Frankfurter Kranz: Germany's 18th-Century Crown Cake

Every destination seems to have its own culinary specialty, and in Germany, it's the Frankfurter kranz. Also known as crown cake, Frankfurter kranz is a beloved dessert that has been enjoyed by generations of Germans. The cake quickly became a favorite among locals and soon spread throughout Germany, earning a reputation as one of the country's most beloved desserts.

Dating back to 1735, the Frankfurter kranz cake was invented by an unknown baker. But just because the person behind the celebratory cake isn't clear doesn't mean the history and story behind the cake were lost.

This rich and decadent cake is a true showstopper, with layers of sponge cake, buttercream, jelly, and crunchy caramelized nuts. Of course, the cherries sitting atop dollops of buttercream are what really catch the eye. And thanks to its regal shape and royal-worthy decorations, you might already have an idea as to how the "crown cake" came to be. But to understand why this classic German dessert remains a popular recipe, you need only a glimpse of the sweet, rich layers.

The history of Frankfurter Kranz

The history of Frankfurter Kranz can be traced back to the city of Frankfurt, where it was first created in the 1700s. But the first written recipe for the cake was not found until the early 20th century. According to Bake to the Roots, the cake was originally made for the German Emperor's coronation in Frankfurt. That's why the caramelized croquant around the cake and the cherries look so similar to a crown. It's also said that the cake was made for and named after Frankfurt because of its position as the "crown city" of Germany during this time in history.

Despite its long and storied history, Frankfurter Kranz has become a beloved dessert throughout Germany and beyond. It is now commonly found in bakeries and cafes throughout the country and has even been recognized as a protected regional specialty under European Union law. Its rich and indulgent flavors, combined with its beautiful appearance, make it a cake that is sure to impress and delight anyone who tries it.

What you'll need to make Frankfurter Kranz

To make Frankfurter Kranz, start by baking a sponge cake and then slice it into three layers. A rich buttercream filling and a couple of layers of jelly are spread between each layer. Later, the entire cake is coated in more buttercream. Once covered, the outer coat of buttercream is then covered in caramelized nuts, which add a delicious crunch and a beautiful finish to the dessert.

The ingredients used in Frankfurter Kranz are simple but high-quality, with a focus on rich and indulgent flavors. The sponge cake is made with eggs, sugar, and flour, while the buttercream filling is made with butter, sugar, and vanilla. The crunchy caramelized nuts are made with chopped hazelnuts or almonds and sugar.

Overall, Frankfurter Kranz is a true masterpiece of German baking. Whether enjoyed on a special occasion or simply as a sweet treat, Frankfurter Kranz is a cake that is sure to delight.