Cakes, Christmas, Easter

Traditional Polish Cheesecake

December 21, 2011

One of the most popular cakes in Poland is cheesecake. There are endless numbers of recipes. There are people who like it more moist and some who prefer it more dry. Some prefer it with a base, other without. But a typical Polish cheesecake is made with twaróg (a curd cheese) and bakalie.
TWARÓG – If you are living in Ireland, you will find it in any Polish shop, or even in Tesco or Fresh.  It comes with different fat content – full fat, half fat and non fat. For cheesecakes the best one is full fat.
To use it in cheesecake you need to grind it 2 to 3 times in a meat grinder to make it smoother. You can also find a preprepared grind cheese in shops, but you must be careful, because some of these products are adding butter, sugar and other extras you don’t really want.

twaróg/curd cheese

BAKALIE  – It is the word I miss so much. Bakalie is a mix of raisins, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, candied orange zest, dry apricots and plums. There are no rules on proportions, it always to your own liking. So it is very useful word, you mention to add a handfull of bakalie into a cake or muffins and you don’t have to list.

My mum loves cheesecake with a big amount of raisins. As a child I always removed them, now I can take it, but if I am one to decide what to add, I will go for candied orange zest and almonds.

Polish cheesecake

Anyway this cheesecake is really delicious, moist and rich, very festive. Like all cheesecakes it has a tendency to lower itself after cooling down, but it is typical and it tastes delicious anyway, so don’t worry. So come one, try it. It is worth it.

Traditional Polish Cheesecake

Traditional Polish Cheesecake

Recipe from Moje wypieki

(for a 23x35cm baking tin, half of the portion works well with 23-cm spring form )

  • 250g butter, room temperature
  • 1,3 kg full-fat or half fat curd cheese, minced at least twice
  • 10 large eggs, whites and yolks separately
  • 450g caster sugar
  • 6 Tbsp semolina (Polish - kasza manna)
  • 40g custard powder (Polish - budy?)
  • seeds from 2 vanilla pods + 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup double cream (30% fat)
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup your favourite dried fruits (raisins or candied orange peel)
Beat butter until light and fluffy.
Add curd cheese slowly, still beating.
In a separate bowl beat egg yolks with sugar till creamy and white. Add to cheesecake mixture and mix just to combine.
Add to cheesecake mixture the rest of ingredients: semolina, custard powder, vanilla.
Mix together till just combined.
Whip double cream.
In a separate bowl whip egg whites.
Carefully stir into cheesecake mixture double cream, egg whites and dried fruits.
Grease a baking tin and line with baking paper.
Place cheesecake mixture in a tin and smooth down.
Bake at 170ºC/150ºC fan for about 60 minutes.
Cool down with a slightly ajar oven and place in a fridge for a night.
Decorate. Keep in a fridge for max. 5-7 days.
It is easily cut when cold, with a thin, sharp knife. Enjoy!

Polish cheesecake

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16 Comments

  • Reply Amee December 22, 2011 at 10:37

    I make baked cheesecakes myself, the ‘New-York’ kind – but that one looks really good! It seems like a lot of eggs but I will try it if I can find the right ingredients in the Polish food shop locally. I agree about the raisins, I don’t like too many.

  • Reply Magda December 22, 2011 at 10:46

    Amee, it has a lot of eggs because it is festive, traditional recipe. I don’t know about old Irish cakes recipes, but Polish ones always had a lot of eggs.
    I have a lot of cheesecakes with smaller amount of eggs, but this one was sooo good :)
    For Christmas I will make this one. Less traditional, but looks so beautiful. I hope it will succeed :D
    http://www.kwestiasmaku.com/desery/serniki/sernik_tiramisu/przepis.html

  • Reply Magda January 2, 2012 at 15:20

    Mmmmmmmm, I usually bake a cheesecake with Philadelphia, I was always afraid to bake traditional Polish one, don’t know why? It looks sooo yummy!

  • Reply Magda January 2, 2012 at 16:18

    Magda, it is yummy and you bake it as any other cheesecake. The only bad thing that can happen is when it cracks, maybe it won’t be as pretty, but it will be still delicious.

  • Reply Margot / Gocha January 29, 2013 at 01:00

    Just a short note to let you know that I mentioned this post on Bigos UK, hope you don’t mind ;)
    http://bigos-uk.com/sernik-polish-cheesecake/

    • Reply Magda February 3, 2013 at 16:31

      No I don’t mind, Thank you for featuring my blog Gocha :)

  • Reply Crepes with sweet cheese filling - Magda's Cauldron November 17, 2013 at 23:13

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  • Reply Riccardo June 15, 2014 at 21:35

    Having eaten many varieties of cheesecake in Polska I gave your recipe a go and I was not let down, it was very tasty and enjoyed by all the family.

    • Reply Magda June 16, 2014 at 10:46

      Glad to hear it Riccardo :D

  • Reply Pat Rose Thompson July 14, 2014 at 15:38

    I live in the U.S. in a city with a very large Polish community, and grew up eating all that wonderful food. However, there are no longer any polish grocers here, and I’m wondering if I could substitute cottage cheese, yogurt cheese, ricotta, etc. Any thoughts would be much appreciated. I love your site.

    • Reply Magda July 16, 2014 at 11:44

      Hi Pat, nice to meet you. I would try substituting twarog with ricotta and maybe add a little bit less cream. Also there is a recipe for twarog – http://www.bakingobsession.com/2007/11/22/curd-cheese-russian-tvorog/ My favourite Polish food blogger tried it and she was really happy with results. From the recipe you will get less than 400g of twarog so you may need to multiply the quantities.
      Good luck and let me know how it goes.

  • Reply Orela June 18, 2015 at 07:32

    My husband is of Polish heritage, his father was raised in London after his family escaped Poland during WW2, his mother brought her recipe with her and it was a guarded family secret!!! She eventually gave it to my Father in Law on the promise that he’d only give it to his wife and sons wife’s only. I was giving after 3 yrs of dating my now hubby. I was terrified of cooking it Family heirloom that it was. I eventually braced it about 3 yrs ago and it turned out lovely. Only thing I didn’t have was the fruit mix because my mil gave me her version of the cake( everyone adds their own twist, she takes out the fruit and uses 1/2 goats cheese ). Thankfully my fil gave me a hand written translation a few months before my hubby’s 40th. She has a pastry base to hers and then the mix. I made it exactly to her recipe for my husbands birthday. My fil was given 2nd slice after the birthday boy. And later that night he came to me and said I nearly cried it was just like Babcia used to make and got one of the biggest hugs ever.

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  • Reply Victoria February 15, 2016 at 23:23

    Hello Magda,

    I actually was baking today the traditional polish cheesecake with the amount of ingredients mentioned on the website and ended up having the mixture for about 3 cakes instead of one… I am still not sure why..?

    Does it go 1kg and 300 gr of cottage cheese? I didn’t have semolina and used all purpose flour and regular sugar – 450g, it’s like 3 cups of sugar, right?.

    I was wondering if there is a video for this particular cheesecake available? Thanks.

  • Reply Magda February 16, 2016 at 07:32

    Hi Victoria, it looks like you did everything well. Your pan was probably smaller than mine and it’s a big portion as we love cheesecake. At the beginning of the recipe it states, it’s a big portion and either you end up with for a two 23-cm spring form cakes or one big 23x35cm baking tin.
    No there is no video.

  • Reply Teresa April 4, 2016 at 19:26

    hi Magda….Kasza mana means cream of wheat and the substitute for custard powder is pudding. They use the vanilla cooked pudding not the instant one.
    Enjoy seeing these Polish recipes on line. We have an excellent kitchen that we should take pride in.

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