You gotta admit Germans know their cakes or 'tortes' as they call them. This Frankfurter Wreath Cake is a classic.
There are a few steps to this cake. Using a cake mix makes the cake part easy. If you have 3 layer pans (about 8" each) that will be the easiest. I used a tube pan and had to cut the cake into 3 layers. I used my electric knife to cut them. If that seems too daunting then make 2 layers.
You can make the Krokant a day ahead and store tightly sealed. You could also make the cake a day ahead and store tightly sealed. The cake once iced keeps well so you could make the whole thing the day before you plan to serve. Just store tightly sealed and chilled.
Normally in the 3 layer version the jam goes on the bottom layer and the buttercream goes between the top 2 layers. If you are using only 2 layers put the jam on the bottom layer and then carefully spread the buttercream over the jam. The jam will make it a bit slippery for the butter cream so spread carefully.
The Krokant (toasted almond nut brittle broken up) is part of this dish's signature along with the cherries on top. You can use maraschino cherries if you want. I hear urban legends about maraschino that they take 7 years to dissolve in your stomach so I used whole, pitted Black Cherries instead.
Traditional recipes tend to use rum in the cake, the pudding and the butter cream. I used Amaretto because I wanted to play up the almond flavour. You can use whatever you like.
This cake can serve up to 14 people if you want. It is rich enough and with 3 layers a thin slice will satisfy most people. It keeps well and stays moist if well covered. It also freezes well.
- 1 16 oz white cake mix I used Betty Crocker Super Moist + cake mix required ingredients
- 2 Tbsps rum or liqueur of your choice I used Amaretto
- zest of 1 lemon optional
Butter Cream Frosting
- 1 13 oz jar cherry preserves or other seedless jam/jelly
- 1 3 oz pkg vanilla pudding & pie filling
- 1 ¼ cups unsalted butter room temperature
- ¼ cup + 2 Tbsps rum or liqueur divided (use whatever you used in the cake batter)
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 14 whole, pitted cherries I used frozen Black Cherries
- 4 oz almond slices
- 2 Tbsps unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsps water
- ⅔ cup sugar
- Spray a tube pan or layer pans with cooking spray. 3 layers is classic but you can do 2 layers. Fit bottom(s) with parchment paper.
- Make cake according to manufacturer's instructions but replace 2 Tbsps of liquid called for with 2 Tbsps rum or liqueur of your choice. Stir in the lemon zest and mix well. Bake cake for the format you have chosen according to manufacturer's directions.
- Allow cake to cool. If using a tube pan cut the cake into 3 equal layers.
- Lay parchment paper on a sheet pan.
- Crumble the almond slices roughly with a rolling pin. Spread nuts over a metal pie plate and toast in a 350 degree oven for about 7 minutes until they are golden. Allow nuts to cool while you make the caramel syrup.
- Melt butter in a non-stick pot and add sugar and water. Cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is golden. Stir in nuts.
- When mixture is golden brown pour out onto the parchment paper and allow to cool. When cool, break it up into fine crumbles.
Filling and Icing
- Make the pudding with the 2 ¾ cups milk (slightly less than what is called for on the package) according to the manufacturer's instructions. I cooked mine in the microwave for about 8 minutes, stirring after every minute, until it was thick.
- Cover the pudding with plastic wrap pressed directly on to the surface so it doesn't form a skin. Allow pudding to cool to room temperature. Set your bowl inside a larger bowl of ice or cold water if you want to speed it up. Stir periodically.
- Beat the butter and icing sugar until blended and add the ¼ cup of rum or liqueur. Add the cooled pudding 1 spoonful at a time, beating all the while.
- Cut the cake into 3 layers if using a tube pan. Spread the cherry preserves on the bottom layer of the cake. Top with the next layer. Transfer about ½ a cup of butter cream to a piping bag with a large tip and reserve. Spread ½ the remaining butter cream over the second layer. Place the top layer of the cake. Spread the remaining butter cream evenly over the top and sides as well as the inside hole if you used a tube pan.
- Sprinkle the top and sides of the cake with the Krokant. Pipe 12 rosettes of butter cream evenly around the top of the cake. Place 1 cherry in each rosette.
- Keep cake chilled until ready to cut and serve.