Lemon mascarpone cheesecake

    1 hour

    I love lemon, and this Italian treat hits the spot. I rarely make sweets or cakes, but sometimes give it a try, especially when cooking with my 3 year old daughter, who loves stirring, sieving flour, breaking eggs and tasting! I based this on a recipe from the excellent 'Italian Cakes and Desserts' book by Ursula Ferrigno, with a a few tweaks!


    Yorkshire, England, UK
    358 people made this

    Makes: 1 (20cm) cheesecake

    • 175g (6 oz) digestive or amaretti biscuits
    • 75g (3 oz) unsalted butter
    • 400g (14 oz) mascarpone cheese
    • grated zest of 3 unwaxed lemons
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • 100g (4 oz) caster sugar
    • 2 eggs, separated
    • 2 level tablespoons of cornflour
    • 1 small pinch of salt
    • Optional
    • icing sugar for dusting
    • raspberries and strawberries

    Prep:25min  ›  Cook:35min  ›  Ready in:1hr 

    1. Preheat your oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease a deep loose bottomed round 20cm (8 in) cake tin.
    2. Put the biscuits in a plastic bag, and crush with a rolling pin until you've got a nice crumb.
    3. Gently melt the butter. Add the biscuit crumbs to the melted butter and mix well. Then add this base mixture to the bottom of your greased cake tin, and allow to cool a little.
    4. Put the mascarpone cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar and egg yolks in a bowl, and gently mix well. Then sprinkle in the cornflour, and fold in.
    5. In a separate clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt, until they're stiff. Fold the fluffy egg whites into the cheese mixture (do this gently and slowly, this will help the finished cheesecake to be light and fluffy).
    6. Spread the mixture on top of the biscuit base in the cake tin. Spread with a spatula to get a nice level smooth surface.
    7. Whack in the oven for 35 minutes. It should be firm to the touch when it's ready. Allow to cool, and then chill in the fridge.
    8. Once cooled, you can dust with icing sugar (if you add icing sugar before it's well chilled, the icing sugar just disappears and melts into the cheesecake). Add some raspberries or strawberries to decorate, or whatever takes your fancy.

    Cook's notes

    Any soft cheese similar to mascarpone would be fine, such as ricotta or cream cheese.
    Personally, I think using digestives would be even better (and cheaper) than the amaretti biscuits, as the biscuits I bought were VERY almond-y. A slightly plainer biscuit would probably combine a little better with the lemon cheesecake. Either way, a lovely, simple cheesecake.
    Unwaxed lemons are preferable, but if you don't have them scrub and wash the lemons in warm water first to remove the wax.

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    Reviews & ratings
    Average global rating:

    Reviews in English (13)


    Made for dinner party. Overall very nice. Don't hold back on the lemon as although raw mixture tasted of lemon, baked cake was less so.  -  22 Feb 2013


    Absolutely brilliant! I have never 'baked' a cheesecake before, so was a bit wary. I needn't have worried, it was perfect! I did it for friends and it went down a treat. Will definitely make it again! I used low fat mascarpone but you would never have known. Very easy to make too. A real winner all round!  -  26 Jan 2013


    Came out really nice. Before adding the icing sugar I covered the top with lemon curd. All the girls loved it and want the recipe.  -  06 Oct 2013