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Cheesecake made from cottage cheese

The cheesecake or quark cake is a fine baked product , which is mainly baked from quark or another unsalted cream cheese , eggs , milk and sugar . Cheesecakes are made in open, covered or filled form. According to the guiding principles of the German Food Book, at least 150 g of cheese mass is used per 100 g of dough, and at least 30 percent quark (cream cheese) for the cheese mass.

Cheesecake (in Austria upper cup cream cake) is one of the composite cream cakes while Quarktorte (in Austria: pot pie ) to the baked cheese pies belongs.


For the cheesecake with a base, the base is first made from shortcrust pastry or yeast dough, then the quark filling is poured over it and the cake is baked.

A simplified variant of the cheesecake is the bottomless one. Here, the ingredients of the quark mass are simply mixed together with soft wheat semolina or corn semolina and baked.


The earliest known literary traditions of a cheesecake come from Athenaios , a colored writer in antiquity . Athenaios' works are among the most important sources for the ancient kitchen, as he also refers to many other writers, whose works have been lost. In his work Gastmahl der Schehrten ( ancient Greek Δειπνοσοφισταί Deipnosophistaí to deĩpnon 'meal' and sophistḗs 'scholar') he conveys the following traditional story: Xanthippe , the wife of the philosopher Socrates , had literally trampled on a cheesecake during one of her proverbial cheesecake. Alkibiades had this cheesecake sent to Socrates. Socrates reacted in a laconic way, now she too would no longer have a share in the cake.

Furthermore, Athenaios reports from Demetrios of skepticism , who in his commentary on the Trojans in the Iliad of Homer mentioned a village with the name "cheesecake" ( ancient Greek πλακοῦς plakos plakoũs 'plate'), located near Thebes .

Finally, Athenaios quotes Callimachos , who is considered the founder of scientific philology . Callimachos mentioned several writings with cheesecake recipes, including one by Aigimios , probably a Greek doctor, a script relating to cake making ( ancient Greek πλακουντοποιικόν σύγγραμμα plakountopoiikón sýngramma ). Aigimios probably lived like Hippocrates between the 5th and 4th centuries BC. Chr.

For the same period, the popularity of a cheesecake made from cottage cheese or sour cream is attested in ancient Greece. The Romans took over the preparation from the Greeks. Corresponding recipes have come down to us from the collection of Cato the Elder .

A recipe from the late Middle Ages comes from the French cookbook Le Viandier from the 14th century. The oldest modern (German) cheesecake recipe is in Anna Wecker's cookbook from 1598. In addition to quark, she lists eggs, sugar, butter and cinnamon as ingredients . The Complete Nürnbergische cookbook includes: 100 years later, several recipes for "Eyer-Käß-Dorten". In 1845 cheesecake was described as follows:

"... To brush over a soup plate of still soft white cheese is mixed with sweet cream and mixed with 1 cup of melted butter, sugar and cinnamon to taste, 2 eggs and 250 grams of well-washed currants - the dough is rolled out thinly on a plate, lets it rise, spreads the slightly warmed cheese mixture on it and bakes it quickly like butter cake. "

- Henriette Davidis : Practical cookbook for middle-class and fine cuisine : Reprint of the Berlin edition, Augsburg 1997; First published in 1845; 20. Baked goods; II. Pies and cakes; 20.44 Silesian cheesecake

The spread of the cheesecake was still very different from region to region around 1900. At that time it was baked in many private households in the Rhineland , the Eifel , Saarland , Silesia and the Sudetenland , while it only played a subordinate role in north-west Germany , Schleswig-Holstein and in the far south-west.

Regional specialities

Teardrop cake
Bottomless cheesecake filled with peach

There are numerous variants of the cheesecake (colloquially known as Kaskuchn in some areas of Central Germany ): by adding berries or stone fruit (for example raspberries , blueberries , blackberries , red and black currants , cherries , but also raisins ) to the cheese mixture before baking, a cheesecake can be made be modified. Other options include adding vanilla, vanillin, lemon oil, or maple syrup.

  • In Switzerland and Germany shortcrust pastry , regionally also yeast dough , is used. The base of yeast dough and crumble is typical of a Silesian cheesecake .
  • In German-speaking Switzerland , cheesecake is a cheese flan , a recent flan with a topping of grated hard cheese ; the sweet cake is as cheese cake or Quarktorte designated; It is made the American style from double cream cheese instead of quark, also as a cheesecake .
  • Eierschecke is a Thuringian-Saxon specialty.
  • In the United States, strawberry cheesecake, which is coated with a sweet strawberry-flavored mass after baking, is also popular. This variant achieved unexpected prominence when it was expressly included in the stockpiling program in the 1960s as part of precautionary measures in the event of a nuclear war . The typical American cheesecake has a crumb base.
  • In Greece, the cheesecake is traditionally made from myzithra ( ricotta ).
  • The Russian Zupfkuchen , which is a mixture of cheese and chocolate cake, has a special preparation method .
  • An example of a bottomless cheesecake is Fiadone, native to Corsica .

The teardrop cake variant is baked in the classic way, but removed from the oven about 10 minutes before the end of the baking time, coated with a layer of meringue and then baked to the end. As it cools, the moisture in the cheese mass penetrates the meringue and forms small pearls that look like tears.


  • Cheesecake - a piece of happiness. Television report, Germany, 2014, 27:09 min., Script and director: Ulrike Licht, production: rbb , series: Die rbb Reporter , first broadcast: April 21, 2014 on rbb television , synopsis from ARD , online video available until on October 26, 2020. "The report is looking for the best cheesecake in Berlin and Brandenburg."
  • The cheesecake man from Freiburg - from dishwasher to successful baker. Documentary, Germany, 2019, 29:47 min., Script and director: Helena Offenborn, production: SWR , series: made in Südwest , first broadcast: December 11, 2019 on SWR television , synopsis by ARD , online video available until September 9 , 2019 December 2020.

Web links

Commons : Cheesecake  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Cheesecake  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikibooks: Bottomless Cheesecake  - Learning and Teaching Materials

Individual evidence

  1. ^ German food book : Guidelines for fine baked goods. In: Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture ( BMEL ), accessed on December 17, 2019, (PDF; 58 kB).
  2. Claus Schünemann, Günter Treu: Technology of the bakery production . Specialized textbook for bakers. 10th edition. Gildebuchverlag, Alfeld / Leine 2009, ISBN 978-3-7734-0150-2 , p. 359 ( limited preview in Google Book Search).
  3. ^ Franz Maier-Bruck : The Great Sacher Cookbook . Wiener Verlag, 1975, p. 568 .
  4. ^ Claus Schünemann: Learning fields of the bakery - production . Practice-theory textbook for professional training to become a baker. Gildebuchverlag, Alfeld 2011, ISBN 978-3-7734-0165-6 , p. 188, 202 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  5. ^ S. Douglas Olson: Athenaeus . In: Darra Goldstein (Ed.): The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets . Oxford University Press, New York 2015, ISBN 978-0-19-931339-6 , pp. 32 (English, limited preview in Google Book Search).
  6. Athenaios : Deipnosophistaí . ap. Athens, xiv. p. 643, e. (English, ancient Greek, online in the Perseus Project ).
  7. πλακουντοποιικός , in: Henry George Liddell , Robert Scott , A Greek-English Lexicon , in: Perseus Project .
  8. Max Wellmann : Aigimios . 3. In: Georg Wissowa (ed.): Paulys Realencyclopädie der classischen antiquity . New processing. With the participation of numerous experts. tape 1 . JB Metzlerscher Verlag, Stuttgart 1894, OCLC 443270404 , Sp. 964 ( ).
  9. ^ Hermann Diels : Anonymi Londinensis ex Aristotelis Iatricis Menoniis et aliis medicis eclogae . Pars I (=  Hermann Diels , Fridericus G. Kenyon [Ed.]: Supplementum Aristotelicum Editio concilio et auctoritate academiae litterarum regiae Borussicae . Volume 3 , no. 1 ). Verlag Georg Reimer, Berlin 1893, OCLC 878876100 , p. 113 , Index Nominum (ancient Greek, Latin, digitized version  in the  text archive - Internet Archive ).
  10. Dana Bovbjerg, Jeremy Iggers, The Joy of Cheesecake , Barron's Educational Series, New York 1989, ISBN 978-0-8120-4278-8 .
  11. Bovbjerg, Iggers, 1981, p. 3.
  12. Irene Krauss : Chronicle of beautiful baked goods. Matthaes, Stuttgart 1999, ISBN 978-3-87516-292-9 , p. 170 ff.
  13. Greek cheesecake: Honey cheesecake from Sifnos. In: , accessed December 17, 2019.