Famous German Cake Recipes To Bake At Home Or Enjoy While Visiting Germany
Germans have a long history of cherishing their famous 4 p.m. coffee and cake hour. This article will introduce you to some German cake classics that you should try. If you are not planning a trip to Germany anytime soon, simply bake one of these specialties at home. The recipes can be found by clicking on the cake´s name.
German cakes are very versatile. Some feature fruit and streusel, others incorporate quark or alcohol, while others include luscious butter cream or indulgent chocolate mousse. Whatever type of cake you will sample, it will be delicious and flavorful.
Enjoy my list of the best German cakes, as well as the debunking of a myth about German chocolate cake:
German Chocolate Cake
I apologize for disappointing you if you were looking for German chocolate cake.
While this cake is delicious, it is not a traditional German cake; rather, it is the creation of American-English baker Samuel German. But I am confident that you will fall in love with some of the cakes listed below.
- German Chocolate Cake
- German Kuchen and Torten - An Important Part of German Tradition
- 1. Apfelkuchen - German Apple Cake
- 2. Käsekuchen - German Cheese Cake
- 3. Schwarzwälderkirschtorte - Black Forest Cake
- 4. Marmorkuchen - German Marble Cake
- 5. Pflaumenkuchen - German Plum Cake
- 6. Obsttorte - Fruit Tarte German Style aka German Fruit Flan
- 7. Bienenstich - Bee Sting Cake
- 8. Frankfurter Kranz - Frankfurt Crown Cake
- 9. Donauwelle - Danube Wave Cake
- 10. Prinzregententorte - Bavarian Chocolate Cake Specialty
- 11. Baumkuchen - Tree Cake
- 12. Erdbeertorte - German Strawberry Cake
- 13. Gugelhupf
- 14. Herrentorte - Gentleman's Cake
- 15. Authentic Apfelstrudel - Apple Strudel
- 16. Mohnkuchen - German Poppy Seed Cake
- 17. Butterkuchen - German Coffee Cake
- 18. Christstollen - German Christmas Stollen
- 19. Käsesahnetorte - German Creamy Cheese Cake
- More German Cake Recipes
German Kuchen and Torten - An Important Part of German Tradition
Kuchen and Torten are the German words for cakes. Kuchen are typically one-layer cakes with a topping such as fruit, streusel, or glaze. Torte is a multi-layered cake with fruit, cream, chocolate, or other filling in between the layers.
In Germany, cakes are handmade by everyone from Oma to specialty cake bakeries. Some cakes can be made using basic recipes, while others are a little more difficult and call for the creation of choux dough or paper-thin dough (as for an apple strudel).
My recipes will allow you to make authentic German cakes and tortes without the use of any special tools or ingredients. Just follow the simple step-by-step instructions and you can create a traditional German cake like the ones from the finest German bakeries.
1. Apfelkuchen - German Apple Cake
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.
2. Käsekuchen - German Cheese Cake
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.
3. Schwarzwälderkirschtorte - Black Forest Cake
Probably the most famous German cake is the Black Forest Cake. The special ingredient of this decadent delicious cake is the German Kirsch Schnapps (German cherry brandy) 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.
4. Marmorkuchen - German Marble Cake
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.
5. Pflaumenkuchen - German Plum Cake
If you know a German Oma, I am sure you tried German plum cake with a sweet topping of buttery streusel. Served with a generous dollop of whipped cream, this cake represents good old-world comfort food.
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.
6. Obsttorte - Fruit Tarte German Style aka German Fruit Flan
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.
7. Bienenstich - Bee Sting Cake
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.
8. Frankfurter Kranz - Frankfurt Crown Cake
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.
9. Donauwelle - Danube Wave Cake
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.
10. Prinzregententorte - Bavarian Chocolate Cake Specialty
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.
11. Baumkuchen - Tree Cake
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.
12. Erdbeertorte - German Strawberry Cake
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.
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.
14. Herrentorte - Gentleman's Cake
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.
15. Authentic Apfelstrudel - Apple Strudel
Apfelstrudel is a popular cake that is enjoyed all over the world. The light, flaky dough with fruity apple filling is typically served with vanilla sauce or creamy vanilla ice cream.
16. Mohnkuchen - German Poppy Seed Cake
Poppy seed cake is a traditional German cake that can be enjoyed all year. This cake will undoubtedly impress your guests. The poppy seed filling adds a special touch to this cake that you won't find in many other cakes.
17. Butterkuchen - German Coffee Cake
German butter cake is one of those cakes that is frequently underappreciated. This moist, buttery cake with a caramelized almond streusel topping is one of the most delicious sheet cakes. Please give it a shot and let me know what you think!
18. Christstollen - German Christmas Stollen
Stollen is a traditional German Christmas cake that is popular during the Advent and Christmas season. It can be served as a dessert, during German coffee and cake hour, or even for breakfast. The best way to enjoy it is with a cup of hot gluhwein after a long winter walk.
19. Käsesahnetorte - German Creamy Cheese Cake
Käsesahnetorte is a light and airy take on the classic cheesecake. The cake consists of moist cake layers with a wonderful airy quark cream that often has the addition of fruit, like orange mandarins or raspberries.
More German Cake Recipes
- Easy Apple Strudel
- Apricot Cake with White Chocolate Almond Topping
- German Apple Cake With Sour Cream
- German Easter Lamb Cake
- German Cheese Cake with Crumble and Fruit
Cake is called Kuchen in German. Cakes that incorporate cream are usually called Torte in German speaking countries.
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