Eggless German Tree Cake / Baumkuchen / Schichttorte

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What is more challenging? Taking part in a Daring Baker’s Challenge or twisting the given recipe to get a replica of the original bake? I think the latter is the most challenging as far as I am concerned. I joined the Daring Bakers as soon as I started the blog and it has been three years. There are only few challenges I have missed and I can proudly say that I have been quite successful in changing the recipes into eggless ones. In that list I can add this tree cake / Baumkuchen – a special cake from Germany. The cake consists of nearly 20 layers of sponge finally covered with chocolate glaze and decorated with almonds. Doesn’t it sound rich and delicious. I have been eyeing this cake for long but never got the courage to try it as it has a huge number of eggs. But when I am given a challenge, I usually don’t run from it. So I made this cake one fine day replacing all the 10 eggs in the original recipe. I am not completely satisfied with the result as the layers are not plainly visible. But still the cake tasted wonderful.

I would like to give you a small introduction to this cake. This cake actually resembles a large ring. Layers and layers of batter are brushed on a large mould and broiled on a spit. When cut they resemble the cut out block of a tree with concentric rings. But this cake is impossible to make at home. There is one more variation of this tree cake and it is known as the Schichttorte which has horizontal layers. It can be made in a oven with broiler setting. This cake is quite heavy and firm and is made with almond paste, butter, eggs and flour. The cake is finally coated with jam and covered with chocolate glaze and garnished with almonds. The ring cake is served at weddings and it also resembles the wedding ring. 

After a lot of thinking, I finally decided to make this cake at home. I wasn’t sure of the results but still there is no harm in trying. The main ingredient is the almond paste. We don’t get ready made almond paste here and all the recipes I saw used egg in it. After so many hours of searching, I ended with a eggless almond paste recipe at yummly. I noted it down and made the paste. The first stage was a success. It tasted wonderful. Then I moved on to the main recipe. There were 10 eggs to be substituted. I used the egg replacer for this recipe and the batter was quite good. Then I started broiling layers upon layers ( I made 14 layers in an 8″ pan) and I should say that was also quite successful. The cake shouldn’t dome and there should not be any cracks. The cake came out without those mistakes and at this stage also I was happy. But still I was in doubt about the layers being visible. I finished the cake, glazed it and then started the time which tested my patience. The cake needs time to mature and so it shouldn’t be sliced immediately. Though I was so curious, I waited for the next day. As soon as I got up, I went straight to the kitchen, sliced the cake to see how the layers have formed. At this point I was disappointed as the layers were not very much distinct. And then I had to wait until sunrise for the photo shoot. When the photo shoot was over, I immediately tasted the cake and was so so happy as it tasted wonderful. I just loved it. So this is my exciting journey into the making of eggless German tree cake. Next time if I make it I will make some variations in the batter recipe to make it more moist and I will reduce the layers to 10. And let us have a look at the recipe I used for this cake. The cake took 3 hours to bake. With the glazing and garnish, it may add up to 4 hours.
Recipe Adapted From Global Table Adventure
Makes one 8″ round cake
Ingredients:
For The Batter:
Almond Paste-1 1/2 cups (click on the link for recipe)
Milk-5 tbs
Egg Replacer-4 heaped tbs
Water-1/2 cup
Butter-3/4 cup
Caster Sugar-1 cup
Curd/ Yogurt-1/2 cup ( I may add another 1/2 cup of buttermilk next time to make the cake moist)
Vanilla-1 1/2 tsp
Flour/ Maida-1 cup
Corn Flour-1 cup
Baking Powder-1 tsp
Jam -1/2 cup 
For The Chocolate Glaze:
Butter- 3 tbs
Vanilla-1 1/2 tsp
Bitter Sweet Chocolate-100 gm
Liquid Glucose/ Corn Syrup-1 tbs
Blanched and sliced Almonds-1 cup (for garnish)
Procedure:
1. Add water and egg replacer in a bowl and beat for 4 minutes until frothy and double in volume. Keep aside.
2. In a large bowl, beat together almond paste and milk until creamy.
3. Add in sugar and beat until incorporated.
4. Add in the butter and beat until creamy.
5. Add curd and vanilla and beat to mix.
6. Now sift together flour, corn flour and baking powder.
7. Add it to the bowl and mix with a wooden spoon or silicon spatula until incorporated.
8. Finally add the egg replacer and fold it in the batter.
9. Grease an 8″ spring form cake tin with butter.
10. Place a butter paper at the bottom and grease the paper also.
11. Set the oven to Broiler/ Grill mode with the highest temperature setting.
12. Take 1/4 cup of batter ( if you want lesser number of layers, then use 1/3 cup of batter) and brush it evenly on the pan.
13. Place the tray on the first rack and broil the cake for 4 minutes. The cake must be browned on top. This will differentiate the layers in the final cake.
14. Now remove the tin from oven, add 1/4 cup of batter and spread it evenly. The batter would start melting but it is completely fine.

15. Broil it for 4 minutes until brown.
16. Make 3 more layers like this.

17. Mix 2 tbs of jam with a little water in a bowl.
18. Coat jam on the broiled cake layer. Then add the next layer of batter. You can add jam for every fourth layer.
19. Once the cake has come to half the tin, place the tray on the middle rack and broil the cake.
20. Likewise complete the batter. Mine came to 14 layers.
21. Place it on a wire rack and allow it to cool completely.
22. Take the remaining jam and add a little water to loosen it.
23. Remove the cake from the pan and place it on the serving plate.
24. Apply the jam on the cake with a spatula. Even it out.
25. In a sauce pan, melt butter and cornflour.
26. Add in the chocolate, remove from heat and allow the chocolate to melt.
27. When the chocolate is completely melted, pour it on the cake.
28. Allow it to drip on the sides.
29. Decorate the cake with sliced almonds and place it refrigerator for 10 minutes.
30. When the glaze is set, remove from fridge, place inside the cool oven and allow it to mature overnight.
31. The next day, slice it up and serve. Enjoy your slice with a cup of coffee.

Beat water and egg replacer until double in volume.

Beat together almond paste and milk.

Add in sugar.

Add in butter.

Add curd and vanilla.

Sift together flour, corn flour and baking powder.

Mix it with the almond paste mixture.

Add the egg replacer.

Pour 1/4 cup of batter in a greased and lined cake tin.

Brush it evenly.

Broil it for 4 minutes.

Now add another 1/4 cup of batter.

Spread it with a spoon.

Mix jam with a little water. I used orange marmalade.

Apply it on the broiled layer.

Then continue with the layers until the batter is fully used up.

Once cool, apply jam on the cake.

Melt butter and liquid glucose.

Add in vanilla.

Remove from flame and add the chopped chocolate.

The glaze is ready once the chocolate is fully melted.

Pour it on the cake.

With a spoon, allow it to drop on the sides.

Decorate with sliced almonds.

Let it sit overnight before slicing.

How does it look?

Here is one for reading the whole post with patience…

Francijn of Koken in de Brouwerij hosted this month’s Daring Baker’s Challenge. 

12 thoughts on “Eggless German Tree Cake / Baumkuchen / Schichttorte

  1. You have made a complex cake look so easy. The stepwise pictures are great for those trying out first time. Makes me want to try it out too. Maybe during summer vacations, till then…

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