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a slice of German Cheesecake with poppy seed filling and quark

German Cheesecake with Poppy Seeds and Rum Raisins

Try this traditional recipe for German Cheesecake with Poppy Seeds and Quark! The best authentic German Cheesecake recipe perfect for a cozy afternoon! Easy to make using quark, rum raisins and a shortcrust pastry made from scratch ! 

Course Dessert
Cuisine germany
Keyword German Cheesecake recipe, German Poppy Seed Cake, Poppy Seed Cheesecake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 450 kcal


For the shortcrust pastry:

  • 125 g flour plus extra for dusting
  • 25 g caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 65 g cold butter

For the poppy seed filling:

  • 60 ml milk
  • 25 g butter
  • 25 g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest or orange zest
  • 125 g ground poppy seeds grind them in a spice mill or small food processor
  • 2 tbsp soaking rum from the raisins

rum raisins (optional)

  • 1/2 cup raisins soaked in 1 cup rum over night

For the cheese filling:

  • 1 egg
  • 60 g caster sugar
  • 250 g Quark or ricotta cheese
  • 100 g sour cream full fat
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch heaping
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tsp lemon juice


  1. For the shortcrust add all the ingredients to a bowl and, using your hands, knead forcefully until you have a smooth dough. Shape into a ball and wrap the pastry in clingfilm and refrigerate for half an hour.

    Soak the raisins in rum. Do this overnight or quickly heat rum and raisins in the microwave and let them plump up in the hot rum for 30 min. Drain saving the rum.

  2. For the poppy seed cheesecake filling pour the milk into a small saucepan and add the butter, sugar, and lemon zest. Bring to a boil while stirring continuously. Take off the heat and stir in the ground poppy seeds and 2 tbsp rum soaking liquid. Cover and set aside.

  3. Preheat your oven to 175°C. Now make your cheese filling. Separate the egg and whisk the egg white until stiff. Stir the sugar into the stiff egg white. Next add the Quark, sour cream, vanilla, cornstarch, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the egg yolk and stir well. Then fold in the egg white and rum raisins, if using.

  4. Roll out the shortcrust pastry into a circle on a dusted surface. Grease your 20 cm springform pan and lay it out with the shortcrust pastry, gently pressing it into the bottom and sides using your fingers. You want the sides to be about 3 cm high. 

    Now pour the cooled poppy seed mixture onto the bottom of the pastry and smooth it out slightly before pouring the cheese mixture on top of that. Smooth out again and put the cake in the oven. Bake it at 175°C for 35 minutes then turn the temperature up to 200°C and bake for another 10 minutes.

  5. When the cake is done, remove from the oven and leave it to cool completely to room temp, then chill in the fridge for 6 h before slicing. Käsekuchen tastes best when cold, so you could even refrigerate it before serving.

Recipe Notes

  • You can add the rum raisins but it's not a must.
  • If you hate raisins, use cranberries instead. 
  • The rum is also optional. You can soak the raisins in orange juice instead.