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Simple and creamy, my family recipe Syrnyk has been part of our Easter menu for many years. It is a Ukrainian sweet cheese made with cottage cheese, and it is similar to a light, crustless cheesecake. Enjoy this Eastern European Easter tradition as a side dish or dessert.
What is Syrnyk?
Syrnyk is a traditional sweet Ukrainian Easter cheese. It is made from cottage cheese, though it likely was originally made from farmer’s cheese, as I use in my pot cheese pierogies. The cottage cheese is blended together with just a few other ingredients and baked until it is set and slightly golden on the edges. When you are ready to enjoy it, you’ll find it has a light texture and sweet vanilla flavor.
In fact, that sweetness leads to many calling it a Ukrainian cheesecake, albeit a crustless (and naturally gluten free!) cheesecake. So it can be served as dessert. But in my family, we often enjoy it as a side dish alongside our Easter ham and kielbasa, Hrudka (another Eastern European Easter cheese) and Paska (Ukrainian Easter bread).
It is so simple and delicious that I hope you are inspired to add a little Slovak inspiration to your Easter menu! Whether you are Ukrainian or not, this is a tasty recipe and would be a unique addition to a cheese platter or dessert table.
This Easter cheese recipe has just four simple ingredients and takes just minutes to assemble. Take a look at this overview of what you’ll need, then scroll to the recipe card for the full amounts and instructions.
- Cottage cheese. Use regular cottage cheese, not large curd or whipped. You do not have to drain it.
- Granulated sugar.
- Eggs. These bind the cheese together so it can be cut into squares once baked.
- Vanilla. I recommend pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
How to Make Ukrainian Sweet Cheese
Preparations. Preheat your oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 13×9-inch glass baking pan or coat it with cooking spray.
Combine the ingredients. Add the cottage cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla to a large bowl and blend with a hand mixer until it is light and fluffy.
Bake the cheese. Pour the cheese mixture into the prepared pan and bake it for about an hour. It’ll be lightly browned on the edges and nearly set, though it will still jiggle slightly in the center.
Cool and serve. Let the cheese cool to room temperature then get it nice and cold in the refrigerator before serving. It will keep refrigerated for 3 or 4 days.
We have this recipe as part of our Easter celebration, alongside ham, kielbasa, and our other traditional Ukrainian Easter recipes. But not all of our dishes are from our Eastern European heritage, especially since I have to make sure my holiday meal is gluten free. These are some other favorites:
- Salads. My mom has always made potato salad for Easter, but coleslaw is also a great option.
- Casseroles. Corn Pudding is a holiday staple in my family, but you can’t go wrong with Scalloped Potatoes with your ham.
- Veggie Sides. I like to save space in the oven and make Air Fryer Asparagus, but we also enjoy Honey Roasted Carrots.
- Dessert. Grab a slice of celebration-worthy Gluten Free Coconut Cake and fill those baskets with Peanut Butter Eggs.
Things You’ll Need
HAND MIXER: I use this inexpensive hand mixer all the time and you’ll need one to blend the ingredients.
MIXING BOWLS: The largest one from this set is the perfect size.
SILICONE SPATULAS: Scrape every last bit into the baking pan.
BAKING DISH: A 9×13-inch glass baking dish is what we you for this recipe.
Syrnyk – Sweet Ukrainian Easter Cheese
- 2 pounds cottage cheese
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 13 x 9 inch pan.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and beat with a hand mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
- Pour into the pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until lightly browned on the edges and nearly set (it will still jiggle slightly in the center).
- Cool to room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator before serving.