Syrnyk – Ukrainian Cheesecake

4.93 from 13 votes
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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 It is made from cottage cheese, though it likely was originally made from farmer’s cheese, as I use in my pot cheese pierogies.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.

An overhead view of two squares of Ukrainian cheesecake in a crystal dish with a silver spoon.

Recipe Ingredients

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.

A glass baking dish of syrnyk sweet cheese with a few pieces removed.

Your Easter Menu

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:

Two squares of Ukrainian sweet cheese in a crystal dish with a spoon.
Pieces of syrnyk in a crystal dish.
4.9 from 13 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.

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.

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51 Comments
  1. Mary Lou Brown

    This looks yummy! But when I adjusted the recipe for 12 servings, it adjusted the ingredients but still called for a 9×13 pan for 50-60 minutes. Shouldn’t the pan be smaller?

    1. The recipe card doesn’t have the functionality to adjust the instructions and pan size. It simply calculates the ingredient amounts. I’d say you could bake it in a square pan, but I don’t know the exact time so you’d have to keep an eye on it.

  2. 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

    1. Wendi Williams

      Haven’t tried it yet..thinkingof making at my bakery as a fund raiser for World Central Kitchen for Ukrainian refugees..Wondering if it could be made in little cheesecake pans with removable bottoms?

  3. 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?

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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. 🙂

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

  14. 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!

    1. It’s is really good. I actually want to try decreasing the sugar sometime, but forms traditional dish on Easter, I didn’t want to mess with it the first time I made it.

  15. 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!

  16. 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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