This decadent German cake, Eierlikörtorte, is a wonderful way to celebrate spring - or any other special occasion! Egg liqueur adds a rich and luscious quality to the chocolate-speckled almond flour base (naturally gluten-free), as well as a silky layer atop the slathering of softly whipped cream. Chocolate shavings and edible flowers add a touch of whimsy.
Germans are known for their amazing cakes and tortes. A Torte is really just an extra special cake, usually involving some kinds of layers and often some type of pastry cream. In this traditional Eierlikörtorte (pronounced eye'-er-lick-eur-tor-teh), there's only one layer of rich, decadent cake. The base is almond flour (so this cake is naturally gluten-free) with eggs, egg cream liqueur, and finely grated chocolate. Don't expect a fluffy sponge-style cake - the base has a lovely richness instead. The whole cake is swathed in a blanket of stabilized whipped cream. A decorative barrier is piped on top to contain a silky layer of more egg liqueur, thickened with a bit of gelatin to keep it in place.
I'll walk you through the steps. It's really not too difficult to make - worth the extra effort for the wow factor and sublime taste to bring pleasure to your friends or family. You'll impress your guests and yourselves. Add a few fresh edible pansies, and this heavenly cake is lovely for Easter, Mother's Day, birthdays, or just for a celebration of spring. Top it with a generous pile of large chocolate shavings around the edge and it goes easily into fall and winter celebration season, too.
What You'll Need
The feature ingredient in this luscious Eierlikörtorte is creamy egg liqueur. The brand that's most readily available here is 'Bols Advocaat' (a Dutch variety), but you may have access to other similar brands.
- egg liqueur - or another favourite cream liqueur
- butter - I use salted. If using unsalted, add a pinch of salt to the batter
- sugar - I prefer organic natural evaporated cane sugar
- vanilla - it's worth splurging on pure extract
- eggs - large
- almond flour - blanched almond flour, finely ground
- cornstarch (or potato starch)
- baking powder
- dark chocolate (70%) - but other chocolate will do, too
- apricot jam - or any other jam, pushed through a sieve to strain out lumps
- whipping cream - heavy cream (minimum 33% butterfat)
- gelatin - powdered
You'll also need: an electric beater, a box grater, a 10-inch (26cm) springform pan, parchment paper, and a piping bag with star tip (or ziptop bag and scissor). If you use a smaller springform pan, you'll need to bake the cake a few minutes longer. You'll also have a smaller surface for the egg liqueur layer on top. If it runs through the whipping cream border, use a little less of the egg liqueur layer.
How to Make an Eierlikörtorte
First you make the base layer. Whip the butter and sugar, then add the egg yolks, liqueur, and chocolate. The batter will be quite stiff. Whip the egg whites, then stir and fold them in to lighten up the batter.
To decorate the cake, you'll add a bit of cornstarch and softened gelatin to the whipping cream to stabilize it. You'll also add a bit of the gelatin to some more egg liqueur to keep it softly set. Then you'll cover the cake with the whipped cream. You can pipe fancy rosettes around the top, or just put the whipped cream into a bag, snip off the corner, and pipe thick fancy dollops around the edge, pour the thickened liqueur into the center, and sprinkle with a kiss of chocolate shavings.
A few bright flowers are all that's needed for a stunning showstopper.
Tips and Substitutions
For the Eierlikörtorte cake base, it is traditional to finely grate the chocolate so there are little flecks of it in the batter. Use a box grater for this - wrap the end of the chocolate chunk in tin foil (or the chocolate bar wrapper) to keep the warmth of your hands from melting the chocolate and work quickly. Use a bar of good quality - they usually come in 100 gram sizes, perfect for the recipe. Keep out (and refrigerate) about a tablespoon of grated chocolate to sprinkle on the cream at the end, or use extra chocolate.
Eierlikörtorte can be partially made ahead to have less stress on serving day. Bake the base, spread it with jam, and cool it 1 to 2 days ahead. Wrap the cake in plastic food wrap and refrigerate it. Poke a few toothpicks into the top first, so they are sticking up and prevent the plastic from sticking to the top of the cake. Then, the day before or the morning of, you can add the whipped cream and decorate the cake. It will need several hours to set the gelatin in the liqueur layer. Because the whipped cream is stabilized with gelatin and cornstarch, the cake will keep well if decorated the day before. Keep the decorated cake refrigerated and covered with a cake dome or an inverted bowl that's large enough not to touch the sides of the cake.
*For Easter, you could also decorate the Eierlikörtorte with small pastel-coloured candy-coated chocolate Easter eggs.
For a variation on this Torte, you could use any other flavour of a cream liqueur - a Bailey's Irish Cream version would be pretty tasty, too (it just wouldn't have the bright spring colour of Advocaat), and would look decadent with a generous heap of large chocolate curls, or try a fruit cream liqueur with pieces of matching fresh fruit on top.
Note: The alcohol is baked out of the cake layer, but is still present in the top layer, so this cake is not suitable as-is for serving to children. When I served it at a family gathering, we scraped the top layer off for the children and added a scoop of ice cream instead. They loved it.
If you're looking to use up any of that extra egg liqueur - why not delight your senses and celebrate spring with a batch of Spring Chickie Coctails made with Advocaat and fresh citrus juice? Cheers!
How about another wonderful German Torte? Feuerwehrkuchen is a delightful cake made of sour cherries (or raspberries), streusel, and cream. Maybe you'd like an easy and simple Bavarian Apple Cake? Or try the stunning, traditional Baumkuchen for a real showstopper.
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Eierlikörtorte (German Egg Liqueur Cake)
for the cake batter:
- 6 tablespoons (80gms) soft butter, salted
- 6 tablespoons (80gms) sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup (60ml) egg liqueur (like Bols Advocaat) or another cream liqueur, like Bailey's
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 1¾ cups (180gms) almond flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch or potato starch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3.5 oz. (100gms) grated dark chocolate - 70% cocoa (1¼ cups grated)
to finish and decorate the cake:
- 3 tablespoons strained apricot jam
- ½ cup (120ml) egg liqueur (Bols Advocaat) or another cream liqueur, like Bailey's
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1½ teaspoons powdered gelatin
- 2 cups (480ml) heavy cream (whipping cream)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
to make the cake batter:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 10-inch (26cm) springform pan and line the bottom with a circle cut out of parchment paper.
- Beat butter, sugar, and vanilla until light-coloured and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the liqueur.
- Grate the chocolate on the large holes of a box grater. Stir together the almond flour, cornstarch, baking powder and grated chocolate. Mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. The batter will be quite stiff.
- With clean beaters, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Stir ¼ of the beaten whites into the batter to lighten it. Then carefully fold in the rest of the beaten whites, being careful not to overmix the batter. It's okay if a few small streaks of unmixed egg whites remain visible.
- Spread the batter evenly in the prepared springform pan.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed down in the center.
- Let cool for 10 minutes, then release the sides of the cake pan. Brush the top and sides of the cake lightly with the strained apricot jam. Allow the cake to cool fully. Once cooled, the cake can be covered with plastic wrap (stick a few toothpicks into the cake to keep the plastic from sticking to the top) and refrigerated for 1 to 2 days before decorating.
to assemble and decorate the cake:
- Measure out the egg liqueur and have it ready in a spouted measuring cup.
- Heat about 1-inch (2.5cm) of water to simmer in a small saucepan. Pour the 3 tablespoons of water into a metal or glass bowl large enough to fit over the saucepan like a double boiler. Stir in the gelatin. Set the bowl over the saucepan and let the water heat up until the gelatin dissolves and the liquid is clear. Remove from the heat.
- While the gelatin is dissolving, put the whipping cream, sugar, cornstarch, and vanilla into a mixing bowl and beat until soft peaks form.
- When the gelatin has dissolved, scoop out 1 tablespoon of the gelatin solution and stir it into the measured-out egg liqueur. Set it aside at room temperature while you prepare the cake.
- Turn on the beaters again and pour the rest of the gelatin solution into the whipped cream while beating it. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.
- Set the cake on a serving plate. Use about ⅔ of the whipped cream to completely cover the cake with a ¼-inch thick layer. Spread the cream as smoothly as possible (but doesn't have to be perfect). Just make sure the top is level so the egg liqueur layer will lay flat.
- Scrape the remaining whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle (or if you don't have a piping bag, put the cream into a ziptop plastic bag. Seal the bag and snip off a corner about ⅓-inch.) Pipe rosettes all around the edge of the cake, making sure the rosettes are touching each other with no gaps, to form a 'wall' to keep the liqueur layer contained. (If using a plastic bag, squeeze out uniform little mounds shaped like Hershey Kisses.) If you have any leftover cream, pipe small designs around the bottom edge of the cake to cover any messiness.
- Pour the gelatin & egg liqueur gently into the center area of the top of the cake. If it has gelled and is too thick to pour evenly, reheat it gently over hot water in the bowl you dissolved the gelatin in. Let it cool to room temperature before pouring it over the cake.
- Sprinkle the border of the cake lightly with chocolate shavings. Tuck in a few fresh edible flowers, if desired.
- Chill for 3 to 4 hours, uncovered, or covered with a large cake dome, until the gelatin layer has set to a soft texture.
- Serves 12.
The Eierlikörtorte brought a smile to my mom's face for her 86th birthday celebration - a special cake for a special lady.
Perfect for Passover.
Thanks, Sharon.😊 Happy Passover to you!