The tradition of Kaffee and Kuchen (cake and coffee) on Sunday afternoons is wonderfully ingrained in the culture. Cakes and Tortes, baked from Traditional German Cake Recipes are familiar favorites. Cakes made with real cream, fruit, chocolate, nuts and streusel make their appearance every week, mid-afternoon, as a nice treat after a walk or nap are served with a mellow German coffee on good china. This is a treat to be savored, a time for family and friends to sit together just enjoy life.
Whether you bake your own, or buy them from your favorite Bakery, the hardest part is choosing which one you want…. with so many to choose from, what are the Best German Cakes for your Kaffeklatsch?
1. Frankfurter Kranz
The Frankfurter Kranz appeared in Frankfurt around 1735 and symbolizes a crown with cherry Jewels. The cake itself is a sponge cake, baked in a Bundt or Gugelhopf form, cut into 3 horizontal layers, then filled and frosted with a rich buttercream. A caramelized hazelnut topping adds crunch and delicious flavor. Although it requires a little extra work, this is one of the easier Tortes to make. This cake was a special treat when we visited mom’s friend Hannelore (we kids had to wait until the adults had their fill, then we could have some… if there was any left!)
Find the Recipe for Frankfurter Kranz here–> http://www.food.com/recipe/frankfurter-kranz-a-la-dr-oetker-471890
2. Donauwellen (Schneewittchen Kuchen)
Donauwellen, literally “Danube Waves” is a sheet cake that gets its name from the layered waves that you see when you slice into it. Chocolate and vanilla cake are marbled before baking, and topped with a vanilla cream and tart cherries. Once the cake has cooled, a rich layer of chocolate glaze goes across the top. The cake’s other name Schneewittchen Kuchen comes from that combination of dark and light, with cherry red, for lips). I was so excited when My Tante Annemarie, who looks like Schneewittchen, make us delicious cake, and gave me her recipe.
Find the Recipe for Donauwellen here– http://mybestgermanrecipes.com/german-pastry-donauwelle-cake-recipe/
3. Apfel Kuchen (Apple Cake)
There are probably as many variations on ApfelKuchen as there are bakers. Versunkener Apfelkuchen, Sunken Apple Cake, where slices of apple are places on the dough before baking so they sink in to the cake and ApfelStreuselkuchen, Apple Streusel Cake, where the apple is covered with Streusel. Served simply with a sprinkle of powdered sugar or dash of real whipped cream, this classic cake is a treat any time of year. This cake was always on our Kaffee Klatsch table.
Find the recipe for Versunkerer Apfelkuchen here–> http://www.quick-german-recipes.com/german-apple-cake-recipe.html
4. Bienenstich (Bee Sting)
Legend has it the baker who originally baked a Bienenstich was stung by a bee that was attracted to the sweet smell of this favorite cake. This sheet cake is topped with a layer of baked on caramelized almonds slices. After cooling, the cake is sliced horizontally, filled with sweet vanilla pastry cream. My dad’s favorite!
Find the recipe here–> http://www.germandeli.com/Recipe-for-Bienenstich-2
5. Pflaumen kuchen (Plum Cake)
When Zwetschgen (an oval Italian plum) are in season, Pflaumenkuchen shows up everywhere from the corner bakery, to the Konditerei… and with good reason. The delightful contrast between cake and slightly sour plum topped with either sugar crystals or streusel makes a delicious cake that isn’t as rich or heavy as a cream torte. To me, it tastes like Summer.
Find the recipe here–> http://germangirlinamerica.com/my-favorite-german-foods/plum-cake-pflaumenkuchen/
6. Blitz Torte (Lightening Cake)
The name Blitzkuchen is not because the baker was struck by lightning… rather, because of how FAST this “fancy” cake is ready. Two layers of simple cake baked with a meringue topping are filled with whipped cream and possibly fruits like cherries or gooseberries. It’s an unbelievably easy cake to make, but looks like you slaved for hours. This delicious simple recipe comes from my Tante Anne.
For the recipe–> http://germangirlinamerica.com/cherry-meringue-torte/
7. Kaese Sahne Torte ( Cheese and Cream Cake)
Consider Kaese Sahne Torte a perfect hybrid of Cheesecake and a whipped cream cake. A creamy, delicious 2-3 inch thick filling is tucked between two thin layers of cake. It may look like a heavy calorie bomb, but in actuality, this cake is light enough to make you consider taking a second slice. Or a third.
For the Recipe–> http://www.quick-german-recipes.com/recipe-for-cheese-cake.html
8. Schwarzwalder Kirsch Torte (Black Forest Cherry Cake)
No list of German Cakes and Tortes would be complete without the iconic Schwarzwalder Kirsch Torte. Chocolate cake, soaked a bit with Kirsch Liqueur (which give it the name), then filled and frosted with whipped cream, Morello cherries and chocolate shavings. Interestingly enough, the Black Forest Cakes origins are relatively recent…although who exactly made it first is up for debate. But, whoever made it first won’t matter to you while when you dig in to a slice. Black Forest Cake History–> http://www.kitchenproject.com/history/BlackForestCake/index.htm
For the recipe–> http://www.food.com/recipe/authentic-black-forest-cake-schwarzwald-kirsch-kuchen-343698
9. Obst Boden (Fruit Flan)
An Obst Boden must be the most versatile cakes in the German Bakery. This simple sponge cake is baked in a special Boden / Flan pan, and is filled with whatever fruits you have on hand…. everything from a mound of strawberries to a rainbow of layered slices of mandarin, banana, mango, cherries, grapes and even poached fruit. Top that with a glaze of melted jam, or a layer of Torten Guss (thin layer of Gelatin to keep the fruit fresh). It’s refreshing and beautiful.
Find recipe here–>http://www.quick-german-recipes.com/fruit-flan-recipe.html
10. Apfelstrudel (Apple Strudel)
Apfelstrudel is the dessert everyone automatically thinks of when they are thinking dessert in Germany. Thin and crispy layers of flaky pastry are wrapped around thinly sliced apples, raisins and sugar. Perfect with a schlag of whipped cream and a steaming cup of coffee. Added bonus, there is so much fruit in a strudel, you don’t have to feel guilty about having a second piece.
Making the pastry from scratch at home is best left to experts… use store bought Phyllo dough for easy results
Find the Recipe here–> http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/cinnamon-apple-strudel-recipe.html
11. Streuselkuchen (Streusel Cake)
Streuselkuchen is the perfect cake for Streusel junkies like me (I can’t tell you how many times mom had to slap my hands when I picked streusel off the still cooling cake). The layer of cake is mostly there to hold the streusel in place until you get it to your mouth. Sweet, rich and crunchy, this simple combination of flour, sugar and butter just melts when you bite into it.
Find the recipe here–> http://www.germanfoodguide.com/recipes.cfm?recipe_number=81
Looking for more Traditional German Cake Recipes?
What is YOUR Favorite German Cake?
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