Famous German Cake Recipes To Bake At Home Or Enjoy While Visiting Germany
Germans have a long traditional history of treasuring their famous 4 o’clock coffee hour. This article features German cake classics that you need to try. If you are not planning a trip to Germany soon, just bake one of these specialties by yourself. You will find the recipes on our website.
Some German cakes are fruit flavored, while others might be some sort of cream cake or even a decadent chocolate cake. No matter what kind of cake it is, it is sure to be delicious. Here are a few of the wonderful kinds of German cakes:
No. 1 – German Apple Cake – Apfelkuchen
One of the most popular cakes in Germany are all kinds of variations of apple cakes. If you are invited to a German Kaffeeklatsch, the chances are high that you will be served a wonderful moist and aromatic slice of homemade German apple cake.
No. 2 – German Cheese Cake – Käsekuchen
German cheese cake is especially popular in the Southern part of Germany and is made with and without fruit. The German cheese cake is made with quark instead of cream cheese.
No. 3 – Black Forest Cake – Schwarzwälderkirschtorte
Probably the most famous German cake is the Black Forest Cake. The special ingredient of this decadent delicious cake is the German Kirsch Schnapps which gives the cake it´s unique flavor.
This classic German cake is made of layers or rich chocolate cake alternating with thick whipped cream, then covered in whipped cream, cherries and slivers of chocolate. It gets the traditional cherry flavor from a cherry liqueur called Schwarzwälder Kirschwasser, which is a Black Forest region specialty.
There are even celebrity versions of Black Forest Cake, and its history goes back to about 1934. Baden Wurttemberg natives claim this tasty cake as their own, but it has been touted by many other regions of the country. In Berlin there is an extra fancy alcoholic version served up at the Kreuzberg’s Café Amour Fou that many people love.
No. 4 – Marble Pound Cake – Marmorkuchen
Marmorkuchen is Germany’s version of a marble cake made with a mix of vanilla and chocolate batters. This cake was my absolute favorite cake as a child and I still love it. Marble cake is very popular in Germany for the famous 4 o’clock coffee hour and a must for every birthday party.
No. 5 – Plumcake – Pflaumenkuchen
If you know a German Oma, I am sure you tried German plum cake with a sweet topping of buttery streusel. Served with some heavy whipping cream, this cake represents good old-world comfort food.
No. 6 – Fruit Tarte German Style aka Fruit Flan – Obsttorte
Especially in the summer time this tart style cake is a refreshing sweet treat. Made with a sponge cake bottom, covered with a thin layer of buttercream or pudding and topped with an abundance of fresh seasonal fruits.
No. 7 – Bee Sting Cake – Bienenstich
The buttery pastry dough of this cake is filled with a rich vanilla custard cream and topped with crunchy honey-glazed sliced almonds. Bienenstich makes a perfect cake to enjoy with a cup of aromatic German coffee.
For whatever reason, this yummy cake’s name means bee’s sting. Perhaps it’s the drizzle of honey spread on the top that gets this cake its name, but according to legend the name comes from a baker getting stung when a bee was attracted to the honey he put in the cake, and another says a local village battling attackers by throwing bees at them and then having a celebration after the battle with cake that spawned the name.
No. 8 – Frankfurter Wreath – Frankfurter Kranz
Frankfurter Kranz is one of the most popular German cakes and comes like the name hints from Frankfurt, Germany. The recipe calls for sponge cake layers, along with fruit jams like strawberry, cherry or blackberry, and a luxurious buttercream filling. On top goes more buttercream, covered with caramel-covered brittle nuts, called Krokant, and decorated with cherries gives the cake its traditional signature look. It traditionally has a hole in the middle like a Bundt cake but you can find it in smaller rectangle shapes too.
No. 9 Donauwelle
This cake is likely named for the wave like pattern formed by alternating layers of chocolate and vanilla cake. It also has cherries, and on top is buttercream icing and a glaze of chocolate.
No. 10 Prinzregententorte
This decadent creation comes from Bavaria. It’s made with seven layers of alternating chocolate flavored buttercream frosting with sponge cake. The seven layers stands for the seven districts of Bavaria. The topping is apricot jam and dark chocolate.
No. 11 Baumkuchen
This cake name means “tree cake,” and is so called due to it having golden lines that look like tree rings on its slices. By tradition it is vanilla, but sometimes things like nuts, nougat, marzipan, etc. get added. It is often topped with jam or chocolate glaze. Tree cake isn’t made like most other cakes. It is a long and hard process requiring it to be cooked over a spit fire.
No. 12 Erdbeertorte aka Erdbeerkuchen
This treat is actually a cross between cake and strawberry fruit pie. It’s made of sponge cake and whipped cream layers, then on top is smeared strawberry jam and fresh strawberry slices.
No. 13 Gugelhupf
This cake gets baked in a special circle shaped pan similar to a Bundt cake pan, that has a tube in the middle. By tradition it is a simple plain cake, which then gets decorated using fruit and flowers. However, at times dark chocolate paste is added so it is more like a marble cake, and sometimes to fancy it up a bakery will add things like raisins, nuts and cherry brandy.
No. 14 German Plum Cake - Zwetschgendatschi and Plaumenkuchen
There are two variations of plum cakes in Germany. A yeast or sponge cake with delicious sliced plums on top, then simply just sprinkled powdered sugar or crumbles on top.
No. 15 Herrentorte
This cake’s name means “gentleman’s cake.” It’s made of layers of sponge cake and wine/brandy cream and has an icing made of dark, high-quality bitter chocolate. It’s not as sweet as some cake, but very flavorful and delicious.
German Chocolate Cake
If you were looking for German chocolate cake I am sorry to disappoint you. While this cake is delicious, it is not a traditional German cake but an invention of the American-English baker Samuel German.
German Kuchen and Torten - An Important Part of German Tradtions
Cakes are made by everyone from grandma to specialized cake bakery shops, with everything from simple recipes to complicated cakes requiring the skill of being able to create paper thin dough (like for Apple Strudel) or handling specialized cakes that require the use of yeast type doughs.
There are two word for cakes in Germany: Kuchen and Torten. Kuchen are usually a basic one-layer cake that has some sort of topping like fruit, streusel, or glaze. Torte is a cake with more than one layer, and between its layers is usually some fruit, cream, chocolate, or other filling.