Zapekanka...Russian Easy Cheesecake (Творожная Запеканка)

A zapekanka is a super easy cheesecake that comes from Russian roots.  Speckled with dry fruits, plenty of good vanilla and some orange zest, this will be your new go to dessert when you want plenty of flavor without much effort!  Best of all I even include an Instant Pot option!

Course Dessert
Cuisine Russian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 people
Calories 219 kcal


  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 /2 cup sour cream
  • 1 lb ricotta cheese drained if too wet
  • 2 tbsp farina or flour
  • 1 whole orange zested
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • butter to butter a pan


Instructions for an Oven

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9-by 5-inches loaf pan.

  2. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until light, fluffy and pale yellow, about 8 to 10 minutes.

  3. In another large bowl whisk Ricotta, salt, sour cream and vanilla until very smooth and well combined.

  4. Slowly add the egg and sugar mixture until fully incorporated; then mix in the farina. 

  5. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the orange peel, raisins and dried cranberries.

  6. Spread the batter in the prepared loaf pan, place in the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 40-50 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and isn't loose in the center.

  7. When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes on a wire rack. Then run a paring knife around the edges and carefully invert to a serving platter. Serve with fresh and berries and powdered sugar if desired.

Instructions for the Instant Pot

  1. Make the batter per instructions above.

  2. Butter the cake insert and pour in the batter into the pan evenly.

  3. Cover the pan with foil.

  4. Place the trivet that comes with the Instant pot inside and add in 1.5 cups of water.  

  5. Place the pan with the batter into the Instant Pot.

  6. Turn the Instant Pot to "Manual" or "Pressure Cook" on high for 35 minutes.  Allow for a natural release for 15 minutes.

  7. The next step is crucial!!! Ensure that the zapekanka cheesecake chills for an hour in the fridge before cutting into it.  Then it will have the perfect texture.

Recipe Notes

  1. If you do not want to cut up the orange zest, you can also use a grater to just take the zest off and use that.
  2. Nutritional information is for guidance purposes only.
Nutrition Facts
Zapekanka...Russian Easy Cheesecake (Творожная Запеканка)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 219 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 14%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 110mg 37%
Sodium 83mg 3%
Potassium 123mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 24g 8%
Sugars 18g
Protein 9g 18%
Vitamin A 7.4%
Vitamin C 1.7%
Calcium 15.2%
Iron 8.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.