Food & Wine

Cheesecake: a sweet history and a yummy recipe

Creamy, cheesy, simply delicious. Cheesecake is a beloved dessert around the world. But what is the history of this beloved cake? Many assume that it has its origins in New York, but it actually dates back much further. So, grab your slice of cheesecake and let’s discover together its sweet story.


The first ever made cheesecake dates back to the ancient Greeks. On the island of Samos, physical anthropologist actually found cheese molds dated back to 2.000 B.C. In Greece, cheesecake was considered to be a good source of energy, and it was served to athletes during the first Olympic games in 776 B.C.

The first cheesecake recipe was written by the Greek Athenaeus in 230 A.D. The recipe was pretty basic: flour, wheat, honey and cheese were formed into a cake and baked.

When the Romans conquered Greece, they modified the cheesecake recipe including crushed cheese and eggs. These ingredients were baked under a hot brick and it was served warm. The Romans called their cheese cake “libuma” and served it on special occasions.

With the size and spread of the Roman Empire, the increasingly popular dessert made its way to Eastern European countries. Here recipes were experimented and expanded upon. It was not until the 18th century however that cheesecake as we know it began to take shape.


The New York Cheesecake

The most famous version of cheesecake is probably the New York Cheesecake. Funny thing is that this famous recipe was just the unsuccessful result of an attempt to replicate a French recipe for Neufchatel. In 1872 the American dairy producer, James L. Kraft, failed the experiment and created the alternative cheesecake recipe made with cream cheese, registered as Philadelphia.

Hence the common attribution of this dessert to the Anglo-Saxon world that has made it, over the years, a real flag.

The best Cheesecake recipe

Now that you finally know what was the history of cheesecake, let’s try this yummy recipe:


  • 180 g Digestive biscuits
  • 60 g butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 130 g sugar
  • 250 g Mascarpone cheese
  • 250 g Ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • jam

Make the crust by stirring together the biscuits, mixing until thoroughly combined. Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan, making a thicker layer on the bottom than on the sides. Refrigerate it at least for 20 minutes.

In the meanwhile, separate the yolks from the albumen. Mix the yolks with sugar till you have a consistent cream. Add the Ricotta and Mascarpone cheese to the cream and mix it. In a mixing bowl, whip egg whites until stiff. Finally, add the whipped egg whites to the mixture. Add the tablespoon flour to the cream to make it more dense.

Pour the cream into the pie pan and put into the oven at 180º C for about 45 minutes. Once it’s ready, let it cool and put the jelly you prefer.

Decorate your cheesecake and serve it cool! Bon appetit!

My strawberry cheesecake
My strawberry cheesecake

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