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Frankfurter Kranz-German Buttercream Cake HELP!!!

This year my Christmas baking theme is centered around my german heritage and therfore I have chosen many German based confections to serve both on Christmas Eve and Christams Day i.e. stollen, lebkuchen, pfeffuernesse, etc. My piece de resistance, however, is Frankfurter Kranz , a multi-layered cake baked in a bundt pan cut into three layers, frosted with german buttercream and then coated with a sort of praline topping. The recipe I am using is from the "Time-Life: Foods of the World, Recipes:The Cooking of Germany". I was wondering if anyone else had had any experience baking this cake? Also, the recipe that I am going by, calls for a pound of butter in the frosting. I do not want to use a pound of butter and have looked at other recipes online that call instead for using a pudding mix in the frosting and am wondering if anyone has had experience with this and what the results have been. Thank you for your help!

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  1. I don't know this cake but European-style buttercreams *are* very buttery. And less sweet, which might work better with the praline topping. That would be my concern with switching to a potentially sweeter frosting. How does the online recipe compare otherwise?

    1. I think I may have a recipe for that pudding-based buttercream somewhere. My dad always made this when he'd bake cakes. In fact, I asked if he would show me how to do this over this holidays!

      Got to get ready for work, so I won't have time to look until tonight.

      1. The recipes I'm seeing on line that call for a pudding mix still call for a great deal of butter too. Apparently German buttercream is, by definition, a custard or pastry cream base beaten with butter. I think the recipes that call for a pudding mix are just using it as a shortcut for the pastry cream portion, not as a butter replacement. What are the other ingredients in your frosting, and in what amounts? My guess is that you'll need a lot of frosting if you are making a three-layer bundt cake - so even though a pound of butter sounds like a lot, it will end up making a huge amount of frosting.

        BTW, I just found a recipe on a German site that states that you can obtain a stiffer buttercream for decorating by increasing the amount of butter to the point that you have an equal amount of butter and custard. The original recipe calls for twice as much custard as butter - so perhaps you could check your recipe and see what the ratio of custard to butter is, and cut some of the butter if it's close to 1:1 (if you don't need such a stiff frosting).

        1. I just made German buttercream, and the recipe I made called for two pounds of butter instead of one, so it is unlikely that the recipes trend in diminishing the butter; however, cream cheese, I have seen (and used), can be used to substitute for part of that. I have seen no more than half, though. Try comparing this recipe at BraveTart's blog: http://bravetart.com/recipes/GermanBu...
          This is the recipe I used (successfully cutting back that scandalous pound with a markedly looser texture) to make my frosting, so I can't help you divine any further how to extract the butter from the buttercream.

          And I agree with the others - the pudding is most probably part of the pastry cream or custard component to help with structure maintenance; you are likely to see gelatin or cornstarch added also.

          1. Hey, Redstickchef, here's the recipe. It's from Das Gro├če Dr. Oetker Backbuch. Incidentally I just call and it is the recipe my dad has used in the past (he's an engineer, but his father was a pastry chef, so her probably knows a little something about this). This book also has a recipe for Frankfurter Kranz and uses a similar (but not exact) buttercream recipe.

            1 pkg of Dr. Oetker vanilla pudding mix
            75 g sugar
            500 ml (1/2 l) cold milk
            2 packets vanilla sugar *(you could probably sub in some vanilla extract instead)
            250 g butter (about a pound)

            Make the pudding by mixing the pudding powder with the sugar in a saucepan. Gradually whisk in the milk until smooth. Then cook over MEDIUM heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk until the mixture is thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, mix in the vanilla sugar, making sure that the vanilla sugar is well mixed. Pour into bowl and let cool at room temperature, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming.

            Beat butter until smooth. Mix the cooled pudding into the butter tablespoon by tablespoon (the pudding and butter should not be too cold, lest they not combine well). Mix until the buttercream is fluffy (but not greasy).

            I'm not sure if you can use another pudding brand. I doubt you'd be able to use instant, but the cooked pudding might work. Not sure though!

            3 Replies
            1. re: nofunlatte

              In the interest of accuracy, 250g is closer to a half pound than a pound - a kg (1000g) is 2.2lbs, so a quarter of that is just over a half pound.

              1. re: biondanonima

                I stand corrected. Well, actually I'm seated so I SIT corrected!

                1. re: nofunlatte

                  LOL. I only posted because I was thinking about the ratio of custard to butter specified in the recipe I saw online. Your recipe looks like it should make about two cups of custard/pudding, and if it calls for a half pound of butter that is about one cup, which is the same ratio as was recommended in the recipe I saw.

                  Oddly enough, I am having a real craving for buttercream icing now!!