Vegan German “Donauwelle“ Cake (Pound Cake with Vanilla Cream and Sour Cherries)
Until today I avoided the German cake "Donauwelle" as good as possible. For me, it felt like one of the most boring cakes ever that only comes to my mind when I think about cafeterias in schools and hospitals, urgs! On the contrary, Russian chocolate cheesecake, strawberry cream cake or "Maulwurfkuchen" are giving me a boost of joy when I'm only thinking about them. Sounds mean, I know.
But by adding the word “vegan“ to the recipe title, it's getting more exciting around here. While preparing the recipe, I found more and more reasons to at least like the cake a bit. White batter, chocolate batter, morello cherries, butter pudding creme, and chocolate. Sounds heavy but actually quite delicious!
For the base of the cake, we used our recipe for vegan sponge cake – by adding cocoa powder we turned the white batter into a dark one, pretty simple! Furthermore, we only replaced dairy butter with a plant-based one and used plant-based milk instead of cows milk for the pudding layer. And the chocolate layer is quite self-explanatory, because well, dark chocolate is vegan anyway most of the time. You see, it's not even too complicated to turn this classic cake into a vegan one. And guess what, it was quite d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s, really filling, but tasty! You need quite a lot of time to prepare and bake it though, but it's definitely worth it!
Vegan German “Donauwelle“ Cake (pound cake with vanilla pudding and sour cherries)
For the light and dark cake batter:
- 450 g (3.75 cups) flour
- 340 g (1.5 cups) sugar
- 500 ml (2 cups) sparkling water
- 100 ml (0.5 cups) vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp vanilla sugar
- 20 g (1.5 tbsp) cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp soy milk
- 300 g (10.5 oz) morello cherries
For the buttercream:
- 80 g (2.8 oz) instant vanilla custard mix
- 80 g (0.33 cup) sugar
- 1 l (4 cups) soy milk
- 250 g (2.25 sticks) plant-based butter
For the chocolate layer:
- 200 g (7 oz) dark chocolate
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
Prepare all ingredients for the batter and mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and vanille sugar in a big bowl. Add vegetable oil and sparkling water and stir until a smooth batter forms.
Grease an ovenproof baking dish (28 x 28 cm / 11 x 11 inches) with plant-based butter and dust with flour. Fill in two thirds of the batter into the dish.
Add cocoa powder and soy milk to the remaining batter in the bowl, then mix again, and add the chocolate batter on top of the white one.
Drain morello cherries through a strainer and spread them evenly on top of the chocolate batter.
Bake cake for 60 minutes at 180°C / 350°F (convection heat). Allow to cool down completely.
Prepare the vanilla custard powder mixture according to package instruction. Let cool down completely.
Tip: If you cover the custard with plastic wrap so that the wrap touches the custard, no skin on the custard will form.
Add the plant-based butter to a bowl and whisk with a hand mixer until it's fluffy. This can take around 10 minutes. Add the cooled custard (if preferred, blended) little by little and stir until you have a fluffy cream. Spread butter cream on top of the cake and refrigerate again.
For the last layer, melt dark chocolate and coconut oil in a heatproof bowl over a pot with simmering water. Allow to cool down to room temperature, then spread melted chocolate on top of the cake and refrigeratre the cake for at least two hours before serving.
Tip: You can use a cake card or a bread knife to create the wave design.