Sunday, June 24, 2012

Aprikosenkuchen (say that five times fast)

Before anything else I just have to say FORZA AZZURI! Which is Italy's soccer team cheer. Italy played an AMAZING game today and a lot of the cred goes to this guy Buffon the goalie for Italy. Italy now moves on to the semi-finals against Germany on Thursday. As it just so happens Germany is where today's recipe originated (see what I did there?)

In my time traveling around I spent a decent period in Germany chilling with a super-special friend, who I will call the Deutsch Dude (with his blessings). Deutsch Dude and I were caught in a spot of rain given that it was the middle of that transition period between (*^@*$& cold winter and beautiful frosty spring. What better way to pass the time than to make some food?

Our scientific, and the best, way to decide just what kind of food to make was done by the following simple steps:

  1. Open up all food related cabinets in the house
  2. Pull out everything that seems remotely appetizing OR that could be transformed into something remotely appetizing (cans of fruits and vegetables, noodles, seasonings, flour, etc.)  A warning those who have too grand an imagination should delegate this step to friends because the things creative people find usually get stomped upon by Step 4.
  3. Google in your specific items with generic terms like "stir-fry" or "cake" along with "recipe" and review your results
  4. Determine your level of dedication to making good food (are you really looking to make a wedding cake here? or is this a temporary fix of boredom?)
  5. Determine your level of dedication to cleaning up after making the food (we may have overlooked this step in our planning...)
  6. Weight all levels of dedication against the desire for the food, until you find that optimal recipe for something yum
We found some cans of apricot halves and searched the interwebs, in both English and German so as to get the most bang for our techno-buck. We came up with some wonderful recipes, absolutely astronishingly complicated recipes, all of which I was saying "oh my gosh let's do that!!!"  But Steps 4 and 5 curtailed my outlandish enthusiasm. Deutsch Dude then found this recipe from user Nike2046 for Aprikosenkuchen which is literally translated to Apricot Cake (gotta love the German language). 

my breakfast every morning last August
Easy-Peasy Baking
German cakes are easy, easy, easy. I think (not positive), but I think that this is because the historic love that Germany has for baked goods. But, Germany also has a large working population (women and men), so there can't be a ton of time available for baking from scratch. Therefore the companies like Dr. Oetker have created a standard for baking based off of packets of yeast, sugar, and flavorings. One of my roommates in Shanghai actually worked for one of these German companies and would go around Asia demonstrating the simplicity of using their products when making breads and cakes. This was THE BEST, because he would come home every night with a box of fresh baked German bread. 

I have not tried this recipe in the microwave, but have it on the list and am sure it's possible given the success of the microwave chocolate cake. So, if you are home or somewhere with an oven, or even if you want to give this a go in the microwave (let me know if you succeed and I'll post your recipe with your credit etc.), then here is the lightly sweet, juicy and warmly buttery Aprikosenkuchen.

Here is my and Google's (decently) translated recipe for your apricot cake:


1 1/4 sticks of butter
5/8 cup of sugar 
1 half a lemon's zest
3 eggs
1 cup and 2 teaspoons of flour
1 packet baking powder*
3 cups of apricot halves (if canned strained and somewhat patted dry)
1 packet vanilla sugar*

*for the baking powder and sugar you're looking for the Dr.Oetker or similar brand of packets which can be found in a decent number of grocery stores. They look like the pic above. You can substitute for them, but the mix will be slightly different.

- Grease the cake tin, sprinkle with flour! (I kept the original exclamation mark)
- Cream the butter and then add the sugar with the vanilla sugar and the eggs alternating between the two.  
- Beat in the lemon zest. 
- Sift the flour and baking powder together.
- Then mix the flour into the butter mixture along with (this part is kinda unclear) some milk? They don't give a measurement here, so I would say splash some milk in until the batter is spreadable.
- Spread across a baking pan (I think 9x9 would be about the right size, but use your judgement) 
- Place the apricot halves, pit-side down evenly spaced on top of the batter. Do no press on them, as the halves will sink during baking. 
- Bake at 325 degrees 30 minutes (roughly) 
- Remove cake once baked, and allow to cool. Before serving sprinkle the top with powdered sugar.

This is the original cake that the Deutsch Dude and I made with two-ish recipes worth of batter/apricots. We ate some with tea that afternoon, left for a day, and when we returned 3/4s of it had disappeared. The rest of the household didn't even try to pretend they hadn't decimated our cake, and finished it off later that day. What I'm trying to say is that this simple cake is a winner, so go make yo'self some!


  1. German backed goods are amazing! My mother would make plumkuchen every fall, basically the same thing but with plums. One of my favorite things ever.

    1. That sounds incredible, shoot us some photos this fall!