The Best German Strawberry Cake | Erdbeerkuchen


One bite of this classic fresh German strawberry cake will make you instantly taste the summer! A favorite at my grandmother’s afternoon coffee and cake, you can find this quintessential summer cake in German bakeries as much as in German kitchens. I have so many fond memories of sitting under an umbrella in our lush backyard, savoring slices of this fresh Erdbeerkuchen. 

For this easy recipe, I’ll show you how to make the sponge cake. All you need to do then is add fresh strawberries and an optional glaze. 

This delightful cake is perfect for anyone seeking an authentic German recipe or a tasty twist on strawberry shortcakes. I bet it will become your new favorite cake recipe, just as it is ours!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to youYou can read my full disclosure.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

There is lots to love about this beautiful cake:

  • it is quick and easy to make
  • you only need basic ingredients
  • it is full of flavor
  • you can use it as a base for all your favorite summer fruit
slice of German strawberry cake on plate with cake

The ingredients

You won’t need special ingredients to make this cake:

  • Butter: I always recommend using high-quality European butter such as Kerrygold
  • Sugar: Regular fine cane sugar is my favorite
  • Vanilla sugar: I like to make my own but check out the substitutions below
  • Eggs: I recommend you use the highest quality eggs you can afford, ideally pasture-raised
  • Flour: Any AP flour is great
  • Baking powder: This leavening makes the cake light and fluffy
  • Milk: Adding milk also makes the batter lighter
  • Salt: I always like to add a pinch of salt to my recipes to bring out the sweetness
  • Strawberries: This is the classic fruit for this cake and I like to cut them into halves or smaller pieces
  • Whipped cream or heavy whipping cream: This is optional but I highly recommend you add it
flour, sugar, vanilla extract, baking powder, salt, butter, milk, and eggs on kitchen counter

Useful tools and equipment

While you won’t need much in the way of special tools, I do recommend you have the following:

  • Handheld blender: You can use a stand mixer but I find that using an inexpensive handheld blender gives me a lot more control
  • Flour sifter: I prefer this nifty tool to make sure the flour is sifted but you can also use a fine mesh strainer
  • Cake pan: I highly recommend you get this inexpensive, authentic German tart pan, however, you can also use a regular spring form pan
  • Silicon spatula: If you don’t already have one, this would be a great opportunity to invest in one
flour sifter and handheld blender on kitchen counter

Substitutions and variations

This is the fun part:

  • Strawberries: If you’re trying to make this cake outside the strawberry season, you can use any other fresh berries you like, such as raspberries, blueberries, red currants, or even plums
  • Vanilla sugar: If you can’t find vanilla sugar, you can substitute it with vanilla extract.
  • Eggs: You can also separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Only add the yolks to the butter-sugar mixture. Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold this egg mixture into the batter before adding it to the cake pan.
  • Milk: You can easily use plant-based milk in this recipe as well.
  • Other ingredients: You can use some strawberry jam underneath your strawberries. You can also sprinkle some sliced almonds over the final cake.

How long does it last?

This strawberry cake is best on the day you bake it. However, you can keep it in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. 

German strawberry cake with one slice moved out

How to make it

  1. Let the butter come to room temperature. 
  2. In a large bowl with your handheld blender, blend the soft butter, sugar, and salt until fluffy and creamy. 
  3. Now add one egg at a time and blend on high for 30 seconds. 
  4. Add the vanilla sugar and mix well.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix the flour with the baking powder. 
  6. Using a flour sifter or fine mesh strainer, add half of the flour mixture to the butter-egg mixture. Blend on low just until combined. 
  7. Add one tablespoon of milk and mix. 
  8. Add the remaining flour mixture and blend on low until combined. Add the remaining milk.
  9. Preheat the oven to 365˚F.
  10. Grease your cake pan. For even more ease of removal, you can dust the greased cake pan with flour. 
  11. Fill the cake pan with the cake batter. Use a spatula or spoon and spread it evenly. 
  12. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until the top of the cake has a golden color and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  13. Place a wire rack over the cake and with potholders flip the cake pan and wire rack to let the cake fall out. 
  14. Let the cake cool on a wire rack. 
PRO TIP: If you have particularly juicy strawberries, you can sprinkle some flour over the cake to soak up the fruit juices.

Optional fillings and glaze

Here are my favorite additions and ways to assemble this cake:

German sponge cake on white plate

1. A simple glaze:

Adding a jelly-like glaze over the strawberries is THE traditional topping for this strawberry tart; so much so that you can buy the dry mixture in stores. However, here is my simple recipe for this homemade glaze: 

  1. Add 300 ml liquid to a small saucepan. This can be hibiscus tea or cherry juice for a red glaze or even just water for a clear glaze. Bring to a boil.
  2. In another small bowl, combine 50 ml liquid, 60 g sugar, and 4 TBSP corn starch. Mix well.
  3. Once the liquid is boiling, whisk in the cornstarch mixture and cook for about 1 minute.
  4. Use immediately.
slice of German strawberry cake on plate with cake

2. Lemon cream base:

This is just as delicious and really makes the strawberries shine:

  1. Soften 8 oz cream cheese. With a hand blender or electric mixer, blend it with 1 cup powdered sugar, 6 TBSP lemon juice, and 2 tsp lemon zest. If it’s too thick, you can add a bit of milk or sour cream. While still soft, spread on the cake base before adding the fresh fruit.

Assemble the cake:

  • Once the cake is cool you can spread the lemon cream filling on it or omit it.
  • Arrange the strawberry halves on the cake or pile on the small pieces. Optional: Sprinkle the strawberries with 1-2 tablespoons of sugar.
  • If using, make the glaze and immediately pour it over the strawberries. 
  • To serve, cut the fruit tart into wedges. Optional: Add a big dollop of whipped cream to the cake slices.
German strawberry cake on plate
slice of German strawberry cake on plate with cake
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

German Strawberry Cake | Erdbeerkuchen

One bite of this classic fresh German strawberry cake will make you instantly taste the summer!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
assemby10 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: German
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 132kcal
Cost: $7

Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter, soft
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla sugar or use vanilla extract
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 TBSP milk
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 pound strawberries, cut into small pieces

Instructions

  • In a large bowl with your handheld blender, blend the soft butter, sugar, and salt until fluffy and creamy. 
  • Add one egg at a time and blend on high for 30 seconds. 
  • Add vanilla sugar and mix well.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the flour with the baking powder. 
  • Using a flour sifter, add half of the flour mixture to the butter-egg mixture. Blend on low just until combined. Add one tablespoon of milk and mix. 
  • Add the remaining flour mixture and blend on low until combined. Add the remaining milk.
  • Preheat the oven to 365˚F.
  • Grease cake pan. Fill the cake pan with the cake batter. Use a spatula or spoon and spread it evenly. 
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Place a wire rack over the cake and with potholders flip the cake pan and wire rack to let the cake fall out. Let the cake cool on a wire rack. 
  • Pile strawberries on top of the cake. Finish with an optional glaze and serve with a good dollop of whipped cream.

Notes

  • if the strawberries are very juicy, you can sprinkle some flour on the base to soak up the juices

Nutrition

Calories: 132kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @ourgabledhome or tag #ourgabledhome!

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