hallmark croatian cheesecake

hallmark croatian cheesecake

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There’s so much history behind this ‘hallmark croatian cheesecake’. 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!

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 sure hope you’ll find that you love this 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

Yield: One about 6-7" round springform pan


  • 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.

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hallmark croatian cheesecake


  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.

    • 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. Sounds so good.

  3. 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! 🙂

    • 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

  4. Darn it the comment went before I can wish you a very blessed and Happy Easter!

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

  6. Lauren Taylor

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

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

  8. Love the almonds in the crust!

  9. I want a piece now for breakfast! Looks so good.

  10. How could I not eat this for breakfast? That is what cheescake is for, right? After all it does have cottage cheese! Gorgeous!

  11. 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.

    • 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

  12. Drop Dead Gorgeous! Cheesecake is my favorite!

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

  14. I love everything about this cheesecake from the hearty crust to the rustic filling!

  15. Shelly Kreider

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

    • 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 allyskitchen1@gmail.com 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

  16. 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.

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