Looking for a delicious German cake to make? This Frankfurt German Crown Cake is one of my favorites. With the cake layers, jam filling, and decorative cherry jewels, I thought this cake would be rather complicated to make, but turns out it’s actually really easy! In fact, it’s a perfect beginner dessert when learning to make German cakes.
My husband is German and loves traditional German fare. I am Italian so eating German food was foreign to me when we first got married. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with it as well! This crown cake was one of my favorite treats to get when we went to his favorite German restaurants in town.
What is a Crown Cake?
The German Frankfurt Crown Cake is also known as the German Frankfurter Kranz. It was originally developed by an unknown master baker in 1735! The cake itself resembles a crown with the golden crisp around the outside and “jewel-like” cherries as part of the decoration.
The cake got its name because Crown City was the name of the German Empire for many years.
German Crown Cake Ingredients
For this German delight, you’ll be using regular ingredients you can find at your local grocery store. So, get out your shopping list, and jot down these ingredients:
- Eggs: Any eggs will do. Just grab a carton.
- Sugar: You’ll need ½ cup of granulated sugar, and you’ll need powdered sugar for this recipe as well.
- Vanilla extract: This gives your cake a sweet, delicious flavor.
- Baking ingredients: For a fluffy cake, you’ll need flour, cornstarch, and baking powder.
- Chopped hazelnuts: Hazelnuts add a tasty crunch to the top of your cake.
- Package of vanilla pudding: You’ll need a box of vanilla pudding mix for the German frosting.
- Jelly: In between each layer of cake, you’ll slather it with your favorite type of jelly.
- Candied cherries: Candied cherries have been simmered in syrup for a really sweet flavor.
- Whipped topping: I like to get Cool Whip!
Scroll to the bottom for a full list of exact ingredients (recipe card)!
How to Make a Frankfurt Crown Cake
To make a delicious Frankfurt Crown Cake, you’ll be making the cake and frosting from scratch. Follow the steps below to make this as easy as possible:
Step 1: Prepare the Cake Batter
First, whisk together the egg whites, sugar and water for 5 minutes until soft peaks form. This will create a meringue. Set it to the side.
Step 2: Whisk Egg Yolks
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks until they are pale and foamy. Then, fold them into the meringue and add the vanilla.
Step 3: Fold in Dry Ingredients
Fold in the flour, cornstarch and the baking powder. Do not overmix.
Step 4: Prepare Your Pan
Grease a bundt pan with butter and then coat with flour. Tap out the excess flour. Pour the batter into the bundt pan and even out the bottom.
Step 5: Bake the Cake
Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
Step 6: Make the Frosting
Make the pudding according to the directions on the box and allow it to firm up. Then, beat together the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until it’s light and fluffy. Mix the vanilla pudding and the butter and sugar mixture until smooth.
Step 7: Allow Cake to Cool
Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool slightly before flipping it over onto a cookie rack.
Step 8: Cut the Cake
Once the cake is cooled, cut horizontally into 3 pieces.
Step 9: Layer the Cake
Spread on some of the jelly or jam and then top with frosting. Add the second ring over top and repeat.
Step 10: Frost Entire Cake
Place the top portion of the cake on and then frost the entire cake.
Step 11: Decorate the Cake
Cover the frosting with the crushed hazelnuts. Use either the frosting or the whipped cream to make small rosettes for the cherries to sit on. Then, place the cherries on top of the rosettes.
Slice and serve.
What Kind of Cake is This?
The Frankfurt crown cake is kind of like the traditional sponge cake. It’s called a sponge cake because it’s light and fluffy and takes well to syrups and jellies.
What is the Frosting Made Out Of?
The frosting used for this crown cake is a German buttercream frosting. It’s a custard, pudding based frosting. It’s made with pudding, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.
What Kind of Jam Do I Need?
I tend to use cherry jelly as it compliments the candied cherries well. However, crown cake can be made with any red jam including strawberry, blackcurrant, or cherry.
How to Store Leftovers
Since this cake is made using a buttercream frosting and jelly, you’ll want to store leftovers in the refrigerator. To store frosted cakes in the fridge, chill the cake uncovered in the fridge for 15 minutes allowing the frosting to slightly harden. Then, cover it with plastic wrap and place it back in the fridge.
Can I Freeze It?
Absolutely! To freeze a frosted cake, you will want to place the cake in the freezer on a baking sheet until it is frozen solid to the touch. Then, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and then in aluminum foil. Store in the freezer for up to 2 months.
How did you do making this Frankfurt crown cake? Let me know how you liked this recipe in the comments below!
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
- 1 (3-ounce) package vanilla pudding
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 8 tablespoon butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup jelly of choice, I used cherry
- 3 to 4 candied cherries
- Whipped cream for topping
For the Cake
- Whisk together the egg whites, sugar and water for 5 minutes until soft peaks form. This will create a meringue. Set aside.
- Whisk together the egg yolks until pale and foamy.
- Fold together the meringue and the egg yolks plus the vanilla together.
- Fold in the flour, cornstarch and the baking powder. Do not overmix.
- Grease a bundt pan with butter and then coat with flour. Tap out the excess flour.
- Pour the batter into the bundt pan and even out the bottom.
- Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
For the Frosting
- Make the pudding according to the box and allow to firm up.
- Beat together the butter, powdered sugar and the vanilla extract until light and fluffy.
- Add in the vanilla pudding and mix until smooth.
How to Assemble the Cake
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool slightly before flipping it over onto a cookie rack.
- Once the cake is cooled, cut horizontally into 3 pieces.
Spread on some of the jelly or jam and then top with frosting.
- Add the second ring over top and repeat.
- Place the top portion of the cake on and then frost the entire cake.
- Cover the frosting with the crushed hazelnuts.
- Use either the frosting or the whipped cream to make small rosettes for the cherries to sit on.
- Place the cherries on top of the rosettes.
- Slice and serve.
Other Cakes to Try
If you are a fan of easy cakes, you’re in for a real treat! Here are a few of my other favorite cakes to try!
- Hot chocolate cake (with marshmallow frosting!)
- Strawberry lemon cake
- Pumpkin caramel cake
- Carrot sheet cake