On a recent trip to Japan, I stumbled across a small shop in Tokyo Central Station with a queue out the door. This of course piqued my interest as from my experience on previous visits; they have the most amazing “hole in the wall” restaurants. This time proved to be no exception as I had stumbled across a small cake shop that exclusively sold “Baumkuchen”……
A traditional cake in many parts of Europe; Baumkuchen is a kind of layered cake which has become immensely popular in Japan as both a snack and dessert. The characteristic rings that appear when its sliced resemble “tree rings” and lend itself to its German name “Baumkuchen” which literally translates to tree or log cake.
Traditionally, Baumkuchen is made by brushing even layers of cake batter on a spit. Once the layer has browned layer upon layer is applied and cooked until it reaches the desired size. Some cakes can get up to 25 layers. The cake is then removed from the spit and sliced into rounds. The end result will resemble the growth rings of a tree.
Photo courtesy: Geetanjali Goswami