Recipe For Baumkuchen

The first time I saw a baumkuchen was at the Root 44 Market which is held at Audacia Wine Estate in Stellenbosch. The lady selling them had a hand written sign:

Baumkuchen ‘tree cake’

So when Dave asked her what a baumkuchen was and she answered ‘tree cake’ it did very little to explain exactly what is was. Dave tasted some and did not like it and there ended, or so I thought, our experience of baumkuchen. According to Larousse page 73, baumkuchen is a celebrated Austrian festival cake. It is meant to be hollow inside and is usually conical. This is because it is cooked on a spit. The batter is poured layer by layer onto a roller which is in front of open heating elements. The layers remain visible after cooking, giving the cake the appearance of a cut tree trunk, from which it gets its name ‘tree cake’ or baumkuchen. Baum being tree and kuchen, cake. Strangely, my grandmother who was born in Austria, never made this cake for us, nor did she ever mention it. Not having a spit meant baking this cake, layer by layer, in a loaf tin. I would not do this again as it really is time consuming, but the taste and texture were well worth the effort, as well as being able to see the layers of course.

Baumkuchen
Baumkuchen

Baumkuchen
 
Adapted from James Martin, The Collection page 330
All Rights Reserved:
Ingredients
  • 200g softened butter
  • 200g caster sugar - I used fructose
  • Finely chopped zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 200g self-raising flour, sifted
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius
  2. Grease and line a loaf tin
  3. Place the butter and sugar into a mixing bowl and cream together until light and fluffy
  4. Add the egg a small amount at a time and mix between each addition until completely incorporated
  5. Fold in the flour, a third at a time
  6. Place a thin layer of the batter on the bottom of the tin and bake for 8 minutes
  7. Place another thin layer on top of the baked layer and spread with a small spatula and bake for 8 minutes
  8. Repeat until all the batter is used, baking the last layer for 10 minutes
  9. Cool completely on a wire rack, before icing
My Notes
If the egg mixture splits at any stage bring it back together by placing 5mls of the flour into the mix.
I used 2 serving spoons per layer.

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

Blog-checking lines: The January 2014 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Francijn of “Koken in de Brouwerij”. She challenged us all to bake layered cakes in the tradition of Baumkuchen (tree cake) and Schichttorte (layered cake).

Tree Cake
Tree Cake

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36 thoughts on “Recipe For Baumkuchen

  1. this is very interesting! love the layers of this cake!

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    1. thank you Sarah & Arkadi 🙂

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  2. a fascinating story behind the cooking, and I admire you for trying and pulling it off !

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    1. Thanks for the compliment Claire 🙂

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  3. What a lovely appetizing looking cake, Tandy,Waw even. Mmmmmm.

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    1. Thanks Sophie 🙂

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  4. This is one of the best Baumkuchen recipes I’ve come across! delish 🙂

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    1. Thank you Ayesha 🙂

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  5. Looks sensational!
    Especially all the different layers. 🙂
    Mmmm . . tree cake.

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    1. Thank you 🙂

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  6. Oooh Tandy, that sounds and looks delicious, but lots of work! I’ve made Asian layer cakes in a similar way – as you say, once for the experience is enough! 🙂

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    1. I have seen those Asian layer cakes and I am sure that the effort is much the same – well worth it but only enough so to do it once 🙂

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  7. Looks tasty!

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    1. thank you yummychunklet 🙂

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  8. Looks so tasty, Tandy. 🙂

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    1. Thank you AD 🙂

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  9. oh Tandy, I cannot begin to imagine how much work this must’ve been.

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    1. Thankfully it tasted good!

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  10. I so wanted to make this this month but it was such a crazy month with Australia Day and Chinese New Year that I couldn’t. Yours looks amazing Tandy! I’ll settle with eating this with my eyes.
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella sharing the blog ♥ Welcome To Our Chinese New Year Dinner!My Profile

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    1. I was wondering why you didn’t take part this month – I hope your eyes enjoyed my cake 🙂

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  11. It’s very pretty. I’ve not tried making it because of the labor-intensive process, but have wondered if it could be accomplished with thin enough layers to quick-broil under an oven broiler element or even a salamander. Barring that, my own solution would be to move sideways to the recipes that make cakes out of stacks of crepes or large pancakes! Good on you for being willing to make the effort!
    xo

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    1. I think a broiler would be perfect – but pancakes sound easier 🙂

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  12. What a gorgeous recipe, I have never heard of it before, but it looks sweet and delicious 😀

    Cheers
    CCU

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    1. thank you for the compliment Uru 🙂

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  13. Oh my word – what a labour of love. Sometimes it’s good to try out something new, even if you never attempt it again!

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    1. for sure! And it is still moist so we will enjoy a slice a night until it is done 🙂

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  14. It looks very impressive with the layers but I can understand why you wouldn’t want to make one very often.

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    1. Thanks Corina 🙂

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  15. Very nice Tandy! It looks delicious and is one recipe I never heard of before. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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    1. it is my pleasure, and thanks for the visit 🙂

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  16. That cake is so impressive!!

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    1. Thank you Joanne 🙂

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  17. Love learning something new. Sounds like a lovely cake Tandy.
    Have a super week ahead.
    🙂 Mandy xo

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    1. Thanks Mandy, and I hope you have a good week as well xox

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  18. How interesting! I’d never heard of this before. Thanks for teaching me something new xx

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    1. I am so glad you learnt something new here today xxx

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