Authentic German Cheesecake – Temp

This German Käsekuchen (cheesecake) is light and creamy with a hint of lemon. One bite and you'll swear you're in Germany.

There are various kinds of German cheesecake, so be sure to also check out my easy Crustless German cheesecake recipe.

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Ready to make German cheesecake? Great! But don't get out the cream cheese! This cheesecake is made with Quark.

Huh? What's Quark?

Quark is a fresh, soft, un-aged cheese that's popular in Germany and other European countries. It has a texture similar to a thick Greek yogurt but tastes less tangy and sour. It's also high in protein and is delicious spread on toast, combined with fresh berries (both make an excellent breakfast) or in lots of German desserts and baked items.

Where Can I Buy Quark?

Can I Make Quark at Home?

Yes, you can make Quark home (here are my step-by-step homemade quark directions) but the good news is that if you don't have time to make Quark, you can substitute Greek yogurt. That's what I use when I don't have time to make a fresh batch of quark before making a German cheesecake.

You'll also want to put the graham cracker crumbs away because unlike cheesecake in the US, German cheesecake uses a short crust instead of cookie crumbs. The crust in this recipe is so tender, lightly sweet, and has a slight lemon flavor.

I serve this cheesecake with fresh whipped cream, strawberries, and blueberries. It also tastes great just by itself. For next time I'm thinking about making a berry topping using Rote Grütze, which is another amazing German dessert. I'll have to make a whole new cheesecake to try that, though, because this cheesecake didn't last but a couple days.

If you're looking for a new cheesecake to try or are just hungry for a taste of Germany, try this authentic German cheesecake!

What You Need to Make This German Cheesecake

Ingredients:

  • Flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract)
  • Lemon zest
  • Butter
  • Egg + egg yolks
  • Butter
  • Heavy cream
  • Quark (or alternative)
  • Corn starch
  • Egg whites

Equipment:

  • Mixing bowls
  • Stand mixer (or hand mixer)
  • Spatula
  • Scale or measuring cups/spoons
  • Flour sifter
  • Zester/microplane
  • Whisk
  • Springform pan

German Cheesecake Recipe

Step 1: Make the Crust

How to make the best authentic German cheesecake

 Step 2: Make the Cheesecake Filling

How to make the best authentic German cheesecake

Step 3: Bake, Cool & Enjoy 🙂 

Authentic German Cheesecake

Authentic German Cheesecake

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Bake Time: 1 hour 11 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 41 minutes

Looking for a new cheesecake recipe? Hungry for a taste of Germany? Try this authentic German cheesecake!

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp of vanilla extract)
  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon rind
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1 egg (beaten)

Filling

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp extract)
  • 6 tbsp butter (room temp)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups quark (or Greek yogurt)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 egg whites
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

Crust

  1. Combine sifted flour, baking powder, salt, lemon zest, sugar, and vanilla sugar or extract. 
  2. Cut in the cold butter. Add the beaten egg and then use your hands to form into a dough. 
  3. Wrap dough in plastic and chill in the fridge for an hour.
  4. After the dough has chilled, form it into a disc and then roll it out on a floured surface. Shape dough into a disc again, and roll it out once or twice more. I found the dough very crumbly and hard to work with at first, but after I rolled it out twice, it became much easier to work with. 
  5. Roll dough out once more and then transfer to a prepared 9-inch springform pan. (See photos above for how to fold and transfer the dough to the springform pan.) Use your fingers to press the dough so that it evenly covers the bottom and all the way up the sides of the pan. 

Filling

  1. Beat the egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla sugar until pale. Add softened butter and continue beating until well combined. Add the heavy cream and beat again. Add quark (or Greek yogurt or pureed cottage cheese) and beat one more time until everything is thoroughly combined.
  2. Beat egg whites and salt to stiff peaks in a separate bowl. Fold egg whites and sifted cornstarch into cheesecake batter. 
  3. Pour cheesecake batter into a 9-inch springform pan and bake on 300F for about 60 minutes. (My cheesecake needed 70 minutes.) The cheesecake is done when the edges are browned and a toothpick comes out clean. The center of the cheesecake will be a bit wiggly and it will fall as it cools - that's normal. 
  4. Let the cheesecake cool on the counter for an hour and then several hours in the fridge. It's best to make this cheesecake the day before you want to serve it. Enjoy!

Notes

Based on this recipe

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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.

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