Looking for a traditional German dessert for that showcases all the delicious summertime fruits… but doesn’t take all day to create? Try one of these German Fruit Flan Recipes. In German, we call them Obsttorte (Fruit Torte) or a Boden meaning Base… because the cake bottom is a base for any sort of fresh fruit you want to add. My mother made this cake all summer long… often as a second choice for a Kaffee Klatsch, because eating a lot of fruit on top of a bit of cake doesn’t really feel like you are over indulging, does it?
Toppings for the German Fruit Flan or Obsttorte vary by imagination. I love any sort of berry, and here in the US, I tend to reach for Strawberries when they are in season, and maybe add boysenberries or blueberries. But don’t restrict yourself! Add Kiwi or Peaches! Make concentric circles of various fruits to give your simple Boden an amazing look. Be aware, some fruits are juicier than others, and you may need to add a protective layer to the cake part to prevent sogginess (I’ll explain below). Other fruits, like Bananas, are fine (if you happen to like bananas) but they will brown if you don’t take precautions.
In Germany, most of the German Fruit Flan Recipes call for Tortenguß. Tortenguß is a sort of “Gelatin Shield” that gives the cake a shiny look while protecting the fruit. Plus, it sort of holds things together. If you don’t want to use it, you can also use the seedless jam method for keeping the fruit shiny and safe. It comes in clear and red (to boost the color of those strawberries!).
You Can NOT Bake a German Fruit Flan without A Pan
There is no way around it, but they aren’t expensive, and you can make so many cakes with it. Mine is a regular pan, but I think I may buy a non-stick, just to because sometimes I get a cake that sticks (luckily, the tears are hidden under fruit!)
Keep Your Obstboden from Getting Soggy
Say NO to Soggy Bottoms!
Keep in mind, you can bake the cake part of the German Fruit Flan a day ahead (just wrap it up airtight to keep it from drying out). Assemble closer to when you serve it, and it should be fine. Still, if you are planning to use juicier fruit like Peaches or Kiwis? Or maybe canned Mandarins or other canned fruits. Be sure to drain them completely, and pat them dry with a paper towel before placing on the cake.
But you can also protect the cake layer in one of a few ways.
1. Melt 1/2 cup of chocolate chips… then spread the melted chocolate on the cake just up to the edges without going up. Let it set before adding fruit and finishing. Note… the chocolate will add chocolate flavor (seems obvious, but if you don’t want chocolate … go with another method)
2. Make up some Vanilla Pudding, let cool, and then spread it across the cake, just up to the edges, about 1/3 inch thick. This will keep the cake from getting too soggy from fruit juice… and it will also add a nice vanilla flavor and soft pudding texture to the middle of the bite.
3. My Oma’s method. Sprinkle some Vanilla Pudding Powder or Cornstarch over the baked cake, before adding the fruit. The powder will absorb some of the moisture.
Best Fruits for German Fruit Flan Recipes
Mix and match for pretty patterns
-Gooseberries (if you can get them
-Peaches (yes, canned are great)
If you want to use Bananas…. Slice the peeled banana, then toss gently with a little bit of lemon juice.
note… I’m not crazy about using apples in this cake, they are just too crunchy. Sliced pears might be ok, but you have to worry about browning if you use fresh ones.
Click here for a homemade version of the Dr. Oetker packets–>Homemade Tortenguß
Or you can order it here…
Note… Dr Oetker is unsweetened, so you have to add your own sugar (this is a good thing). Also, they’ve added a strawberry flavored Guss, which is kind of interesting, but I haven’t tried it yet.
Step By Step Pictures of German Fruit Flan Recipes