Last summer, we stumbled upon a quaint little German bakery on our drive home from vacation. We stopped in long enough to stretch our legs and browse the fresh-baked pastries, and we couldn’t resist trying a slice of the beautiful, strudel-topped cheesecake that sat on the counter. It was heavenly! So light and creamy, with hints of apple and vanilla. We spent a lot of time experimenting, and we’ve finally found the right combination of ingredients to recreate that authentic German cheesecake flavor. The recipe isn’t too complicated. A simple and delicious shortbread crust makes it even easier. The hardest part is waiting for this decadent treat to bake and cool, but we guarantee it’s worth every second.
German Cheese Cake
Serves 12 to 14
2 hours 30 minutes
- 2 1/2 cups shortbread crushed cookies
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 32 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 5 large eggs, separated
- 3/4 cup plus 6 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar for serving
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch spring form pie pan.
- Prepare crust: Stir together cookie crumbs, brown sugar and melted butter until mixture resembles wet sand, and press evenly into pan. Bake for 7-8 minutes. Remove and cool completely before filling.
- Combine cream cheese, egg yolks, 3/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a large bowl, and mix until well combined. Add lemon juice, and slowly mix in heavy cream until smooth. Stir in 2 tablespoons flour.
- Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into batter.
- Combine remaining 6 tablespoons sugar, flour, and 1 teaspoon vanilla for topping in a medium bowl. Knead in softened butter until slightly moist and crumbly. Toss with chopped apples.
- Pour cheese batter into cooled crust, and sprinkle evenly with apple-crumb topping. Bake 50 to 60 minutes until cake is puffed and light brown.
- Let cheesecake rest in warm oven for 1 hour with door slightly ajar. Refrigerate to cool completely.
- Remove cheesecake from pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.
Recipe adapted from The Oma Way.