Baumkuchen (Tree Cake): Daring Bakers

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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).  The photos she provided were beautiful and I couldn’t wait to take on this challenge, especially since I missed the last two months.

Layered Baumkuchen (Tree Cake)

The cake itself wasn’t hard to make, waiting for the layers to bake is what took the longest.  I also had the trouble that my layers weren’t browning as much as I wanted them too, but in the end the cake turned out delicious.  Then I topped it with chocolate ganache and cut it into squares.

Tree Cake (almond layer cake)

My husband absolutely loved the cake and said it may be his new favorite dessert!  That’s saying a lot.  I liked it a lot as well.  The cake itself was sweet and had a light and fluffy texture.  The chocolate on top was a great contrast from the cake.

Baumkuchen (adapted from 101 delicious recipes for cake and pastry, © 2003 GRÄFE UND UNZER VERLAG GmbH Originaltitel: Lieblingskuchen by Christa Schmedes ISBN 3-7742-6073)
For the Cake:
5 large eggs
1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. marzipan (I made my own homemade version)
1/2 c. butter (1 stick), softened
1/2 c. applesauce
1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 t. vanilla
1 c. all purpose flour

For the glaze:
1/2 c. milk chocolate chips
1 T. butter
1 T. coconut oil

1.  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper.

2.  Divide the eggs into whites and yolks.  Place the egg whites in a large bowl and beat with a mixer until stiff.  Add in the sugar and continue beating until really stiff.

3.  In another large bowl crumble the marzipan.  This was much easier to do with my homemade version then with the type I buy at the store.  Beat it with the softened butter and applesauce until creamy.

4.  Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth.

5.  Add in the stiff egg whites and flour and gently fold into the batter.

6.  Spread 1/10 of the batter onto the bottom of the pan, keeping the sides of the pan clean.  Bake for 4-5 minutes or until it begins to brown.  Carefully spread another 1/10 of the batter on top and bake for another 4 minutes.  Repeat until all the batter is used.

7.  Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Take the cake out of the pan using the parchment paper and allow it to cool completely.

8.  Melt the chocolate chips, butter, and coconut oil in a bowl in the microwave, stirring after every 30 seconds until it is melted.  Pour over top of the cake and allow to harden.

9.  Once the chocolate has hardened, cut into squares.  Cake can be stored in an air tight container for up to 1 week.

Delicious almond layer cake (Tree Cake:  Baumkuchen)

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