German Food Guide
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Also Known As:   Prügelkuchen, Spiesskuchen

The Baumkuchen (translated "Tree Cake") is a cake that is built layer-by-layer and baked over an open flame in a machine similar to a rotisserie. The cake is rotated over the flame, cooking each layer. Once each layer is cooked, another layer is added. This is repeated until the cake reaches a thickness of multiple layers.

Once cooled, the cake is cut into multiple rings. The rings are then stacked on top of each other and covered with Couverture or fondant.

Because of the special equipment needed to bake this cake, the Baumkuchen is rarely baked by the home baker. Instead, it is purchased from a specialty bakery. 

Saxony-Anhalt (Sachsen Anhalt

Main Ingredients
The cake is made of butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, and flour. Some versions may also contain rum, honey, nuts, Marzipan and Nougat. The cake is glazed in Couverture or fondant.

It is not exactly known who invented the Baumkuchen. However, the process of baking bread in a rotisserie, dates back to the middle ages. The first written evidence of the a cake to be baked in a rotisserie is found in an Italian cookbook from 1426. The oldest evidence in Germany is a hand-written recipe from 1450. In the 15th century, the Baumkuchen was a popular wedding cake in Frankfurt and Nürnberg.

The recipe and cooking methods changed many times in the 16th and 17th century. The recipe and cooking method used today comes from the 18th century. It was also this time when bakers began glazing the cake in Couverture.

Additional Information
The Baumkuchen is baked on a rotisserie over an open flame. The baker adds one layer of batter at a time. Each layer is baked by the open flame before the next layer of batter is added.

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