This chocolate cheesecake aka Russischer Zupfkuchen is a real classic – it’s like a wedding between brownies and cheesecake. What could be better?

We also entered the German name in the title and would like to explain this a bit further. The name basically contains 3 parts: “Russischer” means Russian, “Zupf” (from the German “zupfen”) means to pick or to pluck and “Kuchen” is German for cake.

When you follow our recipe below, you will learn that you need to pick little balls of the chocolate dough and “throw” them into the cheesecake.

So far, so good – but what has this got to do with Russia? Is this a typical russian recipe? To be honest: No! It is actually a German recipe which was baked during a baking competition organized by the German Company Dr. Oetker. This company is famous for it’s baking recipe and offers all kinds of ingredients.

Before the cake went into the oven, those little chocolate dough balls reminded of the spires of russian churches. That is when the cake got its name. Since 1993 there is even a baking mixture – of course produced by Dr. Oetker – for this cake. However, we decided we could also do it without so here is our recipe.

Things to know before you start

Time Schedule

Steps Work time Waiting time
Mix – Chocolate dough ~10 minutes
Rest 30 minutes
Melt butter ~5 minutes
Coat springform pan ~15 minutes
Mix – Filling ~10 minutes
Scatter chocolate dough ~10 minutes
Bake 60 minutes
Cool 8-24 hours

In under 11 hours you will have a delicious chocolate cheesecake aka Russischer Zupfkuchen. As this is also some kind of cheesecake you should let it cool in the fridge overnight, before you start eating it.

Total ingredients

Weight Ingredient
300 g All-purpose flour
250 g White sugar
400 g Butter
4x Eggs
10 g Baking powder
30 g Cocoa powder – Unsweetened
2 packages (~16 g) Vanilla sugar
500 g Farmer’s cheese (40% fat)
1 package (~37 g) Instant vanilla pudding mix
1x Vanilla bean

With all of these ingredients you will have a great chocolate cheesecake of about 1.800 g.


Simple to bake but you need to be patient during the cooling phase for a perfect result.

Baking tools

In order to get the best size for this cheesecake you will need a 26 cm springform pan. Besides that having a simple hand mixer, two bowls and a bit of cling film should be enough.


1. Mix – Chocolate Dough

Chocolate Cheesecake aka Russischer Zupfkuchen Ingredients

Weight Ingredient
300 g All-purpose flour
30 g Cocoa powder – Unsweetened
10 g Baking powder
125 g White sugar
1 package (~8 g) Vanilla sugar
150 g Butter (softened)
1x Eggs
  • Start by sifting in the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder and baking powder
  • Mix with a hand mixer using dough hooks
  • Add white sugar, vanilla sugar, softened butter and egg and mix until well combined

2. Rest

  • Form a ball out of the chocolate dough
  • Wrap it in cling film
  • Place in the fridge for 30 minutes

3. Melt Butter

Weight Ingredient
250 g Butter (melted)
  • Place the butter in a pot and bring it to low / medium heat
  • Stir while cooking
  • After whe whole butter is melted put it aside to cool down

Chocolate Cheesecake aka Russischer Zupfkuchen Smelt Butter

4. Coat Springform Pan

  • Grease a 26 cm springform pan with butter on bottom and all sides
  • Take the chocolate dough out of the fridge and divide in half
  • Put one half aside and use the first one for coating the springform pan
  • Press the previously created dough into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan tightly
  • Tip: A measuring cup can come in handy for pressing the dough down

5. Mix – Filling

Weight Ingredient
3x Eggs
125 g White sugar
1 package (~8 g) Vanilla sugar
Butter (melted)
500 g Farmer’s cheese (40% fat)
1 package (~37 g) Instant vanilla pudding mix
1x Vanilla bean
  • Mix all of the mentioned ingredients together with the hand mixer on low speed
  • Start by adding the vanilla sugar and eggs
  • Afterwards add the previously melted butter, farmer’s cheese, instant vanilla pudding
  • Scrape the insides of the vanilla bean and also add them to the mixture
  • You want to have a homogenous mass so don’t mix too long
  • As the last step, pour the whole mixture into the coated springform pan

6. Scatter Chocolate Dough

  • Take the other half of the chocolate dough you previously have put aside
  • Scatter it around the top of the filling

Chocolate Cheesecake aka Russischer Zupfkuchen Sprinkleled Cchocolate Dough On Cheese Mass

    7. Bake

    • Put a bowl with about 500 g water on the bottom of the oven and a baking grill in the middle
    • Preheat it to 165°C (329°F) for ~20 minutes with the upper and lower heat function
    • Add the chocolate cheesecake and bake for 60 minutes
    • After 60 minutes of baking turn the oven off and slightlty open the oven door

    Chocolate Cheesecake aka Russischer Zupfkuchen Baking

    8. Cool

    • For a good result you want to cool down the chocolate cheesecake very slowly
    • As mentioned before start the cooling down process by slightly opening the oven door for 60 minutes
    • Afterwards place the cake on the counter for further cooling of 3 hours
    • As the last step, put it in the fridge and let it chill for at least 4 hours
    • I know it is hard but to achieve the perfect result for this chocolate cheesecake aka Russischer Zupfkuchen you should let it chill overnight



    As per our introduction, this cake seems like a wedding between brownies and cheesecake. It has the slightly crunchy and fudgy base which reminds of a brownie and the creamy, soft topping which reminds of a cheesecake.

    As we used real vanilla, we reduced the amount of vanilla sugar a bit. You can taste the vanilla but it is not this overwhelming vanilla taste that overshadows all other tastes.

    The taste combination of cheesecake with vanilla flavour and chocolate brownies is just so delicious and saturating. You will just love this “Russischer Zupfkuchen” – and so will your friends and family.