My Family's Favorite Israeli Cheese Cake

Katherine Martinelli

Katherine Martinelli Blog

May 14, 2013

Photo By: Katherine Martinelli

We are celebrating this week Jewish holiday of Shavuot. As all Jewish holidays has unique custom for food at Shavuot we eat mostly dairy treats. I love Israeli-style cheesecakes like this, which are lighter and more delicate than the American versions I grew up with.

This Israeli cheese cake recipe is a family favorite of Orli Ziv who is also the author of Cook in Israel: Home Cooking Inspiration with Orly Ziv.


For the Dough:
80 g (5½ Tbs.) butter
125 g (1 cup) self-rising flour
25 g (2 Tbs.) sugar
2 egg yolks (reserve whites for cake)

For the Filling:
750 g soft white cheese like Israeli “ski” (sub whipped cream cheese)
3 eggs and 2 whites
200 g (1 cup) sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups lowfat sour cream
20 g (1½ Tbs.) vanilla sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F.
2. Mix together the dough ingredients by hand or in a stand mixer until well combined.
3. Press into a deep, 26-centimeter/10-inch cake pan so it evenly covers the bottom.
4. Bake about 10 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven, set aside, and lower the oven to 170°C/300°F.
5. Mix together the white cheese, eggs and egg whites, regular sugar and vanilla extract.
6. Pour over the pre-baked dough and bake for 50 minutes. 7. Mix together the sour cream and vanilla sugar and pour on top of the cake.
Don’t be afraid – the pan might look very full but it will deflate slightly.
8. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
10. Cover and refrigerate overnight before serving. The longer it stays in the fridge (for 1 to 2 days) the better!

B'teavon and Chag Sameach!