Posts Tagged ‘German’

Since discovering this fruit cake recipe in a German cookbook about ten years ago, I’ve made this cake every winter at least once. I just love its heartiness and rich spicy, fruity flavor.

I’ve modified the original recipe a little, to match my own preferences, and now it is free of several common allergens.

This fruit cake is:

  • dairy-free
  • vegan
  • low-fat
  • free of refined sugar
  • potentially nut free, if you omit the almond flour


Spiced Apple Fruit Cake

This recipe yields a very dense, hearty loaf, filled to the brim with juicy fruits and seasonal spices. While this cake doesn’t contain any refined sugar, it’s still sweet enough for my taste buds, thanks to all the dried fruit and grated apples. If you prefer your baked goods to be on the sweeter side, feel free to add honey, maple syrup, or your favorite wholesome sweetener.

Prep time: 20 minutes + a few hours of soaking time

Baking time: 45-50 minutes

Yield: One big loaf



  • 3 cups mixed dried fruit, chopped (e.g. raisins, figs, apricots)
  • 1 cup water or apple juice
  • 1 Tbsp rum (optional)
  • 3 medium-sized sweet apples (e.g. gala, fuji, pink lady)
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (optional)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves, ground
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or ground vanilla bean


Chop up the dried fruit into 1-inch pieces, put into a bowl and add water or juice and optional rum. Mix and let soak in the fridge for a few hours or over night.

Combine flours, baking powder, cocoa powder, and all dry spices in a separate bowl. Grate the apples (note: I like to leave on the skin, but feel free to peel them) and add them to the dried fruit. Mix wet and dry ingredients, including soaking liquid, and stir until just combined. The dough will be very dense and heavy.

Pour the cake batter into a greased loaf pan, and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 45 to 50 minutes. The cake is done when the top starts to brown and the edges come away from the pan. The inside of the cake will still be very wet and appear undercooked, but that’s okay.

Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Then flip the pan and remove the cake, and wrap it in tin foil while it’s still warm. Let it rest for a few hours.

This cake is best kept in the fridge, tightly wrapped in tin foil.

Note: I recommend using unsulfured, unsweetened dried fruits. A mix of raisins, apricots, and figs is what I normally use in this cake, but you could also add cranberries, dates, mangoes or any other kind of dried fruit.


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If you have been reading my blog for a while, you have probably noticed that I tend to eat lots of salads. Despite the fact that the temperatures have been below freezing almost constantly during the past few weeks, I’m still craving fresh produce on a daily basis.

But even the tastiest greens need an equally tasty dressing. I’ve been making variations of this basic dressing for quite a long time, so I guess I need to finally share my recipe. I love that this dressing is so smooth and creamy, even without a single drop of dairy in it.

Lunch Salad

Creamy Tahini Dressing

This recipe is just a template, so feel free to experiment with your favorite nut or seed butters, vinegars, sweeteners, and herbs. In my opinion, this dressing pairs well with any kind of salad.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Yield: Makes about 1-2 servings



  • 1 Tbsp tahini
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp agave syrup
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 Tbsp water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: fresh, frozen, or dried herbs, e.g. dill, basil, parsley, etc.


Pour the first four ingredients into a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Gradually add vinegar and water and keep mixing until the dressing looks smooth. Finally, season to taste with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs.

The dressing keeps well in the fridge for at least 2-3 days.


If you don’t like tahini, you could use almond butter instead. For an Italian twist, add balsamic instead of apple cider vinegar, and add some basil and/or oregano.


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I know, I’m a bit late posting a holiday recipe on December 22nd. But maybe there are some last-minute bakers like me out there.

This is a veganized version of my favorite seasonal treat. As those Lebkuchen contain no flour, they are potentially gluten-free.


German Gingerbread (Lebkuchen)

This flour-less version of the classic German gingerbread is also known as ‘Elisenlebkuchen’, and surprisingly easy to make. Things may get a little messy, but the tasty results are totally worth it.

Prep time: 30 minutes + at least 60 minutes resting time

Baking time: 15-20 minutes

Yield: Makes about 20 servings

*Vegetarian*Vegan*Gluten free*(check labels)


  • 1/2 cup (50 g) candied orange peel
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) candied lemon peel
  • 3 Tbsp rum (or orange juice or water)
  • 1 cup (100 g) finely ground hazelnuts
  • 2 cups (200 g) finely ground almonds
  • 3 tsp gingerbread spice mix (or 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp cloves, 1/2 tsp ginger, pinch of nutmeg, pinch of coriander)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp non-dairy milk (e.g. soy, rice, or almond milk)
  • 1/3 cup (80 g) brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • a tiny dash of salt


  • 3 oz (85 g) dark chocolate


  • 1/2 cup (60 g) powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice or water


Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.  Finely chop the candied orange and lemon peel. Mix with rum, juice, or water in a small bowl and set aside. In another small bowl, mix the flax seeds with water and non-dairy milk. Let that mixture sit for a few minutes until it has thickened. Combine the ground nuts, spice mix, and baking powder in a large bowl.

In another bowl mix the flax mixture, sugar, molasses, and salt with an electric mixer for about five minutes until foamy and smooth. Then add the candied orange and lemon peels and the dry ingredients and combine gently.

Spread the dough onto the baking sheets using a tablespoon. Smooth the surface with wet fingers. The lebkuchen should be as thick as your thumb and about 3-4 inches in diameter.

Let the lebkuchen rest at room temperature for about 60 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 150°C (300°F). Bake the lebkuchen for 15-20 minutes until they firm up a little and turn slightly brown, but they should still be a little soft on the inside. Let them cool on the sheets.

Now you can leave the lebkuchen as they are, or cover them either in chocolate or sugar icing. For the chocolate version slowly melt some dark chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler, then thinly coat the top of the lebkuchen (I use a silicone pastry brush for this step). Alternatively, you could mix some powdered sugar with just a little bit of lemon juice or water, and use that mix as a coating instead.

Stored in a tin box, the lebkuchen stay soft and delicious for a few weeks, especially the coated ones.


Happy baking!

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Happy Birthday Grandma Rosa

Today Husband and I went out to have lunch with my family, to celebrate my Grandma’s 85th birthday. That’s right, this little lady is 85 years old and sharp as a tack!

Grandma Rosa

Grandma Rosa

I thought this was a great opportunity to show you what my usual vegetarian meal options look like in a typical Bavarian/German restaurant.



I was surprised to find a pretty decent self-serve salad bar. The options were limited, but everything was fresh. My bowl contained mixed greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, fresh radish, and potato salad. The typical Bavarian potato salad is made with a light vinaigrette and without mayonnaise. This one even contained fresh dill. It was amazing!


Käsespätzle with fried onions

Unfortunately, my entrée was not as good. My only option was a dish called ‘Käsespätzle’, which is the South German version of mac and cheese. It was quite heavy and very salty.

Sometimes it’s hard to be a health-conscious vegetarian around here, especially when it comes to eating out, but I’ve learned to make it work. I know that this meal wasn’t quite as healthy as I’d like, but hey, it’s just one meal! Now I’m back home and can eat as much fruit and vegetables as I desire.

See you!

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And the Cookie Craze continues! Are you already sugared out? I’m close, but not quite there yet. ;)

Lemon Sugar Cookies

Lemon Sugar Cookies

Lemon Sugar Cookies

These cookies are for the lemon lovers out there. Plus, they’re quite cute, aren’t they?

Note: I used a converter for the volume measurements, so I can’t guarantee for their accuracy! To be safe, use the metric measurements!

Prep time: 30 minutes, plus about 1 hour to chill in the fridge

Bake time: 8 – 10 minutes

Yield: Makes about 50 bite-sized cookies



  • 1 1/2 cups (200 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) confectioner’s sugar
  • 2/3 cup (150 g) cold butter
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • zest of one organic lemon
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, for icing
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice, for icing
  • sugar sprinkles (optional)


In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter, sugar, salt, lemon juice, lemon zest, and egg yolk. Add flour and knead the dough with your hands for a few minutes, until it can be formed into one big ball.

Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and put them in the fridge for at least one hour.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper and pre-heat your oven to 350 °F (180 °C).

Dust a cutting board with some flour. Roll out half of the dough about 1/4 inch thick with a flour dusted rolling pin. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter and transfer to the lined baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake the cookies for 8 – 10 minutes, until the edges turn slightly golden.

Let cookies cool completely. Mix confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice. If the mixture appears too thin, add more sugar. Spread icing onto the cookies with a baking brush or a teaspoon. Decorate with sugar sprinkles and let the icing harden for at least 30 minutes.



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