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Monday, February 10, 2014

Russian Cheesecake

With all eyes on Sochi, I thought this would be a good time to share one of my favorite Russian recipes.  Although I love and occasionally make borscht and pelmeni (Russian meat dumplings), this cheesecake, which Russians call "zapekanka," is easy to make and lists sugar as an ingredient, so, naturally, it wins.  This is a dish that Russian and Ukrainian kids eat a lot growing up.  It is also Emily's favorite breakfast.  This recipe is rather versatile and can be varied according to tastes and what you have on hand.  The only special item that you would need is Russian farmer's cheese, "tvorog," which can be found at a Russian or European foods store.  (Ricotta can be substituted for tvorog (they are similar), although then I do not guarantee the Russian-ness of this recipe.)

Here is the basic recipe.


  • 2 containers of tvorog
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup cream of wheat or oat flour (you can make your own by processing rolled oats in a coffee grinder or a Vitamix)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (or more or less, depending on your taste)
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips (optional; you can also add raisins instead of the chocolate chips or layer apple slices on the bottom of the pan)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract (optional)
  • zest of 1 orange (optional)
  • Berries to serve (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Add to a mixing bowl tvorog, eggs, cream of wheat, sugar, and vanilla and process until well-combined.  Add chocolate chips (or your other add-ons) and mix to incorporate.
  • Pour the mixture into an 8 x 8 inch pan (you can grease it with butter, but I usually skip this step).
  • Bake for about 40-45 minutes (it will still be soft in the center, but will become set once it cools off).

Tvorog (Russian farmer's cheese)

I like the simple ingredients, the 4 grams of protein per 2 tbsp content, and the probiotics


1 comment:

  1. My 16 year old LOVES this stuff!! It is great to serve warm for breakfast - healthy and delicious!!