Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Baumkuchen/ a layered cake from heaven-Tribute to my great-grandmother

Dear all! Hope you are doing well!! There are 8 more days to go until Christmas and today I thought of posting a recipe which is very valuable and dear to me. It was handed down from my paternal great-grandmother, an amazing woman, who reached a very high age and who I was fortunate enough to still get to know. Though I was only a child when she died, I still have very clear memories of her and the time I spent with her.
This cake is called Baumkuchen which can be literally translated as “Tree cake”. Tree as with its many layers it reminds of the annual rings in a tree. It is always baked under a broiler or traditionally open flame. It is never made with baking powder or soda. In Europe you can find this cake with a chocolate glaze as well. Since the cake tastes so good by itself, a little powdered sugar, dusted on top is enough, but you can try it with chocolate as well. It takes some time to prepare and you have to stay with it all the time but it’s worth the effort.
As a child I remember my dad, who is a great cook, preparing this cake and sitting in front of the open oven with a book, ready to spread out the next layer of batter.
So when I made this cake yesterday I remembered my great-grandmother and my dad very much and missed home a lot. But the cake was heavenly delicious, just what I remember from my childhood.
Wishing you all a wonderful evening and Christmas time…!!


- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 5 large eggs, separated
- ½ Tbsp. Lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. Rum
- ½ cup finely ground almonds
- 1 cup pastry flour
- 1 cup corn starch


In a large bowl beat butter and powdered sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks along with lemon juice and rum.
Mix flour, corn starch and almonds. Sift over batter and fold in with a spatula just until mixed.
Beat the egg whites until stiff then fold into the batter.
Grease an 8-inch spring form and turn on broiler.
Spread about 3 Tbsp. of the batter on bottom of spring form. Bake under the broiler with oven door half open until brown. It takes about 5 minutes. Keep an eye on it all the time to be sure not to burn it.
Spread the next 3 Tbsp. over the first layer and bake again under broiler until browned. Repeat this step until all batter is used and the cake has 10-12 layers. Take out from oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Carefully take out from form and let cool. When cooled completely, dust with powdered sugar and serve.
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This blog is my attempt to share and chronicle experiences and recipes which I have learnt on my own through long hours in the kitchen or which were passed on to me from my family, in-laws and friends. All texts and photographs in this blog are mine unless otherwise noted and it is prohibited to copy or distribute them without my written permission. If you would like to use any content for non-commercial purposes ask first by contacting me at Please respect that this blog and all its content is the result of hard work and that it is not allowed to violate any of its copyrights.
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