German Buttercream Layer Cake

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This 4 – layer German buttercream cake (Buttercremetorte) is our all – time family favorite. The beautifully fluffy and moist vanilla flavored sponge cake is filled with jam, chocolate pudding – buttercream and vanilla pudding – buttercream. The buttercream made with regular sugar is beautiful, not overly sweet like regular buttercream and holds like magic.

A few days ago was my father in law’s birthday. For his birthday in remembrance to his mother who passed away last year and to bring back his childhood memories, he requested for his mother’s famous layered buttercream cake from my mother in law, Beate.

This recipe is so easy to follow, consists of a few steps and doesn’t require a cake ring to assemble it. Unlike the German marzipan and nut cream cake. The buttercream is made by cooking pudding powder with milk to make pudding. The pudding is then whipped into buttercream (made with regular sugar). The pudding – buttercream is so good, such that you could eat it just like that. Beate and I had to chase my husband out of the kitchen while making it, because he was just eating up the chocolate buttercream, which was not a lot by the way, before we could use it.

It’s very important that the pudding and butter are at room temperature before making the buttercream!! Otherwise your buttercream will split. Beate and her mother in law tossed their pudding buttercream a couple of times in the garbage, because of this. The original recipe uses rum, which normally comes in the pudding and sprinkled on cake layers. But this time we left it out because of the kids.

What you’ll need to make German butter pudding cream cake

Ingredients for German sponge cake

  • 5 medium eggs
  • 150 g (5.3 oz/ ¾ cup) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • zest from ½ lemon
  • 3 tablespoons cold tap water
  • 100 g (3.5 oz/ 1 cup – 2 tbsp) plain flour (all purpose flour)
  • 100 g (3.5 oz/ 1 cup – 2 tbsp) cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Ingredients for pudding buttercream filling

  • 1200 ml (40.6 fl oz/ 5 ½ cups) milk
  • 93 g (3.3 oz/ about ¾ cup) vanilla pudding powder (custard powder) (SEE NOTES)
  • 250 g (8.8 oz/ about 1 cup) butter, room temperature
  • 200 g (7.1 oz/ 1 cup) sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

For the jam filling

  • 6 tablespoons jam of your choice

How to make German layer cake with pudding and buttercream

How to make German sponge cake

Line the 26-cm (10.2 inches) spring-form cake tin with removable base with a parchment paper and divide the eggs into two separate bowls. Preheat the oven to 180 ° C (356 °F), with both top and bottom heat. Separate the eggs into two separate bowls. Add salt to the bowl with egg whites and beat until light and fluffy.

Next add regular sugar, vanilla sugar and water to the bowl with egg yolks and beat until creamy. Add lemon zest and baking powder to the egg yolk mixture and whisk.

Mix plain flour (all purpose flour) with cornflour (cornstarch) and add to the bowl with egg yolk mixture. Without mixing add the egg whites top of the plain and cornflour mixture (not yet incorporated into the batter) and fold gently the flour and egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.

Transfer the batter to the prepared spring – form cake tin lined with a parchment paper and bake for 35 minutes or until nicely golden brown. Remove the cake from oven and let cool completely (preferably overnight).

How to make the pudding buttercream filling

First of all bring about 1 Liter (33.8 fl oz/ 4 ½ cups) milk to a boil. In the meantime add vanilla pudding powder (custard powder) to the jar with the remaining milk and stir well.

Once the milk starts to boil stir in pudding – milk mixture. Keep stirring until the pudding starts to bubble and has thickened.

Remove from the heat, stir well once again and transfer the pudding to a chilled bowl. Cover with cling film and let cool to room temperature. In the meantime cut the cake into layers and fill with jam.

Note:

  • This recipe uses instant vanilla pudding powder, but if you don’t have access to it, just use cornstarch /cornflour of the same amount and add 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean pod. Follow the same steps of making the pudding. Once you remove the pudding from the heat, add an egg yolk and stir well. Then transfer to a bowl.
  • Put the bowl outside if where you’re is cold. So that the Pudding will cool a bit faster.

How to assemble German sponge cake with buttercream

While the pudding is cooling to room temperature, cut the completely cooled sponge cake into four layers. Simply put the cake on a cake board/ platter. While holding a long knife with the right hand, place your left hand on the cake to hold it, while lightly applying pressure and split it in half. Put the top half onto another cake board/ large plate or platter and then cut each half into two layers. Such that in the end you have four layers. Lift up the cake layer from the bottom layer and put it aside. You could also use a thread to split the cake.

Spread the bottom cake layer with jam or jelly of your choice. If you’re using jam just make sure to heat it for few seconds in the microwave or over a water bath so that it will become easier to spread. Beate always uses her homemade red currant jelly. Next, cover with the next middle cake layer.

How to make pudding buttercream

Once the pudding has cooled to room temperature it’s time for the next step. It’s very important that the pudding and butter are at room temperature!! Otherwise the cream will not emulsify!!

In a bowl combine sugar and butter cut into chunks and beat well.

Now stir the pudding very well and take one tablespoon of pudding (at room temperature) at a time and add to the sugar and butter mixture while whisking. Repeat the process until you’ve had used up all the pudding.

 

Next take one-third of the pudding buttercream and put it into an extra bowl. Add 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder to the bowl with one-thirds pudding buttercream and combine well to make chocolate pudding.

Spread about two-third of chocolate cream evenly over the cake, leaving one-third behind for decorating.

Cover with the next layer. Then spread half of the remaining white pudding buttercream on top. Cover with the top cake layer with cut side facing down. Using your hands gently press the cake layers nicely together.

Cover with a cake keeper and chill for 1 hour.

How to frost and decorate the butter cream cake with pudding

After at 1 hour remove the cake from the fridge. Using a knife frost the cake with the remaining pudding buttercream. First coat the top of the cake with white pudding cream and the sides with the chocolate pudding buttercream. If you still have some pudding left and some chopped nuts lying around, then decorate the cake the way you like.

Serve the cake immediately after final touches. If you’re not eating the cake immediately, simply cover it with a cake cover and put it in the fridge. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • For this recipe make sure the ingredients are at room temperature cakes.
  • This cake becomes easier every time you make it.
  • Feel free to use your favorite jam.
  • Serve the cake immediately after final touches. If you’re not eating the cake immediately, simply cover it with a cake cover and put it in the fridge.
  • This recipe uses vanilla pudding powder/ custard powder, but if you don’t have access to it, just use cornstarch /cornflour of the same amount and add 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean pod. Follow the same steps of making the pudding. Once you remove the pudding from the heat, add an egg yolk and stir well. Then transfer to a bowl.
  • The original recipe uses rum, which normally comes in the pudding and sprinkled on cake layers. But this time we left it out because of the kids.

German Buttercream Cake

This 4 – layer German pudding buttercream cake is our all - time family favorite. The beautifully fluffy and moist vanilla flavored sponge cake is filled with jam, chocolate pudding – buttercream and vanilla pudding – buttercream. The buttercream made with regular sugar is beautiful, not overly sweet like regular buttercream and holds like magic.
Prep Time1 hr 45 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Chill Time1 hr
Total Time3 hrs 20 mins
Course: Cakes, Dessert
Cuisine: European, German
Keyword: baking, birthday, Buttercremetorte, cakes and coffee time, cakes and tea time, Christmas, family cooking, four layer buttercream cake, German buttercream with instant pudding, how to, kid-friendly, mother's day, pudding buttercream, special occasion desserts, sponge cake, Thanksgiving, treats
Servings: 18 Servings
Author: Ester from esterkocht.com

Equipment

  • 26 cm(10 inch) spring-form (or cake tin with removable base)
  • Cake keeper
  • Cake board/ platter
  • large knife
  • Whisk
  • 3 bowls
  • spoon
  • Medium pot
  • Wooden spoon
  • cling film
  • Parchment paper

Ingredients

Ingredients for German sponge cake

  • 5 medium eggs
  • 150 g (5.3 oz/ ¾ cup) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • zest from ½ lemon
  • 3 tablespoons cold tap water
  • 100 g (3.5 oz/ 1 cup – 2 tbsp) plain flour (all purpose flour)
  • 100 g (3.5 oz/ 1 cup – 2 tbsp) cornstarch cornflour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Ingredients for pudding buttercream filling

  • 1200 ml (40.6 fl oz/ 5 ½ cups) milk
  • 93 g (3.3 oz/ about ¾ cup) vanilla pudding powder (custard powder) SEE NOTES
  • 250 g (8.8 oz/ about 1 cup) butter room temperature
  • 200 g (7.1 oz/ 1 cup) sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder unsweetened

For the jam filling

  • 6 tablespoons jam of your choice

Instructions

  • Line the 26-cm (10.2 inches) spring-form cake tin with removable base with a parchment paper and divide the eggs into two separate bowls. Preheat the oven to 180 ° C (356 °F), with both top and bottom heat. Separate the eggs into two separate bowls. Add salt to the bowl with egg whites and beat until light and fluffy. Next add regular sugar, vanilla sugar and water to the bowl with egg yolks and beat until creamy. Add lemon zest and baking powder to the egg yolk mixture and whisk. Mix plain flour (all purpose flour) with cornflour (cornstarch) and add to the bowl with egg yolk mixture. Without mixing add the egg whites top of the plain and cornflour mixture (not yet incorporated into the batter) and fold gently the flour and egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Transfer the batter to the prepared spring - form cake tin lined with a parchment paper and bake for 35 minutes or until nicely golden brown. Remove the cake from oven and let cool completely (preferably overnight).
  • First of all bring about 1 Liter (33.8 fl oz/ 4 ½ cups) milk to a boil. In the meantime add vanilla pudding powder (custard powder) to the jar with the remaining milk and stir well. Once the milk starts to boil stir in pudding - milk mixture. Keep stirring until the pudding starts to bubble and has thickened. Remove from the heat, stir well once again and transfer the pudding to a chilled bowl. Cover with cling film and let cool to room temperature. In the meantime cut the cake into layers and fill with jam.
  • While the pudding is cooling to room temperature, cut the completely cooled sponge cake into four layers. Simply put the cake on a cake board/ platter. While holding a long knife with the right hand, place your left hand on the cake to hold it, while lightly applying pressure and split it in half. Put the top half onto another cake board/ large plate or platter and then cut each half into two layers. Such that in the end you have four layers. Lift up the cake layer from the bottom layer and put it aside. You could also use a thread to split the cake. Spread the bottom cake layer with jam or jelly of your choice. If you're using jam just make sure to heat it for few seconds in the microwave or over a water bath so that it will become easier to spread. Next, cover with the next middle cake layer.
  • Once the pudding has cooled to room temperature it's time for the next step. It's very important that the pudding and utter are at room temperature!! Otherwise the cream will not emulsify!!
    In a bowl combine sugar and butter cut into chunks and beat well. Now stir the pudding very well and take one tablespoon of pudding (at room temperature) at a time and add to the sugar and butter mixture while whisking. Repeat the process until you've had used up all the pudding.
    Next take one-third of the pudding buttercream and put it into an extra bowl. Add 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder to the bowl with one-thirds pudding buttercream and combine well to make chocolate pudding. Spread about two-third of chocolate cream evenly over the cake, leaving one-third behind for decorating. Cover with the next layer. Then spread half of the remaining white pudding buttercream on top. Cover with the top cake layer with cut side facing down. Using your hands gently press the cake layers nicely together. Cover with a cake keeper and chill for 1 hour.
  • After at 1 hour remove the cake from the fridge. Using a knife frost the cake with the remaining pudding buttercream. First coat the top of the cake with white pudding cream and the sides with the chocolate pudding buttercream. If you still have some pudding buttercream left and some chopped nuts lying around, then decorate the cake the way you like. Serve the cake immediately after final touches. If you're not eating the cake immediately, simply cover it with a cake cover and put it in the fridge. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. For this recipe make sure the ingredients are at room temperature cakes.
  2. This cake becomes easier every time you make it.
  3. Feel free to use your favorite jam.
  4. Serve the cake immediately after final touches. If you're not eating the cake immediately, simply cover it with a cake cover and put it in the fridge.
  5. This recipe uses vanilla pudding powder, but if you don't have access to it, just use cornstarch /cornflour of the same amount and add 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean pod. Follow the same steps of making the pudding. Once you remove the pudding from the heat, add an egg yolk and stir well. Then transfer to a bowl.
  6. The original recipe uses rum, which normally comes in the pudding and sprinkled on cake layers. But this time we left it out because of the kids.

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to hear from you! Simply write a review and add rating to it. Or snap a photo and share it on Ester kocht Facebook Page or tag @ester.kocht on Instagram.

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