Lately I have been craving some good old German dessert. Back in the day, not that I will age myself with specific dates or numbers, I spent my senior year of high school in Germany. After an unpleasant experience with my first host family I had a wonderful time with my second family. My host mother, Mama, was the baker, my host father, Papa, was the cook. It was a division of labor that worked quite well.
One of the things I remember most is the wonderful ritual of having Kaffee in the afternoon, pretty much the equivalent of afternoon tea but usually served with coffee. Of course in my case it would be tea since I didn’t like coffee, still don’t. I remember many times suffering through drinking coffee with my first family since they wouldn’t let me have tea and they insisted it was rude to turn it down when visiting people. There just wasn’t enough cream and sugar to make it tolerable!
Mama made many wonderful treats for Kaffee. Most were pretty simple, bundt cakes or sheet cakes. That is something that I am all about. I love a nice simple cake that can be mixed in one bowl, no super sweeet frosting required. My kids will eventually learn that cake is not all about the frosting!
My biggest problem with this cake was coming up with a name for it. I have a notebook I brought home from my year in Germany that contains recipes I wrote down. This one was simply called Schuttelkuchen. After doing some research the name doesn’t mean much since there are so many different variations on this cake. It contains coffee, mini chocolate chips and hazelnuts among other things. I figured just call it a coffee cake, why not?!
I made a few minor changes to my original recipe. The best part was that I am in the States now, no need to chop my chocolate. Ah, how I missed chocolate chips while living in Germany! Once again Sean was by my side, luckily not until the end of preparing the cake. He basically ate the hazelnuts before and after I chopped them. I am generally not a fan of nuts in baked goods but it worked for me this time, maybe it was the memories it brought back. I baked it in a bundt pan. Mine is a little smaller than the standard size so baking times may vary a little. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
German Coffee Cake (Schuttelkuchen)
2 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 c. brewed coffee, cooled to room temp
3/4 c. butter, melted
2 Tbs. rum
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 c. finely chopped hazelnuts
1 c. mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease and flour a bunt pan (or Baker’s Joy works really well for an intricate patterned pan). Combine the flour, sugar and baking soda in a small bowl. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, coffee, butter, rum and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Gently stir in the nuts and chocolate. Pour in the prepared pan and bake for about an hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Yields 16 servings