Classic Sernik: The Quintessential Polish Cheesecake"


Indulge in the rich tradition of Polish cuisine with our Classic Sernik, a quintessential Polish Cheesecake that stands as a testament to the timeless allure of simple, yet profound flavors. This beloved dessert, known for its creamy, dense filling and unique texture, is a staple at Polish gatherings, offering a slice of comfort and celebration in every bite. Infused with a hint of vanilla or lemon zest, and nestled atop a crumbly shortcrust base, this cheesecake promises to take you on a culinary journey through the heart of Poland.

Classic Sernik: The Quintessential Polish Cheesecake"

Preparation and Cooking Times

  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 1 hour
  • Cooling Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 5 hours 30 minutes

Servings and Serving Size

  • Servings: 12
  • Serving Size: 1 slice

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)

  • Calories: 300 kcal
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 25 g
  • Fat: 18 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Sugar: 15 g
  • Sodium: 200 mg


  • For the Crust:
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1 egg yolk
    • A pinch of salt
  • For the Filling:
    • 2 lbs (about 900g) farmer's cheese or ricotta, well-drained
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 4 large eggs, separated
    • 1/4 cup sour cream
    • Zest of 1 lemon (optional)
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

Detailed Method of Preparation

  1. Combine flour, butter, sugar, egg yolk, and salt in a food processor until crumbly. Press the mixture into the bottom of a greased 9-inch springform pan. Chill in the refrigerator.
  2. In a large bowl, blend the farmer's cheese (or ricotta) with sugar, egg yolks, sour cream, lemon zest (if using), and vanilla extract until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the cheese mixture.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C).
  5. Pour the filling over the chilled crust and smooth the top.
  6. Bake for about 1 hour or until set and lightly golden on top. The center should still be slightly wobbly.
  7. Turn off the oven and leave the door ajar, allowing the cheesecake to cool gradually for about 1 hour. Then, chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  8. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Tips for Culinary Success

  • Ensure the farmer's cheese or ricotta is well-drained to prevent a soggy cheesecake.
  • For a smoother texture, blend the cheese mixture until completely smooth.
  • The slow cooling process helps prevent cracks on the surface of the cheesecake.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use cream cheese instead of farmer's cheese or ricotta?

Traditional Sernik uses farmer's cheese for its unique texture, but cream cheese can be used for a creamier version.

How can I store leftovers?

Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Can Sernik be frozen?

Yes, wrap the cheesecake tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving.

The Classic Sernik is more than just a dessert; it's a cherished emblem of Polish culinary heritage, inviting you to savor its creamy texture and delicate flavors. Whether enjoyed as a festive treat or a comforting end to a meal, this Polish Cheesecake promises a moment of pure bliss. Embrace the tradition, the warmth, and the love baked into every slice of Sernik, and let it inspire a sweet connection to the rich tapestry of Polish cuisine.