When my cousin Linda sent me a photo of Tante Edith’s German red wine cake recipe, I had a feeling I was in the British Baking Show tent doing a Technical challenge. The ingredients (naturally) were all in German, and the amounts in grams. Ok… I can handle that. The instructions though, were a bit more cryptic.
1. Beat the eggwhite
2. Bake at 175°C for 50 in the oven.
That was all.
Nothing about the order of mixing ingredients, nothing about the pan size, just that.
I guess I should feel proud that Linda has such strong confidence in my baking skills. Since I like a challenge, made it…. and it only took two tries (and a small adjustment to the original recipe) to produce a cake that my people can’t stay away from. PLUS! I get triple bonus points for using the tricky Bavaria Bundt pan with all the ridges and getting the cake out in one piece. (DO NOT shortcut greasing and flouring the pan!)
This chocolate forward cake reminds me a bit of the American Red Velvet cake… the chocolate flavor is there, but it’s not REALLY a chocolate cake. You also get some spice from cinnamon and tang from red wine. All in all, it’s a wonderful cake for the Holidays.
I served my German Red Wine Cake in the garden while wearing my now Garnet Everyday Dirndl from Rare Dirndl…
Top the cake with a simple dusting of powdered sugar, and serve with a nice Schlagg of Whipped Cream!
German Red Wine Cake – Tante Edith’s Rotwein Kuchen
Linda tells me that this was their favorite childhood Birthday Cake. Now, before you call social services on her mother! The original recipe actually contains relatively little red wine. Rotwein Kuchen tastes more like a chocolate cake with a tang, since you add both cocoa powder AND Chocolate shavings to the batter (think Red Velvet cake). I doubled the amount of red wine to a little to punch up the flavor, and give the cake more moisture. It should still be suitable for children, since the alcohol will bake off.
About the Chocolate Shavings– In Germany you can buy Shokoraspeln in the baking aisle. Here I used chocolate chips that I pulsed in the food processor until they were shavings. You can also grate a 6 oz chocolate bar (watch your knuckles) or use chocolate sprinkles (which really don’t taste as nice).
German Red Wine Cake- Tante Edith's Rotwein Kuchen
- 1 cup plus 3 Tablespoons 250 gram Sugar
- 1 cup 252 gram Butter- soft enough to beat
- 4 Eggs- divided
- 2 Tablespoons Vanilla Sugar
- 1 teaspoon generous Cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoon Cocoa
- 2 cups 250 gram Flour
- 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
- ¼ liter 1 cup Red wine
- 5 generous ounces 150 gram chocolate shavings
- ¼- 1/3 cup powdered sugar for decoration
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Grease and flour a Bundt Pan (don’t shortcut this, or the cake will stick!)
- Separate the eggs. Beat the Egg White to a Soft Peak… it should just hold form, but not be dry. Set aside
- In the mixing bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and vanilla sugar, beat for 5 minutes until light. Scrape the bowl occasionally to make sure you get it all mixed in.
- With the mixer on low, add the egg yolks one at a time, making sure each one is mixed in before adding the next.
- Combine the cinnamon, cocoa, flour, and baking powder in a measuring cup or bowl.
- Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the wine to the butter mixture with the mixer on low. (1/2 of the dry, ½ of the wine, the rest of the dry, the rest of the wine). Scrape to make sure it’s all incorporated.
- Add the Chocolate Shavings, mix to incorporate.
- Add the egg white by hand- Because the batter is heavy and the egg white is full of air, you want to only add a small amount at first to “lighten” the batter. Put ¼ of the beaten egg white into the batter, and fold it in with a spatula (basically, scrape down the side with the spatula, and pull batter up over the top of the egg white… rotate the bowl and repeat.) when it’s mostly in, add another portion of the egg white and fold again. Then add more… and then the rest.
- The batter shouldn’t have gobs of white, but a few small blotches won’t hurt.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top.
- Bake for 50 minutes at 350°F (or 175°C)
- Let rest in the pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes before you attempt to turn it out.
- Let cool
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.
(If I do the cake batter first, I have to wash the mixing bowl to make sure it’s completely free of any fat that will prevent the egg white from stiffening up. If you have a hand mixer and second bowl, congratulations! You don’t have to juggle).
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See How I Made the German Red Wine Cake
I started by “shaving” the chocolate. Chopping up Chocolate Chips was the easiest. You could also grate a Semi-Sweet chocolate bar.
Whip the egg whites to a soft peak… don’t let it get too dry
Beat the cake ingredients, then fold the egg white into the batter a 1/3 at a time.
If you dump it all in at once, the whites will deflate.
When the egg whites are all incorporated, the batter will look lighter.
Don’t worry about a few faint white streaks
Fill the prepared Bundt Pan.
DO NOT SKIMP on greasing and flouring the pan…
Bake 50 minutes at 350°F
Let rest 10 minutes, then take a deep breath before flipping it out of the pan.
When the Cake has cooled, dust it with powdered sugar.
I do this on a rack over a bowl to catch the mess.
Done, and ready to serve!
Makes 12- 16 Slices