Make Ahead

Frankfurt Crown Cake

June  8, 2014
3 Ratings
  • Serves 12-16
Author Notes

The Frankfurt Crown Cake, also known as Frankfurter Kranz is the queen of German buttercream cakes and my grandmother was a master at baking it. It's a delicious layered sponge cake filled and covered with German vanilla buttercream and sprinkled with caramelised hazelnuts. —Meike Peters | eat in my kitchen

What You'll Need
  • For the sponge cake
  • 7 ounces butter, at room temperature | 200g
  • 8 ounces sugar | 225g
  • a pinch fresh vanilla
  • 6 eggs
  • 7 ounces plain flour, sieved | 200g
  • 3.5 ounces cornstarch | 100g
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • a pinch salt
  • breadcrumbs to sprinkle the bundt pan
  • For the buttercream and caramelized hazelnuts
  • 9 ounces butter, at room temperature | 250g
  • 4 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 2 ounces cornstarch | 60g
  • 4.5 ounces sugar | 120g
  • 17 ounces milk, at room temperature | 500ml
  • 1 vanilla bean, slit slightly
  • a pinch salt
  • 7 ounces hazelnuts, finely chopped | 200g
  • 3.5 ounces sugar (for the caramelized hazelnuts) | 100g
  • 1.5 ounces butter (for the caramelized hazelnuts) | 35g
  1. For the sponge cake
  2. Set the oven to 355°F top/ bottom heat. Butter a 9" bundt pan and sprinkle with bread crumbs.
  3. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla till fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time and continue beating for a few minutes till thick, creamy and light yellow.
  5. Combine the dry ingredients and fold gently into the butter egg mixture with a wooden spoon (in batches, combine well in between).
  6. Scrape the dough into the bundt pan and bake for 45 minutes or until golden. Check with a skewer, it should come out clean.
  7. When the cake has cooled off completely, slice it 3 times into 4 layers.
  1. For the buttercream and caramelized hazelnuts
  2. All ingredients for the buttercream must be at the same temperature (room temperature) to combine well!
  3. Beat the butter for 10 minutes till white and fluffy.
  4. Whisk the egg yolks with the cornstarch, sugar, salt and 2 ounces of the milk till well combined.
  5. In a sauce pan, bring the remaining milk together with the vanilla bean to a boil. Take the vanilla bean out, scrape the seeds out of the bean into the milk.
  6. Add the egg mixture to the hot milk, whisking well. Take the sauce pan off the heat after 1 minute and continue whisking for 2 minutes till stiff. Fill into a bowl and cover the pudding’s surface with cling film.
  7. When the vanilla pudding has cooled off completely, press it through a sieve and mix in batches with the beaten butter, first with a spoon and then with your mixer for a few seconds till nice and creamy.
  8. In a large heavy pan, heat up the hazelnuts, sugar and butter on high-medium temperature and roast for around 5 minutes till golden brown and caramelized, stirring constantly. Take off the heat and spread on parchment paper.
  9. Leave a bit more than 1/3 of the buttercream to cover the cake and spread the remaining cream on the 3 layers of cake. Start with the bottom one, spread with cream, cover with the next layer of cake and continue with the other layers.
  10. Spread the remaining cream gently all over the cake and sprinkle with the caramelized nuts on all sides, inside and out.
  11. You can eat the cake right away or be patient and keep it in the fridge for 2-3 days before you serve it. It's best on the 2nd or 3rd day!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Meike Peters | eat in my kitchen
    Meike Peters | eat in my kitchen
  • Regine
  • Kim Quinn
    Kim Quinn

5 Reviews

Kim Q. March 18, 2017
So looking forward to making this. I read this first, last week, and then lost it in my 'shared' text message to myself. Lost the link! It took me about 2 hours last night to find this again and am so happy. A slightly different version had chopped toffee sprinkled on...toffee? Candy?! I am sure it would be very good but the carmelized hazelnuts sound decadent and rich and that is exactly what I want to serve family and friends. Thank you for this wonderful recipe💜
Meike P. March 21, 2017
Hi Kim! I never heard of a version with toffee/ candy, at least here in Germany, but I'm sure it'll be delicious too. I love the nutty flavour in the topping, either with caramelized hazelnuts or almonds. Enjoy the cake :)
Meike P. June 9, 2014
Thank you Regine!
Regine June 9, 2014
You should also put the grams amount as in your website. D)
Regine June 9, 2014
I made this cake and it is excellent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks!