Swedish cheesecake with strawberries (ostkaka) is not necessarily a cheesecake as you know it. It’s made with cottage cheese and almonds, is not as sweet as an American cheesecake, but it’s equally delicious.
I’m not quite sure where time went that it’s June already. June is busy for me, as we will be in Europe part of the month, school ends and so I will be entertaining both boys all day for a couple months (not sure how that’s going to work with this blog but I will keep trying!). As an extra mark of time, it will be midsummer.
Today’s Foodie Extravaganza is a midsummer dessert feast and I am sharing this tasty Swedish cheesecake with strawberries, ostkaka. It’s not like an American-style cheesecake (which this banana baked cheesecake is more like). It’s much less rich and sweet, but it’s definitely delicious and easy to make too.
When I saw the theme, I asked my friends in Latvia and Denmark for ideas as I knew that region celebrates midsummer more, as I discovered a number of years ago (more about that here). However I only asked about midsummer more generally. Then I got a bit carried away by their responses, it all sounded so tasty.
It was only a couple weeks later that I realized the theme was desserts for midsummer rather than a midsummer’s feast more generally as I had it in my head at first. And I had my mind set on a savory dish, langoustines. So, I found something else and made both!
Strawberries for midsummer
Strawberries are in peak season in northern places like Scandinavia in June and so they are very common as part of midsummer celebrations, particularly in Sweden. We had some fantastic local strawberries when we were in Denmark last summer (as well as the smørrebrød, open sandwiches, of course). Our own local strawberries should be with us soon too.
Swedish cheesecake, or ostkaka as it is known in Swedish, is served at various times of the year as it’s often served warm and so is comforting in winter. It’s common to top it with a fruit compote or fresh fruit. For this time of year, it goes without saying a Swedish cheesecake needs to be topped with strawberries (and lukewarm/room temperature is more fitting), and so with both combined it seemed the perfect dessert to bring along for the Midsummer theme.
What’s the difference between an American and Swedish cheesecake?
Swedish cheesecake is still made with eggs as an American one would be, but there is no crumb base and the ‘cheese’ is cottage cheese rather than cream cheese. Actually traditionally you first add rennet to milk to make your own curds. However, cottage cheese is commonly used instead as a simplified, speeded up version. Using cottage cheese, this becomes a very quick dessert to mix up and then you just leave it to bake in a low oven.
As well as the differences already mentioned, a Swedish cheesecake also has almonds in it. Sometimes these are whole and broken up as part of making the cheesecake but I decided to just use ground almonds for ease. There is also usually flour as part of the recipe but I opted for rice flour to make this a gluten-free version.
A Swedish cheesecake with sweet macerated strawberries (sliced and mixed with some sugar to bring out the juices and sweetness) makes for a delicious summer dessert that’s also so easy to make as well. It’s creamy without being overly rich, gently almond flavored and just sweet enough. The strawberries are perfect alongside, both for flavor and color. We had this as part of our Memorial Day meal and it went down well with all – given how easy it is, I can definitely see us having it again. Give it a try and enjoy.
A relatively easy, baked cheesecake that's a bit less sweet than it's American cousin but just as delicious. Gluten free in this version too.
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup sugar 4tbpsp
- 1/4 cup almond flour 4tbsp ground almonds
- 3 tbsp rice flour
- 1 cup half and half 240ml, or 1/2cup/120ml each of milk and heavy/double cream
- 1 1/4 cup cottage cheese 335g
- 7 oz strawberries 200g
- 1 tbsp sugar
- a few grinds of black pepper optional
Preheat oven to 350F/175C and lightly grease an 8in cake tin (you can use a ceramic dish as well).
Blend together the eggs and sugar either in a food processor or whisk by hand. Add the ground almonds, rice flour, half and half (or milk and cream) and cottage cheese and mix. Pour the mixture into your tin/dish and bake for around 1 hour until it rises up and is lightly browned on top.
As the cheesecake is almost finished baking, slice the strawberries and place in a bowl with the sugar and a few grinds of black pepper (if using - it is nice in there). Toss them gently and leave to macerate.
When the cheesecake is cooked enough, remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Serve warm or lukewarm topped with the strawberries (you can put the strawberries on top a little before serving and some of the juice will sink in which is really tasty).
Try these other seasonal desserts:
This month Laura of Baking in Pyjamas is hosting Foodie Extravaganza with the theme Midsummer. The challenge was to create a dessert of your choice which is Midsummer Eve themed, think any kind of summer fruit or an interpretation of what Midsummer means to you.
- Blueberry Slab Pie by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Carrot Vanilla Custard by Sneha’s Recipe
- Chocolate Fondue with Strawberries by Making Miracles
- Dark Berry Gelato by Baking in Pyjamas
- Egg Free Mint Gelato by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Kladdkaka by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Mango Souffle by G’Gina’s Kitchenette
- No Bake Lemon Cheesecake by Fearlessly Creative Mammas
- Nordic Walnut Cake with Coffee Icing by Food Lust People Love
- Simple Peach Crisp by Cooking with Traci
- Swedish Cheesecake with Strawberries by Caroline’s Cooking (you’re here!)
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