You will only need 15 minutes to whip up this crustless cheesecake recipe! The result: the most delicious baked cheesecake you could possibly make.
I've made tons of them over the years, and there was rarely one I didn't like. Actually, I don't even remember having any I didn't like... But this crustless cheesecake stands out in all that ocean of cheesecakes.
Jump to recipe
Why will you love this cheesecake without crust?
- The main reason is that this is the best-tasting, most comforting cheesecake ever! Just thinking and writing about it makes me get up and start baking it again.
- Crustless: I have nothing against a good pie or graham cracker crust. But the lack of crust, in this case, makes the cheesecake even more unique; nothing is standing between you and that perfect sweet cheesiness.
- Quick and easy: Incredibly easy to make. I was talking about 15 minutes of working time initially, but I was being very generous with the time; if you are really quick, you could be ready in less than 10 minutes.
Low-fat quark: Low-fat is not an attempt to make this delicious dessert less calorie-laden (that would be a vain attempt), but because that is the kind of quark commonly used for the cheesecake filling.
What is quark?
- A fresh dairy product, traditional in the cuisines of German-speaking, Scandinavian, and Slavic countries. Quark is protein-packed (½ cup has 11 g of protein) and is super healthy especially the low-fat quark.
- It's cheap and common around here but may be challenging to find in other countries. However, most larger supermarkets probably sell quark nowadays; I hope you can find it because making this crustless cheesecake with quark is worth it!
- Quark is similar to Greek yogurt but less tart in taste and slightly stiffer. When it comes to consistency, strained yogurt comes closest to quark. Regarding taste, cottage cheese is a close approximation. However, quark has a slightly more robust flavor and a very smooth texture, while cottage cheese has those little balls.
Heavy cream: Not sweetened whipping cream or other sweetened products. You will need the cream for both the cheesecake and its topping.
Creme fraiche: Traditionally, you would use smetana/Schmand for the crustless cheesecake. However, crème fraiche makes a good substitute if those products are unavailable.
Vanilla: One teaspoon of vanilla extract or two tablespoons of vanilla sugar. Vanilla sugar is super common where I live, and it’s typical for this recipe, but vanilla extract is also excellent (See FAQ to learn how to make vanilla sugar).
Other ingredients: Large eggs, all-purpose flour, unsalted butter, granulated sugar, baking powder, and lemon juice.
How to make a crustless cheesecake?
- Preheat the oven and butter the springform.
- Batter: Mix quark, heavy cream, Smetana/creme fraiche, eggs, very soft butter, sugar, vanilla sugar or vanilla extract, flour, baking powder, and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer on high speed (1).
- Pour batter into the prepared springform pan (2).
- Bake: Place a piece of parchment paper loosely on top and bake the cheesecake for 1 hour without opening the oven during this time.
- Rest in the oven: After one hour, turn off the oven, but don’t open it. Leave the cake in the oven for another 1 ½ hours.
- Cool: Remove from the oven and cool completely. Once the cake is at room temperature, run a butter knife around the edges of the cake to release it from the form more easily.
- Top: Whip the heavy cream shortly on low speed. Add vanilla and increase the mixer speed gradually. Continue beating at high speed until slightly stiff peaks form.
- Spread the cream onto the cheesecake. Sprinkle it with brown sugar just before serving (3).
- The most important tip: I always recommend using a digital kitchen scale to measure the ingredients. Kitchen scales are super cheap and make baking precise, thus better, easier, and cleaner (Amazon affiliate link).
- Using cups makes baking a guessing game, sometimes leading to unexpected results (mainly in a negative direction).
- Butter: Make sure you take the butter out of the refrigerator a few hours before baking so it has time to become soft. Cold or semi-cold butter is not an option; the butter has to be really soft.
- Avoid cracks: First, if you get cracks on this baked cheesecake, it is not as dramatic as you will top it with whipped cream anyway.
- However, unsightly cracks often happen due to sudden temperature changes during baking or cooling.
- To avoid cracks, try not to open the oven door while baking the cake.
- Also, leave the crustless cheesecake in the turned-off oven for another 1 ½ hours after baking. This way, the cake will be fully cooked, the oven temperature will go down slowly, and the chances of the cheesecake cracking are lowered.
You can easily make vanilla sugar by placing some sugar in a jar and sticking an empty vanilla pod in it. However, this method will take a few days or so until the sugar is infused with the vanilla flavor.
Alternatively, place some sugar and an empty vanilla pod in the food processor and process until the sugar and vanilla are powdered.
Sure, top it with your favorite toppings. Berries or fruit (or compote) are always amazing, but caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, lemon curd, strawberry compote, or another fruit sauce would also be great.
Have a look at this amazing heart-shaped cheesecake with raspberries. It is the same recipe with a different topping. It is the same recipe for crustless cheesecake with a different topping.
What I loved most about this delicious cheesecake was its consistency. Somewhat different from the fluffier creamy cheesecake I usually make, the slices were quite dense, almost custard- and I found that to be a great change from the more classic cheesecake.
More than a regular cheesecake as it has no crust. If you replace the granulated sugar with a sugar substitute (like xylitol), the cake will be even lower in carbs.
It is recommendable to bake the crustless cheesecake in advance; this is the case with all cheesecakes.
Bake it one day in advance, let it cool completely, cover it tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
Only top with whipped cream (or other toppings) before serving.
The crustless cheesecake keeps well for several days in the refrigerator.
The Best Crustless Cheesecake
- Springform 26 cm/ 10-11 inches
Cheesecake (Note 1):
- 500 g low-fat quark 1.1 lbs/ 2 ½ cups, Note 2
- 230 g heavy 1 cup, Note 3
- 230 g creme fraiche 1 cup, Note 4
- 6 eggs
- 100 g all-purpose flour 3.5 oz/ ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon
- 200 g unsalted butter very soft, 7 oz/ ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon
- 200 g granulated sugar 7 oz/ 1 cup
- 1 ¾ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 230 g heavy cream 1 cup
- 1 tablespoon icing sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar for sprinkling on top
- Prepare: Preheat the oven to 170°C/ 340°F. Butter the springform.
- Mix: Place quark, heavy cream, creme fraiche, eggs, very soft butter, sugar, vanilla sugar or vanilla extract, flour, baking powder, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Mix well.
- Assemble: Pour the mixture into the prepared springform. Place a piece of baking paper loosely on top of the cheesecake.
- Bake for 1 hour without opening the oven. Turn off the oven without opening it at all, and leave the cake in the oven for another 1 ½ hours.
- Cool: Remove from the oven and cool completely before taking out of the springform.
- Whip the heavy cream shortly. Add vanilla extract and icing sugar and continue beating until slightly stiff peaks form.
- Top the cheesecake with the cream and sprinkle a bit of brown sugar.
- Always use a digital kitchen scale in baking; it guarantees for best results (Amazon affiliate link).
- Pure heavy cream, not sweetened whipped cream or other sweetened products.
- Use smetana/Schmand if you can find any of them.