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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
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
- Set the oven to 355°F top/ bottom heat. Butter a 9" bundt pan and sprinkle with bread crumbs.
- Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla till fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time and continue beating for a few minutes till thick, creamy and light yellow.
- Combine the dry ingredients and fold gently into the butter egg mixture with a wooden spoon (in batches, combine well in between).
- Scrape the dough into the bundt pan and bake for 45 minutes or until golden. Check with a skewer, it should come out clean.
- When the cake has cooled off completely, slice it 3 times into 4 layers.
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
- All ingredients for the buttercream must be at the same temperature (room temperature) to combine well!
- Beat the butter for 10 minutes till white and fluffy.
- Whisk the egg yolks with the cornstarch, sugar, salt and 2 ounces of the milk till well combined.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Spread the remaining cream gently all over the cake and sprinkle with the caramelized nuts on all sides, inside and out.
- 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!