German cakes with funny names

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German cakes with funny names | Meet the Germans

Germany is famous for its delicious cakes — but some of them have names that don't sound particularly appetizing. Meet the Germans host Kate Müser meets with a pastry chef for a tasty language lesson.

Can you really eat that? Based just on the name, it's not always clear. Click through the picture gallery below for more German cakes with unusual names. 

Yummy German cakes with unusual names


Don't let the name - "bee sting" - scare you off. This fluffy, creamy dream topped with sliced carmelized almonds will tempt anyone with a sweet tooth and isn't as dangerous as it sounds. According to legend, two young bakers in the 15th century threw bee hives at intruders, rescuing their city. To celebrate the victory, they baked this cake, as the story goes.

Yummy German cakes with unusual names

Kalter Hund

A beloved treat at (younger) kids' birthday parties is the "cold dog," which is sometimes also known as "cold snout (Kalte Schnauze). The cake is not baked, but refrigerated and made of layers of square butter cookies and a mix of cocoa, sugar and refined coconut oil.

Yummy German cakes with unusual names


Riding the "Danube wave" is an experience that's not to be missed! A layer of vanilla and chocolate marble sheet cake is covered first in sour cherries out of the jar, then topped with buttercream and coated in chocolate. When baking, the cherries sink to the bottom, creating the wave-like appearance that gives it its name.

Yummy German cakes with unusual names


What looks like a marble Bundt cake, the "Gugelhupf" comes in a variety of incantations. In Viennese coffee houses, it may be made with rose water and almonds; in Central Europe, it can serve as a wedding cake decorated with seasonal fruits and flowers. Its name is said to derive from Middle High German and would translate as "jumping bonnet" - an ability the Brothers Grimm attributed to yeast.

Yummy German cakes with unusual names


A standard yellow cake topped with sliced plums takes on a silly name in southern Bavaria, where the "Zwetschgendatschi" has its origins. While "Zwetschen" is a commonly used word for plums, "datschi" is likely derived from a very old German word referring to the act of pressing the plums into the cake. The result is certainly a tongue twister - and tongue pleaser.

Yummy German cakes with unusual names


This not only may look like the big brother of the "Bienenstich," its name also has a royal ring to it. The "Herrentorte" literally translates as "gentlemen's cake." It's made of numerous Viennese cake layers "glued" together with wine cream and covered with dark chocolate - and is enjoyed by all genders.

Yummy German cakes with unusual names


Known as a "prince regent cake," this one seems to be the royal version of the "Herrentorte" and is very time consuming to make. Common in Bavaria, it consists of seven thin layers of cake held together by a chocolate butter cream and topped with a smooth chocolate glaze. Eating it could just make you feel a tiny bit royal.

Yummy German cakes with unusual names


Royalty seems to be a common theme among German cake names, including this "Königskuchen" or "king's cake." Apparently, anything as luxurious as cake must be fit for a king. It's baked in a Bundt pan and filled with raisins (which are sometimes soaked in rum), almonds and lemon flavoring. Though this one is topped with fruit, the more traditional version is dusted with powdered sugar.

Yummy German cakes with unusual names

Frankfurter Kranz

A "Frankfurter Kranz" (literally, "Frankfurt wreath") is a layered sponge cake shaped like a wreath and assembled with layers of buttercream. Caramel-covered brittle nuts and toasted almonds provide the cake's signature taste. Rumor has it that during World War II, a shortage of butter had bakers coating the cake in kogel mogel, a sweetened paste made of egg yolks.

Yummy German cakes with unusual names


In Germany, not everything called a cake, is a cake. Often found in grocery stores at Christmas time, "Lebkuchen" translate roughly as "bread cake," but are actually a cookie. Similar to gingerbread, they are usually made with spices like cloves, ginger and cardamom. They are sold at Christmas markets and - in heart-shaped form - at Oktoberfest and other fairs.

Still hungry for something sweet? In the Meet the Germans video below, host Kate Müser heads to a cake shop to find out which kinds are most popular - and most delicious.

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03:53 mins.
Meet the Germans | 08.11.2017

Delicious German cakes you can't resist

Every other week, DW's Kate Müser explores the quirks of everyday life and language in Germany. Originally from the United States, Müser has lived in Germany for over 13 years. Follow Meet the Germans on YouTube or at

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