July 5, 2017

Baumkuchen (Tree Cake)

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I've seen homemade Baumkuchen (tree cake) on several Asian blogs many years ago but never had the energy to make although I have a rectangular tamagoyaki pan.

Last week while reading Haruki Murakami's short stories collection, Men Without Women, baumkuchen was mentioned and suddenly I had the munchies. The cake is German but the Japanese adopted it as one of their own favorite treats.

Small individually-wrapped cakes are sold on eBay but they're teeny tiny. Larger ones are also available to buy from eBay; very expensive and will take almost a month to arrive from Japan. So, no. If you have a rectangular omelet pan, try making it. It's easy but takes a bit of time because of rolling around a half inch tube.

Homemade Baumkuchen
3 eggs
¼ cup sugar
3 tablespoons melted butter
¾ cup half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup + 2 tablespoons cake flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

  • Wrap a piece of non-stick aluminum foil around a 7 x ½ inch tube. I used the case of a candy thermometer - perfect size for this project. 
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar for 3 minutes or until light in texture. 
  • Stir in butter then add milk and vanilla extract. Beat until fully blended. 
  • Sift flour, baking powder, and salt over the egg mixture. Blend until smooth. 
  • Heat the pan over medium-low, grease pan with an oiled paper towel. 
  • Pour ¼ cup batter and shake pan lightly to distribute evenly.
  • Transfer cooked batter on a smooth board, brown side down. 
  • From one short end, roll cake tightly on the tube, taking care not to tear the cake. 
  • Cook batter until used up, rolling tightly each time around the first layer. 
  • Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let chill and set in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. 
  • Remove plastic wrap and tube. With a sharp knife, cut into 4 or 5 slices.
  • Serve with fruits and cream; or glaze with light icing or chocolate ganache.  


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