Almost everywhere in the world, the highlight of a terrific menu is a delicious dessert. Of course, this is also the case in Germany. If you're looking for German dessert recipes, you'll often find cakes like Black Forest cake, Bienenstich cake and other cakes and pies on international sites.
However, this tends to be an unusual choice for a dessert in Germany, as cake is usually served in the late afternoon at coffee hour.
You can still serve a delicious piece of cake for dessert, of course, and this is why I included some of the most popular choices here. But you're still more likely to find creamy puddings, ice cream creations and fruity compotes as dessert on the menu in Germany.
German Chocolate Cake - Not a Traditional German Recipe
German Chocolate Cake is delicious but neither a German dessert nor a German cake recipe. The cake was named after the chocolate developer Sam German. The chocolate was one of the main ingredients for the nowadays famous German Chocolate Cake that Mrs. George Clay from Texas in 1957 for a newspaper contest created.
If you're looking for a truly typical German dessert, then I have just the thing for you. I have compiled the best authentic German recipes for you here.
Traditional German Desserts & A German Dessert Myth
1. Herrencreme (Vanilla Pudding With Rum And Chocolate Shavings)
This creamy vanilla pudding with dark chocolate shavings and rum is traditionally served in Westphalia at the end of the wedding dinner.
Herrencreme literally translated means gentlemen´s cream. The word gentlemen is often used in European cuisine if the dish contains alcohol like rum or brandy.
2. Bayerische Creme (Bavarian Cream)
A true classic among German desserts: Bavarian cream is a heavenly creamy temptation that everybody loves. Bavarian cream is definitely one of the desserts that will make your dinner guests happy.
A variation of this cream can be used as pastry cream and makes cakes and cupcakes insanely luxurious. It is firm enough to pipe and still soft and airy. Just perfect!
3. Götterspeise aka Wackelpudding (Jello)
Jello is a popular dessert in many countries. But Germany has a special flavor that is pretty unique: Waldmeister (Woodruff). In Germany you can buy the flavor in a box but you can make it from scratch if you can get your hands on woodruff syrup.
Woodruff grows in the deciduous forests in the springtime. As early as the Middle Ages, the herb was often used in herbal medicine and as a fragrance for laundry. If you are experimental you can grow the sweet herb right in your garden and make the syrup yourself.
If you love jello in lemon or apple flavor try my cute little Oktoberfest Jello Beer Mugs. They are not only delicious but also make a great, cheap decoration.
Go to Oktoberfest Jello Mugs Recipe
4. Quarkspeisen (Quark Cream Desserts)
Creamy desserts with quark are a staple in German cookbooks. Desserts with quark are simple, fast and super versatile. Quark has the texture of thick Greek yogurt but tastes very mild, less tart than yogurt. It has a ton of health benefits and many possibilities to use it in recipes. This is why quark is used for sweet and savory recipes in Germany.
You can make them light or creamy with the addition of heavy cream. Fruity with your favorite addition of fruit and even add some chocolate to the dessert. There are hundreds of delicious dessert possibilities with quark.
Go to Banana Quark Cream Dessert
5. Vanille- & Schokopudding (Vanilla & Chocolate Pudding)
Who doesn't have fond memories of Mama's vanilla pudding. In Germany, it usually came out of a package from Dr. Oetker. But it is almost as fast to make a delicious vanilla or chocolate pudding from scratch.
You can find chocolate pudding served with vanilla sauce and vanilla pudding with chocolate sauce served as a German dessert but you can top the pudding with fruit and nuts. The simple puddings are always a great choice.
6. Rote Grütze (Red Berry Pudding)
Rote Grütze is a usually red fruit pudding and is a North German classic made from all kinds of fresh berries and cherries. It is usually served with rich vanilla sauce and heavy cream but it is a great addition to all kinds of puddings and cream desserts.
Nowadays there are many variations of Rote Grütze, the yellow fruit and green fruit variations are especially popular in the summer time. My personal favorite for the winter time is Glühwein Rote Grütze which is made with aromatic mulled wine.
7. Pommersche Götterspeise (Pomeranian Pudding Speciality)
This Pomeranian pudding specialty is one of the lesser known German dessert but heavenly delicious. This is why it is called Pommersche Götterspeise literally translated Pomeranian God´s Food.
Dark pumpernickel bread does not scream dessert when you hear it. But prepared in the form of crispy crumbs with summery cherry bliss and cool creaminess the coarse bread makes a heavenly good dessert that you need to try to understand why.
8. Rharbarber Kompott (Rhubarb Compote)
Rhubarb compote is a fruity summer dessert that impresses with its simplicity.
You can perfectly prepare the compote and refrigerate it. It is usually served cold with vanilla sauce. A great combination, because the sweet vanilla sauce harmonizes perfectly with the slightly tart rhubarb compote.
9. Weincreme & Weinschaum (Wine Cream & Wine Zabaglione)
Weincream is a classic dessert of German cuisine, which you can easily make yourself at home. Riesling is one of the most used wines for this dessert. Wine cream is usually just made with gelatin and not with eggs.
Weinschaum is made with eggs. The recipe is a little more elaborate, because you have to whip the egg cream over a water bath, just like a zabaglione.
10. Welfencreme aka Welfenspeise (Layered Dessert With Vanilla Pudding And Wine Cream)
The Welfs were one of the oldest ruling dynasties in Germany. The Hanoverian royal house belonged to a Guelph line with the coat of arms colors white and yellow.
In honor of the Welfs and their colors, this white cream with yellow sauce was composed. An excellent dessert after a festive meal with royal history.
11. Apfelstrudel mit Vanilleeis (Apple Strudel with Vanilla Ice Cream)
Apfelstrudel is the only cake you'll regularly find on German menus as a dessert. Served with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream, this dessert makes the crowning finale to any menu.
Nothing beats a delicious piece of warm apple strudel. With the step-by-step video instructions in this recipe, the delicious classic is guaranteed to succeed.
12. Spaghetti Eis (Spaghetti Ice Cream)
Simple, but incredibly delicious. For spaghetti ice cream, creamy vanilla ice cream is pressed through the potato press and garnish with strawberry sauce and shavings of white chocolate.
A real German dessert classic, which can also be found in every ice cream parlor. If you are in Germany, this is a must try.
13. Schwarzwald Becher (Black Forest Ice Cream)
A so called Schwarzwald Becher is a quick ice cream specialty that is the perfect easy dessert after a German meal. It is usually made with chocolate ice cream, Morello cherries, a shot of Kirschwasser (cherry brandy) and whipped cream.
But you can also find recipes for black forest desserts made with quark cream instead of ice cream.
14. Rumtopf (Rum Pot)
Rumtopf is an interesting specialty from Germany that was very popular in the 70s. The recipe is simple but needs some organization skills involved. You basically add fresh fruit that is in season during the summer and autumn time to a large stoneware pot and top the fruit with strong rum.
Traditionally the boozy fruit compote is not served before winter which allows the fruit to soak up the rum and develops an amazing flavor. Rumtopf makes a great topping for ice cream, pudding, waffles and other desserts.
15. Eiskaffee & Eisschokolade (Cold Coffee or Chocolate with Whipped Cream)
Germans are known for their love of coffee. A simple but great dessert in the summertime is a ice cream coffee. Just add two balls of vanilla ice cream to a tall glass and top it with some high quality cold coffee.
Add a generous dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle it with freshly grated dark chocolate. This dessert is ready in just a few minutes and can also be made with chocolate milk instead of coffee.
16. Heiße Liebe (Vanilla Ice Cream With Hot Raspberry Compote)
If you ever had dinner in a German Gasthaus you probably saw Heiße Liebe (Hot Love) on the dessert menu. This simple ice cream speciality is a staple on many restaurant menus.
The dessert is very simple but so devine. Just add a few balls of vanilla ice cream to a dessert glass or bowl. Top it with hot raspberries and a dollop of whipping cream.
17. Quarkkeulchen (East-German Pancake Speciality)
Oma´s recipe for these Quarkkeulchen is simply the best. The classic GDR recipe with potatoes tastes both sweet and savory. A combination that makes not only a great dessert but also a wonderful lunch or snack.
This easy East-German pancake specialty is usually served with apple sauce or other fruit compote.
18. Kaiserschmarrn (Bavarian/Austrian Shredded Pancakes)
Alpine cuisine has some culinary highlights. This classic Kaiserschmarrn recipe is definitely among them. Wonderful fluffy, delightfully fragrant, warm and sweet.
A real soul food from the pan. You usually have the few ingredients in stock and the imperial dessert is whipped up in no time and ready to serve with a side of apple compote or berries.
19. Milchreis (German Rice Pudding)
When it comes to rice pudding, the fondest childhood memories come to life. With this recipe you can easily prepare Omas's comfort food quickly.
A special kind of rice is used for rice pudding. One of the most famous rice variety for rice pudding is Arborio. Its grain is the largest and particularly round, making it perfect for the classic rice pudding.
20. Grießbrei (German Semolina Pudding)
Semolina porridge belongs to the rather simple dishes. You only need a handful of ingredients and the preparation is quick. It makes not only a great dessert but is also a very popular breakfast in Germany. Served with cinnamon-sugar, dusted with cocoa powder or fruit compote.
The semolina pudding is available in different variants. The recipe that you can find below is an upgraded version of the simple traditional recipe that is often used for families.
21. Flammeri (Egg Free Pudding Specialty)
A Flammeri is a cold dessert made of milk, sugar, starch products and fruit, which is overturned for serving and often served with fruit or a fruit sauce.
Unlike pudding Flammeri recipes don´t contain add egg yolks. The Flammeri is prepared with cornstarch, semolina or other starches, It is filled into molds and placed into a water bath to cook.
22. Mandelsulz (Almond Pudding)
Mandelsulz is a classic dessert made from almond milk, gelatin, sugar and cream. It is wonderfully creamy and tastes delicious. It is usually served with a fruity coulis, which harmonizes perfectly with the fine almond aroma.
A fruit coulis is a type of thick fruit sauce. The texture is thicker than juice but thinner than apple sauce.
23. Ofenschlupfer (Swabian Bread Pudding)
This recipe for the original Swabian Ofenschlupfer is an old recipe from Oma. If you know this recipe from your childhood, you will certainly not be disappointed. This classic bread pudding recipe is not only an all time favorite for children.
The great thing about this dessert is that it can be prepared with only a few ingredients that you probably already have at home.
24. Bratapfel (Baked Apples)
Baked apples are a classic winter dessert in Germany. Filled with raisins, marzipan and winter spices and served with cinnamon ice cream or vanilla ice cream.
The delicious dessert can be easily prepped in the morning and just needs to bake while you are enjoying a relaxed dinner.
25. Germknödel & Dampfnudeln (Steamed Yeast Dumplings)
The Dampfnudeln (steam dumplings) common in southern Germany and the Germknödel (yeast dumplings) common in Bavarian and Viennese cuisine are special variants of the yeast dumpling preparation.
Germknödel are traditionally served with poppy seed-powdered sugar topping and are sometimes filled with a special kind of plum preserve. Swabian Dampfnudeln are often served with fruit compote.
26. Zwetschgenknödel & Marillenknödel (Plum Dumplings & Apricot Dumplings)
Plum and apricot dumplings are some of the favorite desserts that you can find mostly in the Southern part of Germany.
They dough for the dumplings is either made with yeast or with quark. A plum or an apricot are stuffed with a sugar cube and then covered into the dough. Boiled in water and served with buttery cinnamon-sugar bread crumbs. So delicious!
27. Käse-Sahne-Dessert (German Cream Cheese Cake Dessert)
This dessert tastes just like the popular Kässesahntorte (German Cream Cheese Cake) but can be made much faster and without any baking time.
The dessert cream is light and airy and the addition of mandarin oranges makes this dessert a fresh, fruity enjoyment for all year long.
28. Solero Dessert (Vanilla Cream Dessert With Peaches And Passion Fruit Jello)
This refreshingly fruity dessert in a glass is a summer highlight for every barbecue. Vanilla cream combined with peaches and passion fruit layers, a match made in heaven.
This dessert is very popular in Germany but not a traditional German recipe. The creation was modeled by the ice cream bar called Solero from Langnese.
29. Schneewittchen Dessert (Creamy Quark Pudding With Red Berry Compote)
Schneewittchen Dessert (Snow White Dessert) is a simple, quick recipe that combines a delicious creamy quark pudding with red fruit jelly. The dessert can be prepared well and tastes light and airy due to the quark cream.
Make it in a large bowl if you have a crowd and make it in decorative glasses if you feed it to a small group. The dessert in a jar is also perfect for wedding buffets and baby showers.
30. Apfelküchlein (Apple Pancakes)
Apfelküchlein or in Southern Germany also called Apfelküchle are not only a great dessert but also a wonderful breakfast. Especially children love this sweet but healthier treat. The apples add enough sweetness to the dough so you don´t need to add much sugar.
For dessert German apple pancakes traditionally will get served with vanilla ice cream and a dollop of whipped cream. Simple, but so good.
31. Bienenstich Eiscreme (Bee Sting Cake Ice Cream)
This homemade bee sting ice cream is on of the ice cream creations that I created a couple of years ago. I developed several German cake inspired ice cream variations like Apfelstrudel (apple strudel), Frankfurter Kranz (Frankfurt Crown Cake), Schwarzwälder Kirsch (Black Forest Cake) and a few other specialites.
All cake inspired ice cream variations are easy to make at home without an ice cream machine. They can be prepared in advance and serve as a stress free dessert when you would like to serve your guests a German dessert.