Soft, creamy and rich with a subtle tang to balance out the sweetness, fresh cheeses such as ricotta, mascarpone, farmer’s cheese, and cream cheese are perfect for dessert recipes.

RELATED: Our Complete Guide to All Things Cheesy


Lindy’s Cheesecake

This classic New York-style cheesecake is brightened with orange and lemon zest. Get the recipe for Lindy’s Cheesecake »

Christina Tosi’s Cheesecake

Just one part of Christina Tosi’s masterful Strawberry Lemon Layer Cake, this mini cheesecake also works as a stand-alone (and gluten-free) dessert for a small group. Get the recipe for Christina Tosi’s Cheesecake »

Ricotta and Coffee Mousse

Elegant and easy to prepare, a classic mousse flavored with espresso and topped with a dusting of chocolate is a great way to end a romantic meal.

Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

Spreading cream cheese into the layers of dough enhances the richness and moistness of these rolls. This dough may be prepared a day in advance and left to rise in the refrigerator overnight. Get the recipe for Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls »

Cheese Curd Tart

Similar to farmers’ cheese, the fresh curd of cantal cheese, called tome de cantal, is used in many dishes in the Auvergne, including this vanilla-tinged, mildly savory dessert. Get the recipe for Cheese Curd Tart »

Coeur à la Crème with Caramelized Strawberries

Pepper, cloves and cinnamon give the bright strawberry sauce in this dessert a spicy kick, offsetting the rich creaminess of sweet cheese. Get the recipe for Coeur à la Crème with Caramelized Strawberries »

Sicilian Cannoli

Ricotta impastata, a smoother and drier version of ricotta, is typically used for filling Sicilian cannoli. This recipe comes from cookbook author Nick Malgieri. Get the recipe for Sicilian Cannoli »

Sicilian Cassata Cake

Fabrizia Lanza taught us to make this classic Sicilian cake, rimmed in pistachio marzipan. Get the recipe for Sicilian Cassata Cake »

St. Joseph’s Day Fritters

These crunchy Sicilian fritters are topped with a cinnamon-ricotta filling. Get the recipe for St. Joseph’s Day Fritters »

Fromage Blanc, Banana, and Membrillo Sandwich

This sweet sandwich from Tartine Bakery & Café in San Francisco, is pressed and griddled to melt the creamy banana, cheese, and quince filling and toast the bread. Get the recipe for Fromage Blanc, Banana, and Membrillo Sandwich »

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap and Hazelnut Crust

The dessert’s delicate texture is achieved by cooking the cheesecake in a bain-marie, a water bath made by surrounding the springform pan with boiling water. Both the desserts need to be made at least a day before serving, and the ice cream can be made up to a week before serving.To save yourself more time on Thanksgiving day, you can also make the soup and the chutney up to two days ahead. Get the recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap and Hazelnut Crust »

Cream Cheese Sorbet

No extra dairy is added to the cream cheese in this tangy, sweet dessert, making it a bit lighter than traditional ice creams.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Goat Cheese Frosting

Softened goat cheese adds a delightful tang to these sweet chocolate cupcakes. Get the recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes with Goat Cheese Frosting »

Smoked Coconut Cheesecake

This coconut cheesecake with a thick whipped cream topping looks typical enough, but it’s perfumed with musky, flowery aromas and flavored with notes of caramel and smoke. Get the recipe for Smoked Coconut Cheesecake »

Corsican-Style Cheesecake (Fiadone)

Typically made with brocciu, a fresh goat’s or ewe’s milk cheese, this rustic cake works just as well with ricotta. Get the recipe for Corsican-Style Cheesecake (Fiadone) »

Angel Food Cupcakes with Lemon Mascarpone Frosting

These cupcakes are the perfect spring or summer treat–light and airy angel food cake is topped with a tangy lemon-mascarpone frosting and garnished with fresh berries. Get the recipe for Angel Food Cupcakes with Lemon Mascarpone Frosting »

Banana and Cheese Pudding (Sombremesa de Banana com Queijo)

Fresh bananas layered with sweetened condensed milk and cream cheese combine in a sumptuous Brazilian dessert. Get the recipe for Banana and Cheese Pudding »

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Mascarpone

This batter also makes delicious muffins, perfect for a day-after-Thanksgiving brunch.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Rum and gingersnaps add a spicy, warming flavor to this rich fall dessert. Get the recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake »

White Chocolate-Cream Cheese Mousse

In this updated take on a classic French dessert, cream cheese adds stability and a pleasing tang, which balances the sweet white chocolate without overpowering it.

Goat Cheese and Apricot Truffles

This layered no-cook appetizer from former test kitchen assistant Eliza Martin features a sweet core of dried apricot coated in tangy goat cheese and then rolled in a savory mixture of crushed pistachios and fresh herbs. The finger-friendly “truffles” can be made up to 2 days before serving and stored in the refrigerator, making them the perfect hors d’oeuvres for the busy host or hostess. Get the recipe for Goat Cheese and Apricot Truffles »

Baked Ricotta with Orange Blossom Cherry Sauce

Frozen cherries and orange blossom water make a deliciously sweet topping for creamy baked ricotta.

Pecan Cream Cake

Pecan Cream Cake