Traditional Polish Cheesecake (Sernik)

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  • Total: 105 mins
  • Prep: 45 mins
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
709 Calories
47g Fat
50g Carbs
24g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 709
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 47g 60%
Saturated Fat 28g 140%
Cholesterol 274mg 91%
Sodium 633mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 50g 18%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Protein 24g
Calcium 574mg 44%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for traditional Polish cheesecake or sernik (SEHRR-neek) has a sweet pastry crust and a filling made with quark or farmer's cheese, a dry-curd cheese known as twaróg (TVAH-rroog) in Poland.

If you can't find dr-curd cheese, you might want to make your own farmer's cheese from scratch. It's ridiculously simple.

Sernik is one of the most common desserts served in Polish restaurants and at home. Compare this recipe with a more modern Polish cheesecake, which has a cookie crumb crust.

This authentic and traditional recipe is from Anna Chodan Krol from Rudka, Poland. Here are more Polish cheesecake recipes you might like to try.


  • Crust:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5 ounces cold butter
  • 2 large egg yolks (at room temperature)
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • Filling:
  • 5 ounces butter (at room temperature)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs (at room temperature, 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)

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, it is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Crust

  1. In a large bowl or food processor, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and baking powder. Cut in or pulse 5 ounces cold butter as for pie dough.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.)


Make the Filling

  1. Heat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, cream together 5 ounces room-temperature butter with 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy.

  2. Beat in 4 large room-temperature egg yolks and vanilla until well incorporated. Thoroughly mix in the cheese.

  3. In a separate bowl, beat the 4 large room-temperature egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold them into the cheese mixture.

  4. 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.

  5. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until center is only slightly jiggly. Don't let the top brown.

  6. Let cool completely before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.