Frankfurt Crown Cake – Frankfurter Kranz
I’m sure you’ve already noticed that I’m in total “old-fashioned” mood lately. But I can’t help it, these things fascinate me. They transmit an elegance, beauty and exceptional taste when it comes to transmitting the good work that leaves me totally in love. That search for perfection and exquisiteness that goes beyond the line of distinction, achieving extravagant and overwhelming results. That is why when I first saw the Frankfurt Crown Cake – Frankfurter Kranz, I was fascinated.
I know that many of you will not see it like that, in fact my husband, on seeing it, told me that it was very tacky, hahaha. He only has to tell me that to make me more determined to do it. I understand perfectly that the perception of things is not the same in all of us. Where I see beauty, others may see something stale and old-fashioned.
Frankfurt Crown Cake – Frankfurter Kranz origin.
The origin of the Frankfurter Kranz is not known for certain, but it is known that it originated sometime around 1735, the oldest preserved recipe being from the early 20th century. It is a traditional sweet from Frankfurt, Germany.
The German word kranz means “crown“, something that makes one think that the link or reference here is directly linked to the Frankfurt crown wanting to remind us of Frankfurt am Main. To make it, the cake is baked in a ring mold. The outer decoration of the cake, in gold tones, together with the bright red cherries that crown it, makes it a symbol of royalty and its decorative jewels (rubies).
“The Great Book of German Food” describes the Frankfurter Kranz as a crown-shaped cake consisting of multiple layers. These layers include a buttercream filling. It also defines the cake as “really extravagant” and “a special gift for very elegant occasions”.
The entire exterior of the cake is covered with a layer of butter cream and chopped almonds, hazelnuts or nuts. The jams were often used as an additional filling and, even more so, to accompany a buttercream. It was also very common to use candied cherries for decoration. Another option for applying the outer covering would be to have an apricot glaze and, on top of this, finish with a layer of butter cream and chopped nuts.
Making the cake.
As you might expect, this is a very simple recipe to follow. There are no major complications, except for cutting the cake straight… I must admit that this is something I am really bad at. When I have to cut sponge cakes for cakes/tarts, I have no problem because I can use a cutter cake. But, cutting things without any guidance other than my intuition, I’m not very good at it, hahaha.
To bake the cake we can use any mould we have at home, preferably circular ones to follow the original line. That, if we want to make it and we don’t have any of this type, we can always bake it in one of another form.
To make the filling we will prepare a mousseline, it is a cream made with pastry cream and butter. There are other versions that also incorporate meringue in it (as I left you in this Fraisier Cake) and with a wonderful result.
The assembly is very simple; cut the cake, fill it with jam, mousseline cream and cover the outside with this same cream and chopped almonds. As a final touch, decorate the top with whipped cream or the same cream as the filling, and place some candied cherries.
A real delicacy to enjoy in the middle of the afternoon… I would say that it goes very well as a dessert too, but it’s a bit overwhelming and we would end the evening without being able to move.
Recipe Frankfurt Crown Cake
FOR THE SPONGE CAKE:
- 360 g pastry/cake flour
- 250 g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 225 g sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 7,5 g baking powder
- 40 g almond liquor
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 500 g whole milk
- 4 large egg yolks
- 120 g sugar
- 45 g pastry/cake flour
- 45 g corn starch
- 250 g unsalted butter at room temperature + 50 g icing sugar
- 200 g roasted chopped almonds
- candied cherries
- 80 g whipped cream (80 g fat/heavy cream + 1 Tbsp icing sugar)
Make the sponge cake for the Frankfurt Crown Cake.
- Grease the mold with butter, making sure that we reach all the hollows, and sprinkle with flour removing the excess. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 355ºF (180ºC).
- In a medium bowl, sift the flour together with the baking powder and salt.
- In the bowl of KitchenAid incorporate the butter, mix at medium speed until you get a mixture aired, creamy and whitish.
- Add the sugar, little by little, as we continue to mix. We will do it until we incorporate all the quantity.
- Begin to add the eggs, we will do it one by one and mixing well after each addition until they are completely integrated.
- Measure the amount of liquor we are going to use, set aside.
- Incorporate the dry ingredients alternating with the liquid ingredients, we will do it in 3 batches starting with the dry ones and ending with these too.
- We must not over beat the mixture, this is very important to obtain a spongy result, mix only until the ingredients are integrated.
- Pour the batter into the Bundt mould and tap gently on a work surface (with a kitchen towel underneath so as not to damage the worktop) in this way we avoid bubbles/gap inside and help the batter to settle.
- Place in the oven in the second position starting at the bottom for 40-45 minutes. If the surface of the cake becomes very coloured during baking, we can cover it with aluminium foil. Before taking it out of the oven we will check that it is well cooked by pricking it with a toothpick, it must come out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let it rest for 2-3 minutes in the mould. Then, unmould and let it cool completely on a rack.
- Once it has cooled, wrap very well with plastic film and let it rest until the next day.
Make pastry cream.
- Here you can see how to prepare the pastry cream.
- Once you have it ready, reserve it at room temperature until the moment of its use if you make the galettes the same day.
- In case you make it one day in advance, once it has cooled completely, place in the fridge until the next day.
- Add the butter in the KitchenAid bowl and beat at medium-high speed. We must obtain a spongy butter, white and very aired. It will take about 10-12 minutes.
- Stop the KA and with the help of a silicone spatula scrap the butter from the walls of the bowl.
- Remove the film from the cream and soften with the help of a whisk or spoon.
- Add the pastry cream to the mixture of butter. We will do it little by little.
- Beat at medium high speed until a smooth and creamy consistency is obtained. It will take about 4-5 minutes.
- Transfer the mousseline to a piping bag.
- Set aside.
Assemble Frankfurt Crown Cake.
- With the help of a serrated knife, cut the bundt cake into 3 parts. We will try to make cuts as straight as possible (as you can see in the video, it was not my case, hahaha)
- Moisten the cake with some syrup, this step is optional.
- Spread a first layer of cherry jam.
- Pipe the mousseline cream over it and smooth it.
- Place the second layer of the sponge cake and repeat the same operation as the previous one.
- Finally, place the last part of the sponge cake.
Finish to assemble Frankfurt Crown Cake.
- Cover the entire cake, including the central hole, with mousseline cream.
- Smooth the surface trying to remove the excess.
- As far as possible, we will try to give the original shape of our mold. To do this, we will sculpt the cream following the shape of the bundt cake.
- Cover the whole exterior, including the central hole, with the roasted chopped almond. As the almond is placed, press it gently to fix the almonds to the cream.
- Refrigerate for 1-2 hours so that the cream becomes firm.
- Decorate the top with small mounds of whipped cream (I have used Wilton's 2D tip).
- Place candied cherries on each whipped cream mound.
- In my case I have used large eggs, in case of using M eggs we will use 6 units.
- If we do not have almond liqueur or do not like it, we can substitute it with another liqueur of our choice.
- In my case I have used the Bundt Kugelhopf mold, but any of the bundt cakes range can be used.
- It is not necessary to divide the process into two days, but this step will make the preparation much easier.
- The syrup is totally optional, in my case I like to add a little bit to give an extra juiciness. However, we must take into account that the use of syrup, when the jame is added later (if it is homemade), will cause it to seep into the cake. To avoid this, if you want to use syrup, you can add a thin layer of mousseline, then the jam and finally the layer of mousseline behind and as shown in the video.
- Pastry cream can be made the day before if you wish.
- The cherry jam can be replaced by jam made from currants, blueberries, strawberries or raspberries.
- I recommend to toast the almonds beforehand, that way we will highlight the flavours of this nut much more than if we use it naturally.
- The top can be decorated with whipped cream or mousseline. In my case I have preferred to do it with cream, but feel free to use the cream of the filling itself.
- We can keep it refrigerated for 3-4 days.
I can certainly not think of a better way to enjoy the weekend than with a portion of Frankfurt Crown Cake - Frankfurter Kranz and a good tea or coffee. It is possible that with another type of drink, perhaps spirited, it will also go very well. I leave this to your choice.
And breaking with customs is something that will bring a smile to your face. It is always a good time to take out the pearls, the long gloves and enjoy good moments that break the routine to which we are accustomed.
I wish you a wonderful weekend!