Traditional Polish Cheesecake

This recipe for traditional Polish cheesecake or sernik has a sweet pastry crust and a filling made with quark or farmer's cheese, a dry curd cheese known as twaróg.



• 2 cups all-purpose flour

• 1/2 cup sugar

• 3/4 teaspoon baking powder

• 2 large egg yolks (leftover egg white recipes)

• 3 tablespoons sour cream


• 5 ounces room-temperature butter

• 2 cups sugar

• 4 large room-temperature eggs, separated

• 1 teaspoon vanilla

• 2 pounds dry curd cheese or twaróg or quark cheese, passed through a sieve or processed in a blender until smooth


  1. Make the Crust
  2. In a large bowl or food processor, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and baking powder. Cut in or pulse cold butter as for pie dough.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together 2 egg yolks and sour cream and add to the flour-butter mixture, combining or pulsing only until combined. If the dough is too dry, add an extra whole egg. If the dough is too soft to roll, refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. Lightly grease a 13x9-inch pan with butter. Roll pastry dough large enough to line the pan and come up the sides. Fit into pan, making a crimped or rolled edge. (​Note: If you have leftover dough, roll it into pencil shapes to decorate the top of the filled cheesecake.)
  5. Make the Filling
  6. Heat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, cream together 5 ounces room-temperature butter with 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 4 large room-temperature egg yolks and vanilla until well incorporated. Thoroughly mix in the cheese.
  7. In a separate bowl, beat the 4 large room-temperature egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold them into the cheese mixture. Pour filling into pastry crust-lined pan. If you have leftover dough, roll into pencil shapes and lay them diagonally across the top of the cheesecake.
  8. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until center is only slightly jiggly. Don't let the top brown. Let cool completely before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.