This cake is the epitome of Christmas. The raisins, candied orange peel, the rum and marzipan… Could we possibly get any more Christmassy than this?
Although I’m not German, this cake is always present in our house at Christmas. We first discovered it in German chain stores (namely Lidl, I believe). My dad fell in love with it, and I made a resolution to find a good recipe and bake the cake at home (which is always better than store-bought cakes with who-knows-what inside).
A few years have passed, I’ve been baking this cake once a year, for Christmas, and I believe I now have a recipe good enough to share, with all adjustments made over the past years.
For the dough:
- 330g plain flour
- 55g sugar
- 100g milk, lukewarm temperature
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 5g instant yeasts or 10g fresh
- 1 large egg
- 100g butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 130g raisins
- 60g candied orange peel
- 60g almonds, chopped
- zest from 1 lemon
- zest from 1 orange
- zest from 1 tangerine
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- a dash of cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons of rum
Mix all of the above together.
- 200g marzipan
- 60g butter, melted
- icing sugar
To make the dough:
If you’re using fresh yeasts, start by adding one teaspoon of sugar and one teaspoon of flour to lukewarm milk. Crumble the yeasts into the mixture and leave in a warm place for 15 minutes.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl (including dry yeasts if you’re using those or the mixture you’ve made with fresh yeasts). Knead the dough with your hands. Yeast-raised dough likes patience, so do it carefully for a few minutes. Don’t be tempted to add any more flour if the dough is too sticky or any more milk if it seems too dry – I swear by the proportions. This kind of dough can seem odd in texture while you make it, but magic happens in the oven.
Cover the bowl with a tea towel and put it in a warm place for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
The dough should be nicely puffed up. Take it out of the bowl and knead it again. Take the mixture of raisins, zest etc. with rum and knead it into the dough until evenly distributed.
Roll the dough out into an oval shape, about 2cm thick. Make a long roll out of marzipan and place it in the middle of the dough, along the longer edge. Roll the dough to close the marzipan inside. Lay it on a regular baking sheet (no need for special trays or moulds).
Bake for about 45 minutes, then take out from the oven.
When the cake is still warm, fresh out of the oven, pour the melted butter on top of it. Do it slowly, so that all the butter gets absorbed.
Decorate the cake with icing sugar when it’s cooled.