Ukrainian Cheesecake is a favourite for Easter dessert.
Dense, curd cake is also known as Ukrainian sweet cheese or Syrnyk. An eastern European cheesecake made with dry cottage cheese.
A delicious dessert from western Ukraine.
This traditional Ukrainian dessert recipe is totally different than no-bake or New York cheesecake made with cream cheese.
Have you tried any of the other Ukrainian recipes on my site?
- Egg Noodle Casserole – baba’s original version included homemade noodles. I make it with bought noodles.
- Green Onion and Dill Potatoes – this recipe has been in the family for decades.
- Kobasa Kapusta – Ukrainian comfort food.
- Ukrainian Lazy Cabbage Roll Casserole – all the flavour of traditional cabbage rolls without all the work.
- Pierogi Sauce – this is the ultimate topping for pierogies and more. Try it on steak too.
RECIPE and INSTRUCTIONS for this Ukrainian Easter cheese can be found at the bottom of this post.
I still have some Ukrainian Easter eggs from years ago. Once the grandkids get a little older, we will decorate some together. Preserving traditions is so important.
When I was a kid, my mom had a pickled eggs recipe she made for all the family events. I always thought they were Ukrainian lol.
What’s In Ukrainian Cheesecake?
- graham crumbs
- lemon zest
- sour cream
- dry cottage cheese – more info below
Making Syrnyk (Ukrainian Cottage Cheese Cake)
This easy Ukrainian recipe is traditionally served as an Easter dessert. Since this is a much healthier version of cheesecake, I like to serve it all year long. Full instructions are in the recipe card below.
- Start by making the crumb crust.
- Pre-bake it before adding the cake batter.
- Beat the egg yolks.
- Add the sugar, sour cream, and cornstarch.
- Add the lemon zest.
- Mix in the cheese.
- Fold in the egg whites.
- Pour over the crumb crust.
- Bake until done.
- Cool completely before removing it from the pan. I like to place it in the fridge to get it really cold.
- Slice and serve topped with jam. Best served at room temperature.
Dry Curd Cottage Cheese
It is also called farmer’s cheese or baker’s cheese. Basically, it is the same as regular cottage cheese without milk or cream.
The whey is pressed from the curds instead of just draining. The end result is a crumbly unripened cheese, with soft curds and not much moisture. This is the brand that I use. Low in lactose and salt. Perfect for healthier desserts.
They are similar in texture. Quark does not contain curds.
The steps in making these two kinds of cheese are very similar.
This type of cheese freezes well. It will be a little drier once thawed.
Topping – I used apricot jam, however, any jam will work. I like to warm it slightly to make it easier to pour. Not into jams? Use whip cream, vanilla yogurt or ice cream. It also tastes delicious without topping.
Serving – This cake is served best at room temperature. Take it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before serving.
Graham Crust – Traditionally a no-crust cheesecake, I like to make mine with a graham crust. You could also bake this with an oreo crust. I like to prebake the crust for about 10 minutes before adding the cake batter.
Storage – Always store this in the fridge.
Baking Pan – I used a regular square baking pan. You can also make this in a round pan. Springform pans work great too.
Dry Curd Cheese – The traditional cheese for this cake. If you cannot find it, you can replace it with ricotta, but the texture will be slightly different.
Parchment Paper – I find lining the baking pan helps to release this cake. Let it cool before removing it from the pan.
Additions – You can add raisins, currants, cherries, blueberries, or even canned pineapple to the cheesecake batter before baking.
Be sure to CLICK THE SUBSCRIBE BUTTON located in the TOP MENU. You will get a FREE PRINTABLE and recipes! FOLLOW ME on social media too.
Looking for more Ukrainian dessert recipes? Give these a try:
Be sure to check out all the desserts on my blog.
Need a few more Easter food recipes? Here are a few of our favourites:
Easter Ukrainian Cheesecake
For the Crust:
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup butter melted
For the Cheesecake:
- 4 large eggs separated
- 1 tablespoon full fat sour cream
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 pound dry pressed cottage cheese room temperature
- ½ cup apricot jam
Prepare the Crust:
- Spray and line an 8 x 8 baking pan. Preheat oven to 325º F.
- Combine the graham crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a bowl.1 cup graham cracker crumbs, ¼ cup butter, ¼ cup granulated sugar
- Press into the prepared baking pan and bake for 15 minuntes. Remove from oven and set aside.
Make the Cheesecake:
- Separate the egg. Place the yolks in a large bowl. Place the whites in another bowl, you will beat them later.4 large eggs
- Using a hand beater, mix well. You can also whisk by hand.
- Add the sour cream, sugar, cornstarch. Blend until light yellow in colour.1 tablespoon full fat sour cream, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, ½ cup granulated sugar
- Add the lemon zest.2 teaspoons lemon zest
- Add the pressed cottage cheese and blend well to combine.1 pound dry pressed cottage cheese
- Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks.
- Stir in ¼ of the whites to the cheesecake mixture. Mix to combine. Fold in the remaining eggs whites just to combine.
- Pour mixture into baking dish (with the pre-baked crust).
- Bake for approximately 40 minutes. Edges will be firm.
- Remove from oven. Cool to room temperature. Place in the fridge once it cools.
- Remove cheesecake from pan. Easier to do when the cake is cold right out of the fridge.
- Slice into serving pieces.
- Top with jam and enjoy. (I like to slightly warm the jam before topping).½ cup apricot jam