Europeans! Advise Me! How Should We Eat a BaumKuchen?

Desserts, so complicated! I don’t want to mess up, so I am turning for help to the DCIB community who might have experience here.

I wanted a special dessert for Christmas dinner, so I went to the website for the German bakery where my family has gone my whole life, and they had a big advertisement for their special “Baumkuchen”. I had to pick my style, and I panicked and went with Chocolate Covered. So I may have already made a mistake.

And I wanted layered, not just one layer, so it looks like a Christmas Tree. Again, may already be a mistake, I just don’t know.

Chicago (Baumkuchen - Chocolate Covered)
This. We are supposed to be getting this.

I don’t want to make any more mistakes. How do we eat this thing? With whipped cream, without whipped cream? With ice cream? In little pieces with our fingers or big cake slices with forks? Is it really a dessert for after dinner, or is it more of a breakfast or lunch thing?

Most of all, what do you do with the layers? Do you cut each one in turn, do you disassemble and then cut, do you have one huge piece with all three layers included?

And how is this different from the Chimney Cakes we used to get at the special Chimney Cakes bakery?

The Chimney Cake Factory - Home | Facebook

19 thoughts on “Europeans! Advise Me! How Should We Eat a BaumKuchen?

  1. Baumkuchen is a pretty regional thing within Germany, so I’m no expert. But yours looks like the ones I’ve seen – and chocolate covered can never be a mistake. The little slices in the photo also immediately make sense: separate the layers and then go around cutting little pieces that you can easily take in your hand. In Germany, cake is generally reserved for “Kaffee und Kuchen” in the afternoon, and a dry cake like this wouldn’t usually come with whipped cream. (That may be part of the reason why there’s often more than one kind of cake in my family, and no one bats an eye if you put the whipped cream on everything.) If you want to be fancy, or don’t want chocolate on your hands, you can still use a dessert fork.

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    • Wait, is this a dry cake? So should I be thinking more coffee cake and less German Chocolate cake?

      On Mon, Dec 21, 2020 at 3:10 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I’m not sure what you mean by coffee cake, but it’s definitely not like the creamy concoction with coconut (!) that was served to us as German Chocolate Cake on a visit to the US. (There is no such thing in Germany, by the way.) If I recall right, the Baumkuchen I’ve had was a little denser and I guess greasier than most dry cakes, but it’s still nothing but the baked dough, covered in chocolate.

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          • Coffee. Milk might be an acceptable substitute for kids who can’t have caffeine yet, but I really can’t imagine how Baumkuchen would mix with cider.

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          • We don’t normally have coffee with cake, unless it is a breakfast thing. “We” meaning my family, not America in general. We just aren’t big coffee drinkers. Hmm. Decaf coffee I guess? Or really really good unsweetened hot chocolate?

            On Tue, Dec 22, 2020 at 8:43 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I’m throwing black tea out there as an option, the non-coffee-drinker’s choice to go with the afternoon cake. But good hot chocolate does make everything better. Now I want some.

            Really, though, there’s no law forcing you to have any drink with it. Whatever suits you with other desserts will be fine in this case, too. If it really should get too dry, some water has never hurt anyone.

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  2. We don’t have that but a similar thing, which you slice tiny slices of and eat with forks, mostly as dessert (with nothing) or in the afternoon with tea or coffee. Definitely I wouldn’t put anything on it, it’s going to be very heavy.

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  3. It’s absolutely okay to have a Baumkuchen covered with chocolate.Such a nice idea to have this Baumkuchen as a dessert (and no need for a coffee 😉 … but don’t take cidre,; that might kill the delicious flavour of the cake…what do you drink for the meal before?).
    There are two possibilities to eat/cut a Baumkuchen: 1) you cut horizontally a fine slice and eat it with a small fork (or cut into pieces without a fork)…2) you put the cake in the middle, each one has a knife and you cut small pieces (beginning at the top) while turning the cake ( I call it “eating around and around”). You can even google “how to eat a Baumkuchen” 🙂 In any way, don’t cut it like a normal cake (vertically from top to bottom)!
    If you cut horizontal slices, put the knife in warm/hot water before so that the chocolate will not split away. It may split if you take it with small pieces around (we take small serrated knives for this).
    I don’t know how your bakery is doing the cake…it doesn’t have to be dry at all.. Really good Baumkuchen ist rather moist, soft and delicate but you can’t eat a lot in one time because of its texture.
    In general, a Baumkuchen keeps fine for about a week in a frigidaire, so you cat eat from it each day 🙂
    Enjoy it full-heartedly 🙂

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    • Thank you! This is the answer I needed. I have full faith in this bakery making the best most authentic version.

      Okay, I think putting it in the center and doing small vertical slices in each layer is the way we will do it. And it sounds like I can count on sitting on the couch eating baumkuchen for the whole lazy Christmas weekend.

      On Tue, Dec 22, 2020 at 12:48 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. I just had another idea: Glühwein. I’m enjoying the last of our homemade stuff right now, and it’s nice and spicy instead of the cloyingly sweet stuff you get at markets. I’m thinking that would go great with Baumkuchen.

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      • I think apple is still too sweet compared to a dry wine base. But you know what? If you’re going to be eating your cake all weekend, you can just try it with all kinds of different beverages.

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        • Good point! I can also do Cake Cereal on Saturday morning. That’s where you put the cake slice in a bowl and pour milk on top for breakfast. Yum1

          On Tue, Dec 22, 2020 at 1:06 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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