Cheesecake + Cook in Israel Cookbook Announcement

As a freelance writer and photographer, I’m always juggling various projects and assignments of differing scopes. I’m very excited to announce one with which I have a great personal connection at this point, one that took up a lot of my time and creative energy in the past year, and one that I am very, very proud of. Cook in Israel: Home Cooking Inspiration with Orly Ziv is a collection of 100 recipes, each with a color photo and many with step-by-step photos. I edited the book and took all the photographs, working closely with Orly and our talented designer Idit Yatzkan ( to create exactly the cookbook she’d dreamed of producing.

Cook in Israel Cheesecake

Cookbooks are my passion, and I knew after creating my own mini e-cookbook just how much I love working on them, so I’m grateful for the opportunity to have collaborated so closely on this amazing project. Orly leads culinary tours throughout Israel and cooking classes out of her home in Tel Aviv (if you’re ever in Israel you should take one of her amazing Cook in Israel tour-class combos!). Orly is an amazing cook and, as a dietician, her food is naturally healthy and balanced. All 100 recipes in the book represent dishes that she makes at home all the time for her family, and it really is an intimate peak into her kitchen. It’s the kind of food I want to eat every day, and in fact many of the recipes are now in my regular rotation – I got to sample every. single. recipe in this book, and I can seriously attest to their deliciousness. They’re super accessible, the kind of food that looks impressive but took minutes to whip up.

Cook in Israel Falafel Sample

And, although Israeli food is gaining more international recognition, there’s still a dearth of high quality, English-language Israeli cookbooks. I’m proud to say that this is one I’d buy in a second if I saw it on the shelf. Most of the recipes are vegetarian (there is a section on fish, and a few beef recipes that her children can’t live without), and they are all kosher. These are Jewish recipes, but like you’ve never seen them before – they represent the cultural heritage of all the inhabitants of Israel, who have come from around the world. So there are recipes inspired by Orly’s own Greek-Jewish heritage, but also Bukharan, Iraqi, Turkish, Moroccan, and Arab.

Cheesecake Recipe for Mother's Day

This cheesecake recipe from Cook in Israel is perfect for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, which is next week – it’s a holiday that celebrates dairy in all its glory. It would also be lovely to make for mother’s day to serve at brunch, withtea, or after dinner. I love Israeli-style cheesecakes like this, which are lighter and more delicate than the American versions I grew up with.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Israeli-Style Cheesecake
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
This cheesecake recipe is a favorite of Orly's son in particular, and he requests it every year on his birthday. It's also perfect for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot or Mother's Day.
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: Israeli
Yield: Makes 1 cake
For the Dough:
  • 80 g (5½ Tbs.) butter
  • 125 g (1 cup) self-rising flour
  • 25 g (2 Tbs.) sugar
  • 2 egg yolks (reserve whites for cake)
For the Filling:
  • 750 g soft white cheese like Israeli “ski” (sub whipped cream cheese)
  • 3 eggs and 2 whites
  • 200 g (1 cup) sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups lowfat sour cream
  • 20 g (1½ Tbs.) vanilla sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F.
  2. Mix together the dough ingredients by hand or in a stand mixer until well combined. Press into a deep, 26-centimeter/10-inch cake pan so it evenly covers the bottom. Bake about 10 minutes, until golden.
  3. Remove from the oven, set aside, and lower the oven to 170°C/300°F.
  4. Mix together the white cheese, eggs and egg whites, regular sugar and vanilla extract. Pour over the pre-baked dough and bake for 50 minutes.
  5. Mix together the sour cream and vanilla sugar and pour on top of the cake. Don’t be afraid – the pan might look very full but it will deflate slightly.
  6. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight before serving. The longer it stays in the fridge (for 1 to 2 days) the better!
Kosher Dairy, Vegetarian

Please support us by buying a copy of the cookbook (more info HERE)! It can be shipped worldwide. It will be available on Amazon and as an e-book in the near future.


  1. SO nice to visit you again! Congrats on the cookbook…it looks amazing!!! xo

  2. Congratulations on the lovely book. It’s just the kind of cookbook I love!

  3. Well done on the cookbook! It looks awesome 🙂

  4. Congratulations on the cookbook. Your photos are always gorgeous and the cookbook looks so as well. Thanks for hosting the party. Have a wonderful weekend!

  5. You are so right about Israeli cookbooks. When I was there I saw the inside of many shops. The cookbooks offered in English were very dated. This looks like one I would have bought!

  6. Congrats on the cookbook! It looks terrific. As does the cheesecake! Great photos. Thanks so much.

  7. Congratulations on the beautiful cookbook! I can’t wait to check it out. We LOVE Israeli cheesecake – our favorite kind – and I’ll be making this for Shavuot.

  8. Congratulations on the cookbook! The photos look amazing!

  9. Wow, that cookbook sounds awesome! That cheesecake was enough to convince me – putting it on my wishlist right away! 🙂

  10. Congrats Katherine – what a lovely book and fun project to be part of!

  11. The cookbook looks fantastic! Congratulations and I’m jealous that you got to taste each and every recipe 🙂

  12. Congrats Katherine – what an exciting project! It all sounds simply divine 🙂

  13. Congratulations on this book: it must be amazing!

    And that cheesecake… delicious!

  14. What a neat project! Your cheesecake looks so creamy and delicious!

  15. Congrats, Katherine! It looks beautiful, and obvs, I can’t wait to buy it!

  16. Daryl Cantor

    This cookbook is magnificent!!! The photography is exquisite!!! I wrote down 27 recipes I am going to try!!! Just WONDERFUL Orly and Katherine!!!!
    Daryl Cantor


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