Among the many culinary specialties Germany is known for, the desserts of Germany are particularly well-known and regarded. German desserts range from special cakes such as the Black Forest cake, to numerous cookies, candies, German pastries and various other sweet treats and confections.
German Pastries: Berliner and Krapfen
Berliner earns its name from Berlin, the pastry’s city of origin and the capital of the German state since the late 19th century. This pastry is made from sweet dough that’s deep-fried, and also frequently includes a fruit or vanilla cream filling. The finished items are generally dusted with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.
Berliner is, in fact, a sub-category of pastry under the heading of Krapfen pastries. They generally differ in the type of dough that’s used, which can be derived from choux (light butter, flour and egg dough), yeast, wheat or quark, made from curdled cheese. Other Krapfen pastries include Rheinische krapfen, made from choux pastry and raisins, and Krautkrapfen, which is made from pasta dough and filled with sauerkraut and bacon.
Varieties of German Cookies
Hundreds of German cookie varieties are regularly made in the country. General categories used to categorize the many types of cookies are assigned based on how a particular cookie is prepared.
For example, some cookies are made from a mold that imprints a particular image into the dough itself that will remain in the finished product. Cookies of this type include springerle, a type of sugar and anise cookie typically served at Chrismas, and spekuliatius, another Christmas specialty often baked with strong spices or coated in almonds.
Other German cookies are made from dough shaped by hand. Some of these include vanillekipferl, crescent-shaped cookies coated in powdered sugar or cinnamon, and also Bethmannchen, which are made from marzipan, egg whites and almond halves.
German Candies and Sweets
Marzipan is common in many German desserts, either baked into cookies and cakes, coated in chocolate or served on its own and made into animal shapes.
Another German candy known throughout the world is the gummi bear, invented in 1922. Gummi bears first appeared in the United States in the early 1980s and have been popular ever since.
Various German Cakes
The Black Forest cake may be one of the best-known German cakes, made with chocolate sponge cake and Kirschwasser cherry schnapps. Other popular cakes include the Sacher Torte, a chocolate cake layered with apricot marmalade and chocolate frosting, and the Dresdner stollen, a cake filled with dried fruits that’s a staple in the cuisine of the former German Democratic Republic.