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

Quark is a healthy, versatile, and super delicious soft cheese popular in Germany and other parts of Europe.

Not only can you bake and cook with Quark (mmmm…German Cheesecake), you can eat it for breakfast, enjoy it as a healthy mid-day snack or turn it into a heavenly dessert.

Keep reading for my homemade plain Quark recipe and easy Blackberry Quark Dessert recipe!

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When I moved to Germany as a teen, I lived with a few different German families. Each family was delightfully different but one constant was the little cups of creamy Quark in their fridges.

I still remember being handed my first jar of fruit-flavored German Quark. I assumed it was just another kind of German yogurt…until I tasted it. And OMG — it was so rich, creamy, and smooth. Absolutely delicious.

I became obsessed with Quark and was always thrilled to find it in our fridge. To this day, Quark is one of the first things I buy at the grocery store when I’m in Germany!

I always missed eating Quark when in the US and hoped it would make its way across the pond…someday.

Well, someday is TODAY because we can now enjoy Quark in the US (and elsewhere)!

If you also like Quark, keep reading…I’m going to show you how to make homemade Quark, where you can buy authentic European Quark in the US, and how to make an easy Blackberry Quark Cream Dessert!

Um…Cate, What’s Quark? (Cheese!)

For years I thought Quark was a type of German yogurt. I mean, you’ll find Quark right next to the yogurt in the grocery store, and it’s thick and creamy like Greek yogurt. Plus, you’ll find it in both plain and flavored varieties.

But Quark isn’t yogurt at all. It’s actually a fresh, soft, non-aged cheese! Quark is high in protein like Greek yogurt but it’s creamier and doesn’t have that tart yogurt flavor.

How to Use Quark?

Quark is super versatile, and you can can enjoy it in both sweet and savory ways:

  • Plain Quark, for example, is delicious spread on toast and topped with sliced veggies or fruit. Or add it to baked potatoes as an alternative to sour cream.
  • Use plain quark to make savory or sweet veggie or fruit dips.
  • Plain Quark also makes an easy and healthy breakfast or a mid-day snack. Eat it plain or top with fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey.
  • Mix in heavy cream and jam (or fresh fruit puree) and you’ve got a scrumptious dessert!
  • You can also use plain Quark in your cooking and baking recipes – like in German Quark Cheesecake or German Plum Cake.
How to make easy German Blackberry Dessert Quark

Where to Buy Quark Cheese?

While Quark is easy to find in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, it hasn’t been easy to find in the US. Until now!

I recently came across Wünder Quark at my local grocery store here in North Carolina, and I swooned when I tried it because it tastes just like the Quark I ate in Germany. I reached out to Wünder to see if we could work together because I’m always looking for authentic ingredients you can use in the recipes here on the IDB.

So I’m super excited to share Wünder Quark with you! They make both plain and flavored Quark. Their plain Quark comes in larger 24oz tubs (perfect for baking) and both the plain and flavored are available in the smaller 5oz cups.

I’ve mostly been using the plain Quark in my recipes but I have been sampling their flavored Quark…and OMG, it’s heavenly. So far, my surprise favorite is coffee.

As I mentioned earlier, Quark is high in protein — and Wünder plain Quark also has no added sugar and is made with whole milk from grass fed cows. Wünder also contains probiotics from live active cultures, less than 5% lactose, and is Non-GMO product verified, gluten-free, Kosher certified, and vegetarian friendly.

Where can you buy Wünder? Look for it at your local grocery store (if you’re in the US) — or use their store locator to find a store close to you.


You can also now order Wünder Quark online! It’s super easy and Wünder will deliver it right to your doorstep in just a couple days! They package the Quark well so it arrives cold and in perfect condition. You can even re-use the ice packs. Wünder Quark will stay fresh in your fridge for 1.5 months so you can stock up.

Click here to order Wünder Quark to make your German cheesecake and other recipes even more authentic and delicious! Use my special code IDB15 to get 15% off your first order.


I Don’t Have Time to Make Quark at Home. What’s a Good Quark Substitute?

I highly recommend using authentic store-bought or homemade Quark when making recipes that call for Quark. That said, you can usually substitute Greek yogurt or pureed cottage cheese. I’ve used both, and while the desserts did turn out a little different, they were still tasty. But do use the authentic stuff if you can!

What You Need to Make Blackberry Quark Dessert

Ingredients:

  • Plain Quark (store-bought or homemade)
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Blackberry jam (or whatever flavor jam or fruit puree you like)
  • Vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract + sugar)
  • Fresh fruit (optional for serving)

Kitchen Tools:

  • Small mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Spatula
  • Scale or measuring cups & spoons
  • Serving bowls & spoons

How to Make Quark at Home (Plain Quark & Blackberry Dessert Quark)

I’m going to show you how to make delicious homemade Blackberry Dessert Quark. The main ingredient that you need is plain Quark. If you have store-bough Quark you can skip this part of the recipe. If you’re using homemade Quark, read on to see how to make Quark from scratch.

How to make easy German Blackberry Dessert Quark

Here’s how to make plain homemade Quark. First, heat the milk to a simmer over medium low heat. Once it’s reached a simmer, take the saucepan off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.

Add the room temperature cultured buttermilk and stir or whisk together.

Pour the milk into a glass bowl or plastic container (I either use my glass batter bowl or a couple clean yogurt tubs) and cover loosely with a clean tea towel.

Leave in a warm place in your kitchen for 12-36 hours. I usually leave mine on the stove or countertop or in the oven with the door closed (just make sure you don’t turn the oven on accidentally!).

On a warm day, it only takes about 12 hours for my Quark to set. In the winter, however, 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 Quark on a warm stove after I’ve baked something in the oven.

Once your Quark has thickened up, the next step is to drain off the whey. The easiest way to do this is to place a clean tea towel in a strainer that’s resting on a bowl.

Pour the Quark onto the tea towel. Then, gather the corners of the towel and use a rubber band or twist-tie 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! 

Take the strainer out of the bowl and pour the whey into a jar to use later (you can use it in smoothies, baking, soups, etc).

Pull back the towel (which will be soaking wet from the whey) and scoop the Quark into a bowl. The Quark should be pretty thick. If it isn’t, let the Quark drain for a couple more hours.

Now you have a fresh batch of delicious plain Quark cheese!

If your Quark is lumpy you can use a whisk to smooth it out. If you plan to eat it plain and 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.

Homemade Quark Cheese

Homemade Quark Cheese

Yield: 16 oz [450g]
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Sitting Time: 1 day 12 hours
Total Time: 1 day 12 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 cups [48oz / 1362g] milk
  • 1 1/2 cups [12oz / 350g] buttermilk (room temp)

Instructions

    1. Heat milk to a simmer over medium low heat. Take off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
    2. Add room temperature buttermilk and stir.
    3. Pour milk into a glass bowl or plastic container and cover loosely with a clean tea towel.
    4. Leave milk a warm place for 12-36 hours.
    5. Meanwhile, place a clean tea towel in a strainer resting on a large bowl. When the Quark has thickened up, pour it onto the tea towel so the whey can drain off. Gather the corners of the towel and use a rubber band or twist-tie to secure the towel. Place the bowl in the fridge for several hours (or overnight) so the whey can drain off the Quark.
    6. Once the whey has drained off, scoop the Quark into a bowl and pour the whey into a jar to use later (you can use it in smoothies, baking, soups, etc).
    7. Store the Quark in the fridge.

Notes

  1. If the Quark is lumpy, use a whisk to smooth it out.
  2. If the Quark is too thick, add a little whey back into it.

How to Make Homemade Blackberry Dessert Quark

Add store-bought or homemade plain Quark to a small mixing bowl. Then add the heavy cream and whisk together until thick. If you have cream that’s already whipped, you can simply fold that into the Quark.

Add blackberry jam and whisk until blended. Of course, you can use whatever flavor jam you’d like! You could also mash up fresh berries or use fresh fruit puree instead of jam.

Then add vanilla sugar to taste (or vanilla extract + sugar).

You can serve the Quark immediately or let it chill and firm up in the fridge for an hour or two. Serve with fresh fruit and enjoy!

Blackberry Dessert Quark

Blackberry Dessert Quark

Yield: 4 portions
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup [227g] plain Quark 
  • 1/2 cup [113g] heavy cream 
  • 2 TBSP Blackberry jam  
  • Vanilla sugar (optional)

Instructions

    1. Add plain Quark into a small mixing bowl.
    2. Add heavy cream to the Quark and whisk together until thick. If you have cream that's already whipped, you can simply fold that into the Quark.
    3. Add blackberry jam (or whatever flavor jam you'd like) and whisk until blended.
    4. If you'd like to add a little vanilla extract or vanilla sugar, add it now to taste.
    5. Chill the Quark in the fridge until you're ready to serve it. Place in serving bowls and garnish with fresh fruit.

Notes

You can use whatever flavor jam you'd like. You could also mash up fresh berries or use fresh fruit puree and a little sugar or vanilla sugar instead of jam.

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

How to make easy German Blackberry Dessert Quark

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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.

28 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
  • […] Click here to learn how to make quark at home! […]

    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
  • […] making all sorts of new and delicious things – Icelandic Skyr, cultured European butter, quark, creme fraiche, dulce de leche, and 10+ different types of mini tarts for my new ebook (which […]

    Reply

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