Kaffee und Kuchen

The Tradition

Long before we decided that we needed to make a cake specifically for coffee, the Germans were enjoying kaffee und kuchen, coffee and cake. Around three-four in the afternoon people would gather at a cafe or at home, with friends and family to enjoy a tasty slice of cake and a good cup of coffee. Of course if you don’t like coffee, you can always have tea instead though kaffee or tea und kuchen just doesn’t roll off the forked tongue as well.

Look at the colors!

The type of cake eaten doesn’t matter. Whatever delicious form of baked goodness you feel like eating on that random day at three, given you have access to it, can be consumed. More traditionally, people tend to eat classical German cake, of which there is still a vast array of tasty options. Traditional German cakes do have less sugar and more butter though.

The History

So… ya… important stuff…

Back in the 17th century, which I hear is a long time ago for you humans, women in Germany were not to drink coffee. It was deemed ‘unladylike.’ As such, women were not allowed in coffee houses either, places where men held conversation about politics, the economy, trade, culture, and networking.

As everyone knows, women don’t like being told what they cannot do. So they said screw you and started kaffee und kuchen, a chance for them to do everything the men were doing with the addition of cake. And we all know cake makes everything better. eventually women were allowed in coffee shops but the tradition still goes on. Usually, it has been limited to Sunday afternoons when people have more free time.



How Old is Too Old?

You mean it’s still there?

Shelf life of my oldest cake

What is the longest you have ever kept a cake? For me personally it was about two weeks. There was some occation or another and I ended up making a too large cake. People scarfed down on it for the first few day and then after that it just sat on the counter. It took up precious counter space but we all just forgot about it.  Into that second week, a friend came to visit and wanted a piece of the chocolatey goodness sitting on my counter. Prewarned of its age he dug in. I was informed that it was stale and he thought he tasted a bit of mold so we tossed the cake.

Shelf live of the U.S.A’s oldest cake

Dig in!

Well what is your thought process on a hundred year old cake? Durring an estate sale assesment in 1992 a spice cake was found on a closet shelf in St. Louis Park. The cake was all dressed up in a fancy six sided flourist box with the hadwritten inscription “XMAS CAKE BAKED IN DEC. 1911.”

This hundred year old cake is two layered, 7in round cake. The cake still gives off an aroma from its spice blend. The frosting has all disintigrated. The cake is covered head to toe with mints and petrified nuts rest on top.  Yum, right?

It turns out, thanks to some digging by the new owner of the cake, that old Victorians used to have a tradition involving spice cake. A spice cake would be baked and soaked in brandy and rum. People would eat a layer of this cake and then save it for next year. That next year the remaining cake would be added to a new cake. My two week old cake is looking pretty good now, huh.