Wednesday, 12 March 2014

German Cake

This post contains blatant stereotyping.

When you think of German cakes, you may imagine rich chocolate cakes, or delicious pastries. I mean, black forest cake is named after the Black Forest, which is in Germany. 

However, I've noticed that cakes here really aren't that sweet. It might be because I'm accustomed to those cakes from the grocery shops in South Africa that are more cream icing than cake, or it might be because, to me, the more chocolate and fudge-y goodness there is on a cake, the better; but the cakes here just aren't as sweet. Also, where my default cake would involve chocolate or caramel or some kind of decadence, it seems here that fruity, lighter cakes are appreciated, and I'm learning to appreciate them more too. 

My second observation, is that there seems to be a small obsession with paprika here. The 'standard' flavour of chips here seems to be paprika... if a brand only carries a couple flavours, you can be sure that paprika is one of them. I'm not saying that there aren't any other flavours, but you'll pay a little more for them. (although peanut flavour is pretty affordable too...) This is also noticeable in the variety of spices; the standard spices on a shelf are garlic, paprika, black pepper, white pepper, and herbs. The rest, you'll find separate and more expensive. On Kartoffel Puffers in Frankfurt for the Christmas market, paprika was a common spice to sprinkle on. When I'm cooking these days, paprika will probably be added, because it's so readily available. There's even a restaurant here in Marburg called "Paprica". Point made. 

So, with these two thoughts in mind - that cake here isn't that sweet, and that Paprika is a favourite - I bring to you, "German cake". 

paprika and cheese

Yes, you read right... it's basically paprika and cheese scone-y-cake. Not too sweet (not sweet at all, actually), and it has paprika. If you want to get extra popular, maybe add bacon. 

It's also super-fast to make, which gives it ten points for German efficiency. 

2 cups of flour
3 heaped tsps baking powder
2 eggs
however much milk it takes to make it bind... about 3/4 cup
grated cheese 
pinch of salt
(anything else... chives, bacon, onion....) 

Add everything in a bowl, and mix until a sticky dough forms. Add milk if necessary. Press into a tin, and bake for about 15 minutes at 180 degrees C. Optional: about 5 minutes until it's done, sprinkle more cheese on top. When it's golden, take it out and cut up and serve. 

It turns out much like a savoury muffin, and can also be baked in muffin tins. 

And, in case you think I'm just poking fun at Germans, you should know that this adapted from my mum's South African scone-y-cake, which involves marmite, and biltong if you have. Like I said, stereotypes.

paprika and cheese cake

Guten Appetit! 


  1. When I lived in London I quite a few roommates from SA and they introduced me to the wonderful world of biltong and I now crave it all the time! I have never heard of putting it a cake though and am really intrigued.

  2. wow. that looks deflippinglicious. so, i tend to think that we have similar food situations over here in belgium and i have tried to make two cakes from scratch (because i don't have the easy funfetti boxed choice) and both have turned out mild and more like biscuits...NOT cake/cupcakes. even after I poured more than double the sugar the second time! whyyyy you no love the sweet, northern europe?! hmmm..

  3. Yes, I do remember paprika on everything when I visited Germany! :) This "cake" looks awesome!

  4. These look REALLY good but I don't think I'd call them cake. They're biscuits. Cakes are sweet. ;-)

  5. i love learning about culture and foreign food just by reading your blog - who know that some cakes weren't sweet? i'd be surprised as you! except this looks perfect and light for the summer :)

  6. Haha. Oh the joys of language. ;-)

  7. Hi Erica,
    Wow, this is quite a surprise. Yes, I always I associate German cake with richness and sweetness. So it's nice to know that it doesn't have to be that sweet at all (I'm not really a sweet tooth). But most of all, paprika is one of my very favorite spices and when I think of it I think of Spain, Morocco but never Germany! Interesting!

  8. It's funny how an outside perspective can make one aware of things one sees as normal! There are so many things that people point out to me that I thought were normal, that aren't actually!
    Your explanation of kuchen and torte makes so much sense! It's funny, because I'd imagine the names the other way around, that torte would be like our 'tart' which is, in general, often more fruity and less sweet, and that kuchen would be our 'cake' which is the frosted and sweet one. Thanks for clearing that up!
    That is an interesting distinction of cupcakes and muffins - I find that cupcakes have frosting, muffins don't, and muffins are sweeter... so that's a great comparison! Except that if it's made bigger or in a 'cake shape' and not in a small tin, then we have no name for it!
    Wow, this is complicated! :D

  9. There are so many delicious cakes here, and the flavours are more diverse than my go-to chocolate. It's really made me appreciate a greater variety of cakes and tastes!
    I would also never associate paprika with Germany, but strangely enough, paprika and curry (I forgot to list that as one of the 'basic' spices' that's sold) are really common here.