Wednesday, August 17, 2011

German Cheese Cake (Quark Kuchen)

I had some vague memories of how my mom used to make Quark Kuchen, years ago, before I knew about cheesecake. Recently I called her up and we made it again, two times in one day, just to get it right. She did not have her method written out and had forgotten certain details. So it was good to work through it and write it down.

Ingredients for Base:
  • ½ cup butter

  • 2 Tbsp sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 2 Tbsp sour cream

  • 1 cup flour

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  1. Grease a 9X13 glass pan or 10-11 inch springform pan. Preheat oven to 325F

  2. Beat butter and sugar, adding in the egg, then the sour cream.

  3. Mix flour, baking powder and salt and stir into wet ingredients, shaping it into a soft ball with spatula. Wrap in saran wrap and chill half hour.

  4. Roll out on floured surface. Roll onto rolling pin and unroll into pan, going slightly up the sides or all the way up if using a springform pan. Prick with fork.

Ingredients for second layer:
  • 3 cups dry cottage cheese (I used Lucerne 4% dry curd)

  • 4 eggs, separated

  • 1 packet Dr. Oetkers vanilla sauce

  • 1 cup whipping cream

  • 1 cup sugar, divided

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  1. Using a fork or pastry cutter, cut up the cottage cheese as fine as possible. This works best if pre-frozen and thawed.

  2. Mix fine cottage cheese with 4 egg yolks, vanilla sauce packet, whipping cream, ½ cup sugar and salt. (I have not tried it, but if you cannot get Dr Oetkers vanilla sauce, you could try a small pkg Jell-O vanilla instant pudding)

  3. Beat egg whites until stiff, slowly adding ½ cup sugar and continuing to beat until very stiff. Fold into cottage cheese mixture.

  4. Pour and spread onto first layer.

  5. Bake at 325 F for 1 hour. Add another 5 minutes if it still looks too light.

  6. Run a knife around the edge and allow to cool. This cake may fall slightly as it cools.

  7. Refrigerate leftover cake. Can be served with a dusting of icing sugar or with fruit topping. Traditionally we have eaten it plain.

If you cannot get dry cottage cheese, you could try regular cottage cheese or, preferably, ricotta cheese - draining the liquids using a cheesecloth.


  1. I spent two years studying in Germany, and I LOVED Quark-anything :) I can't wait to try this recipe!

  2. This sounds very much like something my Grandma used to make...can't wait to try it. I am wondering how to find the Dr.'s vanilla sauce though. Hope the pudding mix works just as well!

  3. These vintage recipes are so great, good for you for working it through with your mother, so many of them are never written down. I've been making 'blitzkuckens' from the Joy of Cooking lately, with summer fruits sprinkled on top, and I,m loving it. I have to try this one.

  4. That looks delicious. I've never tried or heard of German Cheesecake. This is something I will have to fix and try!

  5. Katie, the vanilla sauce pkg is used to make a vanilla sauce . . . but in this recipe it is used as a stabilizer and flavor enhancer.

    You could also use a pkg of Dr Oetkers vanilla sugar mixed with a Tbsp of cornstarch or flour.

  6. I was in Germany yrs ago and had cheesecake there. I have been wondering what kind it was and this must have been it!!! It was great. I'll be trying this recipe.Thanks for sharing.

  7. Oh I have e\never tried cheese cake. I am gonna try this, thanks.
    It looks GOOD!

  8. This sounds so good! Less fussy than more "American" cheesecakes, too. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Where would one find the vanilla sauce? is it by the puddings? is it refigerated? I have never heard of it.

  10. This sounds so good but I'm pretty sure we don't have that vanilla sauce stuff. Any thoughts on what I can substitute for that?

  11. This is a flashback for me. My mom hasn't made this for years so I guess I will..

  12. Oops, I didn't read all the directions to see that you made a substitute suggestion. Is that sauce a Canadian thing? What else do you do with that sauce....maybe that would help us decide what to use.

  13. you can get Oetker products through Amazon.

  14. I use Dr. Oketer's vanilla sauce for everything. I love it.
    This looks like a great recipe that my German family would love.

  15. Is quark closer to ricotta? I've seen recipes for it, but I've never made it. I used to think Mennonite/Deutsch cooking would be so exotic! But after trying some recipes I've taken to it, as it isn't that much different from my own down-home Maine country cooking. I've even started writing my own cooking blog, incorporating some of those Mennonite methods. Fusion Mennonite/Yankee cooking maybe?

  16. My mom use to make this. She's gone now but I've been looking for this recipe for a long time. The only difference is that she topped it with meringue, lightly toasted. She used to do all this yummy baking on Sat. for our Sunday Fasba.

  17. Thanks, Helga! That meringue topping sounds good and what a nice memory for you.

  18. Is quark the same cheese used in glums wraniki? Im Mexican mennonite and have never heard of this dessert. Sounds yummy though!

  19. Is quark the same cheese used in glums wraniki? Im Mexican mennonite and have never heard of this dessert. Sounds yummy though!

    1. Sarah, yes it is. For the Quark Kuchen the cottage cheese just needs to be very fine... so like it says, if you freeze it, it is easier to make very fine crumbs.