Need help identifying German cake..

lizbeth-gardenerFebruary 19, 2014

Years ago I had a neighbor from Germany who made the best cake. It wasn't like our (U.S.) cakes in that the texture was so much coarser. IIRC it was just one layer and may have had some kind of ground/chopped almond topping. I don't think it was a frosting. Anyone know what these cakes are called?

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butterfly4u

Stolen.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 11:33PM
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lizbeth-gardener

I am familiar with stollen; this was a cake.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 1:54AM
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ritaweeda

Was it similar to this?? (See link)

Here is a link that might be useful: German Butterkuchen

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 6:25AM
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jasdip

Was there any fruit in it?

I make a torte that I got from a friend from Switzerland. It's dense and I put blueberries, peaches, plums, whatever fruit you want It has ground almonds on the top.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 8:11AM
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grainlady_ks

I thought it sounded like a good old common crumb cake. The recipe below is from a collection of traditional Amana recipes (copyright 1948). Ironically, it's also very similar to the first cake recipe I made as a child. -Grainlady

KRUMMEN KUCHEN
(Crumb Cake)

2 c. brown sugar
1 T. lard
2 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1 c. sour milk
1 t. soda
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla

Mix sugar, lard, flour and salt together. Take out scant cup of the mixture and set aside. To the remaining add sour milk in which the soda has been dissolved, eggs and vanilla. Mix and pour into 8-1/2 x 11-1/2-inch greased and floured cake tin, then spread the scant cup of crumbs over it and bake at 350-degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Nuts may be added to the crumb topping if desired.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 8:56AM
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lizbeth-gardener

Ritaweeda: That sounds good, but the soft center doesn't fit.

Jasdip: No fruit, but it was dense and the almonds sound right.

Grainlady: Your's sounds more like it. Is this a very dense texture? This one (German) seemed closer to my old fashioned shortcake texture, but not that coarse/dense. What makes the texture coarse-ratio of fat to flour?

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 10:44AM
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grainlady_ks

lizbeth-gardener

Yep, it's the ratio of ingredients and crumb cakes generally have a high ratio of sugar to flour.

This is the recipe I made - thanks to my cousin Dorcas. It's a common "farm" recipe to use up sour milk, and makes a simple snack-type cake that doesn't require frosting and can be eaten out-of-hand. I remember baking this cake for meals we took to the field during wheat harvest. -Grainlady

Crumb Cake

1-1/2 c. brown sugar
2 c. flour
1/2 c. lard
1/2 t. salt
1 c. sour milk
1 t. soda
1 t. vanilla

Mix first 4 ingredients together in crumb form. Save 1/2 c. to put on top. Add last 3 ingredients. Mix well and put in small cake pan (I use a 9x9-inch). Bake at 325-degrees for 45-minutes.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 12:41PM
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mustangs81

Ask Peppi, Peppi where are you?

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 2:58PM
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Olychick

Butterkuchen?

I've had this from a bakery, but don't have a recipe myself.

Here is a link that might be useful: Butterkuchen recipe

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 7:05PM
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lizbeth-gardener

Grainlady: Those recipes look so simple; I will have to try them. I do think this one I'm remembering was baked in a 8-9" round cake pan. Wow- that seems like a really large amount of sugar for such a small cake! Your first one isn't quite as sugar heavy and I don't remember this as being overly sweet. But then my memory may be off-it's been a long time!

Olychick: I just told Ritaweeda that it didn't sound like a Butterkuchen because of the description of the soft center, but in your picture, the texture sure looks right, but I don't think it was a yeast cake. On your link there is one called Bienenstich (no yeast) that sounds possible, if I skipped the filling and ground the almonds.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 12:18AM
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ruthanna_gw

I asked my DD, who has spent a lot of time in Germany. Her guess is that it's Bienenstitch or Bee Sting Cake. If you google bee sting cake recipe, you'll find many pictures and recipes.

She said some versions have a custard filling but most of them are just a raised one layer cake with an almond topping.

Edited to add that there is honey in the topping, which is the reason for the name.

This post was edited by ruthanna on Fri, Feb 21, 14 at 9:22

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 8:52AM
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lizbeth-gardener

Thanks, Ruthanna.
I just saw that cake (as indicated in my last post) and thought that might be the one. Thanks to your DD for that info. and interesting about the name-I hadn't connected the dots!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 9:56PM
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arkansas_girl

Bee String cake looks scrumptious!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 8:15PM
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Circus Peanut

Another classic German cake recipe uses what they call "Biskuit" dough. It relies on corn or potato starch for about half the flour, and might be just the slightly coarser texture you are thinking of? They often use it as a base for denser torte toppings like fruit and gelatin. It's not as sweet or moist as most Americans seem to prefer their cake, but it's the best foil for fillings and toppings. I've successfully modified it for gluten-free cakes, or you can use cocoa to make it a "dark Biskuit".

Here's a translated version of the recipe my German mom uses:

4 eggs, separated
4 teaspoons warm water
175 grams fine sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 pinch salt
75 grams flour (fine type 00 if available)
75 grams corn starch
1/4 tsp baking powder

Beat egg yolks, water, vanilla and sugar at high speed on mixer until foamy.

Mix flour, starch, salt and baking powder in a separate bowl. Slowly stir into egg mixture.

Beat egg whites until stiff, fold in.

Smooth into flat jellyroll pan, or torte form, or what have you. Bake at 350 for about 20min or until toothpick comes out clean. Turn oven off and let the cake sit in there a few minutes before removing.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 10:13AM
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Circus Peanut

LOL - I just looked up Biskuit in German, because it's different from the word "biscuit" in English, and got the English translation for the German wikipedia page on Biskuit:

"However, the most important leavening the biscuit is the stirred-air. Only this makes the mass properly loose and bulky. Therefore, the mass must be shifted to the preparation immediately in the preheated oven, because otherwise he collapses."

Here is a link that might be useful: German wiki: Biskuit

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 10:18AM
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lizbeth-gardener

Thanks, Circuspeanut. Another recipe to add to my possibilities-now I just need to start baking!

But do tell me what is fine type 00 flour?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 12:41AM
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Circus Peanut

It's just a fine pastry or cake flour; you can use regular flour if necessary. For some reason, in Germany the flour is ground finer but the sugar coarser than here in the US.

I think Italy has a whole system of flour typing, which is probably where the Germans got it - my mom uses an Italian type '00' -- which is for pasta I think? to replicate the German flour she's most familiar with -- she gets it at an Italian supermarket.

Good luck with the cake!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 10:10AM
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