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Kachol v’Lavan Cheesecake Squares


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Kachol v'Lavan Cheesecake Squares


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Kachol v’Lavan Cheesecake Squares

* Gvina levana is a soft white cheese, similar in consistency to sour cream or yogurt. Although it’s traditionally part of Israeli meals, you can also find it in Lakewood and some parts of New York. (If you find it elsewhere, I'd love to hear about it.) You can also use Greek yogurt, it was just a bit more tangy.


  • Prep Time : 20 min
  • Cook Time : 55 min
  • Ready Time : 1 hour, 15 min





    • 200 g chocolate wafers, finely crushed (to equal about one cup crumbs)
    • ¼ cup butter, melted
    • additional butter to grease dish


    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 500 g 5% gvina levana *
    • 500 g 9% gvina levana *
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 Tbsp potato starch


    • 3 drops blue food coloring


    1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, finely crush the wafers into crumbs. Melt ¼ cup butter and mix into the crumbs.

    2. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8×8 baking dish with butter and press a sheet of parchment paper into it. This will make it easy to remove the cheesecake later for slicing.

    3. Press the wafer crumb mixture into the bottom of the dish with your fingers. Press down on it with a drinking glass to even it out. Bake for 9 minutes.

    4. Meanwhile, place all filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fully incorporated. Set aside ½ cup of batter.

    4. Remove crust from the oven and leave the oven on. Scoop the cheesecake batter onto the crust, spreading it evenly with a (silicone) spatula.

    5. Add food coloring to the reserved batter and mix well. Drop nine little spoonfuls of the blue batter onto the top of the unbaked cheesecake. Using a knife, gently “cut” the surface of the cheesecake diagonally in both directions. You’ll be making “S” shapes on an angle.

    6. Bake for 55 minutes, peeking every now and then (through the door – don’t open the oven) to make sure the surface hasn’t browned or cracked. After 55 minutes, turn off the oven and let the cheesecake sit inside for an additional 75 minutes.

    7. When that last timer finally goes off, remove the cheesecake from the oven and set aside to cool. Lift it out of the baking dish and slice into squares. Store in the refrigerator, allowing them to chill thoroughly before serving.

    For Step by Step photos click here.


    About Tali Simon


    Tali Simon left U.S. News & World Report to move to Israel in 2010. She is now a happily settled writer, editor, and food blogger living near the Dead Sea. She loves to cook, and her skinny husband loves to eat. It works well. Catch up on Tali's latest kosher vegetarian recipes at More Quiche, Please.




    11 Responses to Kachol v’Lavan Cheesecake Squares

    1. Tip: Gvina levana is sold in Toronto, sources tell me. Check for Norman’s and Tnuva brands.

    2. avatar says: jraphi

      You can use cream cheese with equally good results-whole fat and Neufchatel being substituted. We like it better with cream cheese.

    3. This sounds like Labne which is available in Mediterranean stores as well as many markets here in the Los Angeles area.

    4. avatar says: Tam

      You can get it at Costco in Brooklyn. How much do you need in total? The recipe lists 500 gr two times.

    5. Tam, the recipe calls for it in two different fat percentages. The total amount needed is 1 kilo, or about 35 ounces.

    6. Are chocolate wafers chocolate biscuits (bisquitim) or chocolate flavored wafer cookies that are shaped like strips or squares that have a waffle pattern on them?

    7. are cheesecake squares appropriate for Passover? thanks

      • Sure! You can use crushed passover cookies in the crust. (I don’t know if you’ll be able to find passover food coloring, but you can just skip the swirl topping.)

    8. avatar says: Ariela

      Hi Tali
      Its so funny to find this recipe from a different website. Out of all the recipes i chose this one and then your name shows up. :D

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