Syrnyk – Ukrainian Sweet Cheese for Easter

5 from 5 votes
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Syrnyk is a family recipe that makes an appearance every Easter in my family. It is a Ukrainian sweet cheese that served as either a side to your ham or a light dessert, and similar to a crustless cheesecake. This Eastern European Easter recipe is simple, creamy, sweet, and made with only four basic ingredients. Invite some Slovak traditions into your home this year.

Syrnyk Sweet Ukrainian Easter Cheese Recipe image with title

I’ve never been one for writing in a diary or journal. Sure, like most adolescent girls I at least made an attempt so that I would have a place to pine away and share my stories of unrequited love and teenage angst. Granted most of my angst came from being in middle school with a sister who was an annoying preschooler, but whatever. I was a geek, too busy studying and doing my homework to have a stress-ridden social life.

Even now, I never really took to filling out baby books for my little guys. Honestly, I never even really liked writing until I started blogging. I’m not sure how many people actually read what I write, or if they just go straight to the photos and recipe, but it has become a place for me to chronicle some of the events, emotions, and even everyday nonsense in my life. So while I enjoy sharing these stories with anyone who cares to read, I mainly do it for me. This is my diary, only I let anyone ready it.

The same thing happens with the recipes. Obviously I make things that we like to eat, but I am also thinking about things that all of you would like to eat. But sometimes I need to use the blog to record recipes for posterity. For my and my family and my children. So that we aren’t chasing around scraps of paper and texting photos of aforementioned scraps to each other. Yep, that happens. Happened with last year’s Paska, my family’s Ukranian Easter bread. Happened here.

Pieces of Syrnyk Eater cheese on a glass plate

Syrnyk – Sweet Ukrainian Easter Cheese 

This is Syrnyk (I honestly didn’t know the name until I looked it up this week). It is a sweet cheese made from cottage cheese. It likely was originally made from farmer’s cheese, like I use in my pot cheese pierogies, but I think cottage cheese is the “Americanized” version. So this is how it is made in my family, and this is the recipe I am going to share. It is quite sweet, and while often eaten as a side dish with Easter ham and kielbasa and Hrudka (another Eastern European Easter cheese), it also make a nice light dessert. The Eastern European version of the cheese course, if you will.

When we all lived here in New Jersey, while my mom was making the Paska, my Aunt Liz was making the cheeses. After she moved to Kentucky, she continued to make it, but since it doesn’t ship well, my Aunt Eugenia got the recipe from her and took on the duties. Since we are spending Easter at my mom’s this year in Delaware with neither of my aunts around, I’ve got the job.

Ukrainian Syrnyk in a baking pan

OK, I have to be honest with you – other than a couple teensy pieces that fell off as I took out a few pieces for photos then put them back in the pan, I didn’t actually try this batch before I wrote this post. I don’t know. It’s just a thing. I can’t eat it until Easter Sunday. But it looks just right, lightly browned on the edges and the little curds of cottage cheese that remain after beating the batter. And those little pieces were sweet and vanilla-y. By the time you are reading this, I’ll likely have had a piece or two, along with my family, and I can assure you that we are all enjoying it.

I hope you do too. Whether you are Ukrainian or not, this is a tasty recipe and would be a unique addition to a cheese platter or dessert table.

Syrnyk - Sweet Ukrainian Easter Cheese is an old family recipe

Here are some other side dishes that would be perfect for Easter or any spring occasion…

And some more Spring desserts…

Syrnyk – Ukrainian Sweet Cheese for Easter

5 from 5 votes

Syrnyk - Sweet Ukrainian Easter Cheese

My family recipe for Syrnyk, a Ukranian sweet cheese, similar to a cheesecake, that we enjoy on Easter as a side dish or light dessert.
Servings: 24

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds cottage cheese
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
Syrnyk - Sweet Ukrainian Easter Cheese
Amount Per Serving
Calories 70 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Cholesterol 29mg10%
Sodium 164mg7%
Potassium 43mg1%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 55IU1%
Calcium 27mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Enjoy!

45 Comments
  1. Marusia

    My parents both came from Ukraine and we had this every Easter and it was a favourite of mine. My mom always added 2-3 tsp of fresh lemon juice and rind of one lemon which gives it a very delicious taste and makes it less sweet

  2. Kari

    5 stars
    This recipe turned out great! My family is Russian/Ukrainian and I wanted to try this for Easter. I did a test run and and It came out tasting wonderful!!! It was not as fluffy as I thought it would be though, a little watery. I used large curd cottage cheese. Any advice on how to make it more fluffy and less watery?

  3. patricja

    Does the pan need to be that big, because I like my syrnik kind of higher, if you understand what I mean 🙂
    Besides that, really great recipe!

  4. poochandi

    Bit sweet for me, but yummy. Used up a batch of cottage cheese that I bought and then didn’t have a plan for- this was super easy! I added in some blackberries. Next time I’ll use less sugar!

  5. witoldyna

    I’ll have to try your recipe! In Poland it’s called sernik and it’s done from the farmers cheese. I need to admit I don’t really like American cakes (they are too sweet), but I definitely need to try your syrnyk 🙂 Reminds me of my home country which I left almost 2 years ago.

  6. Raia

    Beautiful, Brianne! 🙂 You’re the first other blogger I’ve ever seen with a syrnik recipe! 🙂 Mine’s Russian, so it’s understandably not quite the same but it’s got the same major stuff! I’m gonna have to try this one – I’m excited!

  7. Chris at Hye Thyme Cafe

    I have never seen or heard of this one, but it looks/sounds delicious and like something my family would really enjoy … probably with more vanilla. We tend to be heavy-handed when it comes to vanilla. 🙂

  8. Wow…this is really cool! I’ve never heard of it before, but it sounds lovely. I feel the same way about blogging–it’s such a great way to preserve family recipes. Much safer than writing them on a recipe card!

  9. Love recipes with strong ties to tradition. This is very interesting, looks like a sweet and light cheese recipe. I agree it is nice when people actually read the whole blog post and understand what you are really talking about. Happy Easter!

  10. I’ve never thought of a blog as an online journal, but you’re right that’s what it is! I suppose in that respect, being a food blogger has it all over being a wine blogger because you’re sharing recipes…And thanks for sharing this one! It looks great!

  11. This is such an interesting recipe, steeped in tradition and memories. I am glad that you are writing your ‘diary’ for all of us to read and I hope your annoying preschooler sister has grown up to be a dear friend. 🙂

    Happy Easter!

  12. Yum! My background is Ukrainian, but it’s two generations back so I don’t know much about it..or anything about the food at all. I’ll have to try this!

  13. That looks rich and delicious, Brianne, and I love the story that goes along with your sweet cheese. The stories are my favorite part of reading blogs. Thank you for sharing!

  14. 5 stars
    Ohhh yummmm. I am bookmarking this. I am a HUGE fan of anything with cheese and this looks so light and creamy! Thanks for sharing your family’s recipe!

  15. Very interesting Brianne. Since Syrnk has cottage cheese doesn’t that cancel out the sugar and just make it a good for you dessert? Seriously , thank you for sharing this beautiful tradition.

    BTW What a great attitude you have about sharing your writing…It is always best to do it for ourselves…But it is always nice when people do actually read what we’ve written.

    Happy Easter to you and yours =)

      1. Lynn

        I’m a little late to the party, we’re Ukrainian and this was or is close to my Mom’s recipe too, except she always added lovely golden raisins to it. Omgosh everyone could not get enough of it! My non-Ukrainian friends also loved it every Easter. Perhaps try that one day? 🤗 I’m now following you on Pinterest, can’t have too many Ukrainian recipes! Thank you!

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