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


  • 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


  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? 🙂

Amazon for German Groceries

The depth and breadth of products and services at Amazon never ceases to amaze me. While poking around their Grocery section, I found not just German grocery items, but German grocery items in bulk.  I want to share a few things that I try to keep around the pantry when I get my hands on them. While cooking things from scratch can be fun and tasty, it is sometimes a great time and sanity saver to keep some quickie products on hand.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Panni Potato Dumpling

Panni Bavarian Potato Dumpling Mix – makes a decent dumpling that can be served with main dishes such as Schweinebraten, Sauerbraten, or Gulasch. Kids love these little things, and they are easy to make and prepare.

A package of 12 is under $28.


Black Forest Girl Homemade Spaetzle – A great spaetzle that is quite popular in our house. I have tried several, but many of the ones you can get in the U.S. get too chewy, or taste bland. Black Forest Girl is really good. Here’s a tip – when you drain after cooking, rinse quickly with cool water. This gets rid of some of the excess starch, and ‘sets’ the spaetzle. Simply pour it back into the hot pan, add a touch of butter, and mix over the still warm burner (don’t turn it back on). Perfect spaetzle!

A bulk box of 30 packages (about two meals from each bag for a family of 3) is under $64.00!

Dr Oetker Streusel CakeDr. Oetker German Streusel Cake Mix – This is a favorite cake in our house. I usually use cherry filling, but it is also really good with peach and apple filling. It is very easy to make, and is yummy with afternoon coffee on the weekends.

Amazon has an 8 pack for less than $23!