Following is a collection of recipes for authentic German cookies, cakes and other desserts baked according to centuries-old traditions. German Christmas specialties, in particular, are well-known and popular worldwide. Many have a rich and colorful history, and are crafted into complex patterns and shapes often associated with ancient symbolic meanings. The following recipes reflect these authentic traditions, even when adapted for the modern kitchen. Enjoy!
An East German cake with Latvian roots with raspberry jam sandwiched by shortcake garnished with a sugary lemon glaze.
Almond Berry (or Cherry) Torte
Delicious mix of nuts, chocolate and fruits. Makes a great cake to serve in the afternoon or birthdays.
Almond-Cherry Soufflés with a Warm German Chocolate Sauce
Rich and flavorful almond cherry soufflés are virtually fat free. Served with a warm German chocolate sauce with just the right amount of sweetness.
Angel Cookies – German Christmas Cookies
Small and flavorful, these cookies are an almond lover’s delight, sure to become family favorites.
Anise-Flavored Springerle – German Christmas Cookies
A classic German Christmas cookie with an embossed design.
Apple Chocolate Trifle
A whiskey tumbler filled with chocolate cake, caramelized apples, vanilla pudding and whipping cream makes a great dessert for the winter holiday season, especially a New Year’s Eve party.
Apple Pastry with Rosehip Cream
Rosehip preserves lend these apple puff pastry stacks a sweet tang, softened by whipped cream. Hazelnut, vanilla and white wine enrich the flavor.
This easy, simple version of traditional German Apple Strudel gets a head start by using store-bought phyllo dough.
These cooked apples hide a liqueur-flavored fruit cream inside.
Apple Zwieback Torte
Apple cake baked on a zwieback bottom crust with almonds and pistachio topped with an apricot preserve glaze.
Apricot-Cheese Cream with Manner Wafer Cubes
A simple dessert with blueberries and Manner Wafers mixed into a creamy apricot quark.
Apricots with Blue Cheese Filling
Sweet baked apricots infused with cherry brandy, adding a nice contrast to their creamy blue cheese filling.
Badischer Plum Cake (Pflaumenkuchen)
Some of Germany’s best plums come from Baden, and they’re the stars of this cake. Recipe courtesy of Roz Denny “Modern German Cooking.”
Baked Apples with Marzipan and Cranberry
An easy and festive dessert featuring apples baked with a filling of seasonal ingredients such as German marzipan, cranberries, and spices.
Baked German Cheesecake
A super rich baked cheesecake on a spongecake base, made with the German curd cheese called quark, whipping cream and sour cream. Prepare and make the cake the day before serving, so the cheesecake sets and develops its full flavor. Recipe from Roy Denny “Modern German Cooking.”
Baked Gingerbread Apples
Baked apples stuffed with chocolate and crumbled German gingerbread (Lebkuchen), garnished with whipping cream and crystallized ginger. A holiday treat!
Baumkuchen (German Tree Cake)
Bake a home version of the classic multi-layered cake.
Baumkuchen with Red Wine Jelly and Cherry Brandy
A beautiful layered and festive dessert made with red wine jelly and sour cherries, infused with cherry brandy (kirschwasser) and topped with vanilla sauce. This dessert is served in a martini glass or champagne flute. Recipe courtesy of Chef Ute Shepers
Bee Sting Cake
A buttery brioche cake with a caramel cream, named Bee Sting because it is glazed with honey just before baking.
Berlin King Cake
Berlin’s version of a “royal treatment”– a winter dessert featuring currants, raisins and candied lemon peel.
German jelly-filled donuts, sold year-round at bakeries, but also a must-have staple during Karneval season. They are called Pfannkuchen in Berlin, Kreppel in Hessen, Krapfen in Southern Bavaria and Berliner just about everywhere else in Germany.
Billberry Marzipan Tarts
Succulent, fruity cake with shortcrust pastry, marzipan creme and topped with bilberries or blueberries.
Black Forest Cake
One of Germany’s most famous cake creations known all around the world, made with sour cherries, whipped cream and a chocolate cake base.
Black Forest Cherry Cream Dessert
Cherry flavors from the Black Forest abound in this custard, flavored with Kirschwasser (cherry brandy) and topped with pureed, preserved Morello cherries.
Black Forest Ice Cream Parfait
A parfait (layered ice cream dessert) with flavors of Germany’s Black Forest – cherries, raspberry preserves, and dark chocolate.
Blue Cheese and Walnut Apple Bake with Peppered Honey
The addition of blue cheese and walnuts to the winter seasonal favorite baked apples make a comfort food with bold flavors.
Brandenburg Egg Cookies
Cookies with eggs, cinnamon, and lemon, with sweet hazelnut topping.
This German sheet cake from Bremen is also known as “Zuckerkuchen” and is a favorite dessert at weddings, funerals or simple afternoon Kaffeeklatsch hours.
Cherry Currant Sorbet
This light sorbet brings together the great flavors of sour cherries and currants, supported by a hint of Creme de Cassis.
Cherry Soup with Cream of Wheat Dumplings
A wonderful cold fruit soup based on dark red sour cherries spiced with vanilla and cinnamon, garnished with little cream of wheat dumplings.
Cherry, Quark and Pumpernickel Trifle
A stunning dessert for holiday entertaining with colorful layers of shaved German pumpernickel, dark chocolate, cherries and flavored quark.
Chocolate and Cherry Torte
Make a light textured dark chocolate cake in the shape of a sponge flan base. Top with whipped cream and quark and either fresh raspberries or cherries in syrup with a little thickened juice from the fruits.
Chocolate Leaves with Asbach Uralt-Poached Pears & Grapefruit-Lemon Quark Mousse
This is an elaborate recipe, but with a spectacular result and layers of exquisite flavors! Superb.
Chocolate Oat Crispies
Fantastic crunchy oat snacks with chocolate and almond. Very easy to make, these chocolate oat crisps bring out the chocolate flavor and add the healthy properties of oats.
Chocolate Pudding with Fruit and Manner Wafer Cubes
Fruit and Manner Wafers mixed into a delectable chocolate pudding.
Chocolate Pumpernickel Pudding with Apricot-Raspberry Compote
A German chocolate almond pumpernickel pudding served with homemade spiced apricot raspberry compote. Rich and delicious!
Chocolate Quarktorte with Asbach Uralt Glaze
German chocolate quark cheesecake with a chocolate brandy cream glaze.
Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake with Boozy Cherries
Chef Olaf Mertens combines dark chocolate and well-flavored German sauerkraut to make a cake for fans of novel tastes.
Use dark, organic chocolate for this indulgent soup created by Nic Prong, the your head chef at the “Ten Restaurant” in Ontario.
Chocolate Spice Bars – German Christmas Cookies
A classic German cookie, these spiced bars signal winter’s arrival and take culinary minds towards Christmas
Chocolate-Seeded Black Forest Cherries with Cherry Brandy Coulis
Sinful chocolate cherry bliss! Black Forest cherries stuffed with chocolate covered espresso beans, served with mint leaves, whipped cream and Kirschwasser (cherry brandy) Coulis (a thin fruit puree used as sauce or topping).
Cinnamon Stars – German Christmas Cookies
The quintessential Christmas cookie – crisp, cinnamon almond cookies cut into stars.
Coconut Macaroons – German Christmas Cookies
Classic macaroons with a crunch of coconut.
Cranberry Macadamia Oat Cookies
Wonderful tasting cookies with tart cranberries, full-bodied macadamia nuts and a healthy dose of oat cranberry muesli. Easy to make and great for an afternoon snack.
Crepes Flambés with Forest Berry Coulis
Raspberries and blackberries flavor the crepes and the filling in this dramatic flambé dessert. The forest berry flavors are reinforced with citrus and fruit liqueurs.
Crullers with Lemon Frosting
Delectable pastries frosted with a burst of lemon flavor.
Crunchy Honey Oat Triangles
These sweet, succulent honey-nut-oat cookies look great with white and dark chocolate swirls and are the grand finish of a great meal.
Crunchy Plum-Filled Potato Dumplings
Potato-Rusk dumplings with juicy plum filling are a favorite Southern German dessert. Served with vanilla sauce.
Dark Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes with Cherry Brandy Frosting
Delightful cupcakes with German flavors of dark chocolate, cherries, and cherry brandy (Kirschwasser). The bright pink frosting over chocolate makes them a perfect Valentine’s Day treat.
Dresden Christmas Stollen
This East German version of a Christmas classic is fragrant with butter, candied fruits, raisins, a little rum flavoring and dusted sugar. European law protects the origin of this historic specialty treat.
Egg custard cake with a pie crust, vanilla quark layer, and egg-flavored top layer. A staple at Dresden cafes, it pairs deliciously with coffee.
Dark Gingerbread with Chocolate Chunks
German dark chocolate gingerbread cake full of deep, rich flavors looks great baked in a bundt pan and dusted with confectioners sugar.
Easter Cherry Cake
A festive-looking cake with a filling of cherries and cherry brandy, decorated with a creamy icing.
Popular German crullers, these star-shaped deep-fried donuts are coated with powdered sugar and lemon juice or rum.
Classic German Christmas treat from Mecklenburg with sweet egg and lemon flavors.
Chocolate-covered waffle rolls decorate the outside of this creamy favorite.
Emperor’s Cookies – German Christmas Cookies
Irresistible jam-filled Christmas cookies shaped like stars, hearts, or rounds. The round ones are also called Little Rascals (Spitzbuben).
Forest Berry Tiramisu
Traditional Tiramisu with a twist.
A wreath-shaped butter cake from Frankfurt, with a buttercream filling and sprinkled with Krokant (nut brittle).
German Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies with Black Cherry Preserves
The classic brownie, German style, with flavors of dark chocolate, black cherry, apple butter and honey. Recipe by Chef Jackie Newgent.
German Easter Cake
This holiday specialty cake is a little elaborate but visually spectacular with layers of flavors and decoration.
Gingerbread – German Christmas Cookies
Gingerbread or Lebkuchen combines the flavors of oriental spices and nuts with the world-class German baking skills. A must-have for the holiday season!
Gingerbread Cookies – German Christmas Cookies
The classic Christmas cookie recipe based on century-old baking traditions from Aachen and Nürnberg.
Glazed Lebkuchen Gingerbread Cookies – German Christmas Cookies
Sweet and richly spiced, German Christmas Ginger Lebkuchen cookies with chocolate and sugar glaze. A wonderfully fragrant, flavorful Christmas treat.
Glazed Lebkuchen Rounds – German Christmas Cookies
A recipe or homemade traditional German Lebkuchen, a flour-less spiced, soft gingerbread cookie baked on a wafer, with recipes for sugar and chocolate glazes.
Hazelnut Cookies – German Christmas Cookies
Cookies made of whole hazelnuts, flavored with a gingerbread spice.
A light hazelnut and walnut cake baked in a ring and decorated with simple glazing.
Hazelnut Macaroons – German Christmas Cookies
These macaroon cookies use hazelnuts instead of usual coconut. Topped with a whole hazelnut and baked on German thin baking wafers (Oblaten), they’re a great German Christmas cookie.
King of Hearts
A quick and easy dessert made from leftover German Christmas gingerbread (Lebkuchen) and chocolate ice cream.
Kirsch Marzipan Cookies – German Christmas Cookies
Cherry jam-filled almond cookie sandwiches decorated with drizzled melted chocolate. An elegant Christmas cookie with layers of flavor.
A traditional sweet dessert from the South West corner of Germany. Leftover, dry bread rolls are combined and softened with milk, egg and sugar, flavored with vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg, and spiked with sweet or sour cherries. Baked in the oven, this sweet casserole completes a dinner.
Lebkuchen Bars – German Christmas Cookies
A classic German variation of a gingerbread cookie to make ahead for your Christmas cookie bin or stocking gifts. The dough needs to ripen overnight before baking.
Leipzig Carrot Cake
German carrot cake with chocolate frosting, a 19th century specialty made with carrots, almonds, rum and cinnamon.
A pastry from Saxony made with a short crust, almonds, brandy and apricot jam, originally shaped like birds to satisfy the Saxon appetite for small fowl.
Lemon Almond Hearts
Pure ground almonds and lemon zest flavor these heart-shaped cookies which are then iced and decorated with colorful candies.
Lemon Cream Cake
A fluffy lemon cake that is perfect for any occasion.
Macaroons made with marzipan and coated with rich chocolate.
Manner Wafer Muffins
A classic muffin recipe with a nice crunch of Manner Wafers.
Marinated Fruit in Rum (Rumtopf)
Make this recipe in early summer, so it’s ready around Advent or Christmas. A traditional German holiday dessert of fermented fruits. Recipe courtesy of Roz Denny, Modern German Cooking.
Marshmallow Kisses Cake
Made with fresh German marshmallow chocolate treats (Schokoküsse). An exclusive recipe from Chef Alexander Haebe, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Washington DC.
Marzipan Jubilee Torte
A splendid layered cake made with three fluffy biscuit layers, filled with vanilla-flavored whipped cream and topped by a chocolate-marzipan glaze.
Marzipan Nougat Roll
This biscuit roll is filled with a nutty nougat cream and a marzipan-rum cream, then topped with sweet apricot glaze.
Marzipan Surprise – German Christmas Cookies
These marzipan treats greet the Christmas holidays in black and white, covered with chocolate or sugar glaze.
Meissner Quark Cake
A Saxon version of the famous cream cake, yet with a much lighter filling of quark, a curd cheese.
Meringues with Rhubarb Cream
A stunning homemade meringue wreath with rhubarb cream and garnished with strawberries. Perfect spring combination of sweet and tart flavors.
Mini German Lebkuchen Cheesecake with Apricot Compote
Individually portioned cheesecakes with a German gingerbread cookie base and an apricot compote on top. Lighter then most cheesecakes, this is a great way to use leftover Lebkuchen from Christmas and serve during the months of late winter and early spring.
Morello Cherry & Cheese Souffle
Morello cherries marinated in lightly spiced wine and Kirschwasser (cherry brandy), nestled in an airy butter cheese soufflé. Makes for a delightful contrast in flavors and textures.
Non-Traditional Christmas Gingerbread House
Christmas gingerbread house in the shape of a townhouse with a garage and starry sky. Traditional flavors, modern architecture.
Nuremberg Apple Cake
Golden glazed apple slices baked with almond and fruit liqueur in a sweet cake dough shell.
Old Berlin Apple Cake
Apple Cake recipe from Germany’s capital with rum and raisins.
Plum Sheet Cake
Plum Cake recipe with ground walnuts, butter, and sugar.
This pastry named after its place of origin, is a delightful blend of fruit and delicate pastry.
Pumpernickel Ice Cream with Cranberries
A most unusual ice cream flavored with pumpernickel bread and German chocolate, served with cranberries.
Raspberry Jelly Roll
A raspberry jam-filled rolled cake perfect for the spring and summer months.
Raspberry-Vanilla Trifle with Macaroons
This trifle made with raspberries custard is garnished with crushed macaroons. A dessert with literary history, as it was mentioned in Thomas Mann’s great novel “The Buddenbrooks.”
Red Berry Pudding with Vanilla Sauce
This berry pudding contains red currants mixed with other summer berries, topped with a homemade vanilla sauce. Recipe courtesy of Nadia Hassani “Spoonfuls of Germany.”
Rhubarb Sheet Cake
This fast and easy recipe balances tart rhubarb flavors with sweet raisins in a simple sheet cake that is a spring favorite in Germany.
Rosehip Cinnamon Mousse
Using wine, gelatin, and rosehip jam a light mousse is formed.
One of the most popular German summer desserts, this recipe combines the flavors and textures of several fresh summer berries. Serve in dessert glasses with vanilla sauce, whipped cream, or ice cream.
Saxon Easter Cake
Easter Cake from Saxony with quark, almonds, currants and brandy or rum.
Schittchen (Erfurt Stollen)
Erfurt Stollen with raisins, almonds, lemon, brands or rum. A staple at the Erfurt Christmas Market, the stollen cake dates back to the 14th century.
Spaghetti Ice Cream
A vanilla ice cream dish that looks like spaghetti, topped with a strawberry or cherry coulis (sauce).
Spiced Honey Slices (Honigkuchen)
Honey gingerbread flavored cake squares with crushed hazelnuts, a casual and tasty year-round dessert or after school snack.
Spiced Honey Squares – German Christmas Cookies
Simple gingerbread square are brushed with wild flower honey and decorated with ground walnuts. A great German Christmas cookie based on traditional Lebkuchen.
Delicious poppy seed concoction somewhere between a pudding and a cake.
Spritz Cookies – German Christmas Cookies
A German Christmas cookie with a buttery hazelnut, almond and other tree nut base and commonly shaped like the letter ‘S’.
Stollen Bread and Butter Pudding
Traditional Christmas Stollen fruit bread gives this delicious bread pudding a nice touch. Great for using left over post-holiday Stollen.
Stollen Bread Pudding with Chocolate Chunks & Caramelized Bananas
A stunning bread pudding with brandy, chocolate and caramelized bananas for holiday dessert or brunch. German Christmas Stollen made with bread pudding easy and delicious, because they already come flavored with currants, almonds, orange zest and cinnamon.
Strawberry Rhubarb Trifle
Classic strawberry-rhubarb flavors in a German-style trifle, with layers of meringue, rhubarb cream and fresh strawberries.
Spring strawberry tartlets combine a white wine flavored creme fraiche (or sour cream) with fresh sweet strawberries.
Streuselkuchen mit Kirschen (Cherry Streusel Cake)
Similar to cherry pie with the addition of crumble (streusel).
“Sweet Venison” Chocolate Cake
An East German chocolate frosted cake favorite, bristling with almonds to look like a wild deer hide.
Tangerine Coconut Cake
A lemon cake with a filling of whipped cream, tangerines and coconuts makes a perfect summertime cake.
Tart Cherry Ice Cream
Homemade cherry ice cream, with a hint of brandy.
Vanilla Bean Custard with a German Sour Cherry Sauce
Smooth vanilla custard flavored with German Kirschwasser (cherry brandy) and served with chocolate sprinkles, whipped cream, fresh cherries and a sour cherry sauce.
Vanilla Crescents – German Christmas Cookies
These delicate, crescent shaped cookies flavored with vanilla and dusted with confectioners sugar originated in Austria and have become classic German Christmas Cookies.
Vogtland Pumpkin Pie
A cake made from edible pumpkin, flavored with cinnamon, ginger and butter.
Walnut Macaroons – German Christmas Cookies
These walnut macaroons use walnuts instead of the usual coconuts. A nice variation for Christmas cookies and holiday baking.
Walnut Squares – German Christmas Cookies
These spiced chocolate walnut cookies are glazed with apricot jam and drizzles with melted chocolate. A great German Christmas cookie based on traditional Lebkuchen treats.
Yogurt Cream Cake
A dark chocolate cake with a lightly tart, creamy yogurt and whipped cream filling.
Zwieback Forest Berry Tiramisu
A famous dessert made with original German rusk (Zwieback), doused in cherry brandy, mascarpone creme and juicy forest berries.