Moist and fluffy quark muffins for a quick breakfast on the go or as dessert. You can make them with cherry or any other fruit or berries you like.
These quark muffins are everything you’d wish for in a muffin. They are sweet (but not overly so), fruity, light, and moist. No dry, chewy parts; everything is just a delight.
And on top of that? They are super easy to make. Just mix a few ingredients with the mixer. You don’t even have to worry about the usual “muffin-making instructions” telling you to “stir the ingredients until just combined.” That might not be a thing for an experienced baker, but it might pose some problems to beginners when deciding what “just combined” is.
Another bonus: the recipe is super versatile. I added cherries to the batter this time, but I’ve baked them countless times using other fruit or berries, either fresh, frozen, or canned.
A few ideas:
- Fresh or frozen cherries
- Canned or fresh peaches or apricots
- Canned mandarins
- Any berries you like, either fresh or frozen: blueberries, blackberries, red or black currants, strawberries, and so on.
What is quark?
A fresh dairy product very popular in Germany and other German-speaking countries, Scandinavia and Slavic countries. It’s made by warming soured milk until it curdles. After you strain it, it will have a firm, smooth, very creamy product, thicker and denser than yogurt. It will be a bit like strained yogurt.
It’s protein-packed (½ cup has 11 g protein in it), and it can be full-fat (40%), medium-fat (20%), and low-fat (1%). Most German baking recipes use low-fat quark; I rarely buy the other two sorts when baking with quark. They are better for dips or desserts.
What does it taste like?
It’s similar to Greek yogurt and cottage cheese, or a mixture between the two. Low-fat quark is slightly sharper in taste, while the other two sorts are milder.
How to use it?
Quark is spreadable, and that makes it great for making open-faced sandwiches, for instance. In addition, it’s a popular breakfast item; my husband’s grandma, for example, ate bread with quark and jam every morning.
It’s great for making desserts; there are uncountable German desserts using quark as the main ingredient. Most of these recipes are very basic or a variation of the same formula: mix quark with sugar and whipped cream. Add berries or canned fruit on top or fold them into the mixture. So simple and so delicious!
I have plenty of quark recipes on the blog; check them out!
Where to buy it?
If you live in Germany or any of the countries mentioned above – anywhere. This dairy product is omnipresent, and it is super cheap. The product is gaining popularity in other countries as well; I was able to find it quite easily in larger supermarkets in the UK, for instance. Otherwise, try German (Quark) or Eastern European stores (Twarog).
How can I sub it?
You can use strained yogurt instead. Pour about 1 lb yogurt into a colander lined with a clean kitchen cloth or cheesecloth. Fold the fabric over the yogurt and place the colander into a bowl. Let strain overnight. Don’t forget to drain the whey after several hours (before you go to bed, for instance); the colander should not sit in the liquid. For more detailed instructions on straining yogurt, have a look at the Yogurt Bomb Dessert.
You will have more strained yogurt than you need for this recipe, but it is so delicious, you will not mind having more. Use it as a spread, make a dip, or mix it with sugar and berries for a quick, light dessert.
What else do you need?
- Cherries: I had canned cherries in light syrup. Fresh or frozen cherries are great as well. If frozen, thaw them and pat them dry with kitchen paper. There are 300 g/ 10.6 oz/ about 2 cups cherries in the jar after draining. Use the same amount of fresh or frozen cherries or any other fruit or berries you like.
- Flour: I use cake flour most of the time, but all-purpose is fine as well.
- Other ingredients: cornstarch, baking powder, vanilla extract, granulated sugar, eggs, oil, milk.
- For the icing: icing sugar, vanilla extract, milk (or lemon juice or water).
How to make muffins with quark?
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
- Drain the canned cherries.
- Sieve flour, baking powder, cornstarch into a large bowl. (1)
- Add sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, oil, milk, and quark.
- Mix with a handheld mixer for 1 minute. (2)
- Divide the batter into the prepared muffin tin. (3)
- Top with the cherries. (4)
- Bake for about 25 minutes until the quark muffins are very lightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Mix the icing sugar and vanilla extract with enough liquid to make it spreadable. Drizzle over the dessert.
Most important tip: use a digital kitchen scale to weigh the ingredients; it guarantees the best results.
How to store?
The quark muffins are best on the day you baked them, meaning they are at their fluffiest. However, they are perfectly delicious several days later, only a bit denser. You can keep them in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. You can also freeze them for about 2 months. Then, defrost at room temperature; it will not take long.
More quark recipes:
- Best Crustless Cheesecake
- Savory Cheese Pie
- Apple Streusel Cheesecake
- German Cheesecake
- Nalesniki Recipe
The Best Quark Muffins
- Muffin pan (12 holes)
- 1 jar canned cherries in light syrup (Note 2,3)
- 250 g flour 8.8 oz/ 2 cups (Note 4)
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 45 g cornstarch, 1.6/ ⅓ cup
- 130 g granulated sugar, 4.6 oz/ ⅔ cup
- 2 eggs medium Germany, large US
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 75 ml neutral-tasting vegetable oil, 2.5 fl. oz/ ⅓ cup (like canola)
- 100 ml milk, 3.4 fl. oz/ scant ½ cup
- 125 g low-fat quark, 4.4 oz/ ⅔ cup
- 50 g icing sugar, 1.8 oz/ ½ cup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 teaspoons milk
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a muffin tin with paper liners. Drain the canned cherries.
- Batter: Sieve flour, baking powder, cornstarch into a large bowl. Add sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, oil, milk, and quark. Mix with a handheld mixer for 1 minute.
- Divide the batter into the prepared muffin tin. Top with cherries or other fruit or berries.
- Bake for about 25 minutes until the quark muffins are lightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
- Icing: Mix icing sugar and vanilla extract with enough milk to make it spreadable. Drizzle over the muffins.
- Use a digital kitchen scale when baking; it guarantees for best results.
- 300 g/ 10.6 oz/ 2 cups cherries when drained. You can use the same amount of fresh or frozen cherries instead.
- You can use other fresh, canned, or frozen fruit or berries instead. See the blog post for suggestions.
- I use cake flour most of the time, but all-purpose is ok.