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This Polish cheesecake uses a farmer's cheese known as twaróg, or quark. The dry curds in the cheese give sernik its looser consistency and texture. One of the most commonly served desserts in Polish homes and restaurants, the dish crossed the Atlantic with immigrants in the 1800s. Farmer's cheese is easy to make from scratch if none is available for purchase.

Recipe Servings: 12

Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Total Time
1 hour 20 minutes
Gluten Free
Dairy Free


  • 5 oz butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 lbs dry curd cheese (or twaróg or quark cheese) passed through a sieve or processed in a blender until smooth
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)


    For Dough:
  1. Combine flour, ½ cup sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl.
  2. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or fork.
  3. Mix together the egg yolks and sour cream in a separate bowl.
  4. Add this mixture to the bowl with the flour and butter, mixing to combine thoroughly.
  5. Prepare a 13 x 9-inch pan, greasing the inside with butter.
  6. Roll the pastry dough to fit the pan and create raised sides.
  7. Place in the pan, rolling or crimping the upper edge.
  8. For Filling:
  9. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  10. Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
  11. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla until well-blended.
  12. Mix the cheese in well.
  13. In another bowl, beat the 4 egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  14. Fold the egg whites into the butter, egg, and cheese mixture.
  15. Fold in the raisins, if using.
  16. Pour the filling into pastry-lined pan.
  17. Bake for 50–60 minutes. The top should not brown

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