Schichttorte – Baumkuchen – Baumstriezel

I was mystified by the German Schichttorte in the Great British Bakeoff programme, but then I realized they meant Baumkuchen.

I think the word Schichttorte is a misnomer. Any cake with layers is a Schichttorte, and it will usually have buttercream between the layers, like an opera cake. Whereas the cake they showed consisted simply of twenty layers of sponge cake, each grilled separately as they were built up, with no filling but with a coating.

The programme did show a real Baumkuchen being made: the cake mixture is dripped onto a sort of metal spit revolving on a grill. Here are pictures from the LA Times. you can buy one from the German Bakery in Windsor.

The cake in the program was grilled layer by layer in a cake tin, but it was still a Baumkuchen in structure, although the layers run in a different direction.

By chance I am more familiar with the Transylvanian Baumstriezel. It is also made on a rotating tube, but the pastry contains yeast and it is covered with caramelized sugar ...

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