The original crumb cake, worth every calorie

Also known as streusel, streuselkuchen has been enjoyed by many people around the world but under a different name: crumb cake. This delightful pastry hails from Silesia, part of which still remains in modern day Germany. Given the German penchant for baking, it should come as no surprise that streuselkuchen is wildly popular throughout Germany. Characterized by its yeasted sheet cake base with a topping of sugary crumblings, it makes sense that the word streuselkuchen literally translates to “sprinkled cake.” Germans will tell you, and we would agree, that the secret to a fantastic streuselkuchen is in the crumbly topping, a mixture of sugar, flour and butter which should be combined in a ratio of 1: 2: 1 respectively.

While sticking to the recipe for streuselteig, the topping, is taken very seriously, some bakers experiment with additional flavoring from classic baking ingredients like almonds, vanilla, cinnamon or nutmeg. Besides subtle changes to the streuselteig, variety in types of streuselkuchen come primarily from different fruits and jams sandwiched between the sheet cake and crumbles, the most widely recognized being apfelstreusel, which includes a baked apple filling. Other typical fillings include slightly sour fruits like cherries, plums, apricots and berries. The contrast of flavors and textures with the soft buttery cake, tart fruit filling and crispy sweet topping makes for a delicious dessert or indulgent snack along side a piping-hot cup of coffee.