Orange Mascarpone Quark Torte

Orange Tiramisu Torte (04) by MeetaK

Surprise – you’re 40!

An incredible 10 years ago we celebrated the big 30 and on Saturday it was already time to party into the 40s! It was just a little before his 30th birthday that Tom and I got together. I remember celebrating his 30th with a bang. We’ve done and experienced so much in the 10 years – it’s been quite a bit of fun.

2009 is destined to be a year full of big events – Tom finishes his PHD, his 40th birthday, we renewing our vows and of course the move to Qatar. With all these highlights Tom thought it would be best to play the birthday down. Not too much fuss just his family and a bit of cake.

I just could not get used to the idea. I mean 40 is a big thing and one has to make a fuss about it. So I started planning and organizing. Together with a few friends we planned a little surprise party for him. The more friends I called the more they all wanted to be a part of it. In the end many of our friends from around Germany got together and the surprise was going to be a hit.

I am a rotten person though – on the morning of the big day – Soeren and I played the whole birthday thing down. I mean it was what he wanted didn’t he?  Nothing big – a breakfast, flowers, and a store-bought cake! The fact that I had baked a cake the day before was a secret.

Finally, in the afternoon his parents, brother and grandmother came over and we presented him with the cake. He was quite happy, as I think he was beginning to feel sorry for himself. I mean, a store-bought cake? LOL!

His parents were in on the surprise party secret and when dinner time rolled around we all sat there discussing where we should go out to eat. French, Greek, Indian - “No let’s go to the great Italian place we went to when your parents were here, Meeta!” said his dad!


As we all walked into the restaurant all his friends gathered around and cheered “Surprise!” and sang Happy Birthday to a baffled but extremely delighted Tom. It really was a perfect evening and I was really glad that it turned out to be a success. Thanks to all our wonderful friends who played along and helped me organize this.

Orange Tiramisu Torte (01) by MeetaK

A birthday is never complete without a delicious birthday cake. This aromatic cake is a take on a regular cheesecake using tangy quark for lightness and mascarpone cheese for more body. The orange gives the cake a spectacular refreshing touch adding a lovely juicy bite. Chocolate and orange goes hand in hand and by adding rich bittersweet chocolate to the cake base rounds off the entire cake deliciously.

TorteRecipe card


Orange Mascarpone Quark Torte

Printable version of recipe here.


100g + more all-purpose flour
50g + more butter
150g bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
200g sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 organic oranges, fillets and juice reserved
500g quark
300g mascarpone cheese
6 sheets gelatin
Cocoa powder


  1. Butter and flour a spring form (26 cm diameter), tapping out any excess flour. Pre-heat oven to 175 degrees C.

  2. Place the chocolate in a double boiler or a water bath and melt  gently. Allow to cool.

  3. In a separate bowl whisk the butter, 100g sugar, scraped vanilla bean and pinch of salt with an electric whisk until light and frothy. Add the eggs, one at a time and making sure each one is nicely incorporated into the mixture.

  4. Sieve the flour and baking powder into the mixture and with a rubber spatula fold the dry ingredients gently. Do not over-mix. Pour in the liquid chocolate and fold until evenly incorporated. Sticky Note 1 Easter

  5. Pour the chocolate cake batter into the prepared spring form and bake for 20-25 minutes. Take out and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes. Tip out of the form and allow to cool completely.

  6. Place the gelatin in cold water and allow to soak. In the meantime whisk together quark, mascarpone cheese, 100g sugar and the reserved orange juice with an electric whisk for approx. 3 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved.

  7. Squeeze excess water out of the gelatin, then in a small saucepan dissolve over low heat. Mix with approx. 2 tablespoons of the mascarpone-quark mixture, then whisk into the remaining cream.

  8. Fold in the the filets of 2 oranges into the mixture.

  9. Place the cake base back into the spring form close the ring around it. Now spread out the mascarpone-quark mixture evenly over the base. Place in the refrigerator overnight to set.

  10. Take the cake out of the refrigerator and just before serving sieve cocoa powder generously over the top and decorate with the remaining orange fillets.

The Food Guide


Food Guide Tips:

How to make homemade quark 

Everything you need to know about healthy oranges




Orange Tiramisu Torte (02) by MeetaK

This is slightly different to the regular cheesecake and I personally found it more refreshing with the orange flavor. It’s a perfect party cake or a delicious dessert to top off a wonderful dinner. We enjoyed this with Espresso and a fork. I loved the rich, moist chocolaty cake base contrasting against the fruity and creamy filling.

This makes a truly fantastic treat for your Easter party and you can use any thing from peaches, mangoes and apricots to luscious berries of all kinds.

You might like these cakes from WFLH:

Orange Cake 03 framed PlumFigCake02 framed Caramel Cake 04 framed
Orange Cake Fig Plum Sheet Cake Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting

From around the blogs:

 DT tip[6] 


 Kids Favorite Cupcake Cookbooks written by Donna



All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2009 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

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  1. A very Happy Birthday to Tom!

    That must have been one splendid surprise party Meeta! And given your love for planning & hosting parties, I doubt it could go any other way ;-)

    The torte looks gorgeous, and I can taste the burst of freshness that the orange adds to it.

  2. Happy Birthday to Tom! i bet he was delight at the surprise he got...

  3. Hey Hey!! Happy birthday to him.
    40s are fun and new 30s these days too. I love where I am now than in my 20s and 30s. Lovely surprise for him, good job girl! Have a fun celebration!:)

  4. what a wonderful surprise and a gorgeous cake!

  5. Happy Birthday!

    I remember my 40th birthday and I don't remember having a cake that looked that good!

  6. Happy Birthday to Tom!
    What a plan:D.. How delightful it must have been .. esp. with that cake! Oh Meeta, i wish i could even bake 0.1 % of this:-D

  7. Play it down BIG so that you can't forget turning 40! Beautiful cake!

  8. Happy 40th to Tom! Life truly begins now!!

    All the best with all the exciting stuff you have going on in your lives right now!

  9. Happy Birthday to Tom!

    That cake looks marvelous! I love the orange-flavord desserts and also the way quark and mascarpone taste...




  10. Happy Birthday to Tom! This is exactly my kind of cake, I love pretty much any citrusy version of cheesecake, lemon being a favorite. That sounds like a completely perfect surprise too, well done! I look forward to meeting everyone in the flesh soon. =)

  11. Happy Bday to Tom! :) Its a gorgeous cake indeed!

  12. Looks amazing! Your pics are stunning. Happy Birthday to Tom!

    Quark is so hard to find in the States, but soooo good.

    (p.s. I love your blog.)

  13. Belated Happy Birthday to Tom :) Wow what a surprise...hats off to you..great effort :)

  14. Happy birthday to Tom, gosh that is a beautiful cake....

  15. Wow..looks delicious..hope you guys had lots of fun..
    Belated birthday wishes to Tom!

  16. That tart is absolutely a work of art!

  17. Meeta, this looks so delicious and so befitting your wonderful celebration! I had to chuckle when you said your husband was beginning to feel sorry for himself - a store-bought cake!!! What is this world coming to! :) I can only imagine the sad puppy dog eyes! :)

  18. that torte looks just the thing for any celebration - yours sounds like lots of fun

  19. The torte looks fantastic. I love the colour contrast between the dark top and base and the white creamy centre. Perfect for the celebration.

  20. B'day wishes to Tom and what a gorgeous cake!

    LOL @ store bought cakes:) We celebrated K's 30th b'day with store bought cake and may be I will learn to bake a real cake when he turns 40 ;)

  21. Happy birthday Tom! What a wonderful surprise Meeta :) Yes, 40 is definitely a year to celebrate!

    Lovely cake too! :)

  22. A very Happy Birthday to the Birthday Boy :)

    That was a very well kept surprise, kudos to Soeren too for playing along.
    Lovely cake as always

  23. A truly memorable birthday, I think. Your husband is never going to forget it, I'm sure.:)

  24. Happy birthday to Tom! I did a similar thing last month when my husband turned 40. I planned his birthday 2 months in advance, as his very close friend lives in London. He came down with his wife especially for the birthday party. And when we were at the restaurant my husband was baffled too! It was such a fantastic moment. It was his most memorable birthday he ever had. He was so shocked and and surprised as to how I pulled it all without him even having a clue. It was great!

  25. Meeta, first let me say how beautiful your blog looks! I totally love the new layout!! Second, that's such a sweet thing you did for Tom! I bet he was sooo happy with the surprise. Lastly, and I did save the ebst for last, I love, love, love the cake you made for him!! So refreshing, and truly a symbol of spring. So when are you guys moving to Qatar?

  26. Wishes to Tom...and my, that must have been such a pleasant surprise for him.

    Such a lovely cake, and with all my favourite ingredients too :-)

  27. Meeta, This is off the charts. This looks amazing! I love it.

    Happy Birthday Tom :)

  28. I have oranges, I have mascarpone and I have quark. Personally I think this is a sign. :)

    If I don't care for chocolate with orange, do you have any other advice re: the crust? Would just a graham cracker crust work?

    Happy Birthday to the birthday boy!

  29. Hi,
    Happy Birthday to Tom.
    It was my birthday too and it was a real treat to visualize the scrumptious torte.
    All the very best.:)

  30. What a fabulous birthday surprise! Happy 40th to your hubby!! That cake looks fabulous. I love quark. It's so creamy and delicious.

  31. The torte looks absolutely divine!

    A quick question - what's that with the orange wedges on the top? I am really intrigued! Thanks!!

  32. Happy birthday to Tom!!

    That's a lovely cake. And a wonderful surprise. I think everyone deserves a special birthday celebration and I totally believe it when you say Tom was probably beginning to feel sorry for himself.

    Great cake, great party :)

  33. So much happening for you Meeta!! This is very exciting on my end as I am looking forward to all the discoveries you will share with us!
    The torte looks fantastic and perfect for Tom's Birthday!

  34. Thanks so much everyone for the best wishes. I showed Tom all your comments and he finds this feedback and warmth incredible too.

    Glad the torte is making you lick your lips LOL!

    Hilda - yes same here! I cannot believe that it takes me to move to Doha so that we have a more realistic chance of meeting!

    Laura - yes try the usual graham crackers and butter for the crust it should work quite well too. let me know how it turns out!

    Neha - the wedges on the top are orange wedges or fillets.

    Hugs to all!

  35. How sweet of you to do that for your hubby! Happy birthday to him. And that cake is gorgeous. I'm surge it tasted fantastic as it looks.

  36. Happy birthday to Tom! And what a marvelous way to celebrate :) Now you've got big shoes to fill for the 50th!


  37. Happy Birthday.And what a yamee cake.Enjoy and eat ur cake

  38. Lucky Tom. And a happy birthday to him too. It's an extra delicious and extra special torte. Just the right thing to have on birthdays.

  39. Thank-you very much for the delicious recipe(Orange Mascarpone Quark Torte) I made this on Friday night for a dinner party I threw for friends on Saturday and it went down a treat - delicious. 10/10

    Mark Haynes
    Isle of Man


Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

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