Cherry, hazelnut and marzipan cake Lübeck style

Cherry, hazelnut and marzipan cake Lübeck style

Eva 14 enero, 2024
Este post también está disponible en Spanish

It’s been almost a month since my last post because I couldn’t get rid of some virus that has left me KO for more than two weeks. Well, I’ve been totally disconnected for the whole Christmas season! But, I’m back with all of you and eager to share a lot of new recipes. By the way, I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and that your year is off to a great start.

Today I bring you a recipe from German gastronomy, Cherry, hazelnut and marzipan cake Lübeck style better known as Marzipan Haselnuss Kirsch Torte. Before I continue I want to share that the cherry syrup I used for the filling was made with Maraschino liqueur. The reason is that I used part of the syrup that I had left over when I made the Maraschino-style candied cherries. You can use this, Kirsch or another one such as almond liqueur or hazelnut liqueur (which goes very well with them). In all cases, the result will also be extraordinary.

I have been wanting to share this cake with you for a long time, but as you know well that it has happened to me on other occasions, it had not been given the opportunity. So I am very happy that the first recipe I share with you this year is this exquisite cake. I think I have told you on other occasions, but if there is something that fascinates me about German pastry is that it does not abuse sugar. You can appreciate the flavors in all their splendor that combined with the wide range of textures that this cake has, makes the result is out of this world.

Cherry, hazelnut and marzipan cake Lübeck style

Marzipan from Lübeck.

The exact origin of the word “marzipan” is unknown. There are several options as to where it may come from, such as from the Italian “marzapane” around the 16th century or from the Latin “marci panis” (St. Mark’s bread). It is also thought that it could derive from the Persian “märzäban” (margrave) or from the Greek words “maza” or “massa” (flour porridge). The most credible version is that marzipan has its roots in Italy, there is a theory that the origin of marzipan comes from a monastery in Sicily, and the Arab countries. And the first written reference appears in Toledo and dates back to 1520 written in Catalan and translated into Spanish in 1525. This I tell you in detail in this post.

Most cultural historians agree that marzipan has its roots in the East, although local legend holds that it originated in Lübeck in 1407. The story goes that this “bread” was invented after a famine, when only sugar and almonds were left in the city. However, a similar account is reported from Königsberg in 1409.

Martzapaen was first mentioned in the guild lists of Lübeck in 1530. Lübeck’s reputation as a marzipan city and its pre-eminence in marzipan production were established after 1800.

Two pastry chefs and the same passion.

What is known is that in 1806, two confectioners independently founded the first marzipan factories: Swiss confectioner Lorenz Cawietzel in Reval(today’s Tallinn/Estonia) and Johann Georg Niederegger in Lübeck, Germany.

There is a marzipan museum that you can visit with free access and enjoy, among its origin, history and curiosities, life-size figures made with this sweet.

Both cities were members of the Hanseatic League (a commercial and defensive federation of German merchant communities) at the time, which involved an active exchange of craftsmen and merchants. This fact makes it difficult today to determine its creation in this part of the world.

Lübeck marzipan, Toledo marzipan and Königsberg marzipan are recognized worldwide. Prominent marzipan production centers are Toledo (Spain), Aix-en-Provence (France) and Lübeck (Germany).

In Franconian cities such as Nuremberg in the 17th and 18th centuries, marzipan was made in wooden, tin or clay molds, and it was customary to give them as Christmas gifts. The motifs were usually biblical, but coats of arms were also used, and later, figures of farmers, craftsmen, hearts or diamonds. The patricians of Nuremberg made their family coats of arms out of marzipan, which they gave to their friends.

Cherry, hazelnut and marzipan cake Lübeck style

Characteristics of Lübeck marzipan.

Raw marzipan dough is governed by the “Guidelines for oilseeds and the doughs and confectionery products made from them” of the German Food Code. For the preparation of this sweet dough, peeled and blanched almonds with a maximum moisture content of 17 percent are used. The sugar content must be 35 percent, and the almond oil content must be at least 28 percent. In the raw MI marzipan dough variant, the total content of blanched, peeled and possibly bitter almonds may be up to 12 percent of the almond weight, without requiring identification.

Additionally, some manufacturers may incorporate other ingredients such as invert sugar (a mixture of fructose and glucose) or rose water, depending on the specific recipe. Generally, the raw mixture consists of 2/3 ground sweet almonds and 1/3 sugar (maximum 35 percent). This mixture is heated (pasteurized) to 90 or 95 degrees in a pot in a bain-marie, and mixed and roasted for 30 to 40 minutes, until the mixture does not stick together and the aromas develop.

The composition requires sweet and bitter almonds, sugar and additives that can vary among manufacturers and is usually a well-kept trade secret. The quality of the raw mixture is directly related to the quality of the almonds used, as well as the fineness and plasticity of the mixture.

Cherry, hazelnut and marzipan cake Lübeck style

Cherry, hazelnut and marzipan cake Lübeck style.

From the creation of this sweet, many confectionery elaborations such as bonbons, cakes or even tarts were created. The ingredients of each location were combined with the marzipan to give rise to fascinating elaborations. As, for example, the cake that I leave you with today. It is true that it does not have a specific origin, since it seems that, following the creation of marzipan, a large number of sweets began to be made with it.

To carry out the recipe of this cherry, hazelnut and marzipan cake Lübech style I searched and looked at many different websites. The truth is that they all maintained a great similarity between them, but in some cases I found confusing processes or explanations in which I was missing steps. Finally, I decided to follow Ester Kocht’s recipe, although I varied many parts, quantities and ingredients. But I am very grateful to her for sharing her recipe and process, so well detailed, because it was my guide to know how to proceed and to be able to formulate the one I share with you.

It is a very spongy and tender sponge cake made with ground hazelnut. The filling combines a filling made with cherries in syrup and liqueur and another filling of whipped cream with toasted hazelnuts together with a thin layer of marzipan. The outer decoration is simple, but ornate (I’m fascinated by these things). Whipped cream, toasted chopped hazelnut and a layer of marzipan with a very particular presentation that also helps to distribute the cuts of the cake.

In short, a precious and wonderful jewel that, I can tell you, will fascinate you. It does not contain a high sugar content, something that is much appreciated because it is not cloying and allows you to enjoy all the flavors. It remains very moist and tender over the days, not to mention the amount of aromas and flavors that surrounds each spoonful. I sincerely hope you enjoy it as much as I did 🙂

Recipe Cherry, hazelnut and marzipan cake Lübeck style


  • 5 large eggs, whites and yolks separated
  • 150 g sugar, separated in two equal parts (75 g + 75 g)
  • 70 g cake flour
  • 90 g cornstarch
  • 60 g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 g baking powder
  • 50 g ground roasted hazelnut
  • pinch of salt


*If you don't have cherry syrup, here are some of the ingredients


  • 200 g water
  • 200 g sugar
  • 35 g Kirsch, almond liqueur, hazelnut liqueur or Maraschino liqueur
  • red food coloring


  • 600 heavy cream, very cold
  • 45 g powdered sugar
  • 90 g ground roasted hazelnuts


  • 400 gheavy cream, very cold
  • 30 g powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • 150 g ground almonds
  • 140 g powdered sugar
  • 8 g honey
  • 24 g water


  • 125-150 g roasted chopped hazelnuts
  • 12 whole hazelnuts with skin


*You have a 5% discount on the website Claudia&Julia using this code BAKESTREET. Delivers throughout Europe.



Prepare sponge cake.
  1. In the bowl of the KitchenAid, add the egg yolks and 75 g of sugar. Whisk at medium-high speed until a whitish color and a creamy texture is achieved, you will notice that it increases in volume.
  2. Add the butter and whisk again until a homogeneous mixture is obtained.
  3. Begin to incorporate the flour, little by little. We will integrate while mixing at speed 1.
  4. Add baking powder together with salt and mix.
  5. Finally, add cornstarch. We will do it in the same way, little by little and mixing at the same time.
  6. Once everything is integrated, set aside.
Whip meringue.
  1. In another bowl, add the egg whites and begin to whip. Once it begins to foam, add the sugar (the remaining 75 g).
  2. Whip with the whisk at medium-high speed until the meringue is firm, a little more soft peaks, but not dry. In other words, do not over whip the meringue until it is very stiff.
Add the meringue to the egg yolk mixture.
  1. Start incorporating the meringue, little by little, into the egg yolk mixture.
  2. Add a little, mix with a spatula until completely integrated and continue adding more. The first part of meringue will help us to smooth the mixture. As we add more, the mixture will become smoother and lighter.
  3. Finally, incorporate the ground hazelnut and integrate with smooth and enveloping movements.
Pour the batter in the mold and bake.
  1. Preheat the oven to 355ºF/180ºC, with heat up and down.
  2. Grease and line a 20 cm diameter mold. In my case it is a springform pan, I line the sides with baking paper (I have the feeling that this way the cake rises more and better) and the base I grease with butter and sprinkle with flour.
  3. Pour the mixture into the mold and tap gently to settle the mixture.
  4. Bake for 38-40 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes in the pan and unmold.
  6. Place on a cooling rack, upside down to allow the dome to smooth out as much as possible, and let cool completely.
  7. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and refrigerate until the next day.
  8. NOTE: Refrigerating the cake makes the cutting process much easier.


Note cherry filling.
  • In case you do not have cherry syrup (the canned jars, depending on which one, may contain a small amount), you can prepare it at home. In my case I had a lot of my Maraschino cherries recipe.
  • If you buy cherries in syrup in large jars, you can reuse that syrup and add a little liqueur to flavor it. If it is not very thick, you may need to add a little more sugar.
Prepare the syrup in case you do not have it.
  1. Add the water and sugar to a saucepan, place over medium heat and cook until slightly thickened.
  2. At that moment, add the red coloring together with the liqueur and mix until homogenized.
  3. Remove from the heat and let it rest until it cools completely.
Prepare marzipan.
  1. In this post you can see how to prepare marzipan at home.
  2. Remember to follow the quantities detailed in this recipe.
  3. Once it is done, wrap well in plastic wrap and set aside.
Cut sponge cake.
  1. With the help of a cake cutter, cut the cake into three equal parts.
  2. In my case, I also removed a small part of the dome to make the top as straight as possible.
  3. Set aside wrapped in plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.
Prepare the mold to assemble the cake.
  1. Use the same mold in which you baked the cake.
  2. Place a non-skid on the base of the mold and, on top of it, a cake disc.
  3. Line the sides with a sheet of acetate, fasten the ends with a little tape.
  4. Set aside.
Prepare cherry filling.
  1. Mix cornstarch with hot water until it dissolves completely. At first you will notice that it takes a while to dissolve, but as you mix, you will notice that it integrates smoothly.
  2. In a saucepan, pour the syrup along with the cornstarch mixture and place over medium low heat.
  3. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a whisk, until thickened. In the video you will see the desired consistency.
  4. Turn off heat and stir in cherries. Stir to distribute evenly.
Assemble the cake.
  1. After cooking the cherry filling, proceed to assemble the tart.
  2. Spread a small amount of cherry filling on the tart disc inside the mold.
  3. Place the first sponge cake and carefully adjust.
  4. Pour the cherry filling over the sponge cake, smooth the surface making sure it is as even and level as possible.
  5. While the filling is tempering on the cake, prepare the whipped cream filling with hazelnuts.
Whip the cream with hazelnuts (cake filling).
  • The cream must be at least 24 hours in the fridge.
  • The bowl in which the cream is whipped must be cold.
  1. Pour the cream into the chilled bowl with the powdered sugar. Whip with the whisk at medium speed.
  2. Increase the speed gradually, but never reach maximum speed. The ideal is a medium-high speed. Be careful not to overbeat it or it will be cut and you will get butter...
  3. Once it is whipped, incorporate the ground hazelnut and integrate it into the cream with the help of a silicone spatula.
  4. Make smooth, enveloping movements to prevent the cream from losing its firmness.
  5. Divide this filling into two parts; weigh 300 g on one side (this part will be placed on top of the cherry filling) and reserve the rest in another bowl (for the second layer of filling).
Stretch the marzipan.
  1. Sprinkle a silpat with powdered sugar, proceed to stretch with the help of an adjustable rolling pin. You must give a thickness of 2 mm.
  2. With the help of the mold or a cake base that has the same diameter of the mold, in this case 20 cm, cut a disc of marzipan.
  3. Cover with cling film to prevent it from drying out.
  4. NOTE: Reserve the rest of the marzipan to form another disc. You will make this one the next day, so it is important to store it well to prevent it from drying out. If you notice that it has dried out, add a few drops of water and mix again until you get a uniform and homogeneous marzipan dough.
Finish assembling the cake.
  1. Spread the 300 g of whipped cream with hazelnuts over the cherry filling.
  2. Smooth the surface making sure it is as even as possible.
  3. Place the marzipan disc on the cream and hazelnut filling, adjust well and smooth carefully to avoid any bumps.
  4. On top of the marzipan, place the second sponge cake. If desired, you can lightly syrup this one (and the other two as well).
  5. Add the remaining whipped cream and hazelnut filling, smoothing it out to make it uniform.
  6. Finally, place the last sponge cake and adjust.
  7. Cover the top of the mold with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the next day. In my case I left it for 24 hours.


Whip the cream to decorate the outside of the cake.
  • The cream must be at least 24 hours in the fridge.
  • The bowl in which the cream is whipped must be cold.
  1. Pour the cream into the chilled bowl with the powdered sugar. Whip with the whisk at medium speed.
  2. Increase the speed gradually, but never reach maximum speed. The ideal is a medium-high speed. Be careful not to overbeat it or it will be cut and you will get butter...
  3. When almost whipped, while whipping, add the vanilla.
  4. Reserve in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Stretch the other marzipan disc.
  1. Sprinkle a silpat with powdered sugar, proceed to stretch with the help of an adjustable rolling pin. You must give a thickness of 2 mm.
  2. With the help of the mold or a cake base that has the same diameter of the mold, in this case 20 cm, cut a marzipan disc.
  3. Divide the marzipan disk into 12 equal portions or as similar as possible.
  4. Roll up the ends of each portion, forming a small spiral.
  5. Cover with cling film to prevent it from drying out until ready to use.
Decorate the cake.
  1. Carefully unmold the cake and remove the acetate sheet.
  2. Place the cake on a rotating cake stand.
  3. Spread a layer of whipped cream over the entire surface of the cake. It should not be a thick layer, just enough to prevent the cake and fillings from showing through.
  4. Transfer the excess cream into a piping bag with a star nozzle, in my case I used the Decora S/F 18 nozzle.
  5. Cover the side of the cake with toasted chopped hazelnut, in the video I leave you a trick to stick it in a simple way using half a lime, lemon or orange. Place half of the chosen fruit on the hazelnut, it will stick to the citrus, and then place it on the side of the cake. This method is easy and accessible, in addition to making the process of covering the cake with nuts easy, without scattering a lot of nuts on the work surface (and it does not add flavor, don't worry).
  6. If there is a hole without nuts, fill it manually.
  7. With the help of a spatula, press gently to fix the hazelnut to the whipped cream.
  8. Place the previously cut and shaped marzipan on top. Try to follow the same order in which you have cut it so that it fits smoothly.
  9. Fill the central hole in the top of the cake with roasted chopped hazelnuts.
  10. Finally, pipe whipped cream (we had it reserved in the pastry bag in the refrigerator) on the final ends of each portion of marzipan. Decorate each garnish, the peak where we finish, with a whole hazelnut.
  11. Refrigerate until ready to eat.
    Cherry, hazelnut and marzipan cake Lübeck style


  • To line the baking pan, you can grease the base and sides with butter to help the baking paper stick to it. The butter can be replaced with release spray. In my case, I do not line the base with paper, I grease it with butter and sprinkle with flour, removing the excess.
  • The acetate helps the cake to keep its perfect shape and, in case of using liquid or moist ingredients, to stay in place. It also favors a perfect unmolding.
  • The cake is very tender and fluffy, but if you want a very moist result, you can lightly syrup each cake when you assemble the cake.
  • When whipping the cream, remember that it must be very cold to whip well. Also be careful when whipping it so as not to over whip it and cut it. Whenever you do not use it, keep it refrigerated so that it does not lose firmness.
  • I recommend using toasted hazelnuts, you can toast them at home, to add more flavor and aroma to the final result.
  • The hazelnuts can be replaced with almonds if you prefer.
  • When integrating the crushed hazelnuts into the whipped cream, you must do it carefully to prevent it from losing its firmness.
    Cherry, hazelnut and marzipan cake Lübeck style
  • When preparing the syrup for the cherries, I recommend using one of the liqueurs I mention. If you do not want to use alcohol, I recommend adding a few drops of almond extract to flavor it.
  • If you wish, you can prepare candied cherries at home, in this post I tell you how to do it.
  • If you do not want to prepare the marzipan at home, you can use store-bought marzipan. Although I recommend you to do it because it is simple, and you control the ingredients it contains (especially the final amount of sugar in relation to the almonds).
  • When carrying out the top decoration with marzipan, you must be careful when rolling the ends. If the marzipan has dried out, it can easily split. Make sure the marzipan is not dry once it is done, otherwise, add a few more drops of water to make it malleable and not crack.
  • When you stretch the marzipan and observe that cracks form, it is a sign that it needs more water. No problem, add a little more water, mix very well and stretch again. Be careful when integrating the water, do it little by little, kneading very well and observing how it behaves. We can always add more, but it is not easy to remove the excess. It can be done by adding more almonds and icing, but this would force us to calculate the quantities to maintain a good proportion.
  • As we stretch, remove scraps, join... The marzipan will dry out. Most likely, you will need to add a little water. You can do it with your hands, a coffee spoon or a bottle.
  • This marzipan does not require baking because it does not contain egg whites.
  • The process can be reduced to two days instead of three, if you wish. You can prepare the cake in the morning and assemble the first part in the afternoon. In my case I show you the process I follow to comfortably distribute the whole process.
  • Once the cake is finished and assembled, it can be kept refrigerated for 5 days. It holds very well over time and remains very tender and moist.
    Cherry, hazelnut and marzipan cake Lübeck style

A cake to prepare during this 2024 and, without a doubt, it is this Cherry, hazelnut and marzipan cake Lübeck style. It is that kind of cake that surprises, a lot and for the better. Not only in appearance, which I am in love with, but also in textures, aromas and flavors.

The whole is extraordinary and it is not complicated to make, not laborious. I must admit that it is a cake that requires several steps and, therefore, needs to invest time. But in the process I leave everything detailed to divide it into 3 days so that you only have to invest a little time in each one of them. The result is worth it and very much!

I hope you will try it and let me know what you think!

By the way, I remind you that you can watch all my videos on my YouTube channel. If you subscribe and turn on the little bell, I will be eternally grateful!

I wish you a wonderful Sunday afternoon!

Lots of love,

Sources: Chocolatier Kroenner, Küchen Götter

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