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Top 12 Easy Traditional German Cake Recipes in English

Lydia Fulson - author

by: Lydia Fulson  /  Writer, Artist, Traveler, Granddaughter & Ever-Learning German Cook

If you're looking for tasty, authentic, and easy traditional German cake recipes (in English) to try, then you've come to the right place!

Over the years, Oma has accumulated quite an abundance of cake recipes, recreated to be made her very own. But now, the time has come to pass them on to you! Every perfect German meal deserves to be finished off the right way. And that finishing touch is to have the perfect traditional cake to dig into.

German crown cake

These easy cakes are the cherry on top of any good meal. Personally, I could have Oma's plum cake and a cold can of root beer all day, any day.

These recipes are great for special occasions, after-dinner desserts, or as a mid-afternoon snack. When I spend the afternoon at Oma and Opa's, 3 o'clock is our 'drop everything and have coffee and sweets time'. Nothing beats the designated cake time of day!

Many of these traditionally lecker cake recipes you'll be trying, and tasting have actually made their way here from Oma's Mutti's handwritten cookbooks! Oma has since translated the German cake recipes in English for our English readers to enjoy as well.

We hope you find something that intrigues your taste buds and perhaps brings back memories of your own Mutti or Oma, baking similar cakes in the kitchen. The history and memories associated with a recipe can make it all that more special to recreate!

I could go on and on, but I think it's high time (perhaps, high tea and cake time??...) we get into some cakes. Shall we? 

Let's kick off our Top 12 Easy Traditional German Cake Recipes (in English) with our flavorful fruity cakes. Stay tuned until the end for the most popular German cakes!


Fruity Cakes

Sometimes, all one craves with a hot cup of coffee is the perfect fruity cake with those refreshing hints of flavor and pops of color.

First up, a cake that does just that!

1. German Plum Cake Recipe

We're starting off this cake journey with a real traditional treat.

This German Plum Cake goes by many names, depending on the area in Germany. You may hear it as, Pflaumenkuchen, Zwetschgenkuchen, Zwetschgendatschi, or Quetschekuch.

The best part about a cake like this is that it can be filled with more than just plums. Use canned peaches, blueberry jam, and more! 

This cake with many names is refreshing and great with a big ol' dollop of whipped cream, ice cream of whatever kind suites your fancy on top. Notice that crumble layer on top of it all? That's German streusel. A tasty buttery crumble of goodness that makes this cake *chefs kiss*!

German plum cake can be on the table ready for slicing in just over an hour! There's no need for long cooling or prepping times when making something out of Oma's cookbook. Quick and easy, that's our motto.


2. German Strawberry Cream Torte

Get ready for the showstopper!

German Strawberry Cream Torte, aka Oma's Erdbeercremetorte, doesn't have a bad side. The decorative strawberries lining the outside of the cake make this such an eye-catching cake for company. She's a picture-perfect mix of two recipes combined into one.

Some of the best recipes come from messing around and trying new things, and that's just what happened with this tasty treat. It may seem like a lot of work to get a cake to look this good. But it's surprisingly simple.

Imagine the faces of the grandkids as their Oma (Mutti, Grandma, Nona, Nana) brings this impressive cake to the table!


3. German Apple Strudel Recipe

Here's a tried and true classic: German Apple Strudel recipe, aka Apfelstrudel. You can't go wrong with this. If you want to make it even more German, pour some warm vanilla sauce over top. This sauce is made with ingredients one already has handy in the cupboard.

It really is quick and easy to make compared to other strudel recipes. But how? What secrets is Oma keeping?? Well, Oma's go-to trick for keeping it simple is frozen puff pastry! Use this and save loads of time instead of making and prepping your own pastry dough.

From here, make your filling and roll it up! It's as easy as one, two, three.

Are you curious about Oma's other hints and secrets to the perfect German Apple Strudel? Follow over to the recipe and get all of the tips to making the perfect strudel.


4. Easy German Apple Cake Recipe

I could just look at this one all day.

Here we have the traditional German Apple Cake Recipe, aka Oma's Versunkener Apfelkuchen. "Versunkener," meaning sunken or submerged.

This sunken apple cake is one that Germans from all around know and love. It's easy yet incredibly impressive looking. This cake really looks like a work of art! It tastes like one, too.

Oma has made this cake for us an abundance of times over the years, and it often finds its way onto our dessert table around the holiday season.

The soft crunch of the fresh apples and the sweetness of the sprinkled icing sugar makes for an irresistible cake. Or sprinkle with cinnamon. Think apple pie, but ten times better. Get creative and try different designs on top with the apple slices. Cakes with creative liberty are so much fun to make. Try this traditional apple cake today!


5. German Cream Roll Recipe

Oma's German Cream Roll Recipe, aka Oma's Biskuitrolle, is a delicious masterpiece. It's a Swiss roll, but make it German!

The tasty, log-looking creation can be made with a variety of fruits and jams, just like the plum cake above. My personal favorites are blueberries and strawberries. Strawberries and cream is a classic, after all.

If you're making this recipe in the summertime, this is a great opportunity to show off those homegrown berries you've worked so hard to grow during the season. Let's be honest: serving a cake that's rolled up is already impressive in itself!

I made this one when I was very young with Oma, and I remember trying so hard to roll it perfectly like Oma to impress the rest of the family at our dinner later. Speaking on behalf of all the compliments during the tasting, I called it a success.

Will you be adding this artsy, refreshing, light, and creamy dessert to your list?


Other Fancy Pants German Cakes

Now onto Oma's other cake recipes! These aren't fruity, but they're some of the most popular ones among Germany. 

6. German Bee Sting Cake

A uniquely named delicious cake for sure, Oma's Bienenstich Recipe aka, German Bee Sting Cake is a popular one all around Germany for good reason.

This one is made without yeast, as yeast dough can be time consuming. Oma found a way around it. Out of all of these German cake recipes in English, I sure am glad Oma translated this one for us too. It's just too good not to try!

This delicious layered cake is one of those desserts that is common in every bakery or cafe that you walk into in Germany. Much like how for us, in Canada, you can find a Nanaimo bar everywhere you go. It's a staple among German desserts.

It's the perfect mix of textures and flavors for year round kaffee und kuchen, (Coffee and cake) time. During my time in Germany with Oma, I got to try authentic Bienenstich in a cafe in Munich. It tasted just like the classic cake that Oma makes for us at home. A truly tasty and creamy treat indeed.

Lydia's Bienenstich in munichMy massive and delicious slice of Bienenstich in Munich

7. German Blitz Torte Recipe

Another cake of many names. This Blitz Torte, aka: Lightning Cake also has multiple different names around Germany, including some wacky ones like, Tausenblättertorte (Thousand Leaves Torte), and even Schwimmbadtorte (Swimming Pool Torte).

The thing I love most about this cake is that it's so light! It may look thick, but the cake layers are so light and creamy, which is always better…it just means you'll have room for more than one piece! Not too sweet, not too heavy, it's the perfect layered cake.

This is another impressive piece to show off to the guests. You'll be turning heads with this one.


8. Marble Pound Cake Recipe

Oma's German Marble Pound Cake, aka, Marmorkuchen is a family recipe that's been handed down for generations. We've all enjoyed many slices of this cake over the years with a hot cup of tea of coffee.

Make it marble, or satisfy that sweet tooth and make it fully chocolate. Yes, you can control how much chocolate swirl is in there! Marble it to your and your guests liking.

When you think of the best cake for coffee time. It's usually coffee cake, or pound cake. Follow Oma's tips on how to make the decadent chocolate drizzle for on top as the perfect finishing touch. Add rum extract instead of vanilla extract and you have a great cake for the holidays! 


9. German Yogurt Mousse Cake

German Cheesecake Recipe, aka Käse-Sahne Torte is traditionally made with quark, but my recipe uses Greek yogurt. An easier to find substitute.

Although what makes it a cheesecake is the quark, because quark is similar to a thinner cottage cheese, the cake is still a type of cheesecake when using yogurt. It is still considered a cheesecake, just a little more on the creamy side.

Not to mention, it's just a beautiful cake! Customize this cake and make it truly your own. You can get rid of the fruit inside all together and savor the creamy filling on its own, or add whatever kind of fruit you'd like.

One could keep the kids busy and let them decorate the top of the cake with different fruit patterns. Then, of course, dig in!


10. Easy German Black Forest Cherry Cake

Everyone knows the famous Black Forest Cake of Germany. Especially our family. For us, we see this cake at least a few times a year. My Dad requests this one for his birthday, fathers day, and pretty much every holiday.

Thanks to Oma's amazing easy version, we can do just that and have this cake more often because it really is soo easy! This one only takes five ingredients, including quick packaged cake mix, and cherry pie filling. 

Not only is it a staple in German cuisine, but with this easy version, it's guaranteed to make it onto your top cakes list for special occasions. Or, no occasion at all. Sometimes, we just need cake, and that's that!

If you're wanting to make the true authentic version with the scrumptious cherry liqueur or cherry brandy soaked morello cherries, check out Oma's Authentic Black Forest Cake recipe.


Want to know which recipes are Oma's favorites? Grab your copy of her very favorite recipes in Favorite German Recipes eCookbook.

Take a look at Oma’s Favorite German Recipes eCookbook and enjoy the traditional taste of German cuisine!

Take a peek at all Oma's eCookbooks. They make sharing your German heritage a delicious adventure!

11. German Butter Cake Recipe

Oma's Butter Cake, aka Butterkuchen (sometimes called Zuckerkuchen), much like Bienenstich, is a common one around cafes and bakeries everywhere in Germany.

It's light and fluffy texture makes it the perfect coffee accompaniment. The buttery topping decorated with sliced almonds is the perfect amount of sweet and salty to make an all around, irresistible cake.

This one is a yeast-based cake, but it's not a long recipe by any means. It's on our easy list after all! It's at its tastiest when it's fresh from the oven, with it's gooey goodness topping still warm. But of course, all cakes taste good no matter what time or temp! Room temperature tastes just as good, but don't forget Oma's signature dollop of whipped cream on top.


We've made it to the finale! What better way to finish off our list than with a beautiful cake like this one?

12. Oma's Easy German Chocolate Cake

Oma's Easy German Chocolate Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting is a show stopper for sure. It's decedent and sweet and your guests won't be able to resist trying a stunning cake like this.

It's called a German chocolate cake. But it's surprisingly not a cake straight from Germany at all.

The name comes from an American Chocolatier who's name was Samuel 'German.' When he released his own chocolate brand, it was called German's sweet chocolate. People would make chocolate cake using this sweet chocolate and thinking due to it's name, that is was German made. So, getting lost and mixed up in history, everyone would call their chocolate cakes, German chocolate cake. 

So, if you see a German Chocolate Cake in the store, chances are, it probably isn't German. Only derived from a man named German long ago. Now you know a chocolatey fun fact!

This chocolate cake is a great one to make for company or if you're craving something sweet. There are a few substitutes you can use to make the recipe a little more German. Follow Oma's steps and you'll be a pro baker like Mr. German in no time.


Thanks for coming by and checking out Oma's top traditional German cake recipes (in English)! Just follow the links, get your favorite apron out and enjoy some kitchen time making these beloved authentic German cake recipes.

German food is hearty and decedent food that brings people together. Cakes are no exception! Try some of these with your grandkids, or serve them up at your next family gathering to impress and enjoy together. 

Try, say, an Apple cake for this holiday, then try a Blitz Torte next time! There's just so many good ones to try. Which traditional German cakes will you be adding to your cookbook?


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Meet with us around Oma's table, pull up a chair, grab a coffee and a piece of Apfelstrudel, and enjoy the visit.

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