Golden-Brown Romanian Cheesecake, Beautifully Presented on a White Plate, Showcasing Its Creamy Texture and Inviting Appearance.

How to Make Romanian Cheesecake (Budincă din branză de vaci)


Romanian cuisine is a delightful blend of flavors and traditions, and one of its standout desserts is the cheesecake, known locally as “Budincă din branză de vaci.” This creamy, rich dessert is not just a treat for the taste buds but also offers several health benefits. In this guide, we’ll delve deep into the world of Romanian cheesecake, exploring its unique flavor profile, health benefits, and variations.


Key Takeaways

  1. Unique Flavor and Texture: Romanian cheesecake stands out with its creamy texture and unique flavor profile. Unlike the dense American cheesecake, the Romanian version is light and melts in your mouth. The primary ingredients, such as cottage cheese or ricotta, give it a tangy taste, further enriched by raisins, vanilla, and citrus peels. The pasta base adds a delightful texture making a perfect fusion between cottage cheese and a noodley center.
  2. Health Benefits: Not just a treat for the palate, Romanian cheesecake offers notable health benefits. It’s relatively low in calories and is packed with essential nutrients. The dessert is rich in vitamins like vitamin C and A, antioxidants, protein, and calcium. These elements contribute to various health aspects, including boosting the immune system, maintaining skin health, and strengthening bones.
  3. Versatility in Preparation: The beauty of Romanian cheesecake lies in its adaptability. While there’s a traditional recipe, there’s ample room for experimentation. You can switch out raisins for other dried fruits, play with different essences, or add nuts for an extra crunch. This flexibility ensures that there’s a version of this cheesecake to suit every palate.
  4. Cultural Significance: Beyond its delightful taste, the Romanian cheesecake holds cultural importance. Rooted deeply in Romanian traditions, it’s often prepared for special occasions, especially Easter. The dessert reflects the rich history and culinary traditions of Romania, influenced by various cultures over the centuries. It’s not just food but a celebration of Romania’s vibrant heritage.

The Unique Flavor Profile of Romanian Cheesecake

Romanian cheesecake is distinct from its American counterpart. While the American version is dense and rich, the Romanian variant is lighter, with a creamy texture that melts in your mouth. The primary ingredient, fresh cottage cheese or ricotta cheese, gives it a unique tangy flavor. This is complemented by the sweetness of raisins or cranberries and the aromatic essence of vanilla or rum. The addition of lemon or orange peel adds a zesty undertone, making every bite a delightful experience.

For those who have never tried it, think of it as a fusion between a traditional cheesecake and pudding. The use of pasta as layers within the cheesecake adds a unique texture.

This combination of textures and flavors is what sets the Romanian cheesecake apart and makes it a must-try for every dessert lover.

Health Benefits: More than Just a Dessert

It’s rare for desserts to be associated with health benefits, but Romanian cheesecake is an exception. According to research, this dessert is relatively low in calories compared to other rich desserts. But that’s not all. It’s packed with essential nutrients, including:

  • Vitamins: Especially vitamin C and vitamin A. These vitamins play a crucial role in boosting the immune system, maintaining healthy skin, and improving vision.
  • Antioxidants: These compounds help in fighting off free radicals in the body, reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
  • Protein and Calcium: Thanks to the cheese content, this dessert is a good source of protein and calcium, essential for muscle health and bone strength.

Moreover, as highlighted by Supermoon Cheesecakes, cheesecakes, in general, have several health benefits, making them a healthier choice compared to other desserts.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Romanian Cheesecake Ingredients.
  • Pasta: 400 grams or 14 ounces. You can use any type of pasta you prefer.
  • Unsalted Cottage Cheese: 600 grams or 21 ounces. Can be replaced with unsalted ricotta.
  • Sour Cream: 300 grams or 10 ounces.
  • Sugar: 350 grams or 12 ounces. Divide the sugar into two parts: 250 grams for the cottage mixture and 100 grams for the sour cream mixture.
  • Eggs: 6 in total.
  • Vanilla Extract: 1 teaspoon or 1 vanilla pod.
  • Sunflower Oil or Butter: 2 tablespoons, for the tray.
  • Salt: A pinch.

Optional Ingredients:

  • Raisins: 100 grams or 4 ounces.
  • Rum: 2 tablespoons.
  • Lemon Zest: If you prefer a citric flavor.

How to Make Romanian Cheesecake

1. Preheat the Oven

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Cheesecake.

Set the oven to 180° Celsius or 356° Fahrenheit.

2. Boil the Pasta

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Cheesecake.

Follow the boiling time mentioned on the pasta package to avoid overcooking. Aim for a firm texture.

3. Prepare the Cottage Blend

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Cheesecake.

While the pasta is boiling, in a mixing bowl, combine the cottage cheese, 250 grams of sugar, 4 eggs, vanilla extract, salt, raisins, and rum. Mix well, preferably with a hand mixer on a low setting.

4. Prepare the Tray

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Cheesecake.

Coat your baking tray with butter or oil to create a base for the pasta.

5. Mix Pasta with Cottage Blend

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Cheesecake.

After draining the boiled pasta, mix it with the cottage cheese blend.

6. Bake the Pasta

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Cheesecake.

Place the sweet pasta mixture in the oven and bake for 15 minutes at 180° Celsius or 356° Fahrenheit.

7. Prepare the Sour Cream Mixture

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Cheesecake.

While the pasta is baking, mix 100 grams of sugar with sour cream and the remaining 2 eggs.

8. Add the Sour Cream Mixture

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Cheesecake.

After the initial 15 minutes of baking, pour the sour cream mixture over the pasta and continue baking for another 25 minutes at the same temperature.

9. Serve

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Cheesecake.

Although the sweet pasta can be served hot, it’s recommended to serve it cold for the best flavor and texture.

Recipe Variations: Customize to Your Liking

The beauty of the Romanian cheesecake lies in its versatility. While the traditional recipe calls for specific ingredients, there’s always room for experimentation. For instance, you can:

  • Switch the Raisins: Not a fan of raisins? Replace them with other dried fruits like apricots or dates. Or, for a modern twist, try adding chocolate chips.
  • Play with Flavors: While vanilla and rum essence are traditional, you can experiment with almond essence or even add a dash of brandy for an adult version.
  • Add Nuts: For added crunch and flavor, consider adding chopped nuts like walnuts or almonds to the filling.

For a detailed recipe with step-by-step instructions, check out this guide. And if you’re looking for more Romanian dessert inspirations, don’t miss out on the delicious Ricotta Cheese Doughnuts or the Traditional Cheese Doughnuts from Real Help.

Serving Ideas and Pairing Suggestions

Presentation Matters

The way you present your Romanian cheesecake can elevate the entire eating experience. Here are some presentation ideas:

  • Dust with Powdered Sugar: A light dusting of powdered sugar not only adds an extra touch of sweetness but also gives the cheesecake a professional finish.
  • Fresh Fruit Toppings: Place fresh berries, like strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries, on top. The vibrant colors contrast beautifully with the creamy white of the cheesecake, making it visually appealing.
  • Drizzle with Syrup: A drizzle of caramel, chocolate, or berry syrup can enhance the flavor profile and make the cheesecake even more indulgent.
  • Mint Leaves: A few fresh mint leaves can add a pop of color and a refreshing aroma.

Pairing Suggestions

What you serve alongside your cheesecake can make a world of difference. Here are some suggestions:

  • Coffee or Tea: The robust flavor of coffee or the subtle notes of tea can complement the creamy richness of the cheesecake. Consider serving it with a cup of traditional Romanian coffee for an authentic experience.
  • Wine: A sweet dessert wine or a sparkling wine can be a great accompaniment. The effervescence of the sparkling wine can cut through the creaminess of the cheesecake, balancing the flavors.
  • Ice Cream: A scoop of vanilla or berry ice cream can be a delightful addition, especially during the summer months.
  • Whipped Cream: A dollop of whipped cream on the side or on top can make the dessert even more luxurious.

Exploring the History and Cultural Significance

Romanian cheesecake, or “Budincă din branză de vaci,” has deep roots in Romanian culture. It’s not just a dessert; it’s a reflection of the country’s rich history and culinary traditions.

  • A Dessert for Special Occasions: For the orthodox Christians that celebrate Easter with pasca: You can swamp the traditional pasca with this ultra-easy desert during Easter. It has a similar taste and it’s a lot quicker to make.
  • Influence of Other Cultures: Romania’s location in Eastern Europe means it has been influenced by various cultures over the centuries. The cheesecake is believed to have been influenced by both Slavic and Ottoman cuisines.
  • A Dessert with Many Names: Depending on the region in Romania, this cheesecake might be known by different names and might have slight variations in the recipe. This diversity is a testament to Romania’s rich cultural tapestry.

For those interested in diving deeper into Romanian culinary traditions, Real Help offers a plethora of recipes, including the mouth-watering Cream Cheese Doughnuts, which are a must-try!

Perfecting Your Romanian Cheesecake: Tips and Tricks

Achieving the Perfect Texture

The hallmark of a good Romanian cheesecake is its creamy, melt-in-the-mouth texture. Here’s how you can achieve it:

  • Quality of Cheese: The type and quality of cheese you use can make a significant difference. Opt for fresh farmer’s cheese or ricotta. If possible, source it from a local dairy or farmer’s market for the best results.
  • Avoid Overmixing: While it’s essential to have a smooth mixture, overmixing can introduce too much air, leading to a cheesecake that’s too fluffy or that cracks during baking. Mix just until the ingredients are combined.
  • Baking Time: Overbaking can result in a dry cheesecake. It’s essential to keep an eye on your dessert, especially during the last few minutes of baking. The center should be slightly jiggly when you take it out of the oven; it will continue to cook as it cools.

Storing and Serving

  • Refrigeration: Romanian cheesecake tastes best when served cold. Once cooled, refrigerate it for at least a few hours before serving. This not only enhances the flavors but also makes for a firmer texture.
  • Storing Leftovers: If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should be good for 3-4 days.
  • Freezing: If you wish to store it for longer, you can freeze the cheesecake. Wrap it in cling film and then in aluminum foil. When you want to serve it, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

In Conclusion

Romanian cheesecake, with its rich history and delightful flavor profile, is a dessert that deserves a spot on every dessert lover’s list. Whether you’re making it for a special occasion or as a treat for yourself, the creamy goodness of “Budincă din branză de vaci” is sure to impress.

For more delightful recipes and insights into Romanian cuisine, don’t forget to check out other offerings from Real Help, like their Traditional Cheese Doughnuts.

Thank you for joining us on this culinary journey. We hope you enjoy making and savoring this Romanian delicacy as much as we do. Happy baking!


Frequentely Asked Questions

1. What is “Budincă din branză de vaci”?

Budincă din branză de vaci” is a traditional Romanian cheesecake made from cow’s cheese. It’s a creamy dessert flavored with vanilla, raisins, and sometimes lemon or orange zest.

2. What kind of cheese is used in this cheesecake?

The primary cheese used in this cheesecake is “branza de vaci,” a fresh, crumbly cheese similar to cottage cheese or ricotta cheese. It’s made from cow’s milk and has a mild, slightly tangy flavor. If unavailable, other fresh cheeses like farmer’s cheese or ricotta can be substituted.

3. How is the Romanian Cheesecake different from other cheesecakes?

The Romanian version is distinct due to its use of specific tangy cheese, the addition of raisins and rum, the quickness and let’s not forget the simplicity. This dessert can be made in only 10 minutes of preparation and another 40 mins of baking.

4. Can you freeze the Romanian Easter Cheesecake?

Yes, the cheesecake can be frozen for up to a month. It should be wrapped in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and placed in an airtight container or freezer bag. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

5.How should the cheesecake be stored?

Once baked and cooled, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container.

6. What are the health benefits of Romanian Cheesecake?

The cheesecake is relatively low in calories compared to other desserts and is packed with essential nutrients like vitamins C and A, antioxidants, and protein and calcium from the cheese.

7. Are there variations to the traditional Romanian Cheesecake recipe?

Yes, while the traditional recipe has specific ingredients, there’s room for experimentation. You can switch out raisins for other dried fruits, experiment with different essences, or add nuts for added crunch.

8. How is the texture of the Romanian Cheesecake achieved?

The creamy texture is achieved by using fresh farmer’s cheese or ricotta, avoiding overmixing, and ensuring the cheesecake is not overbaked.

9. What are some common mistakes to avoid when making the cheesecake?

Not a single thing. That’s the beauty of this dessert. You cannot ruin it with anything as long as you follow the steps, this recipe will be a 100 % succes.

10. What is the cultural significance of the Romanian Cheesecake?

The cheesecake, known as “Budincă din branză de vaci,” has deep roots in Romanian culture. It’s not just a dessert but a reflection of Romania’s rich history and culinary traditions.


Freshly Baked Romanian Cheesecake, Golden-Brown and Steaming, Sliced and Presented on a Knife, Ready for Savory Indulgence.

Romanian Cheesecake (Budincă din branză de vaci)

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes

Indulge in the creamy, melt-in-your-mouth Romanian Cheesecake, known as 'Budincă din branză de vaci.' A traditional delight blending tangy cheese, sweet raisins, and aromatic flavors, this recipe promises a dessert experience like no other. Perfect for special occasions or a luxurious treat any day.

Ingredients

  • Pasta: 400 grams or 14 ounces. You can use any type of pasta you prefer.
  • Sweet Cottage Cheese: 600 grams or 21 ounces. Can be replaced with unsalted ricotta.
  • Sugar: 350 grams or 12 ounces. Divide the sugar into two parts: 250 grams for the cottage mixture and 100 grams for the sour cream mixture.
  • Eggs: 6 in total.
  • Vanilla Extract: 1 teaspoon or 1 vanilla pod.
  • Sunflower Oil or Butter: 2 tablespoons, for the tray.
  • Salt: A pinch.

Optional Ingredients

  • Raisins: 100 grams or 4 ounces.
  • Rum: 2 tablespoons.
  • Lemon Zest: If you prefer a citric flavor.

Instructions

1. Preheat the Oven

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Cheesecake.Set the oven to 180° Celsius or 356° Fahrenheit.

2. Boil the Pasta

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Cheesecake.Follow the boiling time mentioned on the pasta package to avoid overcooking. Aim for a firm texture.

3. Prepare the Cottage Blend

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Cheesecake.While the pasta is boiling, in a mixing bowl, combine the cottage cheese, 250 grams of sugar, 4 eggs, vanilla extract, salt, raisins, and rum. Mix well, preferably with a hand mixer on a low setting.

4. Prepare the Tray

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Cheesecake.Coat your baking tray with butter or oil to create a base for the pasta.

5. Mix Pasta with Cottage Blend

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Cheesecake.After draining the boiled pasta, mix it with the cottage cheese blend.

6. Bake the Pasta

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Cheesecake.Place the sweet pasta mixture in the oven and bake for 15 minutes at 180° Celsius or 356° Fahrenheit.

7. Prepare the Sour Cream Mixture

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Cheesecake.While the pasta is baking, mix 100 grams of sugar with sour cream and the remaining 2 eggs.

8. Add the Sour Cream Mixture

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Cheesecake.After the initial 15 minutes of baking, pour the sour cream mixture over the pasta and continue baking for another 25 minutes at the same temperature.

9. Serve

Process Shots Showing How to Make Romanian Cheesecake.Although the sweet pasta can be served hot, it’s recommended to serve it cold for the best flavor and texture.

Notes

  1. Cheese Choice: The recipe can be made with sweet cottage cheese. If unavailable, unsalted ricotta can be used as a substitute, but the cottage cheese version is more flavorful.
  2. Pasta Type: Any type of pasta can be used for this recipe. The choice of pasta can vary based on personal preference or what's available in the pantry.
  3. Boiling Pasta: It's crucial to adhere to the boiling time mentioned on the pasta package to avoid overcooking. Overcooked pasta can result in a mushy texture.
  4. Mixing Tip: If using a hand mixer for the cottage blend, it's recommended to use the lowest setting to prevent splattering.
  5. Baking Sequence: The sweet pasta mixture should first be baked for 15 minutes. Afterward, the sour cream mixture is added on top and baked for an additional 25 minutes.
  6. Serving Recommendation: While the sweet pasta can be served hot, it's best enjoyed cold. This enhances the flavors and gives it a cake-like texture.
  7. Customization: The recipe is versatile. Raisins can be replaced with other dried fruits, and rum can be swapped for lemon zest based on personal taste preferences.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 236
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 480Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 160mgSodium: 150mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 1gSugar: 45gProtein: 15g

The nutritional information provided is approximate and for reference purposes only. Actual values may vary due to factors such as product brands, preparation methods, and ingredient substitutions. The provided values may not include all nutrients and should not be relied upon as the sole source of nutritional information. Always read product labels and consider individual factors when making dietary choices. We are not responsible for any inaccuracies or adverse effects resulting from the use of this information.

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Author

  • Diana

    Hey! I’m Diana. a 30-year-old culinary enthusiast with a passion for creating mouthwatering dishes that tantalize your taste buds. With over 15 years of cooking experience under my apron, I’ve spent countless hours in the kitchen honing my skills, experimenting with flavors, and discovering the most delectable recipes.

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