Romanian Sweet Cheese Pie Recipe – Placinta cu Branza Dulce

Three slices of the cheese pie cut in squares, on a blue plate. The pie is next to the plate, on a wooden board.

Romanian sweet cheese pie is one of my favourite desserts. I was first introduced to it when I was just a little girl. My grandfather, who I barely knew as he passed away too soon, made it for me and have loved it ever since.

There are many different types of cheese pies in Romania, and even in my own family, this dessert was made in different ways. My grandmother, whom I would spend all my holidays with, would make it the same way as my grandfather. When I visited my other grandma, she would make it using a different recipe, with the dough rolled and the filling in the middle. The taste was very different as well, with one being aromatic and sweet, and the other one more savoury, with a crunchier texture to the pastry. The reason the 2 pies are so different is because my father’s family was from Transylvania, whilst my mother’s family was from the South of the country.

In this article I will tell you my grandfather’s recipe, of my favourite Romanian sweet cheese pie.

Ingredients for the Romanian Sweet Cheese Pie Recipe

A white bowl with pink polka dots on it, with cottage cheese and sugar inside it. Next to it there is a packet of semolina, as well as a small terracotta bowl filled with raisins which are soaking in the rum essence.

The most important ingredient in this Romanian sweet cheese pie is actually the cheese. You must use Romanian cottage cheese in order to achieve that perfect balance of flavour. You can find this cottage cheese at any Romanian shop, and sometimes even at Polish or Turkish shops.

From my experience, the English cottage cheese is too creamy and seems to have sour cream added to it, making it very soft. Romanian cottage cheese is more like a paste when you mash it, which is the texture you need for this recipe. You could use ricotta instead, but again, the taste will be different as ricotta has a slight sweetness to it, whilst the Romanian cottage cheese doesn’t.

The other important ingredient, but not as crucial as the cheese, is rum essence. You can also use vanilla essence as a substitute. 

How to Make the Romanian Sweet Cheese Pie

The pie inside the baking tray. You can see the dough and the filling on it, before the top is placed above

The first step in making this delicious Romanian cheese pie is making the dough.

While the dough is resting, move on to making the filling. Pour the rum essence into a small bowl and add the raisins to soak.

Mix the cottage cheese with the sugar and the egg, until you have a smooth paste. Add the pack of vanilla sugar, the semolina, and incorporate the raisins. Semolina is optional, it is used to give a bit of body to the filling once it’s baked. But don’t worry if you don’t have any handy.

Assembling this pie is very easy. Simply put the bottom layer of the dough in a baking tray, add the filling, and then close with the second layer of dough. I always use baking paper inside the baking trays, to prevent the pie from sticking to the tray. 

The pie is then baked in the oven for about 40 minutes, until it starts to get a golden brown colour. You can check that it’s cooked by using a kitchen thermometer. If it comes out clean, it’s cooked. Don’t cut the pie until it is fully cooled down.

Recipe Notes and Tips

A close-up of the white bowl with pink polka dots on it, and the cottage cheese mixture inside.
  • In order to create an authentic recipe, you must buy the right kind of cottage cheese, rum essence and vanilla sugar. You can find all of them in Romanian shops. Sometimes, you can also find them at Polish or Turkish shops, which usually have a Romanian products section.
  • You don’t have to make your own dough. I am not a baker and I struggle with making dough myself. Shop bought shortcrust works great in this recipe.
  • You can add more raisins, depending on how much you like them. I love them so I always add more.
  • Let the pie cool down completely before you cut and serve it.
Three slices of the cheese pie cut in squares, on a blue plate. The pie is next to the plate, on a wooden board.

Romanian Sweet Cheese Pie Recipe

This Romanian sweet cheese pie is a classic of the traditional Romanian desserts. Each bite melts in your mouth and the cheese filling will take your taste buds on a very tasty journey.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Dough resting time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine Romanian
Servings 8 people

Ingredients
  

For the dough

  • 1 pack margarine/butter
  • 350 gr flour
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp apple cider or wine vinegar
  • 1 pinch salt

For the filling

  • 600 gr Romanian cottage cheese
  • 75 gr sugar
  • 100 gr raisins
  • 1 pack vanilla sugar
  • 1 small bottle rum or vanilla essence
  • 40 gr semolina
  • 2 eggs

Instructions
 

  • Make the dough by mixing together all the wet ingredients. Integrate the flour, bit by bit. Add the salt.
  • Let the dough rest for one hour in the fridge.
  • Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.
  • Put the raisins in a small bowl and add the run or the vanilla essence on top. Let it soak for about half an hour.
  • If there is any liquid in the cottage cheese, make sure to leave it to drain for a couple of hours.
  • Mix the cottage cheese with the sugar, vanilla sugar, and the eggs, until you get a smooth consistency. Add the semolina and incorporate well. At the end, mix the raisins which have soaked in the rum.
  • Cut the dough in two equal pieces and roll them on a flat surface.
  • Put the larger piece at the bottom of a baking tray, and add the cheese filling on top. Cover with the second piece of rolled dough.
  • Bake in the oven for 40 minutes. Check to see if it's fully cooked by using a kitchen thermometer. If it comes out clean, it’s cooked
  • Take the pie out of the oven and wait until it's completely cooled down to cut it.
  • Enjoy!

FAQ

A close-up of a blue plate with three squares of the pie cut and placed on it.

Can you make the Romanian Sweet Cheese Pie in advance?

Yes, you can make the Romanian sweet cheese pie in advance. It stores well and it has to cool down completely before you can enjoy it.

How do you store the Romanian Sweet Cheese Pie?

You can store the Romanian sweet cheese pie in a Tupperware container with a lid, at room temperature. I usually keep it inside the oven. Of course, don’t forget about it if you need to use the oven.

How long does the Romanian Sweet Cheese Pie last for?

The Romanian sweet cheese pie lasts for 3-4 days if stored correctly. However, it is a delicious pie and it will rarely last uneaten for a long time.

For more traditional Romanian desserts recipes check out:

Like it? Pin it!

Romanian Sweet Cheese Pie Recipe – Placinta cu Branza Dulce pin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating