Ancient Roman Cheesecake (Savillum) Recipe -
Ancient Roman Cheesecake (Savillum) Recipe
  • READY IN 45 mins

Ancient Roman Cheesecake (Savillum)

Recipe by  

"If your planning a toga party or just want a taste of ancient Rome, this is an authentic version of an ancient Roman cheese cake. Its pretty different from a New York style though. This cheesecake can be served either warm or cold."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 1 - 10 inch cheesecake Change Servings
  • PREP

    10 mins
  • COOK

    35 mins

    45 mins


  1. Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Pour some water into a small, oven proof bowl, and place into the oven. Arrange the bay leaves over the bottom of the springform pan to cover.
  2. Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl, then mix in ricotta cheese, honey, orange zest, and lemon juice. Sprinkle in the flour, and stir until evenly combined. Gently pour the batter over the bay leaves, being careful not to disturb them too much.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until browned, about 35 to 40 minutes. Run the tip of a paring knife around the edges of the pan, and release from the springform pan. Invert onto a serving plate, and serve warm or chilled.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jan 30, 2009

SOO GOOD I wasn't quite expecting for the texture, I was more expecting a cheese-cakey more texture, but still very very good.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Apr 14, 2011

this recipe is ok as a twist on modern cheesecake, it uses unique ingredients yet still tastes familiar enough to be what we consider a 'cheesecake'. it's not delicious, but it's ok. it is also not what it claims to be. this recipe is a heavily altered combination of two recipes mentioned in ancient texts. the reason i am rating it so low for an ok cheesecake is because most, if not all, people looking for this recipe are going to be making it because they think it's 'authentic ancient roman', which it isnt, although the explanation claims it is. it's only real claim is that it's touted as an ancient recipe, so people will make it for things like toga parties. the cheesecake itself is mediocre at best. it is not as sweet as what we consider cheesecake to be, and the bay leaves impart a slightly odd flavor. the romans didn't have citrus fruit until the 4th century ad, and it is disputed if they had it at all. savillum and the other recipe this stems from, libum, were from texts by Cato the elder, about 500 years before that. it was probably added to this recipe to suit our tastes, as cheesecake is often made with lemon. savillum also did not use bay leaves, there was a different recipe for cheese buns (unsweetened) that were placed on bay leaves to bake before they were soaked in honey after baking.


15 Ratings

Jun 15, 2009

Looking for a easy, low fat dessert? This is it! The cheesecake came out of the pan easily and had a nice taste. It got 4 stars for presentation. Watch carefully, if you get a nice golden top, the edges may burn. The directions didn't say anything about greasing the pan, so I didn't... but probably should have. I didn't even think about it until it was too late and the cheesecake was in the oven. I'd make this again. I probably wouldn't serve this for company until I ironed out the issues of presentation and timing. Also, the cheesecake was only 3/4" high - so doubling the recipe may give it a little more volume.

Apr 13, 2010

Use a smaller springform than the 10" indicated in the recipe, which might also bring the baking time up to 35 minutes. I'd recommend a layer of parchment paper since the bay leaves easily move and if any part of the cheese cake is brown it sticks. The taste was okay; even with half the bay leaves (mine are really strong), their flavor overwhelmed the delicate orange and honey flavors, which had made the batter taste so promising. Far from being a disaster, but not a repeat recipe for me.

Jan 19, 2011

Definitely better with just 6-8 bay leaves. Not so overpowering. We've made this twice! It's a nice departure from super sweet desserts.

Jun 28, 2011

I made these bite sized for a catering...really solid!

Feb 14, 2011

great recipe! but i never used the bay leaves or a spring pan neither and i greased a small 8 in. pan. Awesome!!!!

Mar 22, 2010

Ohh this is just like the cheesecake i had in Italy!!! Very good!


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  • Calories
  • 160 kcal
  • 8%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 25.4 g
  • 8%
  • Cholesterol
  • 79 mg
  • 26%
  • Fat
  • 4.2 g
  • 6%
  • Fiber
  • 0.4 g
  • 1%
  • Protein
  • 6.5 g
  • 13%
  • Sodium
  • 63 mg
  • 3%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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