Daring Bakers Challenge- Treecake (Baumkuchen)

The January 2014 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Francijn of "Koken in de Brouwerij". She challenged us all to bake layered cakes in the tradition of Baumkuchen (tree cake) and Schichttorte (layered cake).

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It took me two tries to get this cake right. The first was a big fail, as following the directions to the letter resulted in the very bottom layer burning completely. So it went into the trash.

The second try, I used the broiler method instead and that worked perfectly. Because I used a longer pan than the recipe called for, I was only able to get 7 layers. But they were 7 delicious layers.

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I dressed our cake simply, with powdered sugar instead of the chocolate glaze. But the next time- and there will be a next time- we'll try the glaze.}:P

It really isn't a hard recipe to do, just a bit time consuming and you need patience. And you literally have to hover over your oven for each layer, otherwise, a few seconds too long and it'll edge into burning territory.

All in all, a fun Challenge and well worth the time!


For a 10-inch (25 cm) spring form pan or a 8x10-inch (20x25 cm) cake pan
Original recipe is in metric (grams) the volume measures are the nearest conversions.
Makes 12 pieces.

6 large eggs (room temperature)
pinch of salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (150 ml) (4-1/4 oz) (120 gm) granulated sugar
2/3 cup (160 ml) (5-1/3 oz) (150 gm) marzipan
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons (1-3/4 sticks) (7 oz) (200 gm) softened unsalted butter
3/4 cup (180 ml) (3-1/2 oz) (100 gm) confectioner's (icing) sugar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (1 package) (8 grams) vanilla sugar
2/3 cup (160 ml) (3-1/2 oz) (100 gm) all-purpose (plain) flour (sifted)

1/3 cup (80 ml) (3½ oz) (100 gm) apricot jam
2 tablespoons (30 ml) orange liqueur (optional)
1 cup (240 ml) (7 oz) (200 gm) dark chocolate couverture chunks
1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure coconut oil

oil to grease your pan
parchment paper
10-inch (25 cm) spring form pan / 8x10 inch (20x25 cm) cake tin


1. Preheat your oven to hot 450°F/230°C/gas mark 8.

2. Line your cake tin with parchment paper, grease both paper and tin.

3. Divide the eggs. Beat the egg whites with the salt until nearly stiff, add the sugar and beat until really stiff.

4. Crumble finely the marzipan. Beat it with the softened butter, confectioner's (icing) sugar and vanilla 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 1/12th to 1/10th of the batter on the bottom of the pan, keep the sides of the pan clean, and bake for (about) 4 minutes in the oven, until it is cooked and brown. Take the pan out of the oven, smear the next portion of batter carefully over the first, and bake for another 4 minutes or until cooked and brown. Repeat until all batter is used. If you need to flatten a bubble insert a tooth pick or similar to deflate the bubble.

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.

6. 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.

7. Melt the couverture 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.

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.

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I LOVE the idea of using powdered sugar instead of the glaze. It looked wonderful! -kim
So glad to hear that the broiler method worked out. That is what I am going to try next time! your layers look awesome
Best, Sandie