Traditional German Cheesecake

Traditional German Cheesecake Recipe

Traditional German Cheesecake – Käsekuchen

This Traditional German Cheesecake with Crumble Topping is called Käsekuchen mit Streusel in Germany. My mother used Schichtkaese for the German cheese cake. Schichtkaese is a combination of cream cheese and cottage cheese. The closest equivalent I can find in the United States is farmer’s cheese. If you live in an area where it is difficult to find farmer’s cheese, not to worry, regular cream cheese will work just fine with my recipe.

Ingredients for shortcrust pastry of Traditional German Cheesecake:

  • 200 g (7 oz) of all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
  • 75 g (2.6 oz) of sugar
  • 1 pouch of vanilla sugar OR 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 egg XL
  • 100-120 g (3.5-4.2 oz) of soft cold butter
  • pinch of salt

Ingredients for filling of Traditional German Cheesecake:

  • 750 g (26.5 oz) of farmers cheese OR cream cheese
  • 150 g (5.3 oz) of sugar
  • 1 pouch of vanilla sugar OR 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 4 egg whites
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 236 ml (8 oz) of heavy whipping cream
  • 50 g (1.8 oz) of corn starch

Ingredients for crumble:

  • 100 g (3.5 oz) of all-purpose flour
  • 75 g (2.6 oz) of sugar
  • 1 pouch of vanilla sugar OR 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 75 g (2.6 oz) of soft cold butter

Preparation of shortcuts pastry:

Mix the flour with the baking powder and sift it into a bowl. Add the sugar, vanilla sugar, and salt and mix well. Make a hole in the center and add the egg. Cut the butter in small pieces and spread on top. Using your hands, knead all the ingredients together until you have a smooth dough. The dough is ready when it is no longer sticky.

Preparation Dough Traditional German Cheesecake                     IMG_4994

Cut a circle of baking paper about 2 inches larger in diameter than your springform (10 or 11 inches). Cover the springform on the bottom and sides with the paper and fold it every few inches on the sides of the baking pan (see picture below). Use a bit more than the half of the dough and spread it on the bottom of the springform by hand. Divide the rest of the dough in half for the outer crust. Form two rolls and place them around the inside of the pan. With your fingers, press the rolls against the sides of the springform (about 2 inches high) and connect it with the bottom part (crust) of the dough. Use a fork to make holes in the dough/crust and set aside. 

IMG_4996   IMG_4998   IMG_5002

Preparation of the Traditional German Cheesecake filling:

Place the cheese, sugar, vanilla sugar, lemon juice, and egg yolks in a bowl and mix with your handheld mixer until smooth. Slowly add in the whipping cream (in liquid form) while mixing. When the filling is smooth, add the corn starch. In a different bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff and add to the cheese mixture. Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Fill the cheese mixture into the springform pan and spread evenly on the dough.

Filling Traditional German Cheesecake   IMG_5015   IMG_5014

Preparation of crumbles for Traditional German Cheesecake:

Prepare the streusel crumb topping by mixing the flour, sugar, and vanilla sugar or vanilla extract. Add in slices of the cold (but soft) butter. Using your hands, work the ingredients between your fingers. Make sure that all the butter is worked in. Do not knead everything too much as you may create a dough-like consistency rather than just crumbs.

When you rub the crumbs between your hands, the crumbs should fall back into the bowl. If your crumbs are too dry, add a little more butter. If the crumbs are too moist, add some flour. Spread the crumbs evenly on top of the cheese mixture.

IMG_3851   IMG_5018   Finishing Traditional German Cheesecake

Preheat your oven to 182°C (360°F) and place your German Cheesecake on the middle rack. Bake for about 60–70 minutes. Do not open the oven door while baking. When your Cheesecake is finished, turn the heat off and open the door. Leave the cake in the oven for at least another hour with the door open. (Otherwise the cake could sink).

When the cake has cooled down, open the baking pan and carefully remove the paper. Sprinkle some powdered sugar through a small sieve on top of the cake. Place your cake on a serving plate. To try the Dresdner Eierschecke Recipe click here or the German Sunny Side Up Cake click here.

Note: Adding crumbs on top of the cake is optional. The Traditional German Cheesecake may be served both with and without crumbs.