BLITZKUCHEN (German quick coffee cake, for six)

For the crumb topping:

¼ cup sugar

1/3 cup flour

½ cup chopped almonds or walnuts

1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1-1/2 tablespoons butter

For the cake:

2 cups sifted flour

½ cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

a pinch of salt

1/3 cup butter

2 eggs

½ cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla


1.   Preheat oven to 375*.

2.   Combine ¼ cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour chopped nuts and cinnamon.  Melt butter and mix into dry mixture with your fingertips or a fork until you have crumbs.  If mixture is too fine, add more butter.  If crumbs are too large, add more flour.  Add more sugar or cinnamon to taste.  Set aside.

3.   Sift 2 cups flour again, together with sugar, baking powder and salt.  Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the dry ingredients, working it in with a pastry blender or your fingertips until the mixture is the consistency of coarse meal. 

4.   Beat eggs well and mix with milk and vanilla.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour liquid in.  Stir together gradually, mixing only enough to moisten the flour mixture, but not so much that the whole thing breaks down and becomes liquid. 

5.  Butter and flour a 9 inch round layer cake pan or an 8 inch square pan.  Turn batter into it.  Sprinkle crumb topping over cake and bake about 25 minutes.  To test, insert straw or toothpick into center of cake.  If it comes out clean, the cake is done. 

6.  Serve warm or cold.  Cut portions right out of pan.

NOTE:   To top with fruit, prepare batter and arrange in square pan, pressing to form an edge 1-1/2 inches high.  Batter should be about ½ to ¾ inches thick.  Brush with melted butter.  Top with a layer of peeled, cored and sliced apples, or washed, dried, stoned and quartered apricots or small blue plums.  Bake in a 350* oven for about 30 minutes, or until dough is done.  Sprinkle with granulated sugar while hot.  Do not sugar fruit before it is baked.

from Mimi Sheraton, The German Cookbook

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