Recipe: Käsekuchen (German Cheesecake)

This Käsekuchen — cheesecake, German-style — is one of F’s specialties, but he hadn’t made it for me until now.


It was absolutely worth the wait. The recent acquisition of a food scale and a springform cake pan made this recipe possible — in fact, we sort of splurged on these tools in order to make the cheesecake, because the recipe F uses has grams rather than cups.


This is no American-style cheesecake. The only cheese in it is quark, a tangy, very low-fat fresh cheese common in Germany. It tastes a bit like yogurt, but has a thicker, spreadable consistency and is technically cheese. Instant pudding — we had to use custard, since we couldn’t find pudding here — acts as a thickening agent for the filling. The combination of quark and pudding/custard lends a pleasant tang to the final product, and it’s not too sweet.

Another difference between Käsekuchen and American-style cheesecake is the crust: in the States, cheesecake crust is usually some kind of crushed graham cracker or cookie deal; Käsekuchen requires a proper dough that tastes almost like a sugar cookie. Delicious.

have some

Nutritionally, you could do much worse than Käsekuchen. Yes, there’s some sugar and butter, but the quark is virtually fat-free and we used mostly semi-skimmed milk. This is totally healthy enough to eat for breakfast.

Käsekuchen (German Cheesecake) (adapted from this recipe)


  • Crust:
    • 330g white flour
    • 130g granulated sugar
    • 130g unsalted butter (or margarine)
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • Filling:
    • 1kg quark
    • 300g granulated sugar
    • 2 packages instant vanilla pudding (we had to use instant custard)
    • 100mL sunflower oil (or other neutral oil)
    • 150mL single cream
    • 350mL semi-skimmed milk (use any combination of milk products adding up to 500-600mL)
    • 4 large eggs


  • Make the crust: Put all the crust ingredients in a large bowl and blend with an electric mixer until the butter forms small balls. Use your hands to finish forming the mixture into dough. Roll the dough out on a floured surface, then press it into the bottom and sides of a springform cake pan.
  • Preheat the oven to 175C (350F).
  • Make the filling: Combine all the filling ingredients in a large bowl and blend with an electric mixer until smooth.
  • Pour the filling into the cake pan with the crust.
  • Carefully slide the cake into the oven and bake for 75-90 minutes or until the top is starting to brown and the middle is mostly set — you may have to cover it about halfway through so the top doesn’t burn. Let cool for at least two hours and preferably in the fridge overnight.



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