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German Style Cheese Cake

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.

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German Cheese Cake

2 hours 30 minutes to prepare 12 to 14

Ingredients

  • 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
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Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch spring form pie pan.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into batter.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Let cheesecake rest in warm oven for 1 hour with door slightly ajar. Refrigerate to cool completely.
  8. Remove cheesecake from pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

Recipe adapted from The Oma Way.

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