The cheesy post for May

No worries, I’m not going to post any poetry or love songs. Though, coming to think of it, May is the month of love over here, so I may add a few things after the bump, but for now, let’s stick with the Jewish seasons and


It’s a cow! It’s a plane! It’s a superhero in soiled PJs!

Eh, not quite; it’s a “Zupfkuchen” (approximately pronounces like: tseppppppfffffffkoochan or tsuppppppfffffffkoochan if you’re from Northern England), which translates as “pluck cake”.
As far as I know, the origins of that cake can be found in Russia (just as those of cheesecake in general). The nice twist to it is its tender chocolaty base and topping. It’s made with lowfat quark. Try Russian stores if you cannot find any at your usual supermarkets. Quark is much lower in fat than creamcheese and has got a mild, ever so slightly sour taste.

I used a 9″ diametre springform pan. Double the amount of ingredients for an 11″ springform pan or a deep 30cm by 40cm tray / tray plus baking frame.

For the base and “plucks”:
222gr flour
20gr unsweetened cocoa powder
1.5 tsp baking powder
100 gr sugar
vanilla sugar
a pinch of salt
1 egg
125 gr margarine

Mix and sift flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and knead into a dough.

Roll out / spread two-thirds of that dough onto the base of your prepared pan. (I lined the bottom of the pan with baking tin foil by Melitta and greased the whole pan very, very lightly just so the cake would be easier to remove.)

For the filling:
500gr quark
125gr sugar
vanilla sugar
real vanilla
1 sachet vanilla pudding powder (If you don’t have access to that, use to-boil vanilla custard powder or three to four tbsp of starch and some extra vanilla.)
2 eggs
185gr melted and cooled down margarine or butter
1 pinch of salt

Mix the ingredients for the filling and spread the filling evenly onto the base. Pluck the remaining dough into large flakes and distribute them on top of the filling.

Bake the cake at about 160 degrees Centigrade for about 45-50 minutes, 60 minutes for the large springform pan or 40-45 minutes for the flat tray. Note, the filling won’t get dark.

[If you want a more smartish-looking cake, roll out the remaining third of the dough to about one-fifth of an inch and use nice, not too delicate, cookie cutters of your choice to cut out patterns.]

Want more? Click to see what else I did today:

This one comes without a base. I used the same filling as above, just double the amount of ingredients BUT liquid sweetener instead of sugar as this cake was made for a diabetic family member. On top there are pitted sweet cherries and blanched, slivered almonds.

The filling’s pretty versatile, so if you’d like to try different flavours of cheesecake, just make a huge batch of filling and add your additions to taste, e.g. with apricots, raspberries baked in or fresh strawberries on top.

On a final note, here’s the love poem I threatened you with above:

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
B-D loves cheesecake,
And so should you.


  1. Robert

    5/9/2010 at 2:36 pm

  2. froylein

    5/9/2010 at 2:42 pm

  3. Tiff

    5/11/2010 at 11:20 am

  4. Ben-David

    5/12/2010 at 1:48 am

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *