Obatzda (German Cheese Spread)

Craving Obatzda? Here’s How To Make This German Cheese Spread!

If you’re looking for a classic Bavarian food, you’ve got to make Obatzda.

Often known as the “German beer cheese spread” in English, this delicious Bavarian cheese is a beer market staple.

Now you can also bring it to the comfort of your home with our simple Obatzda recipe!

Made with cheeses like camembert and cream cheese and a handful of spices like paprika, Obatzda usually has a light orange color and a sharp taste.

glass dish of obatzda cheese dip with pretzels behind
Obatzda – or German cheese spread – has that classic orange hue!

Also written as Obazda or Obatzter, this German beer cheese recipe is often made with wheat beer. However, that’s not always the case. If you buy Obatzda cheese in the supermarket, it often doesn’t include any beer!

We definitely have an affinity for Obatzda. Lisa is from Bavaria and Obatzda is a cheese spread she has enjoyed since she was a child.

In German beer gardens, you can often find it on the “Brotzeit” menu served with a fresh German pretzel or radishes. Now that we live in North America, we are happy that it is so easy to make Obatzda at home!

Obatzda Recipe Substitutions

There are actually a number of ways you can modify this Obatzda recipe. It’s best to use a very ripe camembert, but you can also use brie cheese if you can’t get a hold of any camembert cheese.

We like to make ours with cream cheese but you can also use another spreadable cheese like Laughing Cow, for example.

Obatzda doesn’t always have onions in it. We like adding a small, very finely chop onion for a bit more flavor but you can definitely decide to omit it.

As for spices, German cuisine uses a lot of caraway. If you don’t have any at home, can also use ground cumin. Just know that the flavor might be a tiny bit different.

We’d also recommend adding a tiny bit less cumin since it can have a more intense flavor than caraway.

Finally, beer is often added to this cheese but it’s not absolutely mandatory. You could also use non-alcoholic beer.

Bring the German Beer Market to you: whip up a German Radler Beer or even a Colaweizen to go with Obatzda and Pretzels!

orange obatzda cheese spread with pretzel dipping into it
You have to dip fresh pretzel into Obatzda cheese spread…

How to Make Obatzda – German Cheese Spread Step by Step

If you want to make some Obatzda, you can check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post for exact measurements.

For those looking to follow the recipe with visuals, you can see the Obatzda recipe process photos right below.

This way, you can compare your Obatzda to ours to see if you are on the right track in your kitchen!

camembert cheese cut up into pieces on cutting board
Cut the camembert into small pieces.

Start by cutting the camembert cheese and the butter into small pieces. Then add them to a medium-sized mixing bowl.

camembert cheese diced up in clear mixing bowl on counter
Mince the cheese.

“Mince” the butter and camembert pieces with a fork or a pastry cutter. This actually works quite well.

Keep going until there are no large chunks left.

cream cheese and spices in bowl with fork for obatzda recipe
Add cream cheese and spices.

Now add the cream cheese, paprika, ground caraway (or cumin), salt, and pepper.

Mix everything using a fork, wooden spoon, or even your clean hands.

chopped onion on obatzda cheese spread in mixing bowl
Add the chopped onion (optional).

If you like onions, add a small, very finely chopped onion and mix again.

As mentioned, Obatzda doesn’t always have onions so you can definitely also omit them.

obatzda beer cheese in clear mixing bowl on counter
Mix and add the wheat beer.

Once everything is well combined, add the wheat beer. We usually go for two tablespoons of beer, but depending on the consistency of your cheese, you might want to add a little bit more or less.

Remember, Obatzda is usually quite thick so you don’t want to add too much beer and make it runny.

Mix again. Then cover the bowl with some cling film and place it in the fridge for at least one hour. This step is important as it will allow the flavors to really mingle and develop.

orange cheese spread obatzda in glass dish with pretzel beside
Finish off your Obatzda with some finely chopped parsley – or not!

Before serving the cheese spread, try it and add more salt and/or pepper to taste. You can also garnish it with some chopped chives or parsley.

Storage Tips

Although the Obatzda needs to sit in the fridge for a bit, we would recommend making the cheese spread the same day (or max. the night before) you plan to serve it – especially if you include the onions. That’s because the onions can develop a slightly bitter flavor over time.

If you have any leftovers, store them in a container with a lid in the fridge and consume them within 1-2 days.

Obatzda FAQ

Obatzda can be a confusing German food if you’re not familiar with it. Eric sure was but now he absolutely loves it. Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about Obatzda.

What is Obatzda cheese?

Obatzda is a type of German cheese spread. Originally from Bavaria, this cheese spread has a distinct orange color due to the paprika spice. It can be enjoyed with a German pretzel and is popular at beer gardens.

How to pronounce Obatzda?

Obatzda is pronounced “O-bats-DUH”. However, you can say the other name variations like Obazda or Obatzter.

What do you do with Obatzda?

Obatzda – as a cheese spread – is eaten. Obatzda can be spread on bread or enjoyed with a fresh pretzel or some radishes.

What does Obatzda taste like?

Given the heavy presence of ripe cheese like camembert, freshly chopped onion, and a number of spices, Obatzda had a sharp, strong taste (but not spicy) with a rich and creamy consistency throughout.

What kind of beer goes in Obatzda?

To be honest, Obatzda doesn’t have to be made with beer. The name “German beer cheese” has driven a bit of a misconception that it must be made with beer. That said, when Obatzda is made with beer, a German wheat beer (Weißbier) is commonly added.

How do you make Obatzda?

Obatzda is easy to make – you just have to mush together some cheese with butter and a few spices. You can follow the Obatzda recipe below!

Related Recipes

If you liked this recipe for German Obatzda, try out these other classic German recipes:

glass dish of obatzda cheese dip with pretzels behind

Obatzda (German Beer Cheese Spread)

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Obatzda - a German Cheese Spread - is a delectable orange Bavarian creation. Made from various cheeses, onion, spices like paprika, and a dash of wheat beer - this simple spread is the perfect dip for German pretzels!

Ingredients

  • 7 ounces (200 grams) camembert cheese, ripe
  • 2 tablespoons butter, soft
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground caraway
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper (more to taste)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons wheat beer

Instructions

  1. Cut the camembert and the butter into small pieces. Add them to a medium-sized mixing bowl and mince them with a fork or with a pastry cutter (works really well).
  2. Add the cream cheese, paprika, ground caraway, salt, and pepper and mix well.
  3. Now add the finely chopped onion and mix again.
  4. Finally add the wheat beer. We usually add two tablespoons, but depending on the consistency of your cheese spread you might want to add slightly more or less. Mix well.
  5. Cover the cheese spread and place it in the fridge for at least an hour to chill and allow the flavors to mingle.
  6. Before serving, try the spread and add more salt and/or pepper to taste. You can garnish it with some chopped parsley or chives.

Notes

  • It's best to use camembert that is quite ripe for a more intense flavor.
  • If you can't get any camembert cheese, you can also use similar cheeses such as brie.
  • If you don't have any caraway at home, you can also use cumin - just know that cumin generally has a more intense flavor so you might want to add slightly less.
  • It's important that the spread is refrigerated for around 1 hour before consumption. This chilling period really helps the flavors to develop.
  • If kids are going to eat this cheese spread and/or you don't like consuming alcohol, you can also skip the wheat beer or use non-alcoholic beer.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 312Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 545mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 13g

This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice. The exact values can vary depending on the specific ingredients used.

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