Spiced Rum Bamkuchen Cake Recipe - layered german christmas cake covered in chocolate glaze and white chocolate lines

Spiced rum baumkuchen

  • serves 10
  • A little effort

Baumkuchen is a cake of German origin, popular at Christmas. It’s also known as ‘tree cake’ due to the rings visible in the cake when you cut into it. Traditionally, baumkuchen is made on a spit over a fire, which creates the classic rings and hole in the middle. However, this version by Hannah Miles can be easily made under the grill in a ring pan – it tastes just as wonderful


Try our baumkuchen, then check out our classic Christmas cakeChristmas browniesstollen and more Christmas baking recipes.



  • butter 200g, softened, plus more for the tin
  • caster sugar 150g
  • golden marzipan 150g, cut into small pieces
  • eggs 8, separated
  • double cream 250ml
  • dark rum 60ml
  • ground cinnamon 1 ½ tsp
  • vanilla bean powder ½ tsp, or 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • self-raising flour 140g
  • cornflour 100g


  • plain chocolate 100g, broken into pieces
  • golden syrup 1 tbsp
  • double cream 150ml
  • dark rum 2 tbsp
  • butter 15g


  • white chocolate 50g, melted


  • Step 1

    Cream together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the chopped marzipan and whisk into the butter mixture. Add the egg yolks and whisk in. Add the double cream, dark rum, ground cinnamon, vanilla and a pinch of salt and whisk to make a smooth batter.

  • Step 2

    Sift in the self-raising flour and cornflour and fold in until incorporated.

  • Step 3

    In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks then fold into the batter by first taking a large spoonful of egg white and beating it in, to loosen, then folding in the rest gently, a spoonful at a time, trying not to knock out all the air.

  • Step 4

    Butter the base and central spindle of a 25cm round, flat-bottomed ring pan, such as an angel cake pan. Put two large spoonfuls of batter into the pan and spread out with a silicon pastry brush, or a spatula, into a very thin layer. You shouldn’t be able to see the base of the pan through the batter.

  • Step 5

    Bake under a hot grill for about 3-5 minutes until the top of the batter turns golden-brown. The cooking time will depend on many factors, such as how hot the grill is and how far the pan is from the grill, so watch carefully. Once the first layer is done you’ll have a good idea on timings for the rest. When the top is golden brown, carefully remove from the grill and put another two spoonfuls of batter on top. Spread them out in the same way, making sure that all the cake below is covered but keep the layers thin. Cook again, in the same way, and continue until all the batter is used. It should make about 10 layers, although this depends on the size of the pan and thickness of the batter. As the number of layers increases, the top of the cake will get nearer the grill and will cook faster, so watch very carefully towards the end.

  • Step 6

    Once finished, slide a knife round the edge of the pan to prevent sticking, and leave the cake in the pan to cool.

  • Step 7

    Remove the cooled cake from the pan and invert onto a cooling rack, putting foil or baking parchment underneath to catch drips later.

  • Step 8

    Heat the chocolate, syrup, cream, rum and butter in a saucepan until melted together into a smooth, glossy sauce. Pour the glaze over the top and sides of the cooled cake and leave to set. Drizzle with thin lines of melted white chocolate to decorate and leave to set.

This cake will store for up to 3 days in an airtight container, or longer if stored in the fridge.

Recipe adapted from Layered Desserts by Hannah Miles (£16.99, Ryland, Peters & Small).