Germany has a very rich culture and a fair portion of it is surrounded by food. Traditional German desserts are usually made from scratch and have a very rich taste, and a lot of them center around chocolate!
But don’t let that stop you from enjoying everything else Germany has to offer.
Some German dessert recipes are difficult to make and can take quite a lot of time, but it’s completely worth it. From the authentic German chocolate cake to German Pfeffernusse these German sweets are sure to delight.
So let’s reignite your passion for travel and look at some traditional German desserts
1. German Chocolate Cake
Pretty much everyone knows about German chocolate cake. It’s rich, creamy, and best of all, full of chocolate.
This cake varies a bit from the original recipe, but the authentic taste is still there. And like the original German chocolate cake, it still has coconut frosting.
Here’s a tip for making German chocolate cake. Using the ingredients at room temperature will make the cake fluffier, softer, and creamier. The buttermilk can go in the microwave and the eggs can be run under hot water.
Also, when frozen, German chocolate cake can be saved for up to 3 months.
2. German Apple Cake
German apple cake is another beloved dessert in Germany and with a moist and dense texture, it’s not much of a surprise. This recipe will make 24 servings, perfect for a family and leftovers.
The secret ingredient for this recipe is not the apples, but rather the cinnamon that mixes in with the apples. Cinnamon apples go a long way back, but have you ever had them in a cake?
They add a special, unique flavor that just doesn’t come from plain apples.
And while they recommend a topping of confectioner’s sugar, cream cheese frosting is just as good.
3. German Pfeffernusse
While the name of this recipe may seem hard to pronounce the taste is all there. Shaped like small cookies, this recipe will take at least 3 hours to make, with prep time taking an hour all by itself.
But this recipe will make 240 servings! These treats have a distinct molasses taste but the secret ingredient really is the anise oil.
Anise oil has a distinct licorice taste to it and adds that flavoring to the mix.
These are sweet treats that come with a bit of a punch with ginger, cinnamon, and anise oil.
4. Cherry Kuchen Bars
If you love cherry sweets, then Kuchen bars are for you. They taste quite similar to sugar cookies, but with an added cherry flavor that brings a lot of flavors.
This recipe is split between the bars and the icing. The icing is the easiest to make, but the Kuchen bars will take some time between baking and cooling.
But once they’re made they can be frozen and kept for about 3 months.
The best tip we have for these is to chill them before eating. That brings out the juice and sweetness.
5. Blushing Maid – German Raspberry Dessert
Blushing maid is a German dessert that goes a long way back. A lot of the poorer people who didn’t have access to a lot of ingredients invented this yummy treat.
This recipe is quite scrumptious, but it only yields four servings. If you’ve got a larger crowd to please, doubling or tripling the recipe is a good idea. And here’s the secret ingredient, it’s the Chambord raspberry liquor.
It adds a rich taste to the dessert. One tip is to make sure the raspberries don’t get too soft. They should be chilled, but not thawed.
6. German Lebkuchen
While this is traditionally a Christmas cookie, we think it’s great for the whole year. It will take quite a bit of time to make though. Around eight and a half hours.
But it is so worth it! And most of that time is spent in the fridge, chilling overnight.
The icing will taste a bit like a lemon bar’s icing with its lemon juice and zest, but the rest of the cookie will taste a lot like molasses, almonds, and candied fruit. And who can say no to that?
7. German Chocolate Cake Trifle
This German treat is separated into two parts, the chocolate mousse, and the coconut-pecan filling, and both are equal parts delicious. Coconut is commonly used in Germany and it is used here again as the top layer of this dessert.
The mousse provides an airy and light texture while the cake is moist and filling. However, this recipe will take a lot of time to make, about four hours.
The most important step in this recipe is to make sure that the mousse mixture is mixed thinly. That’s how it gets its fluffy texture.
8. German Fruit Flan
This fruit flan has no shortage of color or fruit. While you can use most fruits that you like, we recommend a mixture of berries, kiwi, and citrus-based fruit such as oranges or clementines.
Although we’ll admit, peaches, mangoes, and plums pair well too.
The basis of this flan is different from others in that it is a sponge cake, but the fun part about making this recipe is the decorating.
You can arrange the fruit on top in any way you like to make colorful designs and patterns.
9. Christmas Stollen
Christmas stollen, also known as Christstollen, is a German pastry that has been around for 700 years!
This dessert includes nuts, spices, dried fruit, and candied citrus peels making it so incredibly tasty. And there are lots of variations on this dessert including marzipan-based stollen and poppy seed-based stollen.
The best tip we have when it comes to stollen is that the candied citrus peel should be homemade.
Store-bought can be used, but many say it gives the dessert a chemical flavor.
The hardest part about making stollen is the wait-time, about 2-3 weeks for it to age and chill.
10. German Coconut Macaroons
German coconut macaroons, also known as Kokosmakronen, taste a lot more like a meringue cookie than your average macaroon.
And the best part is that it only takes 20 minutes to make this yummy treat and it makes 36 servings!
This dessert is healthier than a lot of other desserts at only 49 calories, and that’s mostly because of its fewer ingredients.
Coconut, egg whites, sugar, cinnamon, and almond extract are all that you need.
And the best part about this recipe is the toasted coconut which brings a flavor that other macaroons can’t beat.
11. German Rum Balls
German rum balls, also known as Rumkugeln, are easy and simple to make. This is a no-bake dessert that can be tailored to your tastes. Some like to add chocolate sprinkles, while others use cocoa powder.
And it doesn’t stop there. Hazelnuts can be added or taken out depending on your liking while the rum can do the same. Just add as much or as little as you’d like.
Or you can even use rum extract.
Even the chocolate can be altered, although we suggest using both dark and milk chocolate together.
12. German Cheesecake
Like most German baked goods, this German cheesecake, also known as Käsekuchen, is a fluffier dessert.
The German cheese used is different from American cheeses and mixes well along with the eggs which are separated before baking.
This recipe calls for quark, a German cheese, but if that is too difficult to find whole-milk ricotta can be used as a good replacement and we also recommend adding berries along with your whipped topping, although sometimes the whipped cream is great by itself.
Mostly this dessert tastes vanilla, sweet and sugary.
13. German Pfeffernusse Cookies
This cookie tastes a lot like normal German Pfeffernusse, however, these are sweeter and have added sugar.
With these cookies, it’s recommended to use a powdered glaze, but icing goes pairs very well too.
There are many ways to make this recipe, but for this recipe, we suggest salted butter. And when it comes to sugar, we use a mix of brown sugar and granulated.
It makes the cookie chewier. These cookies also have a few more spices, so be on the lookout for cardamom, cinnamon, and pepper.
14. German Spaghetti Ice Cream
Spaghetti and ice cream are not two dishes that seem to go together but don’t worry, this dish gets its name because it only looks like spaghetti.
In fact, this German ice cream recipe is all vanilla ice cream, strawberries, orange or lemon juice, sugar, and whipping cream.
A good tip is to keep your tools cold. Put them in the fridge or freezer for some time before using them so that they don’t melt the ice cream when being used.
And if you want a sweeter taste in the strawberry sauce, use the lemon juice instead of the orange.
15. German Rice Pudding
German rice pudding, also known as Milchreis, is fairly easy and only takes about 40 minutes to make. It makes four servings, so it may be a good idea to double the recipe.
This rice pudding recipe has only five ingredients and three suggested toppings, which are cinnamon, sugar, and fruit. These can be used as sparingly as you’d like.
It is suggested to use a pressure cooker because the rice pudding could easily get burned by the stove.
The milk and sugar are what you need to keep an eye on when using the stovetop.
16. Four-Step Pfeffernusse Cookies
This four-step Pfeffernusse cookie recipe is easier than others but brings just as much flavor.
This recipe is simple but does take some time, about three hours. It will make about 18 servings so it may need to be doubled since these cookies are quite small.
This recipe, like others, includes anise extract, ginger, and cinnamon, but it also includes honey which is not always found in these recipes.
The honey will make the molasses easier to eat and make the mix sweeter.
17. German Bee Sting Cake
German bee sting cake, also known as Bienenstich Kuchen, is part of the long list of authentic German desserts. It is much like an ice cream sandwich, except instead of cookies, the layers are cake and the inside is cream filling.
And on top goes a honey and almond glaze. This dessert can be altered. You can always add more honey or almonds, but we suggest using slivered almonds, not sliced.
And if you’re looking for more of a vanilla flavor add some vanilla extract.
It’s best to make this the day of serving.
18. German Chocolate Layer Cake
German chocolate cake is popular all over the world, but this German chocolate layer cake really does take the cake! This cake is comprised of very few ingredients, and it is very easy to make.
The recipe is split into the cake, the filling, and the topping, with the cake being the easiest to make out of all three.
Like any good German chocolate cake, the topping is made with milk, coconuts, and pecans.
These can be some strong allergens so it’s important to check in with your group for allergies beforehand.
19. Apple Strudel
Germany is known best for its strudel. Apple strudel is one of many German dessert ideas on this list, but there are other kinds of strudel too including strawberry, cinnamon, and whipped cream.
For this recipe, you’ll be making authentic strudel dough. Phyllo dough can be used, but it is highly recommended to make your own dough.
Another tip for this recipe is to plump your raisins. You can do this by putting them into hot water for about ten minutes. This will make them easier to work with.
20. German Chocolate Cupcakes
Dessert German foods must always include a chocolate cake of some kind and in this case, it’s cupcakes!
This recipe includes the traditional German chocolate cake ingredients of pecans, coconuts, and of course, chocolate.
A special tip for this is actually a secret ingredient. For more flavor, sprinkle on some sea salt.
You can use coarse or flaky, but the salt will surprisingly add to the sweetness of the cake.
And the best part is the two toppings, the coconut and almond topping, and the chocolate frosting. They pair so well together.
Kirschmichel is a traditional German cherry dish. This dish can be easily substituted when it comes to certain ingredients.
The cherries can be frozen or fresh and the vanilla sugar can be replaced with vanilla extract if needed.
The best thing to pair with this dish is a vanilla sauce that the dish can be dipped into or drizzled over. The vanilla sauces can be hot or cold, or even room temperature.
And if you’d like, add some icing sugar onto the top, dusting it lightly.
22. German Peach Kuchen
The most interesting part of this peach kuchen is perhaps the mix of sour cream and egg yolks that is poured over the dish before baking. This will make the kuchen especially rich and bring out the peach flavor even more.
You can use frozen, fresh, or canned peaches. Fresh peaches can be too runny in the oven, so it’s good to add some sugar and cinnamon beforehand.
Canned peaches come in a lot of liquid so it needs to be drained very well. The same needs to be done for frozen peaches.
23. Sacher Torte
Sacher torte is a sponge cake that is filled with jam and covered with a chocolate glaze. For this recipe, we used apricot jam, but really any kind of fruit jam will work. It all depends on what kind of flavor you’re going for.
The recipe also calls for rum. Light or dark rum can be used, but if you’d rather not use alcohol, water can be used.
Bourbon vanilla beans are traditionally used for this dish, but they can be difficult to find.
In that case, use vanilla extract.
24. Raspberry Custard Kuchen
This recipe is a very old, authentic German dessert and it only takes three steps to make. This recipe will take over an hour to make, but most of that is spent in the oven with the prep taking a very short amount of time.
This recipe will make 12 servings, and the best part of this kuchen is the raspberries.
Of course, if you’d rather use a different berry-based fruit that’s completely fine, but this recipe is specific to raspberries.
This dish is easy to store for a day and can be served cold, warm, or at room temperature.
25. German Dumplings
Also known as, Dampfnudeln, these German dumplings are absolutely scrumptious. This dish is poached in milk which makes it chewy with a soft center. And these dumplings sit in a vanilla sauce that soaks into the dumpling.
Here’s a tip, be sure to watch the dumplings carefully and check on them a lot around the end of their cooking time.
There may be a lot of excess moisture which can cause the bottom of the dumplings to burn.
And if you don’t want a normal fruit or vanilla sauce filling, use applesauce and cinnamon.
26. Rote Gruetze
This red berry pudding is easy to make and the recipe is split into two parts; fruit pudding, and vanilla sauce.
The pudding will be put into small dishes and lightly covered with vanilla sauce which makes it very creamy.
It’s important to keep in mind, however, that this dish is not as sweet as it sounds.
If you want it to be sweeter, you’ll need to add more sugar. And the egg yolk custard can be substituted with extra milk or cornstarch.
26 Traditional German Desserts
- 4 ounces German sweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 c water
- 1 c butter, softened
- 2 c sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-1/2 c cake flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 c buttermilk
- For this recipe, you’ll need 3 round, 9” baking pans that will be greased and lined with wax paper.
- You’ll set those aside and use a saucepan to then melt the chocolate. Mix the chocolate with the water over low heat and then let it cool. At this point, you’ll turn the oven to 350 degrees to preheat.
- Now, mix the cream butter, and sugar for 5 to 7 minutes. Add in the egg yolks and beat them well one at a time. Then, add in your vanilla and melted chocolate.
- You’ll then add in the salt, baking soda, buttermilk, and flour. Be sure to mix it well after each ingredient is added.
- Next, beat the egg whites until they are stiff and fold ¼ of them into the mixture. Mix well and then fold in the rest.
- The batter will now be put into the 3 baking pans and baked for 25 minutes. It will then need to cool for at least 10 minutes.
- When preparing the frosting, you’ll heat up milk, sugar, egg yolks, and butter until it is thick and golden brown. Be sure not to stop stirring as you turn down the heat and add the rest of the ingredients. You’ll then let it cool and pour it on the cakes.
- For the final touches, melt the chocolate and shortening in the microwave and then drizzle it over the cakes. Serve and enjoy!