Chances are, if you were born in North America, as were both of your parents, you have no idea what quark is. Kind of sounds like a noise a dog-duck would make, right? Really though, quark is actually a light, creamy cheese – very similar in texture to a Greek yogurt or sour cream. It’s much lower in calories and fat than cream cheese and higher in protein. There are lots of wonderful uses for quark and baking with it is one of them. Say hello to Käsekuchen, the German cheesecake.
Quark used to be all but impossible to find in The USA unless you were in a major city. These days, you can find it – you just might have to do a little looking. There are a few mainstream brands, but you’re more likely to find it locally made at a specialty cheese shop. If all else fails, you’re still in luck. Quark is very simple to make – it’s actually a great introduction to cheese making – and you’ll find plenty of recipes & tips online. I’ll blog about it one day soon, I promise!
A traditional German cheesecake is made with a pastry style pie crust. I forgo that for two reasons. First, it’s more work (shhhhh – I’m a lazy baker) and secondly, I absolutely love graham cracker crusts. The cheesecake is very simple to make, just a bunch of mixing and beating. Throw it into the oven and watch it do it’s magic. It turns a beautiful golden brown and puffs up all big and pretty like a souffle (it will depuff some after cooling). Let it rest for a few minutes in the oven with the heat off and the door ajar before moving to a wire rack to cool for an hour or two. From there, I let it cool for a few more hours (or overnight) in the fridge before removing from the springform pan.
The taste and texture of quark is much different than cream cheese, resulting in a much different cheesecake then most are used to. Much lighter and fluffier then a NY style cheesecake – it’s almost a mousse, custard-like texture. I love this lightly sweetened custard like cheesecake – it’s wonderful served with fresh fruits, fruit syrups, jams, candied nuts or a sprinkle of powdered sugar. The nutritional content of quark makes this a much lighter, healthier, diet friendly cheesecake.
Hopefully one day soon you’ll see a tub of quark in your grocery store and you’ll be inspired to do some baking! Thanks for reading!
Quark German Style Cheesecake
- For crust:
- 1 cup graham cracker crumb
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 tablespoon melted butter
- For cake filling:
- 5 eggs separated
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 pounds quark
- 1/4 cup milk or cream
- 2 tablespoon flour
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350
- For crust :
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine graham crumbs, sugar and melted butter.
- Press crumbs evenly into bottom of 9" springform pan.
- Bake for 7- 10 minutes. (Optional - your preference)
- Cool before filling.
- For filling:
- In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, mix together egg yolks, sugar and vanilla extract until well combined.
- Add quark, milk, flour and lemon juice. Mix until creamy and combined.
- In a separate mixing bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until they form stiff peaks.
- Fold egg whites into quark mixture.
- Pour cake filling into springform pan.
- Bake at 350 for 50 -60 minutes or until cake has puffed up, is set and a light golden brown.
- Turn off heat in oven, crack door and let cake rest in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Cool cake on wire rack for an hour or two. Move cake to refrigerator and continue to cool for a few hours.
- Release sides of pan, slice and serve. This cheesecake tastes great with fresh fruit, jams, candied nuts or a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Enjoy!
love the cheesecake
Wonderful to hear! Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂
Amanda i need to know how much quarks in 2 pounds. Like you know cups? Please let me know. Im so intrigued by quark. Im making it myself this week if im well. I have been sick sincle last Wednesday. Thank you so very much for all your recipes and hard work you put into each one you post for us. YOU ROCK!!!
Hi Marlene. Although I don’t have an exact measurement for cups (and don’t have any quark on hand) – I’ll compare it to Greek yogurt which is very similar in consistency. I’ll say approximately 4 cups quark would equal 2 pounds. Hope this helps 🙂
So glad you enjoy the recipes – thank you, thank you & thank you again for saying that! The encouraging words means so much ♥
Hope you feel better & thanks so much for stopping by! Happy Baking ♥
Thank you for sharing this recipe 🙂 I will be making it this weekend and will be sure to report back.
Hi Emilie! Hope you enjoyed the cake 🙂
I made this today for a friend who is German. Added fresh stewed strawberries on top and some cream. Delicious. In Germany they added fruit to the top and served it like a flan eg. preserved mandarin segments or plums. Sooooo delicious and now i can bring Germany into my own little Aussie home. Thanks
So happy to hear you both enjoyed the cake! I love it with strawberries but preserved plums sounds like a delicious topping I need to try!
Thanks for stopping by! Happy Baking ♥
My Dear Aunt Trudy, who passed earlier this year, made this German Cheesecake only for special occasions and requests. I tried many times to get her to teach me how to make it, but she said its a 3-5 day process and, since I lived 2 hours away, she tried to talk me out of trying it.
But she gave, and I guessed, a number of hints on what it took and you’ve now filled in the rest of the puzzle.
This was as close as hers on the first try, as I could have wished.
I tried it this weekend with 4x8oz containers of quark – the quark cost more than the spring-form pan!
(Maybe I needed a bit more quark? I didn’t weigh it, just figured 4x8oz was 2lbs.)
I made a little carmel apple sauce to go with it… wonderful…
Thanks!! Now, we need to know how you make your quark so I can avoid tapping my 401K for the next try!
Glad I could help fill in the pieces of your Aunt Trudy’s cheesecake. It’s a shame you didn’t get her quark recipe – she was definitely doing it right by straining it for a few days. I’ll have to publish my recipe soon – it really is simple to make.
Have you checked a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s for quark?
Or check here to see if Eli brand quark is nearby you:
Thanks for stopping by!
Sorry but graham cracker crumbs have NEVER been used in a German Cheese cake. This cake recipe is phony
Phony, not so much – just a different crust. I definitely do mention how it is traditionally made in the beginning of my blog post.
“A traditional German cheesecake is made with a pastry style pie crust.”
I’m going to try this recipe tomorrow. I’ll report back and rate accordingly, although I already have a good feeling about it. 🙂
What type of quark did you use? With how much fat? Here (where I live) they sell quark with 0% fat, 20% fat and 40% fat. I wonder which one would work best with this recipe.
Love all your bakery recipes, but this one in particular really rocks! Thanks
Hi Paula. I used a full fat quark for this recipe.
Glad you love the recipes – hope you enjoy this cheesecake ♥
Amanda, I don’t have access to quark, so I’m using Greek yogurt. Would the radio be the same.
Hi Greg – I’ve never tried – BUT – I would use the same amounts. Hope it works out!
quark = farmers Cheese for those who cannot find it.
Growing up in Germany with my Grandma she always added a pack of vanilla flavor pudding (the kind you cook)
It gives the cheesecake that good vanilla flavor.
Wow, we just made this for the 3rd time and I have to say it is fantastic! I’m an American living in Germany (with a German husband) and he agreed it’s better than the recipe he likes to use. We of course have an abundance of Quark here, the graham crackers though are non-existant :-/ We just used a regular flour, sugar, butter type crust, which was yummy too.
fyi, I used low fat (1.5%) Quark and opted for the cream rather than milk and it was perfect. 🙂
I made this. The prep time of 20 mins is fair.
A very nice light alternative to the heavier new york counterparts.
I think it needs way more lemon though.
Will definitely make again
Best Käsekuchen EVER! Almost the same recipe that my German aunt used. She had to use cottage cheese instead of Quark because in those days no one had heard of Quark in the US. She would always put raisins in the filling, but you can put cherries in too for Käsekirschkuchen 🙂
Hi! I’ve made this cheesecake using your recipe and I had a german tell me it was perfect and tasted like christmas! Thanks!
Pretty much the way my German mom makes it – with raisins and a streusel topping. Mom uses a Nilla cookie crust to make it easier.
The only problem I have is that the cheesecake ‘falls’ quite a bit. Any ideas on how to prevent that? Might be the streusel.
I also make my cheesecake with golden raisins. I agree with you about the streusel being too heavy. Try it without or less.
I am not a fan of cheesecake but I had to try this recipe. It is delicious! It does not have the sour taste you get with cream cheese and the texture is light. My only concern is my crust was quite soggy. That however did not slow us down as we knocked off half of it in one sitting. I can’t wait to make this again with different toppings.
Really good, I used a traditional style crust , but gram cracker works so well with it. Going to make a wild blackberry sauce this time . thanks.