Tschechischer Käsekuchen {Poppy Seed Sponge Cheesecake}

Classic German Desserts

This is my last post for the Vegan Month of Food. I enjoyed being a part of this again very much. It has been a great September and I found so many awesome new blogs. I read a lot of inspiring posts and saved plenty delicious looking and unique recipes. Thank you very much to everybody who read my posts. Extra special thanks to those who also took the time to comment or even tried one of my recipes! For me you’ve made every single day during the month of September.

For this Vegan Month of Food I wanted to do an A to Z of German desserts. Even though I baked a lot this month I wasn’t able to complete my list and to accept everybody’s requests for recipes. Today for example I’ll end VeganMoFo with the letter T although I got several requests for S as in Schwarzwälder Kirsschtorte and Sachertorte (which is very Viennese and not German at all but still a popular dessert here). And where the heck is the rest of the alphabet? But don’t worry. I will carry on with my project during the next months and I am already working on the S.

Tschechischer Käsekuchen

The cake I have for you today is a traditional German cake in an unique way. It is called Tschechischer Käsekuchen (Czech Cheesecake) but I honestly doubt that it is Czech. The original version is both made with Quark (fresh curd cheese) and poppy seeds and some people might consider this typically Czech. But this combination can be found in many German and Austrian cakes as well. So why did I include it in this list? I think what makes this cake very German is the fact that it is from a Dr. Oetker baking book and calls for quite a few of their ingredients. (Dr. Oetker is the German version of Betty Crocker.) And by ingredients I do not mean baking powder. I mean those ingredients that are supposed to make baking and desserts easy for you. Easy, if you think you don’t have the time to make stuff from scratch. Or if baking intimidates you. I know many people who use cake mixes and other convenience products for baking. I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. I grew up with all these little packages filled with some powder that magically turned into custard or cake if you added just a couple of fresh ingredients. And in our household those packages were always made by Dr. Oetker. If you didn’t use their products, you probably had one or two of their baking books, which are filled with easy and often foolproof recipes.

These days I don’t buy their products because I like to make stuff from scratch. Plus, most of their products aren’t vegan anyway. But I thought it was a nice challenge to try to veganise a cake that calls for Mohnback (prepared poppy seed cake filling), Vanillepudding (vanilla custard), and Saucenpulver (instant vanilla sauce powder) in one single recipe. My cake probably came out a little differently than the original version. Which doesn’t matter because veganising and improvising something often takes you in another interesting and new direction. And that is what vegan baking and cooking is all about! Making this cake was much easier than I thought. The crust calls for curd cheese and cream, I just made a spongecake. The filling, which calls for curd cheese, eggs, vanilla custard, and that weird vanilla sauce mix was made with yoghurt, starch, sugar, chickpea flour, and coconut oil instead. It came out very firm and custard like. But I imagine the original would have come out like that, too. For the poppy seed topping I just used my own version for poppy seed cake filling, which works just as well as a storebought filling.

Tschechischer Käsekuchen

(for one 18 cm or 7 inch springform pan)

100 g (3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons) flour
80 g sugar (1/4 cup plus 1/8 cup plus 1 teaspoon)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 pinch salt
100 ml (1/4 cup plus 1/8 cup plus 2 teaspoons) soy milk
60 ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil

300 g (1 cup plus 1/4 cup) vanilla soy yoghurt
30 g (1/4 cup) cornstarch
2 tablespoons chickpea flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons melted, refined coconut oil
optional: 50 g (1/4 cup) sugar (I made mine without since the yoghurt is already sweetened. But some of my taste testers thought the cake might benefit from a little more sweetness.)

70 g (1/2 cup) poppy seeds, ground
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tablespoons hot water
2 tablespoons soft, refined coconut oil
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch

To make the batter:
Grease the pan and set aside. I wrapped my springform pan in alumninium foil to prevent the batter from leaking. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F).
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and mix to combine. Add soy milk and oil and stir until combined. Pour into cake pan. Prebake for 15 minutes and remove from oven.

To make the filling:
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Pour over the prebaked crust.

To make the topping:
Combine poppy seeds, sugar, and vanilla. Add hot water and oil. Stir well until oil has melted and everything is combined. Stir in flour and starch. Use a spoon to distribute on top of the cake. Bake the cake for another 30 minutes. Remove, let cool and use a knife to loosen the edges. Carefully remove pan.


  • I just saw your Vegan MoFo theme now (late or what?) but these all look amazing! As someone who has German pastry chefs as parents, a lot of these are familiar and it’s so great to see them veganized. I have veganized Nussecken before and remember all the effort that went into those, so I can only imagine all the work you put into this month! Thanks so much, I can’t wait to get into some of these :D

    • Mihl
      5 years ago

      Thank you, Emma!

  • 5 years ago

    I absolutely love dessert. Who doesn’t, really? I love taking risks with it and making recipes that are totally different than the norm and this covers it! I can’t wait for an occasion to try it out!

  • kristy
    5 years ago

    wow! it looks so delicious – it’s definitely on my to-try list! your blog has been my favourite during mofo. everything you make is fascinating and scrumptious! (made and loved your donauvelle, by the way)

  • 5 years ago

    Another cheesecake made without vegan cream cheese! Awesome! You really owned this year’s MoFo like no other! You should get some sort of medal of honor or a crown or a star named after you or something! :)

  • 5 years ago

    I have really enjoyed your series of posts and am glad that they will continue – it has been great to learn about German baking and see how your experiments have gone (all look delicious to me) – I like your discussion of Dr Oetker – I can’t think of a company in Australia that both is famous for cookbooks and products but I know of the Betty Crocker stuff. Sounds like a great cheesecake (aren’t they all)

  • 5 years ago

    I’ve loved your posts all month long. I am amazed every time by how amazing your food looks! I feel like visiting Germany again!

  • Mihl! Congratulations on finishing your unbelievably impressive MoFo! Really, yours was one of my favorite Mofos to read. I’m just in awe of your amazing dessert-making skills! You are pretty awesome.

    This one looks, of course, so good! I have a lot of poppy seeds…actually, I think I have all of these ingredients at the ready, but only half the required amount of yogurt. Is there a potential substitute for that, or should I wait till I’m properly stocked?

    Thanks for all of these amazing recipes!

  • 5 years ago

    So lovely! I adore poppy seeds in desserts and I might have to try this. My sweetheart is nervous about my making vegan pudding-type-things (there was a banana pudding incident years ago) but I feel like your creations could not possibly ever lead me astray!

  • How I miss this! Your work for this MoFo is remarkable and cannot wait for the Schwarzwälder Kirsschtorte, my favorite!

  • 5 years ago

    That cake did not sound very vegan to start with, awesome job (and very brave) veganising it! :)

  • 5 years ago

    oooh, I am a big fan of custardy desserts, and I love the German poppyseeds-in-desserts thing… so this one is right up my alley!! I pretty much have to bookmark your whole entire mofo for this year. SUCH AMAZING POSTS, Mihl!! and I am so glad you’re going to keep poking away at this project. :) I can’t wait to see what else you come up with to share with us!

  • 5 years ago

    OH YEAH! I know of a few people that would love this!

  • 5 years ago

    What a beautiful dessert. I’ve never used poppy seeds before but they certainly seem to feature in a lot of German sweets.
    Congratulations on completing your posts for Vegan MoFo! I agree, it’s been a great month and I’ve got so many recipes stored up as well as a lot of inspiration.
    I’ve done 21 posts and am up to “U” in the alphabet but want to finish so am going to try and keep posting every day until Thursday!

  • 5 years ago

    Congrats on finishing the month! I’ve really enjoyed drooling over your creations, and learning about all sorts of delights I’d never heard of.

    This poppyseed topping is very interesting – I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it! Dr Oetker is mainly seen as a purveyor of ‘Italian-style’ frozen pizzas here in France, strangely enough!

  • Mia
    5 years ago

    Thank you so much Mihl for sharing these amazing recipes. I am looking forward to trying more of them. I am so glad you will be continuing this theme after Mofo. You are a star – keep shining!

  • 5 years ago

    I have really enjoyed reading your MoFo themed post. My dad’s side of the family is German, though he is not a baker and my grandparents were in a different state (and I don’t think they did much baking either), so I feel an odd kind of wistfulness towards these recipes.

  • 5 years ago

    Vegan Mofo might be coming to an end, but it’s not like I’m going to stop following your blog or anything, I need to see what Z is going ot be! :) I’ve seen plenty of Dr. Oetker products but I had no idea that it was basically the German version of Betty Crocker. I like premade stuff every now and then, but it’s always more interesting and fun to make something yourself, I’d much rather get my learn on. I’m super impressed with how you veganized this one Mihl, it looks incredible!

  • 5 years ago

    Congratulations! You easily had my favorite theme of the month!
    I also am very intrigued by this poppy seed topping. I love them, and never know what to do once I buy a bag. A pound lasts far too long. This seems like a great way to use some!

  • 5 years ago

    how cleverly you veganized this. It looks so nice. I love finding out all about traditional German cakes..thank you!


  • vega
    5 years ago

    ich habe heute auch einen mohnkuchen gebacken :-)
    aber deiner sieht wesentlich besser aus!
    lg, vega

  • 5 years ago

    Veganizing custardy things is always a challenge to me…this looks melt-in-your-mouth delicious and easy enough for even a kitchen klutz like me to try. Thank you for sharing the recipe!
    Happy Hug A Vegan Day! :)

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