German cake recipes tend to use rather big cake tins (usually 26 cm), which means that you end up with pastry and fillings should you try and use the more common 8” or 9” tins. Rather than adjusting the measurements to the tin (2.6 eggs anyone?) I use a jam jar or two, oiled and dusted with semolina, to bake one or two minicakes on the side. I did this the other day when I made the apple cake. You can store the cakes in the fridge for one or two weeks as the vacuum will keep them fresh – just make sure you use jars that have a wide opening so that you can get the cakes out to serve!
The following recipe can be used as an easy base for any type of minicake, I have used cherries in syrup (you can get them in shops that sell Eastern European food, as well as in your local German speciality delis, Lidl or Aldi…).
- 200g of soft, unsalted butter
- 150g sugar
- 4 eggs
- 150g self-raising flour
- 70g cornflour
- grated peel of one unwaxed lemon
- 4-5 jam jars (I used Bonne Maman and Weck jars)
Heat your oven to 170C. Carefully oil the jam jars and dust the inside with semolina (flour or fine breadcrumbs should also do the trick).
Thoroughly mix the butter and sugar before adding the lemon peel and the eggs. Sift the flour and cornflour into the mix and carefully spoon it into your jars, but make sure to leave enough space for the cakes to rise! I suggest to fill them a bit more than half full.
If you use cherries I put them in now, pushing them into the dough using a wooden spoon. Other ingredients – raisins, chocolate chips, blueberries etc.) you might be better off mixing in before filling the jars. For example you can make marble cakes by splitting the mass into two and adding 2tbs of cocoa powder and milk, mixing the two doughs in the jar using a fork.
Bake for 35-40 mins; close the lids tightly immediately after removing the cakes form the oven to make sure they are airtight.