Ost Kaka - An Orange and Vanilla Swedish Cheesecake

Orange and Vanilla Ost Kaka

I found old postcards that were never written in, places I used to think were magic. My mother took me to Las Vegas when I was 14; we sat by the pool and saw the Hoover Dam. A postcard in Rome, nothing special—tattered and dog-eared. It had a photo of an old Pope on the corner, his face creased and the cheap ink smudged. A million places, memories. I thought I would scrapbook, I thought I would mail them to people I love. I just let them wrinkle in an old box under my bed. I forget where all I’ve been and the memories I’ve held onto. They’re nothing special—tattered and dog-eared from revisiting them so often before bed.

I’ve been away for two weeks now, traveling got the best of me. I’m working on projects, I’m changing how I work. I bought a plate in New Orleans and a keychain in the airport for my mother. A magnet for the fridge, a baseball cap for my father. I’ve eaten nothing but cereal for two days straight, too lazy and tired and nervous to have much else. I keep thinking back to before I left, the last dish I made in my parents’ house. I found the recipe in an old tattered book, a church cookbook with its pages tattered and dog-eared, too. It’s a Swedish cheesecake, a Scandinavian dessert, an ost kaka is the term they use, but mine is scented and aromatic with orange and vanilla. A custard, a curd, a warmth I haven’t felt when I travel so much—the Freon air conditioner leaves my eyes dry and my hands reaching for something to cover up with.

Orange and Vanilla Ost Kaka

Orange and Vanilla Ost Kaka

This recipe is divine. Light and so surprisingly refreshing. This dessert requires a casserole dish with a 6-cup capacity and you will be using a bain-marie, which can be a little tricky but worth it for a delicate custard dish like this.


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 vanilla pod, split with seeds scraped and removed
  • 1 orange – reserve all zest and ½ the juice
  • 3 cup small curd cottage cheese (not low-fat)
  • ¾ cup AP flou


  1. Butter your baking or casserole dish and preheat oven to 425*F
  2. Boil about 6 cups of water in a kettle
  3. Beat eggs in a large bowl with a whisk until yolks are broken
  4. Slowly add sugars in a steady stream
  5. Add your almond extract and your vanilla
  6. Stir in your orange juice and zest
  7. Add your cottage cheese and beat quickly to mix into your egg and sugar mixture
  8. Finally, gently fold in flour
  9. Pour into your prepared casserole dish
  10. Put casserole into a rectangular baking dish, pour boiling water into the baking dish until ¾ of the way up the sides of the casserole dish (called a bain-marie)
  11. Bake for about 40 minutes, until top is golden and middle is firm with just the slightest wiggle
  12. Gently remove pans from oven and remove casserole from bain-marie
  13. Allow to cool before servin

Orange and Vanilla Ost Kaka
Orange and Vanilla Ost Kaka
Orange and Vanilla Ost Kaka
Orange and Vanilla Ost Kaka