Capture some vintage magic with this 1960's Caraway Jack Cheese Log. Creamy, easy to make, and packed with interesting flavors, this appetizer fits in at any party.
A retro appetizer for all kinds of parties
Throw on your vintage dress and pin up your hair because it’s time to capture the magic of the sixties with this 1960's Caraway Jack Cheese Log!
Easy cheese appetizers are always a hit at parties and this cream cheese log is no exception. Just like my Blue Cheese Cheese Ball, this jack cheese log is easy to mix together by hand in one bowl and always turns out creamy and delicious. The major difference? Caraway seeds, seasoned salt, and beer add earthy and peppery flavors you won’t be able to resist!
This recipe was inspired by an oldie from the 1960s. The Sunset Appetizer Book was first published in 1965 and is packed with interesting recipes, like this caraway log! I loved it immediately and I know you will too.
What is caraway cheese?
Caraway cheese is made by mixing cheese (usually something creamy, like havarti or jack cheese) with caraway seeds. Sometimes you can find caraway cheese in cheese shops or online, but it isn’t a common flavor combination. Caraway seeds have subtle flavors of pepper, citrus, and licorice, and when mixed together with a cheesy mixture, you end up with a snack that’s nutty and earthy.
Jack cheese log ingredients
This cheesy spread is easy to make using simple ingredients. You should be able to find most if not all of these at your local grocery store:
This cheese log gets its creamy and smooth texture from cream cheese. It will be so much easier to work with and mix if the cream cheese is room temperature first.
The type of beer you use will also add some fun layers of flavor to the cheese log. I used Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Ale, which gives this rich cheese bomb a slightly hoppy flavor.
To make this appetizer without alcohol, substitute the beer with heavy cream.
There are 4 kinds of jack cheese: Monterey, Colby, pepper, and cheddar. They’re all cow’s milk cheeses but vary in flavor, texture, and ingredients. Any jack cheese will work in this recipe and you can choose based on what your taste buds would prefer:
- For a sharp flavor, use cheddar jack.
- For richness, use Colby jack.
- For a little heat, use pepper jack.
- For a mild tanginess, use Monterey jack.
Make sure to shred the cheese yourself to avoid anti-caking agents!
Caraway seeds taste nutty and sharp with notes of citrus, pepper, and anise. They’re the reason why this cheese log is so unique! You should be able to find caraway seeds in most grocery stores or buy them online if you can’t find any.
This blend of salt with savory seasonings, like paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder, gives the cheese log lots of savory goodness. Seasoned salt is usually easy to find at most grocery stores or you can make your own custom blend.
For an extra hit of salty creaminess! Feel free to grate the parmesan yourself or buy the pre-shredded stuff.
Tips and tricks
- Refrigerating = more flavor. Chilling the log in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight will give the flavors more time to come together and taste even better.
- Want to serve it right away? Don’t worry about shaping the cheese log or chilling it in the fridge. Instead, toss the cheesy mixture in a bowl and eat up!
- For a beautiful presentation and extra flavor, roll the finished cheese log in a mixture of chopped pecans, almonds, or walnuts and dried herbs (like thyme or parsley).
Frequently asked questions
You can make and form the caraway cheese log and leave it wrapped in the fridge up to 3 days in advance.
Ideally, yes. This cheese log should be refrigerated for at least 2 hours to help it firm up and hold its log shape. If you’re craving a cheesy appetizer right away, go ahead and serve it without chilling first.
Place your cheese log on a serving platter or a meat and cheese board and surround it with a variety of crackers, bread, and veggies. Use a cheese knife for easy spreading and enjoy!
1960's Caraway Jack Cheese Log
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- ⅓ cup beer or heavy cream
- ¾ pound grated jack cheese
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
- 1 ½ teaspoon seasoned salt
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Using a spatula, stir cream cheese until smooth.
- Gradually stir in beer or cream.
- Mix in jack cheese, caraway seeds and seasoned salt. Adding more salt to taste.
- Sprinkle the parmesan on wax paper (which you have cut to at least 14” long) and evenly spoon cheese mixture onto parmesan. Using your hands or the back of your spatula shape cheese into a log about 12 inches long. Press cheese into the outside of the log and roll up into the parchment.
- Chill until firm, about 2 hours.
- Serve with crackers and veggies.