange Cheesecake
- If not already, preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), add cream cheese, ricotta, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, orange juice, and salt. Mix on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.4 ounces cream cheese, 4 ounces ricotta, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 2 egg, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon orange juice
- In a separate bowl, use a hand mixer to beat egg whites on high until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes.2 egg
- Remove the first bowl from the mixer. Pour about 1/3 of the egg white fluff in with the other wet ingredients, then use a spatula and gently fold ingredients together. Repeat this step until all egg white fluff has been added and no clumps remain.
- Before adding cheesecake mix to cups, forcefully knock the bowl of cheesecake mix against the counter 10-15 times. This will help remove air bubbles from the batter.
- Spoon about 1/3 cup cheesecake mixture on top of the baked and cooled graham cracker crusts, filling each cavity to nearly full. Once all cheesecake filling has been distributed, gently shake the muffin tin to even out the tops of the cheesecakes.
- Bake mini cheesecakes for 25-30 minutes. When ready, tops of cheesecakes should be puffy and appear dry (not shiny).
- Turn the oven off, but do not open the oven door. Leave cheesecakes undisturbed in the oven for another 25 minutes.
- Remove cheesecakes from oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Cheesecakes will shrink slightly while cooling, creating dip in the middle; this is okay.
For the Orange Marmalade Glaze
- In a small saucepan, heat orange marmalade and water over medium heat. Whisk frequently until marmalade has dissolved and syrup is bubbly.1/2 cup orange marmalade, 2 tablespoons water
- Remove saucepan from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Putting it all Together
- Spoon cooled marmalade on top of cheesecakes. If possible, keep a small gap around the edges of the cheesecakes clear of marmalade – this will make it easier to remove the wrappers once the cheesecakes are set. If desired, garnish cheesecakes with orange slices or a sprinkle of granulated sugar (both optional).1 teaspoon granulated sugar, orange slices
- Chill cupcakes in a sealed container in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or ideally overnight.
- Serve immediately.
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.