Streuselkuchen – Streusel (Crumb) Cake Recipe

This is a wonderful, easy to make crumb cake, in which you can prepare your own fruit for a filling, or use canned pie filling. Filling the cake with apple or cherry are my two favorite options, but I have also used peaches. This is as close to pie as Germans get, and honestly, this is much better with a strong cup of coffee than American pie. Enjoy!

Difficulty: Easy.
Preparation Time: 70 minutes.
Portions: 10 slices.

Ingredients:

 

  • 3 1/3 c. all-purpose flour (400 grams)
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp. vanilla extract)
  • 1/4 tsp. double acting baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 14 Tbsp. butter or margarine (250 grams)
  • one can of pie filling, or prepared fruit as for a pie

Read more Streuselkuchen – Streusel (Crumb) Cake Recipe

Pfeffernüsse I – Pepper Nut Cookie Recipe I

These are traditional German Christmas cookies, but are wonderful anytime. The nice thing about these is that they are so well-known, you can find them sold through many brands right in your local grocery store. Of course, homemade is always nice – especially when giving the gift of cookies to family and friends.

Difficulty: Moderate.
Preparation Time: *See recipe.
Portions: 3 – 4 dozen.

Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 c. blanched almonds or hazelnuts (about 1/2 pound)
  • 4 c. unbleached flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. finely ground black or white pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. dry powdered mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. ground mace
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 2 1/2 sticks butter (10 ounces), softened
  • 1 1/4 c. light brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 c. honey
  • 1/3 c. warm water
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda

Read more Pfeffernüsse I – Pepper Nut Cookie Recipe I

Buttergebäck – German Butter Cookie Recipe

One thing you will always find at any German bakery are butter cookies. Kids love them, and Omas always have a stash for the kiddies. They are a great staple for sweet trays around the holidays too, and can be cut into any shape you like. They are definitely one of my guilty pleasures this time of year! 🙂

Difficulty: Moderate.
Preparation Time: *See recipe.
Portions: 3 + dozen.

Ingredients:

  • 6 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 pound butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 c. sugar
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 c. fruity wine, such as Riesling

Read more Buttergebäck – German Butter Cookie Recipe

What IS that stuff?? German Cake & Gelatin?

I’ve seen some people inquire as to what the gelatin mixture is that is placed over fruit on German tortes.  It really isn’t that mysterious, and there are two ways you can achieve this at home.

Your first option is to make it from scratch.  The most difficult part is to continually mix and not overheat the mixture.  Here is the recipe.

Fruit Torte Jelly/Gelatin

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tsp. gelatin (plain, unflavored gelatin – can be found in the baking aisle of any grocer)
  • 1 cup water OR apple juice (be aware this will add some extra flavor)
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • Optional: 1 tsp. red food coloring

Preparation:

  1. Soak gelatin in 2 tbsp. cold water for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat over low heat until it becomes liquid.
  3. Add 2 tbsp. sugar and the remainder of water and heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved.
  4. Remove from heat and cool until it is just pourable (20 – 30 minutes).
  5. Spoon over finished cake shell with fruit already arranged over the top.
  6. Allow whole cake to set for at least one hour before serving.  For extended life, refrigerate to prevent fruit from molding.

Okay, so you say this sounds too tedious, and you want a quick and dirty solution? Try Tortenguss.  You can purchase a dry mix, which still needs to be heated, but is a little less finicky. My personal favorite can be bought from German Deli: Dr. Oetker Tortenguss Klar (Clear Cake Glaze). It is sold in a 3-pack, and I will stock up on a few at a time.

See? Isn’t it great when one of life’s little mysteries can be solved so simply? 🙂

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Himbeertorte – German Raspberry Cake Recipe

A typical cake served for German coffee time.  It is best to use a special pan, that when flipped, leaves a recess in the cake, much like shortcake cups, but any 11″ pan should work.

Difficulty: Moderate.
Preparation Time: 2 hours.
Portions: 4 – 6. 12 pieces.

Ingredients:himbeerkuchen

Cake Batter

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. warm water
  • 6 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 7 tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 6 tbsp. cornstarch

Topping

  • 1 1/2 pint raspberries
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tsp. sugar

Jelly

  • 1/2 tsp. gelatin
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. red food coloring

Read more Himbeertorte – German Raspberry Cake Recipe

Rumkuchen I – German Rum Cake I Recipe

A yummy, basic, rum cake recipe.  This is especially good as a cold weather dessert. Serve with cherries over the cake for extra yum factor.

Difficulty: easy.
Preparation Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes.
Portions: 6.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound flour (this is about 3 -4 cups, but check the flour weight for best results)
  • 3/4 pound butter, softened
  • 6 ounces sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup rum

Read more Rumkuchen I – German Rum Cake I Recipe

Butterkuchen – Butter Cake Recipe

Very easy, nice cake recipe to have with coffee or tea. This is best served warm. Simply double to make a larger batch.

Difficulty: moderate
Preparation Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Portions: 6

ButterkuchenIngredients:

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 oz sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 pack dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 oz butter,unsalted
  • 1 egg
  • 4 oz butter,unsalted
  • 1 2/3 oz sugar

Read more Butterkuchen – Butter Cake Recipe

Baumkuchen – Tree Cake Recipe

While traditional Baumkuchen would be impossible to create in a home kitchen, it is possible to make a mock version which is almost as good.  This recipe requires some work, but will go well with coffee, especially around the holidays.

Difficulty: normal.
Preparation Time: 45 min.
Portions: 8.

Ingredients:
  • 7/8 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 7/8 cup cornstarch
  • 5 1/2 ounces almond paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 9 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Read more Baumkuchen – Tree Cake Recipe