SHAVUOT RECIPE: New York Cheesecake

This light, creamy cheesecake fits into your green Shavuot, especially if you make it with organic cheese and eggs. It’s also light on sugar.

The ancient Romans left a simple cheesecake recipe: ricotta cheese, honey, and eggs.  Pour into a clay saucer. Bake over coals. That still works, but for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, we favor this recipe. It’s  got just that hint of lemon and vanilla that makes you feel like you need another slice now, before someone else lays hands on it. And it fits into your domestic Jewish eco-activities, because it’s home-made – much healthier and more delicious than margarine-laden bakery products.

Have three bowls at hand, 1 large, 1 medium, 1 small. Prepare a cake pan either with baking paper or by greasing it with sweet butter and coating it with flour.  And do not preheat the oven: you want to start baking cold.

New York Cheesecake

6 servings: double the ingredients and bake in a larger pan for 12 servings.


6 eggs

3 Tblsp. sugar, plus 6 Tblsp. later

500 grams – 1 lb. – 2 cups –  soft, creamy white cheese – here in Israel I use 9% white cheese

1 tsp. vanilla essence

Juice of 1 lemon

6 Tblsp. sifted flour


1. Separate the eggs.

Keep the whites in the large bowl.

Put 3 of the yolks in the medium bowl; in the small bowl, the other 3 yolks.

2. In the medium bowl, beat the 3 yolks with the 3 Tblsp. sugar and all of the cheese. Mix well till smooth.

3. Whip all the egg whites till stiff.

4. To the whites, add the 6 Tblsp. sugar and whip till the whites make smooth peaks.

5. Add the flour, the lemon juice, the 3 yolks from the small bowl and the vanilla.

Mix very well. This is the batter.

6. Pour 2/3 of the batter into the baking pan.

7. Mix the remaining third of the batter into the cheese mixture. Mix well.

8. Pour this new mixture straight into the center of the batter in the pan.

Bake at  300°F – 150° C for one hour.  Turn the oven off, but don’t remove the cake: just open the oven door a crack and let the cake cool inside. Once cooled down, store the cake in the fridge.


More Green Prophet recipes for your Shavuot meals:

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6 thoughts on “SHAVUOT RECIPE: New York Cheesecake”

  1. Leslie says:

    Hi Miriam,
    Thank you, I googled white cheese and there were a few recipes of it being made with buttermilk. I think though I will follow your advice on what to use. The sour cream in cheesecloth reminds me of how my grandmother used to make laban out of yogurt.
    Again thank you and be well 🙂

  2. Leslie says:

    I accidentally came across your recipe and was wondering if your “creamy white cheese” is ricotta or a totally different cheese. Can I find it here in the States and under what name or can I use ricotta or another cheese instead, and what kind ?
    Thank you for taking the time to answer me 🙂

    1. Miriam Kresh says:

      Leslie, you can use cream cheese, or sour cream poured into a cheesecloth bag (improvised) and hung from your kitchen faucet to drip overnight. It will be thick and good to use for this recipe by morning.

  3. Miriam Kresh says:

    LOL…the oven I had at the time I photographed the cake had a wonky thermostat.

  4. Randy says:

    So, why is it burnt?

  5. Maaya says:

    hey this cake looks so yummy. i love shavuot and all the cheese cakes especially. its a great holiday for those who love cheesecake

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