Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Herman The German - A Cinnamon, Apple and Raisin Coffee Cake Recipe

Have you heard of Herman The German ?

Well - it's a kind of sweet sourdough starter that was doing the rounds a few years ago. The whole point is that you were given some of this starter to keep, feed and nurture and bake into a cake and had to give several lots of it away to friends. You know - pass it on and keep the thing going..

Some people loved it, for others it was a nightmare and some I'm sure will have slung it straight in the bin.

The thing with sourdough starters is that it's a living breathing yeast. It's a lot easier to look after than you may think and will happily live in airtight container in your fridge for a few months between feeds. Give it a little attention a day or two before you wish to use it, and it'll burst back into life.... you'll literally see it bubbling away and coming alive.

I guess I was lucky as back then, I didn't get landed with Herman. However, several years later and with a love for sourdough - I've been WAITING on him landing in my lap..

No such luck.

Waiting no longer, I took some of my dormant rye / white mix sourdough bread starter from the fridge and fed it with 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 cup of plain flour and 1 cup of milk (as required in place of water in a sweet starter.) It's been quite some time since I last used it, but within 36 hours, it was burbling away and ready to bake.

I swear - this is probably THE best cake I've ever eaten. I've made it several times now and it's still in the number 1 slot. It's not a looker, but boy does it taste good and is an awesome tray bake recipe.


Makes two 8 x 8" cakes - I used 8" square silicone bakeware moulds.

2 cups of sweet sourdough starter
2/3 cup oil
2 eggs
2 cups of plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup of raisins
1 eating apple, chopped
1/2 eating apple grated

Mix all wet ingredients in one bowl, and all dry in another - then combine. This will make a VERY thick batter - almost heading towards a dough consistency. That's ok. Spread half the mix into each mould / baking pan.

I lined the bases of my moulds with baking parchment. It was not really required as even without cake release or greasing / flouring - this recipe did not stick.... but it did make removal from the moulds in one piece much easier.

For the topping

1/2 cup of soft brown sugar
2 tbsp of butter
1 tbsp of flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix the topping ingredients together and then drop "blobs" all over the top of the batter. As the cake cooks, this will form little gooey caramel like puddles in the top of the cake.

Bake at 160 to 170 deg C Fan oven for 30mins

1.1/2 cups of walnut halves - chopped
1 1/2 cups of icing sugar - to finish

After removing the cake from the oven, add a little boiling water to the icing sugar and mix to a thick paste. Scatter over the chopped walnuts and then use a fork to drizzle icing over the top of your cakes.

Allow to cool before serving.

Sarah-Jane Nash - www.siliconemoulds.com - Jan 2015


  1. My friend gave me one and it too was amazing! :) x

  2. Love it..... It doesn't look great, but tastes so so good. Glad you liked yours too :-)


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