Donauwelle Guest Post

February 8, 2012  •  Desserts,

I’ve been wanting to feature a guest post from my friend and fellow Colorado food blogger Kirsten Hall for some time. She’s from Germany, and her baking skills are far superior to mine. She’s also a fun friend who is always generous with her time and ideas – she even helped me with some of the recipe testing and photography for my cookbook project. So while I continue sailing around the Windward Islands in the Caribbean, heeeeeere’s Kirsten!

Hello, helloooo! I’m Kirsten and I blog over at “My German Kitchen … in the Rockies”. Fabulous to meet you all. I can’t thank my local blogger friend Michele enough for letting me guest post for her today. She’s the best.

I would like to share a very traditional German Cake recipe with you – Donauwelle. Donauwelle would literally translate to Donau wave and maybe the cut cake could resemble waves. I don’t really see this and will leave it up to you. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any explanation regarding the origin of the cake’s name. Well, who cares anyway, the importance is the taste and let me tell you, it is outstanding, it’s especially a favorite with kids.

A Donauwelle is usually a sheet cake with several layers. The bottom layer is a black and white cake with cherries inserted. After the baking you spread the cake with a vanilla pudding butter layer and top it with chocolate. I even added some Nutella in my chocolate layer. Do I need to say anymore?

This recipe leads you through the steps to assemble it effortlessly in your own kitchen.

At any get-together where Germans bring cakes you are bound to find a Donauwelle. So, surprise your family with your new discovery, a German Donauwelle.


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5.0 from 7 reviews
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Adapted from by Kirsten Hall
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
  • Pudding layer:
  • 1 Pkg. Dr. Oetker Vanilla Pudding
  • 1 cup + 1½ Tablespoons (250 g) butter, at room temp., cut into small pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1¾ cup + 1½ Tablespoons (400 ml) milk
  • Cake layer:
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup + 2 Tablespoons (175 g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (175 ml) vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup (175 ml) milk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3 cups (360 g) flour
  • 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 2 cups (400 g) cherries, I used these, without the liquid
  • Chocolate topping:
  • 7 ounces (200 g) chocolate, bitter sweet
  • 2 Tablespoons Nutella
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  1. Prepare the pudding layer. Mix pudding powder with sugar and 2 Tablespoons of milk. Bring the rest of the milk to a boil. Take pot from the stove, stir in the pudding mixture, set back over the heat, stir and let the pudding cook until thickened. Immediately pour the pudding into a bowl and cover with plastic foil that you pressed directly onto the pudding. Make sure there are no air bubbles between the pudding and the foil. Set at side to cool to room temperature. Don't transfer the pudding into the fridge! Beat the butter creamy and mix in the pudding (now at room temp) spoon after spoon.
  2. Prepare the cake layer. Preheat your oven to 350 F (180 C) and grease a 16 x 12 x 1 in baking sheet and cover with Parchment paper. Make sure the paper sticks very well to the baking sheet. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well and set aside. In a stand mixer combine the eggs and the sugar and beat on medium speed for about 4 minutes. Slowly add the oil and vanilla extract. Set your mixer on low speed and add ⅓ of the flour mixture and let it mix. Now add half of the milk. Continue to incorporate all the milk and flour, ending with flour mixture. Spread half off the dough evenly onto the prepared baking sheet. Add cocoa and milk into the other half of the dough and mix well. Spread evenly over the first dough layer. Distribute cherries on top of the dough. See picture. Bake in oven for about 25-30 minutes. (Mine was done in 17 minutes, since I set my oven on Convection for baking.)
  3. When cake layer is done, transfer the cake still attached to the parchment paper onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely. Once the cake is cooled spread the pudding evenly on top. Let cool, best in the fridge or other cold place until the pudding layer is a little firmer.
  4. Prepare the chocolate topping. Melt chocolate on a water bath or in the microwave until melted. Stir in Nutella and oil. Pour the melted chocolate mix evenly over the pudding layer. Spread it evenly and add some wave like design using a fork. Let the chocolate layer harden before serving.


Isn’t she great! Thanks for the delicious recipe Kirsten!


31 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Toni @ Boulder Locavore says:

    What an extraordinary cake Kirsten! It’s really gorgeous and I’m sure as delicious as it looks. I’m tapping this in unable to feel my fingertips from the 16 degree temps. Cannot imagine what it would be like to be sailing the Carribean just now! A perfect pair you too; so fun to read Kirsten on Michele’s blog!

  2. My German the Rockies says:

    Hi Michele, Hope you are enjoying your trip! Thanks again for letting me guest post today. Looking forward to all your pictures from the Caribbean. Kirsten

  3. Jenny @ Savour the Senses says:

    I love the look of this! Sounds delicious!

  4. Sourkraut says:

    You had me at “German cake” but sealed the deal by putting Nutella in there too. Looks delicious even though I’m sure my designs on the chocolate won’t look nearly as nice as yours.

  5. Andrea @ Fork Fingers Chopsticks says:

    The search is on for Dr. Oetker pudding.

  6. Esi says:

    I cannot wait to try this recipe, however I noticed #2. of the Instructions (where it shows us how to prepare the cake), says: “In a stand mixer combine the butter and the sugar and beat on medium speed for about 4 minutes.” – Yet there is no BUTTER listed under the cake ingredients. Could you kindly let us know how much butter to use for the cake?
    Also are the cherries used fresh, frozen or preserved?
    Thank you.

  7. Linda says:

    The Dr.Oetker pudding can be found at Tops Mkts.and probably Wegmans if you have those food stores. It’s in the baking isle. Good Luck.

  8. Kirk says:

    What size package is the vanilla pudding? 3 oz. por 5 oz.?

    • Michele says:

      Kirk, here is the info on the pudding from Kirsten:

      “I use the Dr. Oetker package (1 package) of pudding. It only comes in one size which is 1.5 ounces. I am sure your reader could substitute it with an American vanilla pudding mixture and adjust the volume accordingly. The pudding mixture calls for 500 ml of milk, so it should be about 2 cups of finished pudding. I personally prefer the German Dr. Oetker mixture, since it is not as sweet and has a little different taste.”

  9. Chris says:

    I couldn’t find Dr Oetker vanilla pudding in my shop (in the UK), so I used this recipe for the vanilla pudding:

    It worked very well. I used the default quantities to create a 3 person serving, which was just right for my donauwelle, although my tray was a bit smaller and deeper than the one specified above.

    I didn’t know when to remove the parchment from the above instructions. In retrospect I would have removed it after letting the cake cool, before adding the vanilla pudding and chocolate. I ended up cutting the sides off, and leaving it standing on the rectangle.

    Thank you Kirsten and Michele for such a nice cake.

  10. Milo Netto says:

    I love to bake cake recipes because they taste yummy.

  11. Amanda says:

    What are the type of cherries used? It looks like there should be a link, but I don’t find it.

  12. Ewi says:

    I have been looking for a recipe like that. I tried it this week and made it for my co-workers (good-bye lunch).

    I found that the batter amount was too small for that size of a pan. I only used a 15×11 in pan and if I would have used the original amount, it would have not be enough dough. So I doubled the dough and made the first dough as the white layer and the second dough as the cocoa layer (doubled the cocoa and milk but the color was still kind of light brown).

    I left the same amount of cherries but doubled the chocolate layer (the pudding layer I also have doubled but used only half of the second batch).

    I baked the cake about 15min longer on the same temperature.
    My co-workers loved it. I definitely would do it again but will use a smaller pan. Thank you for the great recipe!

  13. Marie Shaw says:

    I was just wondering what kind of cherries you use. I haver seen (sauerkirschen) the sour cherries here, or do they have a different name? I would love to make your Donauwelle it looks delicious.

  14. Michele says:

    Marie, do a google search and you’ll find lots of sour cherries – or call your local grocery store and see what they can get in for you.

  15. Diana Elena says:

    Thank you for a wonderful recipe.

    My sister just came from Germany, for a short holiday and she wondered if the new Chef in town (that should be me 🙂 ) can make her the best German cake – she said it!

    Now it’s in the oven, and it looks just great!

    Soon on my Facebook will be the end result, with a “thank you” note to Kirsten Hall and her blog.

    Thank you again, from faraway Romania and its hills,

    Diana Elena

  16. Anita says:

    What could I use instead of Nutella – nut allergy.
    Thank you.

  17. Fatime or Ftm says:

    Oh my God! When I was 12 years old, I tried this recipe with my aunt but I didn’t remember ingredients. And now I’m so happy! Your post publish over 2 years ago but I see it now.

  18. Marty says:

    Having some folks over and looking for a recipe to blow them away…found it! 🙂

  19. Manya says:

    I just found this recipe today. Here in the USA I think your best shot is to choose Jarred pitted sour cherries such as Morello found at Trader Joes. Trader Joe’s is also an excellent source for semi-sweet dark chocolate and all the eggs ,flour, cocoa, vanilla and sugar called for in the recipe. I agree that dr. Oetker makes the best vanilla pudding and it’s worth a search for it.

  20. Christine Klinger says:

    I have been unable to find Dr. Oetker’s Vanilla Pudding – what would be an acceptable substitute?

  21. Gail Cook says:

    Is that brand of pudding mix and those cherries available in the Midwest?? If not what would be the equivalent? ( ounce sized box needed as well).

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