She’s the local baker next door. For me, quite literally. It was two years before I realized that just across the street baker Olga Koutseridi has been making the most gooey delicious burnt baskque cheesecakes since 2020. The self-taught baker who was born in the Ukraine and moved to Spain at the age of 15 tells Austin Lifestyle, “I like to integrate elements from different traditions into my baking,” adding “My cheesecake is different from a traditional cheesecake in a number of ways. It’s a crustless cheesecake with a molten and gooey center and a dark caramelized top. It’s gluten-free with no thickening agents like cornstarch or flour and combines elements of Spanish tartas de queso that are incredibly molten and runny on the inside with San Sebastián cheesecake.” Burnt Basque cheesecakes are what Olga’s best-known for in the Austin community and says due to high demand it’s now what she exclusively bakes. They’re available in a variety of sizes and flavors including traditional, vanilla bean, dark chocolate and Dulce de Leche in addition to seasonal flavors like pumpkin spice, Black Sesame and Matcha Coconut Cream.
Olga puts profits from the made-to-order cakes towards raising funds to create a Ukrainian cookbook. “The cookbook will include recipes from all over Ukraine,” she says. “The goal of the cookbook is to preserve and celebrate the diverse culinary culture of Ukraine. The recipes will be primarily from parts of Ukraine that have been heavily damaged or completely destroyed such as Donetsk Oblast, Kherson, Odesa, Pryazovia, and many others. I will include many family recipes that reflect the culinary culture of Mariupol, the city my family is from. Recipes are forms of cultural heritage and I want to preserve them for future generations to have access to and preserve the cooking and baking traditions of Ukraine and its many ethnic communities.”
For now, Olga shares, “I love bringing people joy through my cheesecakes. Your support allows me to continue baking for my community.” Find her on Instagram @olia_cooks and sign up for her newsletter LocalBreadBaker to get updates on new flavors and new drop dates for ordering cheesecake – which go fast, so she suggests ordering in advance.