…. is a kind of layered cake ….


It is highly disputed who made the first Baumkuchen and where it was first baked. One theory is that it was invented in the German town of Salzwedel, which is further popularized by the town itself. Another theory suggests it began as a Hungarian wedding cake, although given its German name this is doubtful. In Ein new Kochbuch (lit. “A New Cookbook”), the first cookbook written for professional chefs by Marx Rumpolt, there is a recipe for Baumkuchen. This publication puts the origin of Baumkuchen as far back at 1581, the year the cookbook was first published.

Aside from its more modern history, Baumkuchen can trace its roots back to Ancient Greece and then Rome, with the Romans bringing the recipe for baking cakes on logs over an open fire to modern day Germany and the surrounding regions with their conquest of Northern Europe.

Anyway, it was Michelle’s Birthday today. With all this talk of Baumkuchen, I thought I’ll make one …. in a pan, rather than on the spit. It is really straight forward, but time consuming. I got out my best recipe …. from K.u.K. Hofzuckerbäcker Demel’s Söhne in Vienna …. , and started baking. I will not bother with the recipe. There are plenty out there ….. But, if you want this particular one, and you will be hard pressed to find a better one, you’ll have to go to Vienna to Demel’s, or come and see me here in Beirut, Lebanon.

But that much I will tell:

A 24cm cake has

        • 10 eggs
        • ½ kg Lubeck Marzipan (60%)
        • ¼ kg butter
        • ¼ kg bitter chocolate
        • a good shot of Grand Marnier
        • an even better shot of Bourbon
        • and a bit more …

It is cooked in layers ….

…. and layers

…. and another layer

…. and when the pan is full, and the cake is done …. let it cool

…. flip out of the mould and brush with hot apricot jam.

… prepare your favorite recipe of chocolate glaze

…. cover and decorate if desired.

And …. VOILÀ




Published by ChefThomas

… born in Upper Austria’s Wels, I have done most of my growing up in Vienna. Only by sheer accident did I fall into the trade of Pâtissier. After a short apprentice ship at a Viennese Bakery, I was accepted for apprentice ship, at "K.u.K. Hofzuckerbäcker Demel’s Söhne", one of the oldest patisseries in Vienna. Learning the trade from the very basics, as the Emperor two Centuries ago would have expected from a "Pâtissier to the Royal and Imperial Court" (That is what the older Pâtissier still calls himself). I soon took to travel the world. From patisseries in America, to hotels in the Far East, Africa and the Middle East, did I accumulate a wealth of experience, ranging from bakeries to first class restaurants in major hotels to banquets for Presidents, Sultans and Heads of States and other famous, infamous and not so famous people. But the true excitement for me is in the "Viennese Café". Not just as an occupation, but as an institution in it own right.

4 thoughts on “…. is a kind of layered cake ….

  1. I read an article about baumkuchen maybe two years back in the new yorker–I hope to try it someday–apparently there are a few places in the US that are making it now. The idea of making a cake on a spit is so intriguing!


    1. Yes, it is an intriguing idea. I just purchased one of those machines. I will be writing about the first trials as soon as next week. Or as soon as I can get this thing though customs. 🙂 So, please check back soon for more on Baumkuchen.


    1. It is a true delight, this king of cakes. Many cultures have adopted a version of this delightful creation. Indeed, everyone should have the opportunity to taste ….


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