About the author

Originally from London, I moved to Poland to absorb as much of the culture as humanly posssible. Maybe the biggest influence on me has been the food and I credit my adopted babcia, (Polish for grandmother) Ania, with much of the information here. I lived in Zielona Gora and Szklarska Poreba which are in the west and south-west of Poland respectively.
Please feel free to leave any comments, contact me at polishrecipes@gmail.com or visit my other site An Englishman in Poland

Friday, 27 July 2007

Sernik (Polish cheesecake) recipe

I was never a fan of cheesecake in London, actually I think I had it only once, but it is a different story over here! Sernik was the first thing I ate in Poland when I arrived at my girlfriend's mother's house after a 25 hour coach trip from London with no food (we forgot to bring any!). Perhaps that is why my fondness for sernik (sir-neek) began and after learning how to make this extremely simple recipe I have made it any chance I can.

Supposedly it should only be eaten after cooling due to some old wives tale about getting ill but I like to eat it while it is still warm and have never been ill...yet.

The ingredient which is most important for this cake is the Polish white cheese (bialy [bee-ow-er] ser) which is similar to cottage cheese in taste but the texture is harder. It is unique and I advise you get the real thing to use if you intend to make this sernik. You can just go to your local Polski sklep and ask for a kilogram of white cheese which is what I do in London. A good one to use is poltlusty (pot-woo-stay) but any can be used.

What you need
  • Cane Sugar (2 cups - 1 cup = 1/2 pint)
  • White cheese 1kg (bialy ser poltlusty)
  • Eggs (6)
  • Butter (1/2 regular packet)
  • Vanilla sugar (1 packet - 40g)
  • Vanilla budyn [bu-din] (Polish custard powder) (About 100g)

For topping:

  • Margarine (1/3 regular packet)
  • Cocoa powder (1 tablespoon)
  • sugar (4 tablespoons)
  • Water (4 tablespoons)

What you do

1. Put vanilla sugar, white cheese, butter and cane sugar in a large mixing bowl and use a mixer to mix all the ingredients very well until a thick liquid is attained.

2. Leave for 1 hour for sugar to dissolve.

3. After an hour add vanilla budyn (custard powder) to the mixture and mix well again until the mixture is smooth.

4. Pour mixture into a greased cake dish so it is about 2 inches (3-4cm) thick.

5. Place in preheated oven (about 200 C) for about 40-50 minutes. The top should be lightly browned when it is ready.

6. Take out and leave to cool.

7. Make the chocolate topping by putting the ingredients in a pot over low heat and mix until it is smooth liquid and then pour over the cheesecake.

8. After it has cooled - eat.


Habibi said...

yesterday I made sernik. i used another recipe, because the traditional Polish sernik has mash potatoes. It was the first time I did it but it was quite good.

Anonymous said...

these are very good. I am polish but I was born here and my mom NEVER teached me to make this that is why i am on this site!!!! =D

whosthedady said...

Thanks habibi for comment, i have not come across sernik with mash potatoes....perhaps it is a regional thing? It would be great if you could pass on the recipe to me so i could put it on this site.

whosthedady said...

Thanks anonymous for your comment, i will continue to add recipes as I find them out...some of them are guarded closely! :)

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hi, when and how do you add eggs? Thanks =]
(it is funny learn how to bake a polish cake from Englishman .. )

Anonymous said...

Hey great recipes,I'm currently writing Polish cookery book in english,and I'll put as many great Polish recipes as I can.It's so nice that English guy is so exited about Polish culture,people and Food!My husband is English,and he loves Polish food too.Good luck with your website..is great,and have a look at my book soon.I will publish in Manchester.

Anonymous said...

Some great recipes here. If you are looking for freshly cooked, authentic Polish food in London then why not try
Starlet Cuisine Polish Food in London

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing, do you mind I put this recipe on my blog? I use the blog to keep record of recipe so that I can always find them easily :)

Anonymous said...

Margarine is not at all a part of polish cheese cake. Butter, the natural fat is used.

Aleksandra said...

cheesecake with mash potatoes? Ive never heard in my life about it. pierogi with cheese and potatoes but not sernik:)

Anonymous said...

add currants or rasins......lovely !

karo2531 said...

I'm Polish and i live 4 years in Engald (Bradford)i got to school and everything. Now am in school on food tech lesson got to found some recipies and you dont even know how nice is to find some English people findin Poland and polish food intresting and making cakes and everything , Asif you moved there aswell when i moved to your country . omg just love yuu guys <3

Anonymous said...

Hi, very interesting blog indeed. I am Polish living at the moment in Brazil.

As to the mashed potatoes, yes, you can find them in some recipes for sernik. It is just a source of starch. So you can use budyn but as well you can put 2Tbsp of flour (all-purpose, potato one or maizena) or something like 2 cooked and mashed potatoes.

In many old Polish recipes you will find as well the usage of 1 egg for each 100g of white cheese.

And I agree no margarine. People used to put it in when they faced the shortage of a butter only (or if they have some allergies or something probably)

Oh, and cane sugar is rather a new invention, originally it is just a sugar from a sugar beet.

Anonymous said...

I baked few cheesecakes and this one is the best of all. Add couple vanilla pods and tiny spoon of vanilla extract. Absolutely gorgeous.