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hallmark croatian cheesecake

hallmark croatian cheesecake

Home and Family Hallmark

Croatian cheesecake is dense, slightly sweet and full of some great ingredients to elevate healthiness. Try my 100 year+ family recipe for cheesecake!

There’s so much history behind this ‘hallmark Croatian cheesecake’. And, Home and Family TV with the Hallmark Channel has a lot to do with it.

From the journey my Grandmother made at the turn of the twentieth century to American from the old country, which was then the Austro Hungarian Empire to now today and sharing this recipe with the world on Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family TV, this recipe has broth me and so many others immeasurable love and happiness.

When I first decided to enter the Dream Jobbing contest for the ‘Best Home Cook’, I knew I wanted to share this recipe. But, I wanted to simplify it even more so others wouldn’t be intimidated by the word ‘cheesecake’. Sometimes the idea of making a cheesecake makes home cooks think, hummmmmm, that’s something that I just can’t do because of its complexity. But, that’s not the case with this cheesecake. You cannot mess up. It will be tasty and delicious regardless. While it might not have the ‘glamour’ and perfection of a French cheesecake, it will be heartwarming because you know that it’s supposed to be rustic and earthy. All those imperfections make for immense beauty!

Home and Family Recipes

Home and Family TV on the Hallmark Channel is super popular because of the variety of offerings on the show. From DIY and health information, Home and Family also has a big presence on daytime TV with home and family recipes. These recipes are all over the board, and they’re usually very family friendly. Nothing compliated and fancy because they know that the audience want’s simple easy home and family recipes. 

So when I saw that Home and Family Hallmark was searching for the Best Home Cooks, I knew I had  to enter! After sending in my audition tape, which was just about 90 seconds demonstrating this Croatian cheesecake, I actually forgot about it. Then I saw myself on TV named as a finalist!

Just click this pix and watch my cooking on the Hallmark Channel! 

dreams have no expiration date
Watch Ally cook on Home & Family TV!

When I learned that I was one of the six finalists for the title of ‘Best Home Cook’, I had no idea that the day that my show would air would be the 95th birthday of my Mom who’d learned this recipe from my her mother, my Grandmother. Mom used to make this cheesecake mostly on special occasions when we were growing up in the hollers of West Virginia. Times were tough. Money was tight. And, we would just feel like we were having the most heavenly treat when this cheesecake was made. Unlike typical cheesecakes, this cheesecake uses more cottage cheese than cream cheese. Cottage cheese is frequently used in Eastern European dishes and sweets.

I always say that dreams have no expiration date and here’s why. When you stop dreaming, you’ve stopped living in my humble opinion. 

Croatian Desserts

Croatian desserts, well, you just have to experience them. When Ben and I traveled  to Croatia to find my long-lost relatives, and you have too read those posts because they’re like a Hallmark movie, we ate our share of Croatian desserts. 

Croatian desserts can be addictive and dangerous because you can’t stop eating them. Whether it’s a buttery crumbly pie, dainty velvety cookies or creamy and decadent rich cakes, they’re full of immense happiness. And, because of Croatia’s rich history over hundreds and hundreds of years, you’ll see the influence of other cuisines and cultures, French, Middle Eastern, Italian and more. Croatian cooking and cuisine and Croatian desserts have benefited from this patchwork of influence over the years. 

You might want to try some of my adapted Croatian desserts that my family most loves. They’re slight adaptations of the recipes from Mom. I’ve made these much easier knowing that so many of us don’t have the time to devote to complicated pastry cooking. 

Baked Cottage Cheese Strukji

Lemon Cottage Cheesecake

živjeli kata croatian cheesecake

Holiday Walnut Bread Povitica

Recipes for Cheesecake

Now some may be a little intimidated by the idea of making a cheesecake. Yes, there are thousands of recipes for cheesecake on the internet. But, this cheesecake recipe is one of the easiest you’ll ever make. Now it’s not fancy and perfect looking like a French or New York cheesecake. It’s more rustic and earthy. Maybe this recipe for cheesecake is the one if you’re visiting a village in Croatia or you want one that’s heavy on an ingredient you wouldn’t expect in recipes for cheesecake. Cottage cheese! 

One of my new favorite cheesecakes, Lemon Coconut Cheesecake.

Cheesecake at Home

Making cheesecake at home is so simple! Here’re some of my favorite recipes for you to try!

Cherry Limeade Cheesecake

Chocolate Banana Cheesecake Bites

Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Homemade Cheesecake No Bake

King Pineapple No Bake Cheesecake

Homemade Cheesecake Recipe Easy

Cherry Ricotta Cheesecake Jars

Lemon Cottage Cheesecake

Lemon Cream Cake

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is a good source of some vitamins and minerals, but it only contains small amounts of others. 

Healthline touts the value of cottage cheese, “Cottage cheese is a curd cheese with a mild flavor and smooth texture. It’s high in many nutrients, including protein, B vitamins, and minerals like calcium, selenium, and phosphorus. If you’re looking to lose weight or build muscle, cottage cheese is among the most beneficial foods you can eat.”

Eastern Europeans and Russians love their cottage cheese and use it in many recipes, like pancakes. One of my grandson’s favorite recipes to make when he comes to visit is ‘Syrniki’ which are pancakes with cottage cheese. 

I sure hope you’ll find that you love this Hallmark Croatian Cheesecake recipe as much as I do. I’ve made the crust a tad bit ‘healthier’ with the addition of wheatgerm and sliced almonds. Be playful in experimenting with toppings. If you want to do dollops of whipped cream and other kinds of fruit, do it. The base of this cheesecake the lemoneeee filling with the ‘littl’ cottage cheese lumps’ is the star and will never be outshone by the topping!  Here’s to keeping the history of our families alive through their recipes. It’s a priceless heritage and legacy to pass on to our children.

~peace & namaste~ xoxox ally

hallmark croatian cheesecake

hallmark croatian cheesecake

hallmark croatian cheesecake

Yield: One about 6-7" round springform pan

Croatian cheesecake is dense, slightly sweet and full of some great ingredients to elevate healthiness. Try my 100 year+ family recipe for cheesecake!


  • Preheat oven to 325
  • CRUST:
  • 1 1/2 cups graham crackers, crushed roughly
  • 3/4 cup almonds, sliced, roughly crushed
  • 1/3 cup wheat germ
  • 8 Tbl.salted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups cottage cheese, 4%, small curd, drained
  • 1 cup whipped cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 4 Tbl. flour, all purpose
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 large lemons, zest and juice
  • 2 (6 oz.) container Greek lemon yogurt, best brand is Noosa lemon yogurt
  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries


Coat the pan (bottom and sides) with cooking spray. Cut a piece of parchment paper the size of the round bottom and place in the pan.

Put the graham crackers, almonds, wheat germ and butter in a medium size mixing bowl. Blend well with your hands. Put into the pan and pat down well firming the crust.

In a large mixing bowl, put the cottage cheese, whipped cream cheese, sugar, eggs and flour. Whisk together well. Add the lemon juice and zest. Blend together well. Pour into the pan.

Place the pan on a cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 325 oven about 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick basically comes clean from the center. (Note: Doneness also is evident when the top begins showing ‘cracks’.)

Remove to a cooling rack. Take a butter knife and gently move around the perimeter of the cheesecake loosening the sides.

Disengage the pan when the cheesecake is completely cooled.

If not serving immediately, cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

When ready to serve, put the lemon yogurt on the top spreading around. Sprinkle on the blueberries. Refrigerate or slice immediately.


Sometimes I love to make the crust thicker. If you like that, simply add about another 1/2 to 3/4 cups of graham crackers, 1/4 cup of wheat germ and another two tablespoons of melted butter into the mixture.

This cheesecake keeps well for several days in the refrigerator. Cover tightly with plastic wrap.

Don't think of this cheesecake as just for dessert. As a kid, I would eat it for breakfast!

If you want more of a 'thin' cheesecake, use a 9x13 pan, then you can cut cheesecake squares.

Your sharing is GOLDEN! Thank you!

Your sharing and comments help me stay in business! Share a photo if you make the recipe #allyskitchen Thank you! xo Ally

hallmark croatian cheesecake

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  1. I made this for thanksgiving. And I must say, WOW it turned out amazing!
    First time I have ever made cheesecake and I wanted to do something different. The flavor and textures are incredible! I used grassfed butter and let it caramelize a little, almost like beurre noisette. This gave the crust an amazing flavor and the texture is amazing!
    My only problem was that it took about an extra 45 min to bake! I don’t know if I didn’t drain the cottage cheese well enough and maybe that was the problem.
    Even with the extra time it turned out perfect. Definitely will make again!
    And yes those left overs were perfect for breakfast.

    1. Wayne!! That is exciting to hear!! THANK YOU for taking time to write me. And, for tasting a little of my family traditions! I love the butter idea and will try myself. Yes, baking time could vary, but oftentimes not that much. Anyway, you are a seasoned cook and knew what to do. I’ll make and adjustment note 5o the recipe. I always know its getting near done when cracks may appear on top. Keep giving me that good feedback. I love it! Sending smiles and hugs! ~ally

  2. One of my very favorite recipes on your blog, Alice! It makes me drool every time I see the recipe on Facebook! On my to do list! 🙂

    1. Oh, Hadia! You are such a doll!! Thank you, and, yes, this recipe is one special one for me because of its history. Well, it’s mighty tasty too!! xo

    1. Oh, you sweet angel! Yes, my beautiful friend, HAPPY EASTER!! I know your table will be brimming w/love and fabulous food!! xo

  3. I love how easy this looks to make and its so dang creamy wow! Blueberry is my fav! Nice job with the video Ally!

    1. Thank you, sweetness! This is one recipe that is a staple for holidays in our world. Nothing like it!! xox

  4. Lauren Taylor says:

    This cheesecake sounds amazing! I love the idea of thick crust!

    1. Lauren! Thank you Thank you!! Yes, the thicker the crust the better for me, too!! xo ~ally

  5. I love these flavors! I can’t wait to try this!

    1. Thank you, Caroline! It’s really a different twist on cheesecake and, oh, so deeeeeeeeelish!!

  6. Love the almonds in the crust!

    1. Hi, sweet Megan! Yes, those almonds do add a littl’ crunch, and who doesn’t love some texture!! xo

    1. If you were here, luv, I’d be serving you seconds!! Thank you sooooooooooo much!! And, thanks for swinging by!

    1. You bet, my sweet Abbe! This is breakfast fare at its finest! Let’s did in!! Cottage cheese is healthy!! xox Thanks, luv!

  7. Looks both a pretty and tasty cheesecake – I know what you mean with cheesecakes higher in cottage cheese and they have a lovely depth of flavor.

    1. OH, yes, you know, Caroline! Yes, this cheesecake is a pleasure for the palate because of so many things, including those ‘weetle’ cottage cheese lumps!! Thanks for visiting! xo ~ally

  8. Oh my Ally, just gorgeous….. bang goes the diet but glad to see that the cottage cheese lightens your wonderful cheesecake. I’m drooling ♥

    1. Dor! You can have two slices of this!! The cottage cheese is very flattering on our hips!! Hugs!! xoxo

    1. Miss Ann!! THANK YOU! And, coming from you, I’m super thrilled! xoxo

  9. Shelly Kreider says:

    Please, could you add an option to print only the recipe, without the pictures and dialog.
    Thank you
    Shelly Kreider

    1. Hi, Shelly! There is an option to NOT print the photos. When you click ‘Print’ (located at the beginning of the recipe), look at the top, there’s a box there (next to text size) to check ‘Remove Images’. I totally agree that printing all those images is crazy! Hope this makes sense. If not, please email me at [email protected] and I’ll send you a screen shot of where to fine this feature. That you so much and I love having you here! Come back soon! xoxo ~ally

  10. I could eat your Croatian Cheesecake everyday and never tire of it! Oh wait, I did eat it for 4 days straight and loved every bite. Truly my favorite cheesecake.

    1. LOL!! Merry Merry!! You always make me laugh!! Love you girl!! xo

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