This recipe is for a Tvorozhnaya Zapekanka which is a delicious warming cottage cheese and semolina bake, with eggs, sultanas, sour cream and a small amount of sugar. It’s basically a cheese cake but it’s not meant to be too sweet and it is crustless. Rather than the cheese cakes most commonly known, this is baked quickly and most commonly served warm as a breakfast dish, but depending on what you put in it, it can also be served as a dessert. I’m sharing a recipe that is the most basic one and then it’s up to you if you would like to add any other ingredients – experiment with fresh berries or orange zest, lemon zest or any other dried fruit. However I do recommend giving this classic a go!

This recipe is quick to put together and it’s best made with cottage cheese that is traditional and dry. I wouldn’t recommend making this recipe with a cottage cheese that has a lot of liquid – as the consistency will be too moist. So just pick the brand that you use carefully!

Recipe for the Zapekanka

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: Approximately 25 minutes

Serves 3

*Just note the Zapekanka in the image is double the below quantity as I was making it for a larger group of people! Feel free to double the quantities below for a larger serving like in the image above.


1/2 kg cottage cheese (Dry cottage cheese)

1 x egg

2 tbsp semolina + extra for coating the tray surface

1 tbsp sour cream + 1-2 tbsp sour cream for the top surface and extra for serving (Use a full fat sour cream)

1-2 tbsp sugar (or more if you would like)

50g sultanas/raisins/chopped dried fruits (or more if you would like)

1tbsp butter or oil (for coating the tray surface)




  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. In a medium size mixing bowl add the cottage cheese, egg, semolina, sour cream, sugar, and sultanas. Use a fork to combine the ingredients together thoroughly. Use the fork to work the mixture for a few minutes.
  3. Prepare a small-medium baking tray/ spring-form cake pan (round or rectangular) by evenly spreading the butter or oil over the surface then sprinkle with an extra large pinch of the semolina all around or use baking paper to cover the surface.
  4. Transfer the cottage cheese mixture into the baking tray/cake form and even out the surface (don’t press down too much) then evenly spread out the 1-2 tbsp of sour cream over the surface. Place it into the oven to cook for approximately 25 minutes. The Zapekanka is ready once the surface has risen and is golden in colour.
  5. Remove the Zapekanka from the oven and allow to cool slightly for 5 minutes. The top surface will naturally fall a bit. Remove from the tray or slice directly in the tray to serve!

Serve as is or with sour cream and/or berries.



Breakfast Mains Sides