Baumkuchen (Tree Cake)
Serves: 8-10 servings
  • 6 large eggs (room temperature)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (4-1/4 oz) (120g) granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup (5-1/3 oz) (150g) marzipan or almond paste
  • 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons (1-3/4 sticks) (7 oz) (200g) softened unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup (3-1/2 oz) (100g) confectioner's (icing) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (8g) sugar
  • 2/3 cup (3-1/2 oz) (100g) all-purpose (plain) flour (sifted)
  • 1/3 cup (3½ oz) (100g) apricot jam
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) orange liqueur (optional)
  • 1 cup (7 oz) (200g) dark chocolate (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure coconut oil
  1. Preheat your oven to hot 450°F/230°C or use your broil/grill option (which is the traditional method and which ensures the bottom of the cake doesn’t dry out and burn).
  2. Line your cake tin (approx. 25cm round spring form pan or 20-22cm square) with parchment paper, grease both paper and tin.
  3. Divide the eggs. Beat the egg whites with the salt until nearly stiff, gradually add the sugar and beat until stiff and glossy.
  4. Finely crumble the marzipan or almond paste (my paste was soft and pliable so didn’t need crumbling). Beat it with the softened butter, confectioner’s (icing) sugar and sugar until soft and creamy. Add the egg yolks one by one and beat well between each addition. Add the stiff egg whites and flour and gently fold it into the batter, trying not to lose too much air.
  5. Smear a good half cup or so of the batter on the bottom of the pan and broil (grill) for about 4 minutes in the oven, until it is cooked and brown (you need to ensure it’s brown, as this is what defines the layers, but be careful it doesn’t burn). Take the pan out of the oven, leave it for about a minute and smear about a quarter to a third cup portion of batter carefully over the first (you’ll find that the batter you smear on will quickly melt, given the hot cake beneath it, but this is fine and in fact makes it easier to smear and for the batter to self-level), and bake for another 4 minutes or until cooked and brown. Repeat until all batter is used. If you wish, you can smear on some warmed apricot jam every few layers between batter layers to increase the flavour, but that’s entirely optional.
  6. Let the cake cool down for a few minutes, take it out of the pan, remove the parchment paper and let the cake cool completely on a wired rack. Trim the edges.
  7. Heat the jam a little, pass it through a sieve, and add the orange liqueur (optional). Cover the cake with the jam and let it cool.
  8. Melt the chocolate with the coconut oil in a bowl above warm water. Pour it over the cake to cover completely, move the cake to a cool place and wait until the glaze is dry.
  9. You can leave it as is, or decorate with sliced almonds (see my version above) or coconut.
Freezing and storage : The tree cake tastes better when you wait one day before eating it. Eat within a week. Store in an airtight container, but not in the fridge. Freezing is possible: cut into portions, wrap tightly in cling film and freeze up to two months.
Recipe by The Kiwi Cook at