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Best German Cheesecake with Quark (Crustless Cheesecake Version)

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This crustless German cheesecake uses Quark cheese – a German baking staple – instead of cream cheese. It’s quick, easy, and so good! Not sure what Quark is or where to find it? Keep reading!

Are you a cheesecake fan? Want to branch out beyond cream cheese cheesecake? If so, give this super easy, super delicious authentic German cheesecake a try!

This crustless German cheesecake is a quick and easy dessert that’s full of flavor. It’s delicious on it’s own (my husband and I devoured it) but you can also serve with fresh berries, a side of whipped cream or even a drizzle of Rote Grütze, raspberry sauce or lemon curd

German Cheesecake vs. American Cheesecake

If you’ve never had German cheesecake, you might be wondering how it differs from cheesecake you typically find in the US.

The main difference is that German cheesecake isn’t made with cream cheese. Instead, it’s made with Quark.

Um…Cate…what the heck is Quark?

It’s a German baking staple! Quark is a fresh, non-aged cheese similar in texture and thickness to Greek yogurt. You’ll find Quark in the yogurt section but it’s not yogurt. Quark is…well, Quark!

One of the benefits of Quark is that it’s high in protein, low in sugar, super creamy, and not tart like yogurt. I fell in love with Quark the first time I ate it when I lived in Germany as a teen. It’s still one of the first things I pick up at the grocery store whenever I arrive in Germany!

Where to Buy Quark Cheese?

While Quark is easy to find in Germany and other parts of Europe it’s not in the US. Until now, that is!!

For years I either made Quark at home from scratch or I’d use Greek yogurt or pureed cottage cheese in my cheesecakes because I couldn’t buy real Quark anywhere in the US.

And then I found Wünder Quark!

I bought a few tubs of Wünder Quark at my local Lowes grocery store and was super excited that it actually tasted like the Quark I ate in Germany. It’s so good.

Since making authentic international recipes is important to my International Baking Club members, and I have several recipes on the IDB that use Quark, I reached out to Wünder to see if we could work together. I’ve been a HUGE Quark fan for nearly 3 decades and am thrilled to be able to help Wünder get their Quark into more baker’s hands!

Wünder offers both flavored and plain Quark. I’ve been using Wünder’s large tubs of plain Quark for baking but you can also buy plain Quark in the smaller 5oz tubs.

A few benefits of Wünder Quark? The 24oz [680g] Wünder Quark has 24 grams of protein per serving, no added sugar, and is made with whole milk from grass fed cows. It also contains probiotics from live active cultures, less than 5% lactose, and is Non-GMO product verified, gluten-free, Kosher certified, and vegetarian friendly.

If you don’t find Wünder Quark at your local grocery store, you can now order it online and Wünder will deliver it right to your doorstep in just a couple days! They sent me a box of Quark and it arrived perfectly cold and ready to use. Wünder Quark will stay fresh in your fridge for 1.5 months so you can stock up.

Click here to order Wünder Quark for your German cheesecake! Use my special code IDB15 to get 15% off your first order.

Can I Make Quark Cheese at Home?

Yes! You can make Quark from scratch at home. All you need is milk, buttermilk, and patience. Quark is easy to make but you do need to plan ahead so you have time to prepare it a couple days before you make your cheesecake. Click here to get my homemade Quark cheese recipe and tutorial.

What’s a Good Quark Cheese Substitute?

Don’t have Quark in your fridge? No time to make a fresh batch or order from Wünder? Here are a couple alternatives. They’re not as authentic as using Quark but they’ll work in a pinch!

First, you can use full fat Greek yogurt. If you can strain off some of the whey to thicken it up, that will help. Second, you can puree cottage cheese. Or you can use a mixture of both.

I’ve made this cheesecake both ways and while the texture was a little different (a little softer), it still turned out fine. It might look a little different, too, but that’s ok! The cheesecake on the left is one I made with Wünder Quark (it’s supposed to sink in the middle). The one on the right was made with Greek yogurt. The texture of the cheesecake made with real Quark was more like what I ate in Germany but the Greek yogurt cheesecake was delicious, too.

How Do You Cut Your Cheesecake in Such Even Slices?

Great question! I love how bakery cakes in Germany have perfectly even slices, so I started using a simple cake marker that I got on Amazon. The one I bought looks like this:

All you do is press the marker lightly on the cake. And then you have nice clean lines for cutting even slices!

I couldn’t find the cake marker I bought on Amazon (I think it was an add-on item) but I found one that’s even better! This cake marker is double-sided so you can slice your cake in either 14 or 18 portions. This one gives you 10 or 12 portions. There are a bunch of cake markers on Amazon – from plastic to metal, for cakes, brownies, and pies.

What You Need to Make Crustless German Cheesecake with Quark

Here are the ingredients you need:

  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla sugar (or extract)
  • Eggs
  • Quark
  • Cream of wheat (optional)
  • Lemon juice

Here’s the equipment you need:

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Spatula
  • Stand or hand mixer
  • Scale or measuring cups/spoons
  • Springform pan
  • Parchment (optional)
  • Cooking spray (optional)
  • Plastic wrap
  • Cake slice marker (optional)
  • Cake plate

How to Make German Quark Cheesecake

The first step is to pre-heat your oven to 325F/162C.

Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer beat the room temperature butter, sugar, and vanilla sugar (or extract) until light and fluffy. I recommend using a large mixing bowl for this recipe.

Add the eggs, 2 at a time, and beat on low until incorporated.

Then add the Quark. I recommend using Wünder Quark, of course! Beat on low until the Quark is well combined.

Add the cream of wheat and continue mixing on low.

Finally, add the lemon juice and mix on low once more until everything is throughly combined.

Don’t forget to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl several times!

Take the ring off your springform pan, spray the bottom of the pan with cooking spray and then lay a piece of parchment on it. (Or use a round Silpat mat!)

Secure the springform pan ring and then pour the cheesecake batter into the pan.

Bake for about 70 minutes or until golden brown. Check your cheesecake at 60 minutes and continue baking in 5 or 10 minute increments.

Let the cheesecake cook in the springform pan for a few minutes, then carefully run a knife around the edge to loosen it from the pan. Remove the springform pan and place the cheesecake on a plate.

Cover with plastic wrap and chill the cheesecake in the fridge for several hours or overnight. It will firm up as it chills.

When you’re ready to serve the cheesecake, let it warm to room temperature. Serve with fresh whipped cream on the side. It’s also delicious served with fresh berries, raspberry sauce, lemon curd or even Rote Grütze. Enjoy!

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Crustless German Cheesecake Recipe

Best German Cheesecake with Quark (Crustless Cheesecake Version)

Best German Cheesecake with Quark (Crustless Cheesecake Version)

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

A delicious light German cheesecake made with Quark cheese (or cottage cheese or Greek yogurt). 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup [198g] sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract)
  • 14 TBSP [200g] butter (room temperature)
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 3/4 cups [850g] Quark (or Greek yogurt or pureed cottage cheese)
  • 1/2 cup [95g] cream of wheat
  • juice of half of one lemon (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F/162C.
  2. Beat sugar, vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract), and butter until light and fluffy.
  3. Add 6 eggs, two at a time. Mix on low.
  4. Add Quark (or Greek yogurt or pureed cottage cheese). Mix on low until well combined.
  5. Add cream of wheat and continue mixing on low.
  6. Add lemon juice and mix on low one more time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir a few times with a spatula to ensure everything is well blended.
  7. Pour cheesecake batter into the prepared springform pan.
  8. Bake for about 70 minutes or until the top of the cheesecake should be golden brown. Check the cheesecake after 60 minutes and bake in 5-10 minute increments until done.
  9. Let the cheesecake cool in the springform pan for a few minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan and then slowly release the springform pan. Let the cheesecake cool for several hours or overnight in the fridge. The cheesecake will firm up as it cools.
  10. Serve plain, with fresh fruit, fruit sauce or a side of freshly whipped cream.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 213Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 138mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 0gSugar: 17gProtein: 9g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Big thanks to Wünder Quark for sponsoring the update I made to this recipe to make it even more authentic.

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Irma Nazario

Friday 4th of December 2020

I lived in Deutschland for 3 years and when I returned to the states I couldn’t find quark. I’ve made my cheesecake with sour cream since 1985. This is my husbands yearly birthday request.

Cate, International Desserts Blog

Saturday 5th of December 2020

Ohhh...I haven't tried sour cream yet!

Quarkbällchen (German Quark Balls with Cinnamon & Sugar) - International Desserts Blog - Dessert, Sweet & Snack Recipes from Around the World

Tuesday 1st of December 2020

[…] snack or a quick and easy dessert. I also loved that Quark showed up frequently in cakes (like cheesecake!), cookies, and […]

Quark Recipes - Easy-Made German Quark Recipe | Allrecipes

Friday 27th of November 2020

[…] 12. Best German Cheesecake with Quark (Crustless Cheesecake … […]

Kemberly

Thursday 19th of November 2020

I was wondering I know a pretty special older German couple that are my neighbors and they have had a sad year with the loss of a child and really want to make them something special for Christmas. The husband is diabetic and I don't believe they are real big "sweets" kind of people. Last year I tried making sugar free cookies and they were a disaster and I'm left with a kitchen full of swerve and other sugar substitute.. I was wondering if u had any advice on something I could make for them that really kinda "fool" proof.. I was considering ur cheesecake but rembering he a diabetic probably not the best thing.. Any advice would be great

Cate, International Desserts Blog

Saturday 21st of November 2020

That's a great question, and how thoughtful of you to want to make something special for them! I actually just made this crustless German cheesecake using half monkfruit sweetener and half sugar and it tasted really good. It was a little waterier than usual, but that could be because I also tried making it without the cream of wheat. So, you could try this cheesecake using monkfruit sweetener (Swerve might work, too, but I haven't tried it) but I do recommend adding the cream of wheat.

Another sugar-free idea to get them a fun Advent Calendar - https://www.internationaldessertsblog.com/the-best-advent-calendars-to-order-now/ I get these every year for family members and they love having something fun to open each day. At the bottom of that blog post there's a link to a virtual advent calendar. I send those out each year and they get rave reviews (especially from people who don't want sweets in their advent calendars)!

If they like tea, you could get a couple cute mugs and fresh mint, ginger, and lemon so they can make this tea I had in Germany last year: https://www.internationaldessertsblog.com/lemon-ginger-mint-tea-the-best-german-tea-i-had-in-germany.

You could also make up some of this spice mix - https://www.internationaldessertsblog.com/5-ways-to-use-homemade-speculaas-spice-mix/ and give it to them in a cute jar. It's very similar to what's used in Germany. I use this spice mix in so many things (see the blog post for ideas), so they might be able to use it here and there during the holiday season.

Or you could make them a jar of vanilla "sugar" - https://www.internationaldessertsblog.com/make-vanilla-sugar/ I've made this using Monkfruit sweetener so Swerve would probably work, too.

Or you could make them a batch of European cultured butter! Here's the recipe for that: https://www.internationaldessertsblog.com/make-european-style-butter/

:)

Paulyspurrr

Thursday 3rd of September 2020

Cate, I am making this for my ex because we are still friends and he had to give up on high carb desserts and I always made him a cheesecake for his birthday. I appreciate very much seeing a recipe that I can make that has all of the richness and fewer calories and no crust. You are a gem. Wish me luck. (I am an old baker but not professional, so new recipes can still be daunting even after 55 years of baking l)

Cate, International Desserts Blog

Thursday 3rd of September 2020

It’s such a great cheesecake you won’t miss the crust at all! I hope you both like it!

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