German cream cake with rhubarb and strawberries

I definitely miss my days in Germany! my daily routine, meeting my friends for kaffee und kuchen (coffee and cake) breaks with my husband after his work, the beautiful landscape, the juicy fruits, the language..everything.

When it comes to baking, Germans have a large repertoire of breads, cakes and biscuits. Nested between great baking nations (France, Netherlands, Austria….), they also share many common recipes with them.

So today, I’ll be sharing with you a German treat. If you follow the logic of how this cake is made, you can virtually replace the rhubarb with any juicy fruit you have.

It’s not complicated at all, you need a homemade shortcrust dough with the particularity of having baking powder in it, a fruit filling and a custard topping which will be mixed with a whipped cream and gelatin. Then you need time, yes, you need to wait for it to cool and ideally let the natural juice coming from the fruit moisten the base..Give it 12 hours and see how amazing this cake will turn out.

And if you like cheesecakes, although technically this isn’t one, I feel you’ll adopt it just like we did.

If you compare with the original recipe posted in German, you will notice that I have added lemon (juice and zest) and vanilla seeds in the dough as well as the custard. The cake turned out much better that way.

Make 26 diameter cake (12 slices)
Prep: 20 min-  cooling time: 1/2 h + 4 hrs – baking: 45-55 min
Recipe adapted from

The dough

  • 250g flour (I mixed 200 g flour + 30 g ground almond + 15 g corn starch)
  • 125g butter, cold but malleable
  • A good pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 100 g of sugar (I added 80g)
  • 1/2 vanilla pod, use the seeds only (optional)
  • Zest of one lemon or orange (optional)
  • 1 egg (I prefer 2 egg yolks and 1 tbps of cold milk)

The fruits

  • 750g of rhubarb stalks, you will be left with almost 600 g net to use.
  • Or: 500g rhubarb (net) and 200 g of fresh strawberries.
  • 100 – 150 g of caster sugar (adjust to your liking)
  • The zest and juice of 1/2 lemon (optional)

Instand custard (or replace with a homemade crème pâtissière but omit the butter)

  • 1 packet of Dr. Oetker vanilla pudding powder (equivalent to 37 g of custard powder)
  • 1/2 l of cold milk
  • 40-50g of sugar

Final custard

  • Instant custard mix (see above)
  • 4 small leaves of gelatin leaves (about 8 gr of gelatin)
  • 150 ml of whipping cream (original recipe calls for 250 ml)
  • 30 g of icing/fine sugar (original recipe calls for 50 g)
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice (optiona)
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla paste or seeds (optional)

2 tbsp of hazelnut, torrefied and crushed (I used pecans)



Make the custard (can also be done when the cake is baking)

Place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water. Set aside.

Make the instand custard by mixing the custard powder with sugar, whisk. Add 5 to 6 tablespoons of milk and mix.

Add the rest of the milk and transfer to a pan. Whisk this mix over medium heat until the custard thickens.

Squeeze the gelatin leaves with your hand and fold them into the hot custard, whisk, making sure all the gelatin has melted. Pass through a sieve to make sure the custard will have a silky texture.

Cover with a cling film in contact with the surface and set aside to cool.

Make the whipped cream (can be done later as well)

Beat all the ingredients together until the cream is stiff. Cover and place in the fridge. You may as well use it without this waiting time if you are making it just before assembling the cake.

Make the dough

Just like any shortcrust dough, work the butter with the dry ingredients with your fingers to get a sandy crumbly texture. Add the egg (or egg yolk and milk) and work the dough using the fraisage technique and making sure you do not overwork the dough.

Form an “abaisse” by rolling the dough into a ball then flattening it about 1 cm thick. Cover with a cling film and transfer to a fridge for 1 hour or to the freezer for 20 min.

Fruit filling

Cut the fruits into roughly 1 cm cubes and mix with the sugar and lemon juice. Set aside


Preheat the oven at 200 degrees C (180 fan-assisted). Cover the bottom of a 26 cm diameter springform.

1st baking time:  Roll 2/3 of the dough to cover the bottom and use the rest to make the borders. The original recipe asks for at least 4 cm hight.

Prick the dough with a fork several times and bake blind for about 18 min.

2nd baking time: Spread the fruits (without their juice which you will find in the bowl) and put the cake back in the oven for a further 30 min baking.

Set aside to cool.

Assembling the cake

Spread the custard evenly over the cooled baked cake. Sprinkle the crushed nuts (you may do that just before serving).

Cover and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

Serve cold with nice fresh strawberries, a fruit coulis but the cake is just as nice on its own.



  • I did like the cake the next day, I think the textures and flavours are improved with time..
  • The cake was still holding the 3rd day but I think that’s the maximum to enjoy it at its best.

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