This is one of my favorite, easy sheet cake recipes because it combines a creamy, cheese filling and streusel, the crunchy-sweet topping. It goes together in three parts but each part is uncomplicated, with few ingredients.
Makes one 9 x 13 inch pan, about 12 servings.
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
- 2 c. flour
- 1/2 package dry yeast (1 heaping teaspoon) or 1/2 cube of fresh yeast
- 1/2 c. lukewarm milk (110°F)
- 2 T. butter
- 2 T. sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 5 T. butter
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 6 T. sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 c. Quark or yogurt cheese
- 2 T. cornstarch
- Streusel Topping:
- 1 1/2 c. flour
- 2/3 c. sugar
- 1/2 c. butter
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Make the yeast dough: Place the flour in a bowl and create a hollow in it with the back of a spoon. Crumble fresh yeast or sprinkle dry yeast in the hollow, fill with the lukewarm milk, add a pinch of sugar and mix a little to incorporate some of the flour. Let the sponge sit in a warm place for 15 minutes.
After the yeast is activated and showing strong growth, add the butter, salt and sugar to the milk and mix the dough, incorporating the flour as you go. You may also use a stand mixer for this step. Continue mixing until the dough is smooth and forms a ball. Add a little more flour if necessary. Form dough into a ball, place in a greased bowl, turning once, and cover. Let rise 15 to 30 minutes.
Roll out on a lightly floured board to a 9 x 13 inch rectangle and transfer to a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Press towards the edges gently, creating a lip (like a pizza crust). Let this dough rest while you mix the filling and topping.
Make the filling: Cream together butter, sugar and lemon zest for 2 minutes. Add the egg and beat until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as you go. Add the Quark or yogurt cheese, mixing until smooth. Sprinkle the cornstarch on top and mix to incorporate.
Smooth the filling over the yeast dough.
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Make the streusel topping: Mix 1 1/2 cups of flour, 2/3 cup sugar, salt and cinnamon. Using your hands or a pastry mixer, cut 7 tablespoons butter into the flour mix until you have course crumbs. Sprinkle these crumbs on top of the Quark filling.
Bake the cake at 350°F for 30 minutes, or until cake is lightly browned and filling is almost set. Filling will set up more as it cools.
This cake freezes well. After defrosting, crisp it up for a few minutes by placing it in a 350°F oven.
Tip: Make this cake the modern way. Add instant dried yeast and all dough ingredients to a bowl and mix together to form a smooth dough. Allow 30 minutes to rest, then proceed as above.