No Nomsense: Frankfurter Kranz

In Germany, cake is a meal.

Some days, two meals are eaten; Breakfast and Cake. Some days it is three; Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. The best of days there are four; Breakfast, Lunch, Cake and Dinner. On Sunday afternoon, the family gathers for a large breakfast and later in the day they all eat a cake together.

The array of German cakes is innumerable. The cakes available in cafes and tearooms are often full of creams, marzipan and chocolate, whereas the homemade cakes have fresh fruit or jams and are usually served with whipped cream.

While homemade cakes vary from teashop cakes, the Frankfurter Kranz is found both homemade and in teashops alike.

The name Frankfurter Kranz, literally meaning Frankfurter Crown, refers to the ring shape it is baked in. It is a three-layer cake filled with jam and iced with chocolate icing. The base of the cake, German-style Bisquit, is rich from the eggs, but it is still light because of the beaten egg whites. Most Bisquit-based cakes are served with whipped cream so they are more moist, but with the Frankfurter Kranz whipped cream is not as vital because the icing is moist and sweet.

While the traditional cake uses a raw-egg based chocolate icing, for the salmonella wary, chocolate butter cream does the trick. Use your favorite chocolate butter cream recipe and raspberry or apricot jam.

The cake is good for crowds. It is impressive and serves almost twelve, due to its rich nature, but don’t be surprised if your guests ask for seconds.

The best way to butter a bunt pan is not by using the butter wrapper. To get a more even and thick coating, melt 2 tsp butter and pour it into the bottom of the pan. Use a pastry brush to spread butter onto sides.

Serve with tea, hot cocoa or coffee on Sunday afternoon. Enjoy with your family.

Bisquit Cake Base (Adapted from the Grüner Family Recipe):

6 Eggs, Separated
2 cups Granulated Sugar
2 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 cup Water

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter bunt pan.
2.In a large mixing bowl  or standing mixer, beat egg whites until they begin to stiffen. Add sugar. Mix until combined. Add yolks. Mix until combined.
3. In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder.
4. Add ½ flour mixture to mixing bowl. Mix to combine. Add water and remaining flour. Mix until combined and smooth.
5. Pour into pan. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.
6. Let cool 15 minutes. Run knife around edges of pan (inside and out). Place a plate on pan and invert. Remove pan. Let cool completely.


Frankfurter Kranz, pre-icing. Credit: Emily Beiser

1 batch Chocolate Butter Cream Icing
1 cup or about ½ jar Apricot or Raspberry Jam
Bread knife
1. Once cake has cooled completely, cut cake layer about 1 inch from the top using a bread knife. Transfer to separate plate. (See photo)
2. Cut another layer about 1 inch from the bottom. Transfer to another plate.
3. Spread jam on bottom layer of cake, about .5cm thick.  Replace middle layer of cake.
4. Repeat step 3 with middle layer of cake. Replace top layer of cake.
5. Spread icing on cake. Coat evenly. Be sure to spread icing on the inside face of the cake. Decorate using pastry bag if desired. Serve with tea and whipped cream if desired.

Can be made one day ahead. Serves 12.