Monday, January 27, 2014

Daring Bakers' Challenge: Baumkuchen

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).

I had seen pictures of cakes such as Baumkuchen before, but never knew the technique for creating so many layers until I participated in this challenge. The process was surprisingly simple, although time consuming, and the finished cake looks very impressive with its many layers. The cake wasn't too rich, with most of the flavor coming from the marzipan, and it stayed fresh for several days after baking. I will caution that you must watch the cake at all times when baking- just a few seconds too long under the broiler will ruin it! 

Spreading the first layer of batter into the cake pan.

Adding the second layer of batter.


(9-inch cake)

6 eggs, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
2/3 cup marzipan
14 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

1/3 cup apricot jam
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 tbsp coconut oil

1. Preheat oven broiler. Line 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper, and grease both the pan and the paper.

2. Separate eggs. Beat the egg whites with salt until whites hold soft peaks. Gradually beat in the sugar until whites hold stiff peaks.

3. Crumble marzipan and beat with butter, confectioner's sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, and beat well. Carefully fold in flour and egg white mixture, trying not to deflate the whites.

4. Spread about 1/10 of the batter into the bottom of the cake pan. Bake under broiler until golden brown, about 2 minutes.

5. Remove cake from oven and spread another layer of batter over the first. Bake under broiler until golden brown. Repeat this process until batter is gone.

6. Allow cake to cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then remove and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

7. Heat the apricot jam slightly and strain through a sieve. Brush cake with the strained jam.

8. Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in a double boiler, until smooth. Glaze cake with melted chocolate.

9. Allow chocolate to set, and enjoy!

-Adapted from recipe published in "101 heerlijke recepten voor cake & gebak" (ISBN: 3-7742-6073). English translation available at

-Posted by Jennifer