The other day I found a brandnew cake pan at a flea market that is perfect for making the bottom cake layer of a typically German fruit cake. A fruit cake is none-specific because it is made in the same manner, but the fruit varies based on season or in the winter with canned (peaches!) or frozen fruit. A fruit cake is similar to a French fruit tart – both are made with fresh fruit. However, the ‘crust’ of the German bottom layer is more like a sponge cake and it is also inverted: the pan is filled completely with dough, baked and then turned upside down. Therefore, the cake pan needs to be the right one (like this, for example).
I baked the bottom layer, the farmers market had the last strawberries of the season, the German team won the world cup in soccer, so the fate of the cake was sealed: German strawberry cake!
Check this great video for more complete instructions (the cake layer is made as a more authentic sponge).
Fresh Strawberry Cake
- 100 g sugar
- 4 TB butter, room temperature
- 1 egg
- 0.5 ts vanilla extract
- 150 g flour
- 1 ts baking powder
- 0.3 cup milk
- 1 quart fresh strawberries, dehulled, cut in half if they are large, otherwise keep whole
- 3-4 TB strawberry jam
- 1 cup vanilla pudding (store-bought or from scratch or with help of pudding mix)
- 500 ml milk (for pudding)
- 1 TB butter (for pudding)
- 1 package Dr Oetker fruit tart red or clear glaze (a yello-like glaze that gets firm when it cools and keeps the fruit in place)+2 TB sugar + 250ml water (optional)
Base layer: You need a pan similar to this one for baking the base layer. Make sure to butter it well because you don’t want the cake to stick.
Preheat oven to 360F. In a standmixer (or with handmixer), mix the sugar and butter until slightly foamy. Add the egg, and mix until well incorporated. Add the vanilla extra, and mix in. Mix the flour with the baking powder, and slowly add to the mixture, alternate with tablespoons of the milk.
Pour into butter pan, and bake for 20-25min.
Cool slightly, invert, and cool completely (it is best to make the crust a day ahead).
Preparing the strawberry cake:
Wash and hull the strawberries. Cut larger strawberries in half, keep smaller ones in tact. They should all be about the same size.
Poke the crust with a fork, and then distribute the strawberry jam on the crust. Ideally, it soaks the crust a little bit. If you use frozen fruit, preserve the juice when thawing and mix with the jam before distributing.
Prepare the vanilla pudding according to instructions. Let cool for 1-2 min, and distribute a thin layer on the cake layer. Let cool. (you won’t need all the pudding cooked).
Now, arrange the strawberries on the cake, in a circle from outward to inner circles. Sprinkle with a bit of sugar.
Optional (but authentic): Cook the glaze according to instructions and pour hot over the fruit. Start from the center of the cake and slowly distributed to the rim.
Let cool and set. ---- Serve with whipped cream!
Einen guten Appetit!