Cottage cheesecake (zapekanka)

Zapekanka (–∑–į–Ņ–Ķ–ļ–į–Ĺ–ļ–į) is¬†a¬†Russian village cheesecake made of¬†cottage cheese (tvorog, —ā–≤–ĺ—Ä–ĺ–≥) and¬†smetana (—Ā–ľ–Ķ—ā–į–Ĺ–į). It‚Äôs less sweet and¬†smooth than the¬†New York cheesecake and¬†makes a¬†great breakfast (if¬†you cook it¬†the¬†evening before) topped with some marmalade and¬†fresh berries. (And¬†don‚Äôt forget to¬†brew a¬†cup of¬†caf√© de¬†olla!)


Yields 4 portions

For the base

  • 550¬†g of¬†cottage¬†cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 35¬†g of¬†honey
  • 15¬†g of¬†corn¬†starch
  • 5¬†g of¬†vanilla¬†extract
  • 1 lime¬†zest
  • 100¬†g of¬†smetana
  • butter room temperature, for¬†greasing

For the topping

  • 300¬†g of¬†smetana
  • 1¬†egg
  • 15¬†g of¬†honey
  • 5¬†g of¬†vanilla¬†extract
  • 1 lime¬†juice

You will need

  • mixer
  • oven
  • 16‚Äď18¬†cm¬†baking¬†form
  • blender¬†(optional)


Before you start: warm butter to room temperature.

  1. Preheat oven to¬†170‚ÄĮ¬įC.
  2. Mix cottage cheese (tvorog) using a blender or push it through a sieve to smoothen the grains.
  3. In a big mixing bowl, combine 2 eggs and 35 g of honey until you have fluffy light beige mass, using a mixer.
  4. Add the cottage cheese of step 2, 15 g of corn starch, 5 g of vanilla extract, and lime zest, then mix using a silicone spatula.
  5. Add 100 g of smetana and mix again.
  6. Put baking paper onto the bottom of the baking form and butter its sides.
  7. Pour the mixture into the baking form.
  8. Bake 10‚Äď20¬†minutes.
  9. While the base is baking, prepare the topping. Mix smetana, an egg, honey, vanilla extract, and lime juice using a mixer.
  10. Pour the¬†topping on¬†top of¬†the¬†base, and¬†bake for¬†30‚Äď40¬†minutes¬†more.
  11. Cool down the cake in a turned-off oven and then in the fridge for about 1 hour.

Notes & tips

You could buy both cottage cheese (tvorog) and smetana in any Russian store.

Smetana (—Ā–ľ–Ķ—ā–į–Ĺ–į) is¬†a¬†type of¬†sour cream similar to¬†cr√®me¬†fra√ģche.

This recipe is¬†based on¬†a¬†recipe from Viktoria Melnik‚Äôs book ‚ÄúFood as¬†it¬†is‚ÄĚ.