How to Bake an Eastern German Basic Cake

This basic cake recipe was apparently popular in Eastern Germany until 1990, a time when the economy was weak and the Eastern Block ceased to exist. Made with fewer quantities of eggs, sugar, and fat than some other richer cakes, this is a tasty but affordable recipe.[[Image:

]]== Ingredients ==

  • 150 g sugar
  • 150 g margarine at room temperature (butter can be used if margarine is unavailable)
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • A pinch of salt
  • 375 g wheat flour, can be replaced with 1/3 of whole grain flour
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 7 g baking soda or baking powder
  • 125 mL milk

Optional ingredients

  • A tablespoon of cocoa powder
  • For a nut cake version, chopped nuts such as hazelnuts, macadamia, or cashews
  • For a fruit cake version, dried fruits like prunes, apricots, or raisins
  • For icing, 100g powdered sugar and 2 tbsp. rum, or 125 g chocolate pieces


  1. 1
    Combine the margarine, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl.
  2. 2
    Crack the eggs, separate them, and add the egg yolks into the bowl. Be careful not to get any shell into the mixture. After stirring, add the egg white and mix.
    • If you are planning on using the cocoa powder, add it with the eggs prior to mixing.
    • A kitchen machine, such as a food processor, will get better results than using a hand mixer.
  3. 3
    Add flour, milk, baking soda/powder, and lemon juice. A part of the milk can be replaced by 1-2 little cups of cold espresso or a portion of instant coffee powder to obtain a slightly brown colour and coffee taste.
    • Best results will occur when mixing the flour and the baking agent in a separate bowl.
  4. 4
    Use a sieve for the flour mix, starting with 50% of the flour amount , and give it to (1).
  5. 5
    Stir the mixture until the texture resembles ice cream(2), and give the rest of flour mix to (2).
  6. 6
    If you are making a nut or fruit cake variation, this is the time to add in the extra ingredients.
  7. 7
    Remember to combine thoroughly.
  8. 8
    If the cake mass is too sticky, stir in about 1/2 cup of water.
  9. 9
    Pour the mixture into a baking pan. Should the mix be too sticky, make a roll of the mix in a coated paper (baking paper) and bake it on the paper in an oven pan. You will obtain a cake in the shape of a German loaf of bread.
  10. 10
    Bake for about 35 minutes in a 350 °F oven (about 175 C). To check if the cake is ready, insert a toothpick into the middle. If it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.
  11. 11
    Cool on a wire rack or set it near an open window.
  12. 12
    Decorate the cake once it is cool to the touch. This step is completely optional, but will add an extra kick to the flavour.
    • To make a rum-flavoured icing, combine 100 g powdered sugar with 2 tbsp. rum. Spread onto the cake. If the icing is too liquid, then add a spoonful of powdered sugar to obtain a higher viscosity. A flavourless icing can be made by using vodka instead; after the mixture hardens (15 minutes), the alcohol will be gone, and the resulting icing will be a thick cream-white coating, providing a good surface for an additional layer of chocolate, if desired.
    • For a chocolate coating, melt about 125 g of chocolate and spread onto the cake.
    • For a fat-free version with the taste of chocolate, use the flavor-free product and add a heaping tablespoon of cocoa powder. It will look as if covered in chocolate, but with less calories.


  • Cut the cake into two halves and spread some jam on it.
  • Chop some more nuts and add it to the chocolate coating (while it's still fluid) to give it an interesting texture resembling a nut bar.
  • Very thrifty individuals can buy a mix of salted premium nuts like macadamia, cashew, peanuts when the price is heavily reduced, shortly before reaching the "best before" date. Remove the salt by rinsing them with warm water in a colander.
  • A salt-free nut mix can be added, chopped to the cake batter.
  • Instead of jam, a self-made cream e.g. coffee cream, converts the cake to a tart, magically, try it.
  • It's possible to use a mixture of icing and liquid chocolate, too.
  • A Dutch version covers a cake with white chocolate, coloured with orange food colouring (the national colour).
  • Patriotic Americans can cover the cake with white chocolate and, after the chocolate hardens, decorate the cake with the star-spangled banner made of little stars and food colourants!

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Categories: Cakes | German Cuisine