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.
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!
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!
Start by cutting the camembert cheese and the butter into small pieces. Then add them to a medium-sized mixing bowl.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Obatzda is pronounced “O-bats-DUH”. However, you can say the other name variations like Obazda or Obatzter.
Obatzda – as a cheese spread – is eaten. Obatzda can be spread on bread or enjoyed with a fresh pretzel or some radishes.
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.
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.
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!
If you liked this recipe for German Obatzda, try out these other classic German recipes:
- Bavarian Cream – A creamy custard-dessert topped with berry puree
- Farmer’s Omelette – This Bauernomlett recipe makes a whole breakfast in one go
- Jägerschnitzel – A great recipe for German Hunter Schnitzel with mushroom sauce
Obatzda (German Beer Cheese Spread)
- 7 ounces 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
- 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).
- Add the cream cheese, paprika, ground caraway, salt, and pepper and mix well.
- Now add the finely chopped onion and mix again.
- 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.
- Cover the cheese spread and place it in the fridge for at least an hour to chill and allow the flavors to mingle.
- Before serving, try the spread and add more salt and/or pepper to taste. You can garnish it with some chopped parsley or chives.
- 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.
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.
2 thoughts on “Obatzda (German Cheese Spread)”
Could I leave the beer out?
Yes Charlie, you could leave the beer out if you prefer. /Lisa