Schichttorte German-style “Tree Cake”

Schichttorte German-style “Tree Cake”

Layer after delicious layer (schichttorte means "layer cake"!), this traditional German dessert is total fruit and chocolate satisfaction. Schichttorte is a simplified version of baumkuchen, a cake baked on a horizontal spit. Why a “tree cake”? The many layers of this cake look like a tree’s inner growth rings. We're not going out on a limb when we say this is one of the tastiest cakes we've ever tried!


10 servings


40 minutes


25 minutes


For the cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups (168 g) cake and pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup (64 g) corn starch
  • 1 tsp (6 g) salt
  • 3/4 cup (170 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup + 2 tbsp (133 g + 25 g) Redpath® Granulated Sugar
  • 1 package (8 oz / 227 g) almond paste
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) dark rum
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 7 large eggs, room temperature and separated
  • 1 cup (310 g) apricot jam

For the chocolate glaze:

  • 1 cup (170 g) chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) heavy (35%) cream

Optional garnish:

  • toasted chopped almonds


For the cake:

  1. Grease a 9 inch (23 centimetre) springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper, as well.
  2. Whisk together the flour, cornstarch and salt until well-combined.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with an electric mixer, beat the sugar and almond paste on medium speed until crumbly; about 3 minutes.

4. Add the butter and beat until mixture is pale and fluffy; 5 minutes.

5. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating in each egg fully before adding the next.

6. Beat in the rum and vanilla.

7. Reduce speed to low and sift in the flour mixture. Beat until just-combined.

8. In a separate, clean bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Add the 2 tablespoons (25 grams) of Redpath® Granulated Sugar and beat to firm peaks.

9. Whisk a large spoonful of the egg whites into the batter to loosen it. Gently fold in the rest of the egg whites (in 3 separate additions).

10. Preheat the broiler on high and place oven rack in the lowest position.

11. Warm ½ cup (155 grams) apricot jam in the microwave until smooth.

12. Spoon ½ cup (120 ml) of the batter into the pan and spread to cover bottom of the pan with a pastry brush

13. Place pan under the broiler until the batter turns a deep golden brown; 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat until you have 3 layers.

14. Spread the third layer with about 3 tablespoons (19 grams) of apricot jam.

15. Repeat spreading the batter, broiling the layers and spreading jam every 3 layers until all the batter has been used (you should have about 10 cake layers).

16. Allow cake to completely cool in the pan.

17. Warm the remaining 1/2 cup (155 grams) of apricot jam and pass through a sieve.

18. Remove cake from pan and spread top and sides with the strained apricot jam. Chill in the refrigerator while preparing the glaze.

For the glaze:

1. Place the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl.

2. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it just reaches a simmer.

3. Pour the cream over the chocolate and allow to sit for 5 minutes.

4. Gently stir the cream and chocolate until it is smooth and shiny.


For the assembly:

1. Pour the glaze over the chilled cake and using an offset spatula smooth the glaze over the top and sides.

2. Garnish with toasted almonds if desired.

3. Transfer cake to refrigerator for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.


*Keep a close eye on the cake when broiling the layers of batter. As the layer build up they may take slightly less time to cook.

*Try raspberry or strawberry jam, in place of the apricot.