German Quark Recipe, Tips for Making Homemade Quark & How to Make Blackberry Dessert Quark

When I moved to Germany as a teen, I lived with a few different German families. Each family was delightfully different but one constant is that they all had little cups of rich and creamy fruit flavored "Quark" in their fridge.

I was already a yogurt fan (German yogurt is the best) but I become obsessed with Quark!

Quark is one of those foods that I loved eating in Germany but just never thought I could enjoy here in the US.

I was so wrong – making German Quark at home is super easy!

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I've got two Quark recipes for you today.

First I'm going to show you how to make a batch of plain German Quark.

Then I'll show you how to turn that into delicious blackberry German "dessert Quark."

Dessert quark is the perfect dessert for when you want something rich, creamy, and tasty that's high in protein and low on added sugar. It's SO good.

What's Quark? (Cheese!)

For years I thought Quark was a type of German yogurt.

But it's actually a fresh, soft, non-aged cheese!

That said, its texture and taste are more like Greek yogurt. German quark is high in protein (like Greek yogurt), low in fat, and you can eat it in both sweet and savory ways. Plain Quark is on the sour side so when I eat it for breakfast I like to add fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey (which is how I eat Greek yogurt).

How to Use Quark?

There are several uses for quark!

  • Plain Quark, for example, is delicious spread on toast and topped with sliced veggies or fruit. Or on baked potatoes. You can use it as a replacement for sour cream.
  • You can eat Quark plain or with honey and fresh berries for a healthy breakfast or snack, just as you would yogurt.
  • You can use it in German Quark cheesecake.
  • Or mix in heavy whipping cream and jam (or fresh fruit) and you've got an amazing dessert! If you prefer vanilla quark, as opposed to fruit quark, simply add whipped cream and vanilla sugar. So good!
How to make easy German Blackberry Dessert Quark

Where to Buy Quark Cheese?

Quark is super easy to find in Europe but much less so in the US. I've seen fresh quark at German delis, and fruit-flavored quark in yogurt sized containers at Whole Foods, and Target.

If you want to buy Quark online, you’ll find it here on Amazon.

If you buy Quark in the US, it’s often on the expensive side, like crème fraiche. And, to be honest, I've tried Elli Quark a few times and I didn't really like it. While they offer a variety of Quark flavors, it just didn't taste like the quark I like to eat in Germany.

That’s why I highly recommend making Quark cheese at home! It’s super easy, much cheaper than buying it, and you have complete control over the ingredients. Keep reading to find my easy Quark cheese recipe.

I Don't Have Time to Make Quark. What's a Good Quark Substitute?

It depends on how you were planning to use Quark. If you wanted to eat it for breakfast or as a snack, I'd substitute Greek yogurt or Icelandic skyr. If you want to use it in German cheesecake, you can use Greek yogurt.

How to Make Quark at Home

First I'm going to show you how to make plain homemade Quark cheese.

Then I'm going to show you how to whip up a batch of delicious blackberry dessert Quark. Yum!

How to make easy German Blackberry Dessert Quark

First, the plain Quark. Start by bringing 6 cups of milk to a simmer over medium low heat. Take it off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.

How to make easy German Blackberry Dessert Quark

Whisk in 1 1/2 cups of room temperature cultured buttermilk. Then pour into a container (I've used both glass and plastic jars and both worked fine) and cover with a clean tea towel. Leave in a warm place, like your kitchen counter, for 12-36 hours.

How to make easy German Blackberry Dessert Quark

For this batch I used a clean yogurt container and a plastic storage container. Don't use the lids, though! Just cover with a tea towel.

How to make easy German Blackberry Dessert Quark

On a warm day, it only takes about 12 hours for my quark to set. But other times it's taken as long as 36 hours.

So, if your quark hasn't thickened in 12 or even 24 hours, don't worry! Just let it sit out longer.

On cold days, I've found it helpful to set the jars on a warm stove after I've baked something in the oven.

How to make easy German Blackberry Dessert Quark

The photo above shows you what the thickened quark looks like.

The next step is to drain off the whey. The easiest method is to place a clean tea towel over a strainer that's resting on a large bowl.

Pour the Quark onto the tea towel.

Then, gather the corners of the towel and use a rubber band to secure the towel. Place the bowl in the fridge for several hours (or overnight) so the whey can continue draining off the Quark.

Once the whey has drained, you have Quark! When I made it, 6 cups of milk yielded 2 cups of Quark.

How to make easy German Blackberry Dessert Quark

The Quark will be thick and it may be lumpy. If it's too thick for your liking, just mix a little whey back in. If you're going to make dessert Quark, I recommend keeping the plain Quark thick because it will thin out when you add the whipped cream.

Now that you have a fresh batch of plain Quark cheese! If you want to eat it plain, I recommend whipping it with a whisk to get some of the lumps out. Then, top with fruit, honey, nuts - whatever you like.

How to Make Blackberry Dessert Quark

To make 2 portions of dessert Quark, start with 1/2 cup thick plain Quark.

Whisk in 1/4 cup heavy cream and whip until thick. If you have cream that's already whipped, you can simply fold that into the Quark.

Then add 1 tablespoon of blackberry jam and whisk until blended. Of course, you can use whatever flavor jam you'd like! You could also mash up fresh berries instead of using jam.

You can also add a little vanilla extract or vanilla sugar. Adjust everything to your preferred taste.

Chill the Quark in the fridge until you're ready to serve it. Place in serving bowls and garnish with fresh fruit.

German Quark Recipe & Blackberry Dessert Quark

German Quark Recipe & Blackberry Dessert Quark

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 15 minutes

Quark is high in protein and makes a delicious and healthy breakfast, spread, snack or dessert!

Ingredients

Quark (plain)

  • 6 cups milk 
  • 1 1/2 cups cultured buttermilk

Blackberry Dessert Quark

  • 1/2 cup plain quark 
  • 1 Tbsp blackberry jam
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Vanilla extract or vanilla sugar (optional)
  • Fresh blackberries (optional) 

Instructions

Quark Cheese Recipe

  1. Heat milk to a simmer, then take off the heat and let cool to room temperature. 
  2. Whisk buttermilk into milk. Pour into a bowl or into glass or plastic jars. Cover with a clean tea towel and let sit on the counter for 12-36 hours. 
  3. When the quark has thickened, pour into a clean tea towel (or muslin or cheesecloth). Gather the corners and use a rubber band to hang the quark from a spoon placed on a large bowl. Let it sit in the fridge for several hours (or overnight).

Blackberry Dessert Quark Recipe

  1. Whip quark and heavy cream together until thick. Optional: add a few drops of vanilla extract or a spoonful of vanilla sugar to taste.  
  2. Add blackberry jam and whip until blended.
  3. Chill in the fridge until you're ready to serve.
  4. Garnish with fresh fruit.  

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About Author

I love baking, traveling, and sharing delicious recipes for European Christmas Cookies! I used to live in Germany, have worked on 4 continents, and now enjoy baking and blogging from my adopted home in North Carolina, USA.

27 Comments

  • Helen at the Lazy Gastronome
    February 16, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    I make cream cheese from yogurt often – it’s sort of like this – so easy! But I never thought of making a dessert of it – Sounds great! Thanks for sharing on the What’s for Dinner link up!

    Reply
    • Cate
      February 16, 2017 at 4:57 pm

      Homemade cream cheese is next on my to-do list! 🙂

      Reply
  • Angie
    February 17, 2017 at 11:53 pm

    I am trying this *right now*! How much whey should I expect? Hoping to have a little for a smoothie or two!?

    Reply
    • Cate
      February 20, 2017 at 1:14 am

      Hi Angie! I had A LOT of whey this last time I made Quark. I’m guessing a couple cups. Is it good in smoothies? I never know what to do with it!

      Reply
      • Paulyspurrr
        September 3, 2020 at 7:26 pm

        Only 3 years late… The vitamin B and folates, minerals and enzymes mean you should NEVER ever waste it! (I waste nothing, so if you STILL have too much, put it into the compost!)

        I use whey in baking breads although it will kill the B vitamins, use in energy bars, smoothies or drinks mixed with milk powder to increase the protein content in anything you bake. Freeze it in small bags by the 1/2 cup full, or store in an jars, bottles and substitute for water in recipes. Use the jarred whey in soup, stews, gravies, saucesor plunk the frozen ½ cups into the soup/stew/sauces etc to cool it for storage in the fridge or freezer.

        Use it as a brine to store your homemade cheeses or to refresh an older feta to keep it fresher. Add lemon juice or vinegar to the brine to your taste. It can substitute for milk (not in cakes) for a less fatty result.

        If you still have too much COMPOST IT! PLEASE! Some plants in your garden may love it as well, especially an acid whey ( 1 part whey to one part water) for tomatoes and acid loving plants. Water sparingly or use it to make compost tea.

        Reply
  • […] seen it all over Europe. You can use vanilla sugar in cookies, pies, cakes, whipped cream, yogurt, Quark, creme fraiche…you name it! It’s also delicious sprinkled over fresh […]

    Reply
  • Carol
    February 21, 2017 at 12:46 am

    Sounds delicious- pinned and shared

    Reply
    • Cate
      February 21, 2017 at 1:38 am

      It is super delicious, Carol! Thanks for pinning, sharing, and stopping by. 🙂

      Reply
  • […] is often called “Philadelphia” in Germany), German cheesecake is typically made with Quark, which is a non-aged, fresh cheese. You can sometimes find Quark in stores in the US but you can […]

    Reply
  • […] Click for Now or Pin for Later! […]

    Reply
  • […] But don’t get out the cream cheese! This German cheesecake is made with quark. […]

    Reply
  • […] you’ll find cream cheese cheesecake in Germany, traditional German cheesecake is made with quark and is lighter and fluffier. The crust is also different – instead of a cookie or graham […]

    Reply
  • […] yogurt-oil-dough, since I didn’t have any quark on hand (if you want to be authentic, get my quark recipe here). The dough came together quickly, was easy to roll out, and tasted […]

    Reply
  • […] lemon curd recipe, golden syrup, Icelandic skyr, dulce de leche, ganache, creme fraiche, quark, and cultured European […]

    Reply
  • Cheryl
    March 8, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    I haven’t made the cheesecake yet but I made the quark. It is absolutely positively delicious. My question is: I want to make some homemade Oreo cookies. I do not want to fill with powdered sugar filling. I was thinking I could add a little sugar to a cork and use that as myfilling. What do you think? Any suggestions would be appreciated? Thank you

    Reply
    • Cate
      March 10, 2019 at 6:31 pm

      It could work if you prefer the taste of quark over a more traditional oreo filling flavor. The texture will be different, not as thick as typical oreo filling. Straining the quark until very thick and then chilling the filled cookies in the fridge could help. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!

      Reply
  • Miriam
    April 30, 2019 at 10:53 pm

    I love quark and would like to try this at home.
    For the milk, it’s not specified.. Do you use whole milk, 2%, skim?

    Reply
    • Cate
      April 30, 2019 at 11:56 pm

      I typically use whole milk but you can use any kind of milk. Whole milk, though, makes a creamier quark!

      Reply
  • […] I love making things like homemade golden syrup, European cultured butter, Icelandic skyr, German quark, clotted cream, and creme […]

    Reply
  • Borst
    February 12, 2020 at 2:40 am

    I add salt, pepper, fresh garlic, green onions, chive, parsley and other herbs to taste and mix it with fresh quark. It is delicious over baked potatoes or as a dip for veggies

    Reply
  • Rita Stuhl
    April 30, 2020 at 3:43 am

    I need advice, if you have any, please! I am in love with German cheesecake (I used to live in Germany as a child) and saw your recipe for quark cheese! I remembered the timeline incorrectly and left the milk/buttermilk out for 72 hours instead of 36! Do I throw it out? It smells like yogurt and still is not chunky…. I’m not sure what to do! I put it in the refrigerator in a cheesecloth sack like you suggested. Anyhow, thank you so much for posting this! I hope one day I shall get it right!!!

    Best,
    Rita

    Reply
    • Cate, International Desserts Blog
      April 30, 2020 at 6:48 pm

      As long as it smells/tastes ok, it should be fine! Depending on the temp of your kitchen, quark can take more or less than 36 hours. When my kitchen is colder, it always takes longer for me. I hope you enjoy it!

      Reply
  • […] let you know how it goes! (In the meantime, why not try your hand at making homemade creme fraiche, German quark, Icelandic skyr, European cultured butter or clotted […]

    Reply
  • […] and tender on the inside. You can usually add ketchup or order them with a side of garlic sauce or quark (yum). Some stands also offer fried whole mushrooms, which are also delicious. I’m definitely […]

    Reply

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